WordPress is a widely known open source script and is the main target for online hackers due to its popularity. In this case, the developers of WordPress constantly update this script to fix the potential loopholes and vulnerabilities. Here, every time a new update for WordPress comes out, you can be notified on the dashboard.
Actually, it can be a common sense that you need to always remain the latest updated version of WordPress for the sake of website security. After all, once a new version is made public, the loopholes of the previous version can be known by hackers so as to access your site easily from that back door.
Luckily, since the WordPress version of 3.7, this script releases a great feature of automatic update, which can help you streamline the upgrade experience in overall. In the following, we’d like to talk something about this great feature and tell you how to improve WordPress automatic updates feature effectively to better safeguard your website contents, data, files and many more.
General Knowledge of WordPress Automatic Updates Feature
Here, we need to mention that the update of WordPress comes with two types – the major one and the minor one. Generally, the minor update is for some security patches and maintenance releases, while the major update mainly upgrades WordPress with some new main functions.
Since the version of 3.7, you can enjoy an automatic background update for the minor releases only. This means you can enjoy an automatic upgrade from the version 4.5.2 to 4.5.3. However, if you want to update from the version 4.4 to 4.5 directly, the automatic feature is not supported. In this case, you have to go through the manual steps for the update of WordPress core.
Here, when the new release is available, you can find an update message that tells you which new version is made public now and encourages you to make an update by clicking the Please Update Now button.
If the message disappears, you can also click the Dashboard > Updates button. Here, you can leverage the 1-click update tool. By clicking it, the new version can be downloaded, installed, tested and run automatically. Upon the successful update, you can know what’s new with this version.
In addition, you can optionally choose the manual way by clicking the Download button, and then, you need to go through the WordPress installation steps one more time. Note that before the update, you’d better backup your website files and database, as well as putting your site into the maintenance mode.
Improve Automatic Updates for Major Releases, Plugins and Themes
In order to improve this great feature of WordPress, you firstly need to enable the automatic update for the major releases. For this, you can open and edit your wp-config.php file and enter the following line of code into it. This way, both the minor update and the major update can be implemented automatically in your dashboard.
However, if you want to manage the update in the free and flexible manner and are looking to handle the updates of themes and plugins, you’d better make use of the Easy Updates Manager plugin, with which you can manage all the update tasks of your WordPress site easily.
After the installation of it, you can directly click Dashboard > Update Options to determine the update rules of your website.
Firstly, you need to enter the dashboard section of this plugin. Here, you can find some columns that cover everything on your site that needs to be updated.
In the first column, you need to decide what can be updated via this plugin, which include the WordPress core, all the installed themes, all the installed plugins, along with the translations files. Surely, you need to toggle on all of these options.
In the second column, you can determine the automatic update settings. Here, you can enable or disable the automatic update for the major releases, minor releases, development core for the bleeding-edge releases, plugins and themes. Besides, for the last two options, you can also choose to select some plugins and themes to update individually, or, to remain the default WordPress settings that will notify you of the new versions in the dashboard.
In the third column, you can find that all your installed plugins and templates are listed. Here, you are allowed to choose some or all of them to apply to the automatic update settings.
The last column is for the WordPress notification. Here, you can choose to receive or not to receive the core update emails.
Actually, almost all the settings in this area are already decided from the Dashboard area. However, you still need to move down to the Notification field for entering the email address that can receive the update messages.
In addition, you can choose to remove or display the browser nag for those who are using the old browser, as well as the WordPress version in your footer section.
Plugins and Themes
From these two parts, you can make some settings of the update for your plugins and themes. In our example, we allow all the plugins and themes to be updated automatically from the Dashboard area. If you determine the same setting, you can selectively choose some individual options that are disallowed to update here.
Here, you can determine which users need to be excluded from the settings of this special plugin. Also, you can choose to reset all the options and force the update for debugging. Even, there is a beta feature of logs. If you turn it on, you can check some reports of your website update.
In the Log section, you can know the updated items, the updated versions, the actions, the status and the date.