WordPress, as we all know, is one of the most popular and frequently used content management systems at the current date. One of the most important reasons behind all of its popularity is the range of ready-made themes and plugins it offers that eventually aid developers in creating pleasing and attractive websites efficiently without spending much time on it. The WordPress plugins allow developers to incorporate additional functionality to their websites without any need to write the code from scratch. Similarly, the readymade WordPress themes enable the developers to generate impressive designs for their sites without doing much endeavors.
However, installing themes and plugins in your WordPress site and misremembering to update them is a common reason behind most of the website hacks. Although a number of third party plugins are available for a long time that allows automatic updates for plugins, themes, and WordPress core to avoid such flaws but the WordPress team now wants to add an auto-update feature for plugins and themes in the WordPress. Hence, the WordPress development team is constantly endeavoring on incorporating an auto-update mechanism for themes and plugins.
As the work on this feature started long back, the next WordPress update i.e. WordPress 5.5, which is going to introduce the auto-update feature for WordPress themes as well as plugins is anticipated to be released in August 2020. WordPress 5.5 will permit users to enable or disable automatic updates for specific themes and plugins.
However, WordPress auto-update plugin is accessible with the help of the WordPress plugin directory for the purpose of downloading, beta testing, and feedback. The plugin is friendly with PHP version 5.6 or higher and needs a WordPress version that is at least 5.3 or higher.
The main features of the plugin are as under
- The plugin enables the site administrators to opt-in to automatic updates for plugins and themes in the associated WP-Admin screens.
- The plugin enables developers to enable or disable auto-updates on a plugin-to-plugin and theme-to-theme basis.
- The plugin ensures that the email notifications containing the summary of the auto-updates are sent to website administrators on a regular basis.
- The plugins provide the hooks and constants to assist developers in defining the auto-update settings programmatically or even disabling them.
Auto Update Feature for Plugins in WordPress 5.5
First of all, you are required to install Auto-updates plugin to your WordPress website. After installing the plugin, you will observe the column ‘Auto-updates’ in the ‘Plugins’ section. The column will give you the choice to enable or disable auto-updates for each plugin installed on your website.
WordPress checks for the updates after every 12 hours by default. However, you are having an option to update the plugin manually even before the programmed time if required.
Auto Update Feature for Themes in WordPress 5.5
WordPress 5.5 also allows you to enable auto-updates for your themes. To accomplish this, you are required to navigate to Appearance >> Themes. You have to choose the theme for which you want to enable the automatic updates then click on ‘Enable automatic updates’.
Like plugins, here also you will have a default preset time for the updations and you are always free to update the themes manually before the scheduled time if you want.
Auto Update Summary Email
An email covering the information about updated themes and plugins will be mailed to the administrator.
Benefits of WordPress’s auto-update feature
Having a WordPress website safe from hackers requires a lot of endeavors in which keeping a constant check on updation of themes and plugins utilized in the website is highly crucial. Hence, the auto-update feature to be incorporated in WordPress 5.5 can prove to be a great help to ensure better security of the website. However, in addition to this, there are a number of other benefits that can be enjoyed with the introduction of the auto-update feature of WordPress. These benefits can be seen as under
The auto-update feature is going to ease the life of developers for sure as automating the updates is more comfortable and can limit the developers’ workload to a great extent.
By automating the updates associated with their sites, developers are free to spend more time and put more effort into the other areas to enhance the quality of their work.
While performing the updates manually, there are high chances of developers forgetting the updation task due to a huge workload which may lead to consolidating potential risks to the safety of the website. The auto-update feature, on the other hand, runs the available updates in preset time intervals without incorporating any kind of delays to the same. This, consequently, lowers the security risks associated with the website. Hence, auto-updates emerge as a savior in the situations where any delays in the updates can lead to major security risks.
As it is very easy for the hackers to exploit the websites comprising of outdated themes and plugins, the auto-update feature will hopefully aid in lessening the number of WordPress sites being hacked. Fortunately, the waiting time is going to end shortly and the latest WordPress 5.5 version is going to release too soon. Let us all keep our fingers crossed and welcome the amazing auto-update feature coming along with WordPress 5.5.
Meanwhile, if you are looking to develop a stunning WordPress website for your business with all the latest features and versions and looking to hire experienced WordPress developers to accomplish the task, you can get in touch with our team today to enjoy the best, cost-effective and timely services!
Vaibhav Pandya is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Senior Contributing Editor at IndyLogix - Digital Marketing Agency, where he has spent 9+ years growing the organization and establishing it as a credible market leader. An operational executive by day and an avid writer by night, he loves to read, write, and speak about Digital Marketing, SEO, NFT, Blockchain, AI, Web 3.0, and more. Catch up with him at @pandyavaibh
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