WordPress is an open-source platform powering 27% of the entire internet.
Over the years, it has fostered a devoted community around it. The result is a steady flow of new WordPress updates rolling in. They fix bugs, add new features, improve security, and enhance performance.
Installing them on a regular basis is absolutely essential. It enables you to harness the power of a highly versatile platform and achieve blog prominence.
The only problem is that this process can consume a lot of time you need for other things. This is mostly due to the sheer number and variety of updates.
Still, the good news is automation is here to save the day. It streamlines update experience, sparing you of all the headaches. Here is why it should be an integral part of your strategy.
Updating is a slightly annoying and distracting task that many bloggers neglect.
There seems to be a never-ending stream of installations coming in. According to some estimates, the number of free add-ons alone exceeds 50,000. That’s just too many to even take into account.
However, ignoring this incredible resource pool is a dire mistake.
Simply put, having the latest version of WordPress is associated with various benefits. You’re able to secure new features and improvements for your blog. Many of them go well beyond cosmetic tweaks and shape your prospects in the oversaturated blogosphere.
What is more, you have a chance to significantly bolster security. Due to its immense popularity, WordPress is a frequent target of hacking and malicious attacks. Out-of-date software creates more security vulnerabilities.
One that is properly updated has the opposite effect— it plugs the loopholes.
Moving on, some important WordPress updates lead to better performance and stability. They pose an opportunity to speed up your blog and expand your readership. In the process, you also score some SEO points.
It’s a clear win-win for you.
One final reason to update is related to your relevance. Without updates, you lag behind the competition in terms of adoption of new trends and standards. Especially if you miss out on beginner-friendly updates that promote smooth user experience.
Background automatic updates have been around since WordPress 3.7
Default settings apply this feature to minor releases. These tend to involve maintenance and security updates, as well as translation files. As for major releases and add-on updates, you have to initiate them yourself.
Yes, that means that the bulk of updates still don’t take place automatically.
That being said, you can fine-tune the controls and customize any kind of update. Namely, there are two wp-config.php constants and some API filters at your disposal.
With the help of constants, you define constraints for automatic updates. In other words, you can choose to turn them off and on. All you need to do is add a simple line of code.
On the other hand, filters provide deeper control over update typologies. They tell WordPress automatic updater to run when certain updates are available. For instance, you may focus on must-use plugins that call for frequent updates.
The third way is to use a plugin to manage automatic updates.
Take the example of an Easy Updates Manager, a tool many non-developers employ. It allows you to handle both single-site and multisite updates across all typologies. There are also some handy additional features, such as user blocking and notification emails.
And in case this plugin doesn’t satisfy your needs, there’s no shortage of alternatives. We would advise you to give Advanced Automatic Updates a go.
Updating WordPress isn’t as simple as clicking the “Update” button every now and then.
First and foremost, you need to be aware of updates that cause incompatibility issues.
They can hamper important functionalities or even bring your whole blog down. Risks are greater for users that aren’t using managed WordPress hosting. Also, the chance of breakdown is higher when you tamper with code or forsake best practices.
The takeaway is clear: think twice before automating all updates. Knowing when and whether to add something to the mix is paramount. For example, updates that include plugins are often better done manually.
Following a one-by-one process makes it easier to spot problems as soon as they emerge. You can revert back to older releases right away. WP Rollback is one of the tools that enable restoration previous versions nice and easy.
Another handy trick is to backup database tables and files. This is a precautionary measure in case something unforeseen happens. Notice you can automate this backup process too.
Furthermore, consider temporarily disabling the plugins before the installation. Once this process is completed, enable plugins one by one.
The last step is to check your website to see if everything is in working order. A simple few-minute test should do the trick. Also, see what kind of email notification you received from WordPress.
Remember that ultimately, your updating choices depend on your specific case. Some of the factors to weigh are your comfort level with the code and amount of time you want to spend maintaining a site.
In any event, going full auto-pilot mode can do more harm than good.
Updating is one of the WordPress fundamentals.
In this day and age, there’s no need to bother doing this manually. Automation of WordPress updates is a process linked to many benefits.
It’s an easy way to take advantage of the latest features, fixes, and enhancements. You keep your site up-to-date and stay on top of industry standards. But, it’s better not to be asleep at the wheel.
Figure out the best way to approach automation and distinguish between different types of updates.
Identify installations you’re better off doing manually. Factor in all the pros and cons to minimize the risks. Adhering to these best practices, you will boost the security, improve performance, and simplify site administration.
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