How to Update WordPress with Automation
The Ultimate WordPress Update Checklist
When it comes to placing the “blame” for this overabundance of WordPress security breaches, it’s not fair to point to developers who built or now maintain WordPress or its third-party integrations. In fact, most WordPress breaches can be traced back to user error.
Did you know that over 70% of WordPress installs currently do not run on the most current and secure version of the platform? These WordPress updates are released for a reason–WordPress now even automates minor security upgrades in order to ensure that users’ sites are safe from those known vulnerabilities.
Then there’s the matter of plugins and themes. 54% of all WordPress vulnerabilities can be traced back to plugins and 14% to themes. Unless there is a serious security issue detected within one of these, WordPress will not force an automatic update for all users. They’ll instead rely on developers to create a patch and send out an update notification.
Ultimately, it comes down to you remaining cognizant over your WordPress website, monitoring for updates as soon as they become available, and then implementing them right away. This is the only way to keep WordPress as safe as possible.
How to Update WordPress with Automation
In 2013, WordPress was kind enough to gift us with automated updates. These are not universally applied, however, and will only occur with minor releases and the infrequent plugin or theme update that urgently needs pushing out. All major releases and other plugin and theme updates still need to be processed by you.
If you’d like to spare yourself the responsibility of doing that–without compromising your site’s safety–you can automate these updates. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Schedule Backups
Even if you’re not manually processing each update, it’s still important to have regular backups of your site saved. You can do this by using a backup and restore plugin. This will ensure that you have something to roll back to in case something goes wrong during one of those automated updates.
2. Automate with a Plugin
While you could log into WordPress each day and watch for the little notification at the top of the dashboard that says you have updates waiting, you can instead use a plugin to handle the work for you. Easy Updates Manager is a free plugin that you can use either on a single WordPress website or for a full Multisite network.
Once you have the plugin installed, you’ll need to configure the settings for it.
The dashboard (pictured above) will give you easy toggle on/off access to automating core, plugin, and theme updates for your site.
Pay special attention to the General Settings tab as well. While the top part of the page gives you the ability to set universal controls over what is automated and what’s not, the bottom part (Notifications and Miscellaneous) you might find particularly useful as well.
And don’t forget to look at Advanced Settings before you save and close up the configuration page. If you have multiple users who have access to your site, but you don’t want them to have control over these settings, you can adjust access levels there.
3. Or Automate Your Workflow
Rather than rely on one plugin to handle backups and one plugin to handle updates, why not use one tool that consolidates all that automation into one? ManageWP is a fantastic option for this as it enables you to:
- Manage all website updates–for as many websites as you want–from a single dashboard.
- Schedule daily backups and save to your preferred off site destination. (This is actually our favorite feature!)
ManageWP also comes chock full of security features to help you better maintain the overall health and safety of your website without breaking a sweat.
As a WordPress maintenance service provider, we’ve found ManageWP’s solution to be incredibly valuable to our operations and workflow. With the enhanced visibility, convenience, and control we now have into all our websites’ performance, security, and pending updates, we’ve been able to focus on growing our business (by 39%, in fact) rather than on trying to keep track of everything we have to do for each of our current clients.