Automatic Updating of WordPress Plugins and Core

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One of the tasks I least enjoy when working with WordPress is the chore of updating core, plugins and themes. Here's a solution you might want to try out
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One of the tasks I least enjoy when working with WordPress is the chore of updating core, plugins and themes.

A plugin I’ve found recently actually solve this problem, albeit depending on how you set it, it’s a case of ‘living on the edge’ when using it. The reason is that there is always a slight possibility that an upgrade can break your site.

Abid Arwal actually explains the process of how updating WordPress works in an article on WP Tuts Plus, and its a very interesting read.

But let’s talk about the plugin itself:

Automatic Updater

Automatic Updater keeps your WordPress install up to date with the latest releases automatically, as soon as the update is available.

While this will be useful for the vast majority of sites, please exercise caution, particularly if you have any custom themes or plugins running on your site.

You should also be aware that this will only work on WordPress installs that have the appropriate file permissions to update through the web interface – it will not work if you usually FTP updates to your server.

There are some Actions and Filters provided, check the Documentation for more details.

What do you think about these plugins? Would you be willing to use them on your sites? Is the trade-off between convenience-peace of mind worth it?

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Jean Galea

Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the podcast. His personal blog can be found at

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8 Responses

  1. I can think of a couple of sites that I manage that this would be great for! They’re simple sites with no advanced functionality and utilizing some of the most common plugins.

    However, I’d probably cower away from using it at the first sign of issue since I don’t typically check these sites more than once a month.

  2. I really like your blog, articles, plugins,… but I think this plugin will break a lot of websites.
    If people wants a plugin for updates, i think they have already some plugins installed. Hope for them, these are compatible.

  3. I use SVN for auto updates. It’s faster and more reliable. Plus it gives you the ability to downgrade super fast if it breaks.

  4. I’m the author of Automatic Updater, it’s great to see it generating these discussions! 🙂

    I agree that automatically updating everything isn’t for everyone, but you should be planning ahead for automatic updates of WordPress Core, at least, which will be making its way in over the next few versions:

    Feedback from various site admins seems to be that automatically updating everything is a viable option, provided you have a carefully curated list of plugins that aren’t likely to cause White Screens.

  5. Whoa. I advise caution on this one. Yes, keep your plugins up to date, no, don’t do it automatically. I’ve had a update to a very common plugin break my site (white screen) and I had to disable it until the next fix came through (a week later). Epic fail on their part, and it could have been much worse if it was an essential plugin. I’m more of a test first, then keep em upgraded kinda person now.

    ­Rod Salm
    Death At Your Door, a weekly webcomic about Death trying to live a life.

    1. I usually keep only the WordPress Core auto update enabled, as that is usually safe, but I monitor my sites daily anyway.

  6. Good luck with using something like that. Your putting a lot of trust in an outside developer. I won’t put any of my sites on auto update. I won’t even put the core on an auto update, what if they deprecate loads of functions some of your plugins are using? When uploading the core always take a backup, read the release notes and test after an update.

    1. I think that depends on the sites in question. For simple sites with few or no plugins installed, I’d prefer auto core updates rather than having to do it manually. It’s all about compromises I think. Of course for bigger and more critical sites it’s always a better bet to take backups and to the manual thing.

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