WordPress understanding the security needs and challenges of ever-changing technology has included a feature that enables users to go about the automatic updating process without constantly needing to manually update WordPress.
Introduced in V5.5, the WordPress automatic update feature is a handy tool that ensures that your WordPress installation is both updated and secure. Automatically updating WordPress core files along every installed plugin and theme ensures that your site receives the latest security updates and eventually reduces the possibility of hackers breaking into the site.
Let’s take a deep dive into the WordPress automatic update so as to understand both its benefits and limitations. All WordPress core updates are completed with all of our WordPress Maintenance Packages.
The Pros & Cons of Automatic WordPress Updates
How frequently does your WordPress website need automatic updates? If your answer is – more often than you can do it manually – you have all the reasons to continue to keep auto-updates activated. Following are five critical advantages of having auto-update turned on on your WordPress websites.
1. Keeping Your Site Secure
With all the automatic updates turned on, your WordPress install will always run only the latest and most secure version of WordPress core files. The latest version is always the most secure because it has noted down all the security flaws discovered during the testing process and repaired them before pushing the version to the public. Furthermore, since the automatic update is a core feature of the WordPress platform, it’s a given that WordPress will also allow you to automatically update every other plugin and theme installed on your site, thereby ensuring that you always get to enjoy the best and most up-to-date features.
2. Time Saver for Multi-site Owners
With auto-updates activated, you don’t need to keep track of the number of WordPress installations and how they are managed. This way, you can free your time for other equally important areas of your business, such as adding more traffic, writing more engaging content, and more.
With automatic updates turned on, you are ensuring the security of all your websites, website themes, and website plugins. So never again worry about your website getting attacked by a virus.
3. Increased Efficiency
With automatic updates turned on, you never need to manually check if your WordPress install needs to be updated or not. WordPress will automatically check the time gap since the last update, and if it is a suitable time frame for the update, it will proceed with the update process. This saves your time in checking whether all your WordPress installs are safe or not and helps you focus on much more important issues and thus improve your productivity.
4. Complete Control
Just like every other feature available on the WordPress platform, you are in complete control of every aspect of the WordPress automatic update’s feature. You can decide which plugin or theme you would like to update and which not. And though right now there isn’t any scheduling option available, it’s a possibility that WordPress will introduce it in the near future. At present, there are two ways through which you can coordinate the WordPress automatic update process. One is the automated way, and the other one, you can administer it manually.
5. It’s Not Enforced
If you don’t want to keep your WordPress website updated, you can easily disable the auto-update feature. Just add “define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );” to your site’s wp-config.php file to successfully disable WordPress automatic update. However, be reminded that this feature is designed to safeguard your website from malicious attacks such as viruses, malware, backdoors, and Trojans. So you’ve got a very low chance of safely disabling it.
The Disadvantages of WordPress Auto-Update:
1. Performance Impact
There are many instances where auto-update might negatively affect your site’s performance by slowing down the site because of a sudden spike in in-service resource usage. Plugins and themes are just like desktop applications, which must be disabled, removed, re-installed, and re-populated with previous settings. And though the auto-update may not be an issue for websites on VPS or managed hosting, it can prove to be a real issue for people using shared hosting. Additionally, those website owners who manage highly trafficked sites will find this feature to be a bit annoying as it might take your WordPress website offline for a few minutes or hours while the process is ongoing.
2. Custom WordPress Websites May Face Issues
It’s a known fact that WordPress is used by millions of bloggers, websites, and e-commerce stores, and its heavily used features are advanced content editing, superb flexibility, and the intuitive user interface. However, there are some WordPress websites that require customized content on their WordPress dashboard, for instance, a magazine website that requires customized widgets showing the number of posts in each category. Or let’s say you have custom plugins or themes using functions that newer WordPress versions do not support. You will now face some issues while upgrading in these situations. Some issues – which are more of a headache than a real issue – will be trivial to resolve, while some may be more serious.
How to Properly Manage WordPress Automatic Update?
Easy Updates Manager is a highly praised WordPress plugin developed and managed by the “Easy Updates Manager Team” for the purpose of managing automatic WordPress updates and providing users with better options to manage the process.
The plugin is totally free to download, install, and use and requires no coding knowledge whatsoever. It is a simple to use interface even for beginners and comes with many features that make it easy for you to manage WordPress updates on demand.
One of the most loved features of Easy Updates Manager is its ability to easily disable the auto-update feature and make WordPress keep the version installed while the admin continues to keep it updated manually. It gives you complete control over your WordPress sites, and everything you need to do is to install, activate, enable, and customize the necessary features as per your need and your business requirements.
Yet another great feature includes the possibility to hide custom themes and plugins (which are not listed in the official WordPress repository) so that the automatic update process never tries to update them, unnecessarily slowing down your website.
Automatic updates introduced in WordPress V5.5 was a revolutionary concept and helped solve the issue of the seamless updating process. However, that doesn’t mean that it is without limits or flaws that might get solved in the near future. Like every other process, it requires tweaking and equally responsible use to ensure that your WordPress site runs as smoothly as possible and can cause major issues. Lastly, make sure you have your SSL Certificate for WordPress Website, it is important for ranking and security!