Automating WordPress Updates

Categories: knowledgebase, WEB 3.0 Tips, WEB 3.0 Wordpress | Posted on Dec 19, 2017

If you manage multiple WordPress sites, you’ll know that it is a real pain to have to constantly update plugins, themes and even the core WordPress version. I struggled with this for a long time, and logged in once a week to all of the sites I managed to check if anything needed to be done (which it always does!).

At the time, the main solution was to use WordPress multisite BUT that came with its own headaches. It is not a simple process moving a standard WordPress site to a multisite and, even when you get it right, not all plugins work on multipress. So, what to do?

The good news is that you can set up automation of all updates very easily using any one of the following solutions:

1. Adding snippets of code

Adding these snippets of code to your theme’s functions.php file will automate updates for both plugins and themes:

add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_true’ );

add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_true’ );

To auto-update your core WordPress version, you just need to add this single line of code in your site’s wp-config.php file:

define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true );

IMPORTANT: This will also auto-update any development (nightly) updates which you might not want. No problem thought – to restrict automatic updates to major releases in which case you just need to add this snippet of code in a site-specific plugin or in your theme’s functions.php file.

add_filter( ‘allow_dev_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_false’ );

2. Use Automatic Plugin Update

If you don’t want to touch the code, you can also install the plugin Automatic Plugin Updates

Automatic Plugin Updates

3. IMPORTANT: Backups!

BackWPup – WordPress Backup Plugin

BackWPup is a free plugin that allows you to create complete WordPress backups and store it on the cloud (Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace, etc), FTP, email, or on your computer. It is very easy to use and allows you to schedule automatic backups. Best of all, there is a FREE version

Restoring a WordPress site from backup is also very simple. The Pro version comes with priority support, ability to store backups on Google Drive, and some other premium (albeit not essential) features.

Another FREE backup solution is Duplicator. This is another easy-to-use plugin that enables you to backup and migrate your sites – again completely free to use. One thing that is missing is scheduled backups.

Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin

Finally, there is Updraft Plus. This another free backup solution. It has a 4.9 star rating with over half a million installs – need we say more?

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin


Rolling back

WP Roll back is a plugin that enables you to roll other plugins back to a previous version. This can save a huge amount of time because it means you don’t need to completely restore a backup if a plugin update causes a problem.

WP Rollback


There is another complete solution that does all of the above and more. It is called MAIN WP – this is the system we use now as it gives us complete control over all of our WordPress sites via a single dashboard. There is a FREE version and you can simply pay for additional modules OR subscribe to all modules.
To find out more –  VISIT MAIN WP

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