Keeping your WordPress website updated is crucial to enhance its security and performance. WordPress added the automatic update functionality in 2013, with WordPress 3.7. This enabled users to install minor updates for website security and maintenance automatically. However, you need to initiate the updates yourself in case of major releases. Similarly, plugins and theme updates need to be updated yourself.
Updating WordPress is easy. If you have just one or two websites, with the setup on E2E WordPress Cloud, you can easily carry out the updates. However, if you have multiple websites, manually updating them can become exhausting. To help you out, we have outlined the steps to enable automatic updates to your WordPress website.
Understanding WordPress Update Types
Before we begin explaining the process, it is essential to understand the types of WordPress updates. WordPress has four major types of updates. Depending upon their functionality, they are classified as core updates, plugin updates, theme updates, and translation file updates. The core update is the WordPress update that includes features, maintenance, and security updates. The plugin and theme updates help enhance the aesthetics and functionality of the website. In contrast, translational updates are needed whenever WordPress needs a language file for a theme or a plugin.
On E2E Cloud, you have the Plesk integrated cloud server with an advanced control panel, which simplifies WordPress site handling, including updating your WordPress site.
Enabling Automatic WordPress Update
Now that we’ve looked at the various types of automatic WordPress updates let us dive into how to enable automatic updates. There are two methods of enabling automatic WordPress updates, via plugins or by adding code to your WordPress files.
However, before updating WordPress, you need to fully backup your WordPress site. The backup should include the database, media uploads, plugins and themes, and the core files. Once you have created the backup, you can move to the updating process.
E2E Cloud’s Plesk integrated cloud servers simplify WordPress updates as it has dedicated WordPress hosting that improves the website’s speed and reliability.
Using a Plugin
This is the easiest of the two methods and is recommended, especially for beginners. You will need to install the Easy Updates Manager plugin. Once you have it activated, visit the dashboard. Go to the Updates section, and activate ‘Enable Updates.’ You can also customize the type of updates you want to download automatically. Under the ‘Automatic Updates’ section, click ‘Custom’ and enable or disable certain updates, e.g., themes or plugins.
Adding Code to WordPress Files
You can turn automatic updates on for WordPress websites hosted on E2E WordPress Cloud by defining constants in your website’s wp-config.php file or adding filters using a plugin. To enable auto-updates via wp-config.php, add the following line to the file.
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true );
You can define three values for WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE, each specifying different update permission. For instance, if you define the value as:
true – All updates to the core are enabled, such as the major, minor, and development updates.
false – All updates, such as the development, major, and minor updates, to the core are disabled.
minor – Only the minor updates to the website are enabled.
Using filters allow for greater control over automatic updates, and you need to add codes to a site-specific plugin or code snippets plugin.
To enable core updates using filters, add the following code:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_core’, ‘__return_true’ );
This will enable all types of core updates. However, you can selectively enable or disable the three types of core updates, major, minor, and developmental, using the allow_dev_auto_core_updates, allow_minor_auto_core_updates, and allow_major_auto_core_updates filters. You can use the _return_true or _return_false functions depending upon whether you want the updates to be automatically downloaded and installed or not.
add_filter( ‘allow_dev_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_true’ ); – Enables development updates
add_filter( ‘allow_minor_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_true’ ); – Enables minor updates
add_filter( ‘allow_major_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_true’ ); – Enables major updates
Similarly, you can update the website theme, plugins, and the translational files automatically with filters.
To update plugins using filters, use:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_true’ );
To update the theme with filters, use:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_true’ );
Translation file updates are enabled by default in WordPress. However, if you want to disable them, use the following code:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_translation’, ‘__return_false’ );
After the Update
Once the updates have been downloaded and installed, you need to ascertain that everything on your WordPress website, set up on E2E Cloud’s dedicated WordPress hosting servers, works perfectly. Simply open the updated website in a new window and review the settings in the admin panel. Similarly, navigate through the various sections of the website to ensure that the website is functioning smoothly. Most likely, the website will be updated without any issues.
In case you encounter an issue, you can quickly fix them by referring to the WordPress support page. You can easily search for solutions to the problem encountered using keywords in the search bar. Alternatively, you can rollback updates for specific plugins using the WP Rollback plugin to get back to the desired version. Similarly, the WP Rollback plugin can be used to return to a previous version of the website theme.
We hope that this blog helped update your WordPress website, hosted on E2E Cloud’s secure network, easily. The process is fairly simple and can be done with a few clicks, and helps keep your website fast, safe, and secure.
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