WordPress 5.6 introduced a new auto-updates feature. This promises to help keep your site safe while minimizing your workload. However, it also represents a huge change in how we receive our WordPress updates – and could have serious consequences for your website.
Thankfully, there are ways to reap the benefits of WordPress’ new auto-updates while avoiding the downsides. By taking some simple precautions, you can ensure that the next WordPress upgrade doesn’t result in expensive downtime or data loss.
In this article, we’ll explore why auto-updates are big news for the WordPress community, and why they should be approached with caution. We’ll then share tips for auto-updating safely. Let’s get started!
An introduction to WordPress’ auto-updates feature
While it’s important to keep your WordPress site up-to-date, it’s easy to fall behind. Busy website owners, entrepreneurs, and startups may struggle to find the time to update the platform manually. It’s also tempting to delay a major update if you suspect it may cause conflicts or other problems for your website.
Additionally, if you run your site as part of a team, coordinating a WordPress update may require a significant amount of work, as you’ll need an admin to perform it. Plus, many people run WordPress websites as a hobby or an additional revenue stream. If managing your site isn’t your full-time job, you may only check on it sporadically, leaving opportunities for you to miss release announcements.
Enabling auto-updates helps you ensure your site is always running the latest version of WordPress, no matter how busy life gets. By default, WordPress auto-updates itself for minor releases, but major releases are slightly more complicated.
Prior to WordPress 5.6, it was possible to opt-into auto-updates for major releases. However, it was a time-consuming process that required you to edit your website’s code.
WordPress 5.6 aims to simplify this process. If you’re running WordPress 5.6 or higher, you can enable auto-updates by navigating to Dashboard > Updates and clicking on Enable automatic updates for all new versions of WordPress:
However, before you enable WordPress auto-updates, there are some potential drawbacks you should consider. For instance, there’s always a chance you may encounter conflicts with your themes and plugins following an auto-update.
You may also encounter issues with WordPress itself. All updates are tested thoroughly, but there are always edge cases. While you’re unlikely to encounter problems with WordPress core, your site may be the rare exception to the rule.
The danger with automatic updates is that you may be unprepared or unavailable to fix any issues that occur as a result. This can have serious consequences, including extended downtime.
How to auto-update your WordPress website safely (3 key tips)
By enabling WordPress auto-updates, you can improve your website’s security while minimizing your
This article was written by Will Morris and originally published on ManageWP.