When it comes to WordPress, keeping your theme, plugins, and WordPress core is one of the most important tasks you have as a website owner. However, most website owners are often guilty of not applying updates and running with outdated versions of their themes and plugins.
Needless to say, this leaves your website vulnerable to hacking attempts as hackers often exploit security bugs and holes in outdated plugins and themes.
The good news, though, is that this problem will soon become a thing of the past as the WordPress developer team is now working on adding the auto-update feature to WordPress themes and plugins.
The work on this began months ago and the feature is now available as a WordPress plugins. The team is working on adding this functionality to the WordPress themes as well.
Once it rolls out, site owners will have the option to enable auto updates for themes and plugins right in their site dashboard.
The auto-update mechanism is not new — this functionality has been available in WordPress since version 3.7 when WordPress added auto-updates for WordPress core.
Ever since this version, all WordPress installations have been configured to install minor updates automatically while major versions still required manual updates.
With the addition of this code, the ability to perform background updates for themes and plugins was also added but it was never enabled by default.
This prompted a number of site owners to hack their own wp-config.php files to enable auto-updates for themes and plugins as well as for WordPress core files.
In addition to that, a number of plugin authors developed free and paid plugins that made it possible for website owners to enable automatic updates for themes and plugins with a simple push of a button.
And now, the WordPress development team is bringing this functionality in WordPress itself by working on necessary user interface controls that will allow website owners to enable automatic theme and plugin updates.
This means you won’t have to rely on third-party solutions or write the code yourself.
On top of that, with this feature coming to WordPress, it’s natural to expect that the number of hacked websites will go down significantly.
The auto-update functionality for themes and plugins should be available with the upcoming WordPress 5.5 release.
In the meantime, you can test this feature yourself by installing the WordPress Auto-Updates plugin from the official repository.