Precisely a week ago, on February 26th, 2020, Jean-Baptiste Audras (one of the WordPress contributors) officially announced the WordPress Auto-updates Feature Plugin.

Yep, you’ve read that right.

The project that can help you update automatically plugins and themes that run on WordPress 5.5 is almost here. And here’s everything you need to know about it.

Why now? Why wasn’t this feature available sooner?

Honestly, who knows?! If you ask us, this feature should have been available since 2014 or 2015. Perhaps automatic theme and plugin updates simply weren’t on the list of priorities. All we know is that WordPress contributors planned on making this project a part of the WP 5.4 release, but decided to continue testing the feature.

The way we see it, the most important thing is that the feature is here now. Almost here, that is. Currently, the WordPress Auto-updates plugin is available for beta testing in the plugin directory (which means that you shouldn’t use the plugin in the production). Also, keep in mind that the plugin is built to work with sites that run on PHP 7.2 or higher versions.

Which features are contributors working on?

From what we’ve had a chance to read, one of the essential goals, currently, is to create a well-designed UI that will give users the ability to control automatic theme and plugin updates.

Here are the main features contributors are working on:
– To give the ability to website Administrators to automatically update plugins and themes using their WP Admin panels.
– To provide the ability to users to enable and disable auto-updates, plugin-by-plugin and theme-by-theme.*
– To provide email notifications in the form of auto-update summaries, which will be sent to Administrators.
– To give users the ability to redefine auto-updates settings by making changes in the code.

*Note: Although you might think that it’s a good idea to update the theme and all the plugins you installed in one take, we would suggest you be careful and not get carried away. In some cases, themes and plugins may not be compatible with the newest WP version, which is why updating all your plugins before checking their compatibility with the latest WP version can cause site functionality issues and have severe consequences for your site’s performance. That’s why developers tend to test the plugins before they update them. If you are not a developer yourself, and are not sure how to test the new plugin/theme version, you can always reach out to plugin and theme makers and ask them if the updated version is available and whether it works properly.

Can I contribute to the WordPress Auto-update project?

Of course! The development of this project is taking place on Audras’s GitHub repository, but it may be moved to the official WordPress GitHub account. In fact, if you have the knowledge and the skills, don’t hesitate to contribute 一 the more testing and validation is done, the sooner the feature will meet the needs and standards of the WP community. So, feel free to share your thoughts on this feature!

So, are hyped about the WordPress Auto-updates feature?

If you are not, you should be. WordPress contributors are about to make one small step for a common user, but a giant leap for the WordPress community, and we can’t wait to witness the greatness.

Is there anything you feel that’s left unsaid? If there is, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below. 👇

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