WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin

WordPress users, while in their Admin section, often see a message urging them to upgrade their WordPress software.

I’ve seen many discussions on several forums, whether you should do that (immediately) or not. Sometimes there seems to be no reason to hurry, on other occasions there’s a security fix involved which needs to be done as soon as possible.


Image credit: Nikolay Bachiyski

Because I don’t care too much about the ‘reason why’, in general I tend to upgrade quite fast. Also because it’s quite easy.
You see, I always have the latest WordPress version on my hard disk. I like to be up-to-date just in case I have to check something out. And once it’s there, it’s a breeze to fire up my FTP program and upload the new files from this directory to my server, carefully avoiding the wp-content folders and the config files.

So yes, it’s rather easy, but indeed you have to know what you’re doing, otherwise (overwriting your wp-config.php file) you can’t even access your blog anymore. 🙂

Yet I’ve seen so many posts desperately asking for help to upgrade.
It seems lots of people just don’t know how to upgrade their WordPress safely. They freeze up only hearing about it.

That’s why I decided to give the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin a try.

Of course I started with creating a database backup and (just to be sure) copying all files to my hard disk, just in case anything goes wrong.

Then I went straight into my Admin section, installed the plugin, clicked the Manage tab and selected Automatic Upgrade.

In there, I selected the manual version. I like to see what happens and you probably can’t see anything when you select ‘automatic’.

In the first step, WAU backs up all the files that are in the WordPress directory on your server. You can download them to your hard disk.
The plugin indicates that the next step will be a back up of your database.

And yes, it lets you download the database to your hard disk before announcing to show the option to upload the latest files.

In step three, the plugin lets you decide whether to get the new WordPress files from wordpress.org directly (recommended) or from a version you have stored on your hard disk.
I selected the first option.

After a few seconds, the plugin reports to have downloaded and unzipped all necessary files successfully. And it indicated, that the next task will be to put the site into maintenance mode. If you click on next…

the site already IS in maintenance mode.
A very sober announcement about that is shown at the site.
The next task will de-activate all the plugins.

It shows so in the next task (except for the WordPress automatic upgrade) and now the plugin will install new files.

In the next step, the plugin congratulates me, because all files have been upgraded to the latest version. Yet you still have to click an extra link to check if the database needs to be updated too. That happens in a separate window, so you’ll stay on top of things.
That’s necessary, because the final step still has to be done and that’s re-activating the plugins.

It just does that in the next task where you also get a great overview of all tasks accomplished and another opportunity to download the various backups.

Now, all you have to do (and the plugin prompts you) is to clean up the ugradation files that were made.

And that’s it!

Remark: I didn’t need to give my FTP credentials, but that may seem necessary in some cases where the plugin in not authorized to write on your server automatically.

Now here’s the brilliance of this plugin:

It doesn’t touch files in the wp-content folder.

That means, that your theme – including any changes – stays untouched.

It was a breeze to update my wordpress software. I’m so confident this plugin works well, that I’ll select ‘automatic upgrade’ next time instead of manual.

So, for everyone afraid of upgrading, try it.
I think this plugin is great and it works like charm.

Anyone with a different opinion?

Today, Februari 6 2008, I used this plugin to update this very blog successfully within exactly ONE minute.
Nothing is stopping you from updating to the latest WordPress version anymore.
Wholeheartedly recommended.

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2 thoughts on “WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin

  1. Case Stevens says:

    @Hendry: no, it doesn’t upgrade any plugin, but you can automate updating your wordpress plugins too.

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