To keep your website secure, you need to regularly update the WordPress core, as well as any installed plugins and themes. You can do this either automatically or manually:
- Manual updates give you control over when updates are installed. For example, you can wait and see if installing a particular update caused issues for other WordPress users. However, you need to remember to update regularly to avoid falling behind.
- Auto-updates give you peace of mind by keeping your WordPress installation up to date. However, updates can sometimes break your installation, and with auto-updates, you may not learn about it right away.
For security reasons, we recommend that you configure auto-updates.
To update a WordPress installation manually:
Go to WordPress. If your WordPress installation needs updating, you will see the corresponding messages in the “Status” section (for example, “Install plugin updates”).
Click any message about available updates, wait for WordPress Toolkit to load the list of available updates, and then select the updates you want to install.
Note: If an update of a WordPress core is available, you will see the “Restore Point” checkbox. Keep this checkbox selected to create a restore point you can use to roll back the update if something goes wrong.
The selected updates will be applied.
Although WordPress Toolkit regularly checks for updates itself, you can also check for updates at any time. To do so, click “Check updates”.
To configure auto-updates for a WordPress installation:
Go to WordPress and choose the WordPress installation that you want to update automatically and then, on the installation card, click “Auto-update settings”.
Choose the desired auto-update settings. You can configure auto-updates separately for WordPress core, plugins, and themes (for example, you can choose to enable auto-updates for plugins and themes, but not for WordPress core). Follow these recommendations:
- Selecting “No” next to “Update WordPress automatically” turns off auto-updates of WordPress core. This is insecure.
- If your website is publicly available (production) and you are concerned that applying updates automatically may break it, select “Yes, but only minor (security) updates”.
- If your website is a non-public (staging) version of a WordPress website, select “Yes, all (minor and major) updates”. This will keep your staging website up-to-date and ensure that should an update break something, it happens to the staging website and not to the production one.
If you are concerned that WordPress auto-updates may break your website, use Smart Updates. With Smart Updates, WordPress installations are always updated safely without breaking your website.