Safely update WordPress plugins with Cloudways SafeUpdates

Safely update WordPress plugins with Cloudways SafeUpdates

WordPress updates are important to keep your site fast, bug-free, and secure. If you’re late, it can slow down your site and expose it to many vulnerabilities.

Running updates is not enough. You need to manually check your website for errors, as performance and version compatibility issues are common, which takes up your time and resources.

Cloudways spends great effort on evolving the user experience with new features and smart functionality on the platform. And since over 80% of users have a WordPress or WooCommerce website, there is a special focus on this segment.

Brand new is the WordPress SafeUpdates feature, which exists in a similar way in Plesk. As the name suggests, this feature takes care of updates on your WordPress websites.

What is SafeUpdates from Cloudways?

SafeUpdates automatically detects, tests and installs WordPress updates for you and ensures that an update won’t break your website! This feature saves users a lot of time to focus on their business, increases security and automates updates for their websites. The price starts at $3.00 monthly per application and drops to $2.00 if you use the feature for more than 5 applications.

You can update your WordPress application as needed with SafeUpdates, but the true potential comes when you schedule the automatic updates to happen on time and without manual effort.

For more information on SafeUpdates, check out the Knowledge Base article!

How to enable secure WordPress updates

Cloudways SafeUpdates
Cloudways SafeUpdates

You can enable the SafeUpdates feature in Applications > [Your Website] > Application Management.

Schedule updates

Schedule updates in advance.
Schedule updates in advance.

You schedule the automatic WordPress updates once in the“Schedule” tab. In the same window you also define if you want to be notified.

Start updates manually

If an important update is pending, you can of course also trigger it manually (on-demand) at any time.

This is how you start the WordPress updates manually.
This is how you start the WordPress updates manually.

This is how SafeUpdates works

SafeUpdates constantly monitors your WordPress installation. When an update is detected, the following workflow starts fully automated:

  1. Once the updates are triggered, SafeUpdates creates a backup of your production app so it can be rolled back at any time if the updates are canceled for any reason.
  2. Next, it temporarily sets up a staging application. (A staging application is a replica of your production application. This way, all updates are done first in the staging environment)
  3. For the staging environment, snapshots are taken, and unit tests are run to ensure that the application works properly.
  4. Then, all selected updates are executed in the staging environment.
  5. Once the updates are complete, new snapshots are taken and unit tests are run. The tests include the following:
    • Performance testing
    • WordPress updates
    • HTML/CSS
    • Network errors
    • WordPress error logs
    • Comparison of screenshots before and after updates using our proprietary visual regression testing (VRT) algorithms
  6. Once the tests are successful, SafeUpdates updates the production application. Finally, another screenshot is taken and the final end-to-end check is performed to ensure there are no errors.

If any error is encountered during the process, the action is aborted and all steps are rolled back.

SaveUpdates features

Features that make SafeUpdates more secure and make WordPress website maintenance a breeze.

  • Auto-detection: never miss an update again. SafeUpdates runs in the background and automatically detects core, theme and plugin updates for you.
  • All-in-one on Cloudways: no third-party plugins or subscriptions required. Manage updates directly from the Cloudways platform, with just one click.
  • Robust automation: achieve a professional workflow with automated deployment, new backups, performance testing, automatic rollbacks, and timely reports. Everything at a glance with Cloudways.
  • Email notifications: Enable email notifications for scheduled updates and all successful and unsuccessful update attempts.
  • On schedule or on demand: Schedule updates for a specific day, or perform on-demand updates when a new version is available.
  • AdvancedVisual Regression Testing (VRT): Advanced VRT, end-to-end testing, and performance checks detect changes that a human might miss. Eliminate all risks to ensure your sites don’t break or get affected by updated versions.
  • Core Web Vitals Check: Test updates include performance checks to ensure the new version doesn’t impact site speed, SEO performance, or Core Web Vitals ratings.
  • Control what gets updated: You decide which core, themes, and plugins you want to update or schedule for later.

Who is SafeUpdates suitable for?

The upgrade feature is suitable for every WordPress user. After all, everyone benefits from the time saved too.

The time savings are even greater if you have a lot of projects to manage:

  • Better WordPress workflows for agencies and developers with Cloudways
    As an agency or developer, you can safely keep all your clients up to date.
  • Freelancers like me
    Checking all client projects manually is very time-consuming. That’s where a feature like SafeUpdates comes in handy. Even though as a small freelancer, you might only have three maintenance plans.
  • Webmasters and bloggers
    Most website owners have between 2 and 5 projects. I fall under this category myself. Use automations!

Make timely and automated updates

Many overlook the importance of instant updates with WordPress code and more importantly plugins and themes.

Since WordPress is so prominent, many hackers and scammers also throw themselves at the sometimes not well-maintained scripts. Once your blog has been taken over, cleanup is often difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, always keep updating.

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