In a blogpost on Wordpress.org today, Jean-Baptiste Audras announced that Wordpress would be rolling out an Auto Updates plugin. This will allow for automatic plugin and theme updates on Wordpress Version 5.5. This follows a delay on the rollout from 2019 to 2020.
“In 2018, [Matt Mullenweg] posted 9 projects for Core to focus on in 2019. This roadmap was updated for 2020,” Audras said in the post. “Plugins and Themes automatic updates is one of those 9 projects. WordPress contributors did a lot of work on the two related tickets during WP 5.4 development cycle, but decided to give it more time for testing as it’s an important feature.”
Audras went on to outline the main features of the plugin, which include giving admins the ability to opt-in for automatic updates, enabling/disabling auto updates on an individual basis, email notifications with update summaries, and ways for admins to define or disable auto-update settings.
Justin Tadlock at Wordpress Tavern says that this update is a longtime coming, not just based on Wordpress’ own schedule. “Hosting companies and plugins like Jetpack have taken up the load over the years, offering automatic updates for millions of users. However, it is time for the core platform to take the reins and make this a feature available directly to all users. This would also provide a standardized path for third-party plugins to extend the feature with more controls for end-users.”
The plugin is currently available for beta testing on Wordpress’ plugin directory. As of right now, the plugin is only set to work for sites running PHP 7.2 or later.