WordPress Core Update Policy

As part of our Managed WordPress hosting and support service, WP NET will test and deploy all major version WordPress core updates on behalf of our customers.

SUMMARY

  • Minor version updates installed automatically, by WordPress or WP NET
  • Major version updates tested and installed by WP NET (Usually the first point release after each major release)
  • You are free to update yourself at any time
  • Please review our WordPress Plugin Update Policy and our WordPress Theme Update Policy

DIFFERENT TYPES OF WORDPRESS CORE VERSIONS

  • Minor version = 4.1.0 to 4.1.1, or 4.2.2 to 4.2.3 (also referred to as a point release)
  • Major version = 4.1 to 4.2, or 3.9 to 4.0

MAJOR VERSION UPDATES

Each time a new major WordPress version is released we conduct in-house testing and review of the new version. We try to identify any changes that may cause problems for our customers, we also review many of the very common, widely-used plugins for their compatibility with the new version. The WordPress development team also responds to feedback from users and as issues are identified they begin working on a minor version (point release) to address any problems.

NOTE: Only WordPress updates approved by WP NET will be automatically deployed. We reserve the right to delay or cancel any update for any reason. If approved, updates will be deployed at a time to be determined by WP NET.

To ensure stability and to minimise the risk fo breaking changes and other unforseen issues with WordPress major version releases, WP NET will usually wait until the first point release after a major release before deploying an update. This is relatively common practice for managed WordPress hosts.

For example, when WordPress core version 4.4 is released, we may wait until version 4.4.1 is released before deploying the 4.4.x update.

PLUGIN COMPATIBILITY WITH WORDPRESS MAJOR VERSION RELEASES

It is the responsibility of plugin authors to test and update their plugins for compatibility with each new verison of WordPress. If issues are identified, plugin authors will usually release an update prior to the release of the new WordPress version. Plugin compatibility with your currently installed WordPress version is highlighted on the WordPress Admin - Plugins - Add New page, and search results:

Of course, there will be cases where a plugin is not compatible with the new WordPress core version and for whatever reason an update is not available. In these cases (depending on the severity of the issue) you may need to consider deactivating the plugin until a fix is released. You should check the WordPress Plugin respository page for help, updates and changelog information. If you need help, just open a support ticket and we will try to help.

DO IT YOURSELF - UPDATE WORDPRESS

Some users may choose to update their WordPress site(s) themselves. Of course, this is absolutely fine, and you are free to do so whenever you wish. We do recommend that you take a backup first, using the Plesk Backup Manager or your preferred WordPress backup plugin.

We also recommend that you ensure that all your WordPress plugins are up-to-date prior to installing a WordPress major release.

MINOR VERSION / POINT RELEASE UPDATES

NOTE: By default, WordPress installs minor version updates automatically.

Since version 3.7 WordPress has included a built-in updater which will install minor release versions (point releases) automatically, usually within a few hours of being released by the WordPress development team. It is possible to disable the automatic updater by adding the following to your wp-config.php file.

define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

The WordPress automatic updater is very reliable and stable, and minor releases should not include any breaking changes, so -- unless you have a particular reason to do disable it -- we recommend you leave it enabled.

POST-UPDATE ISSUES

If you experience any issues with your website after a WordPress update of any kind, please check that your plugins are up-to-date. The most common problems are caused by plugin incompatibility with the new WordPress version.

If a particular plugin is incompatible with the new WordPress version, check the WordPress plugin home page (linked from the WordPress Admin - Plugins page) for help. It may be necessary to deactivate the plugin until an update is available, or roll your WordPress core back to the prior version.

If you need help, open a support ticket and we will investigate.


WOOCOMMERCE

WooCommerce sites are often a little more complicated to update, as it is generally recommended that your WooCommerce core plugin, WooCommerce Extensions and your theme are all confirmed as being compatible with the new version of WordPress before installing the update.

WooCommerce and WordPress themes are not covered under our Managed WordPress support service, so the customer is responsible for checking compatibility. If you are aware of any issues and would like us to postpone the deployment of a WordPress major release update, please let us know by opening a support ticket.

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