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Introducing a Simpler Scheduling Process for SafeUpdates

Updated on February 12, 2024

4 Min Read
Scheduling with SafeUpdates

New year, new resolutions, and a better way of getting things done.

We’re talking about improving your experience using SafeUpdates for your WordPress core, plugin, and theme updates.

Not familiar with Cloudways SafeUpdates? Jump straight to our refresher on it.

The Update to SafeUpdates – Past vs. Present

Previously, activating SafeUpdates required users to set a schedule and pick WordPress core, plugins, and themes of their choice for configuration.

These two steps are not a necessity anymore for SafeUpdates to run updates.

Now, activating SafeUpdates is a breeze. All you need to do is hit “activate,” and SafeUpdates SafeUpdates will automatically manage updates based on a default schedule, covering all plugins and themes on your site.

How Does This Improvement Help?

So, the new enhancement streamlines the activation process by eliminating two steps.

It further simplifies the management of websites when adding new plugins or themes. With the updated system, you won’t have to go to the “Custom Update list” again and specify that new plugin as well.

But if you previously had plugins and themes specified in the “Custom Update list” but now want SafeUpdates to run updates on all plugins and themes, new and old, simply deselect all previously selected items and save changes. SafeUpdates will then automatically update all your new and old plugins during its next run.

Have existing applications with SafeUpdates enabled but scheduling not set? Don’t worry. SafeUpdates will automatically enable the schedule, ensuring seamless updates without the need for a custom list.

A Quick Refresher on SafeUpdates & How It Works

SafeUpdates is built for WordPress and WooCommerce websites to automate plugins, themes, and core updates safely.

It brings efficiency together with automation in a single tool. It doesn’t just automate detection & a backup but also efficiently tests all updates away from the production environment. Its algorithms are built to keep sites from breaking at every step of its workflow.

With SafeUpdates at your service, sit back and relax while it handles all the heavy lifting for you. Once activated, SafeUpdates actively monitors your WordPress application for any pending updates, including core, themes, and both free & premium plugins. But it doesn’t stop there; it goes the extra mile to ensure your site remains secure and error-free throughout the update process.

Here’s how it works:

  1. First, it takes a backup of your production application, just in case it needs to roll back.
  2. Next, it creates a temporary staging environment behind the scenes, mirroring your live site.
  3. Before making any changes to the staging site, SafeUpdates captures snapshots (Visual Regression Testing) and conducts performance tests, HTML checks, browser console monitoring, and network error detection to make sure the staging environment mirrors the production site.
  4. Next, it executes all the selected updates in the staging environment.
  5. Once updates are completed, SafeUpdates conducts thorough testing again, including performance tests, WordPress updates, HTML checks, browser console monitoring, network error detection, and even visual regression testing to compare pre and post-update screenshots.
  6. Only after all tests pass successfully does SafeUpdates proceed to update your live site.

The Case for Aborted Updates

You might wonder what happens if an update doesn’t meet the testing criteria. While running the tests, if, for any reason, SafeUpdates finds the outcome not as expected, it aborts the updating process, keeping your production application safe.

To provide clarity and guidance, we’ve established a comprehensive set of error codes that specify the reasons behind an update’s termination and offer actionable advice for addressing the issue.

For instance, error codes SU-104 and SU-107 indicate an update was aborted due to discrepancies in Visual Regression Testing (VRT) presenting screenshots inside the platform. This allows for a more intuitive understanding and quicker resolution of the issue at hand.

SafeUpdates vs. The World – Ensuring Peace of Mind in WordPress Updates

When it comes to standalone WordPress update plugins, there’s a crucial element often missing: peace of mind.

These plugins perform updates directly on your live website, risking potential breakages and compatibility issues. Even if you opt to update on a staging environment with these plugins, you’re left to set it up manually each time a new update rolls out.

But the hassle doesn’t stop there. You spend more time testing things manually on your own to see if everything works just how it should after the update.

SafeUpdates saves you time by streamlining the process, starting from auto-detecting available updates for all three WordPress components: core, plugins (premium, too), and themes.

Not only this, we go one step ahead and:

  1. Perform rigorous tests away from your live website by spinning up a temporary staging environment. We do this to help ensure updates neither break nor slow down your site. This temporary staging is behind the scenes and is destroyed after the update process is done.
  2. We employ visual regression testing, conduct performance tests, HTML checks, browser console monitoring & network error detection to help ensure everything is working how it should be after the update.
  3. Plus, you can set email alerts for scheduled, successful, and unsuccessful attempts, so you are always kept informed about the status of your WordPress updates.

What’s Next

As a managed hosting provider, we continue on our mission to help our customers focus on their core business more and save time delegating routine tasks to secure automation.

This update is a small one from the rest that we have planned for the year.

Stay tuned for deeper integration with the Vulnerability scanner, where we update any vulnerable theme/plugin on priority, plus the ability to select pages for visual regression testing and more!

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Hani is a Product Marketing Associate at Cloudways. With a creative flair and a love for introducing people to products tailored just for them, she ensures that her audience is always in the know. In her free time, she indulges in her love for Ferrero Rochers and dystopian movies.


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