One particular feature that WordPress was supposed to introduce back in 2019, was anticipated with anxiety by many WordPress users, though later moved to 2020 schedule and now incoming.
What the WordPress project seeks to introduce are automatic plugin and theme updates with WordPress version 5.5 and while it may be a game-changer or a deal-breaker, depending on your point of view.
Arguably, this could have been achieved before with a 3rd party plugin, or the alternative would be to have a managed WordPress hosting which includes a similar feature.
What are the requirements for installing WordPress automatic updates plugin?
Currently, the official plugin is available for beta testing and will function properly with WordPress websites running PHP 7.2 or newer, though we would expect it to provide a higher level of compatibility by its released date, up to the venerable PHP 5.6 version.
Sometime after the release of the official plugin, we expect more 3rd party plugins will provide the same functionality based on the standardized path provided by the core platform and have fewer restraints.
Will automatic updates benefit or harm my website?
In our humble opinion, for the vast majority of WordPress website owners who have relatively simple sites and rarely check for updates, this will be a major improvement to the quality of life under WordPress.
On the other hand, some WordPress users use an outdated theme or plugin intentionally because it works well with other third-party software that is instrumental to their workflow.
For these WordPress users, it is imperative to disable automatic updates the moment this becomes available within WordPress, as it could lead to potential issues.
Yes, users who rely on using specific older plugins must disable automatic updates for their WordPress websites.
Another type of user who will most likely disable this are expert users who like to have complete control over their website, as the automatic updates will make it harder to pinpoint different plugin errors. No matter which updates will need to be performed, it is always good practice to look things over before moving on.
Users note that they would like to have the option to enable or disable automatic updates per plugin, in contrast to just having it on or off for every theme or plugin.
Once again, it looks like WordPress is becoming easier and more convenient for the average user. Let us hope it works flawlessly by the time it is launched.