Keeping Your WordPress Website Updated and Automatic Updates

The reality of the world wide web (the Internet) is that there have always been hackers and there will always be hackers. If you own a website, the responsibility for its security is shared between website owner and the website hosting provider. At Canvas Host, we implement many lines of defense against hacking to keep our servers secure, but that is only half the battle.

If website code is poorly written or not kept up-to-date by the website’s owner, it is still vulnerable to hacking. This is why we ask customers to do their part to keep their website secure. To this end, we offer this article to help educate you about the importance of keeping your WordPress code updated, and some of the ways we can help facilitate or even automate that process for you.

The nuts and bolts of this post:

  • Who: You (or you have us do it for you)
  • What: Get your WordPress update
  • When: NOW
  • Where: Installatron / cPanel
  • Why: To prevent your website from getting hacked and to prevent the rest of the websites on the server with you from getting hacked

You need to get your WordPress website updated NOW with Installatron/cPanel for two main reasons: first, to prevent your website from getting hacked and second, to prevent the rest of the websites on the server with you from getting hacked.

Let’s begin by stating that if none of this interests you, but you do acknowledge the necessity of having your website be secure, Canvas Host can look at your hosting package and provide a quote as to the feasibility and cost to enroll your website(s) with Installatron. Please be aware that your website may not easily import with Installatron (because of modifications to WordPress or permissions from a previous web host) so any quote for the work is based on the assumption that the import and configuration is standard and you will be notified if that is not the case.

Email to Request a Quote for Automatic Updates

FOR THE DO-IT-YOURSELF-ER

For those of you who have been keeping your WordPress website updated on your own, you are probably aware that there are three components of your website that require regular/ semi-regular updating:

  1. The plugins;
  2. The theme(s); And,
  3. The WordPress framework itself.

It is my preference that if running updates manually, they are done in a specific order: Plugins, Themes, and WordPress. There is a whole discussion to be had about the reasons for this, but we will leave that for another time.

The first question to be asked is this: Is your website already managed by Installatron?

If you don’t know the answer to this question, you need to log in to your hosting account cPanel and go to the cPanel Section called Software. The Installatron Applications Installer link will be in this section.

Finding Installatron in Canvas Host cPanel

If you see your website homepage next to a panel with your website details, then your website is in Installatron. If not, then your website needs to be imported into Installatron and please continue with this tutorial if your website is not in Installatron or skip down further if your website is already in Installatron.

What if my WordPress website is not in Installatron?

If you have gone to cPanel and discovered your website is not Installatron you can set up automatic updates after importing the website into Installatron. At this point you should be in your hosting cPanel and you should have selected the Installatron Applications Installer. Since your website is not in Installatron you will be directed to the Installatron page where you can search for application. Here you will scroll down a select the WordPress icon/ option.

Selecting the WordPress option in the Canvas Host Installation software

On the next screen you will select the option underneath the Install this application drop down (import existing install).

Importing an existing WordPress install at Canvas Host with Installatron

On the next page you will select the continue option in the “From this account” section.

Importing from your website hosting account with Canvas Host's cPanel

Next, you will select the domain and directory (if there is one) that you would like to import and push the import option. Your WordPress website should begin to import.

Setting the domain and directory when importing a WordPress website into Installatron

Now you can continue to the next step.

What if my WordPress website IS already in Installatron?

At this point we assume you are already logged in to cPanel and have clicked inside of the Installatron Applications Installer. Next you should identify which WordPress website (you may have more than one) for which you want to configure automatic updates.

A screenshot of a website that has been imported to Installatron with Canvas Host

Check the checkbox next to the website you want to configure for automatic updates. Then select the wrench icon or push the edit option.

Screenshot showing the edit option for Installatron's automatic website updates

An overview of your Installatron settings for this website will load. Slide down on the page and configure the options that work for you. A good set of options is to select the following:

  • Automatic Update (Update to any new version.)
  • WordPress Plugin Automatic Update (Update WordPress plugins as new version become available.)
  • WordPress Theme Automatic Update (Update WordPress themes as new versions become available.)
  • Automatic Update Backup (Create a backup and automatically restore the backup if the update fails.)
  • Email Notification (Send all email notifications for the installed application.). This should generate an email to whatever email address you originally have had on file with Canvas Host
Some automatic update settings for Canvas Host

Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure to press Save All in order to update your settings.

Automatic Backup Settings Screenshot for Canvas Host, cPanel, WordPress, and Installatron

Some considerations:

  • If you have premium themes or plugins for that require an update key or purchase, Installatron will not be able to run updates.
  • If updates break your website Installatron should restore to a back up and (if you asked for email notifications) provide you with a message that there was an issue).
  • Canvas Host cannot guarantee the software provided by Installatron however it was tested prior to this blog posting and has worked to keep several websites updated with no issues.
  • Any customization you or your web developer may have done to your website might render different results.

We encourage you to attempt to go through this process with any WordPress websites you have hosted at Canvas Host and if you would like us to go through the steps that is something our IT and Web Development Staff can handle.

We hope this article helps you better understand the importance of keeping your code updated, how it can be done within Canvas Host’s environment, and how our staff can help you if needed. Please contact us with any questions about this article, or our WordPress updating and design services.