So waiting even a few days for to perform a critical security update can put your site at risk.

updating multiple select with ajax-13updating multiple select with ajax-54updating multiple select with ajax-58

Typically, plugins that run purely in the Dashboard with no front-end interface will be safe to automatically update, including: Be sure you have a recent, good backup of your site you can use to restore from if an update or upgrade goes horribly wrong.

Read this post on how to backup your files and database.

Create both a FULL SITE (aka Complete) BACKUP as well as a DATABASE ONLY backup. There are many ways you can create a staging environment for your site to test updates without effecting the live site: Ideally, you should keep a perpetual locally hosted copy of the websites you maintain.

Download both of these backups to your local computer. You can run all updates on the local site first then push the updates to the live server (using Git) or repeat the process on the live server. The only variation between your locally hosted Word Press and the server are PHP and My SQL versions.

More and more, I am recommending hosts like WP Engine, Get Flywheel, and Site Ground because of their good performance, security, backups, and a one-click staging environments.

Pretty soon, all of these things add up, and the cost of setting these things up manually versus taking advantage of the service makes more sense.To better match your local environment to the live, hosted environment, many developers use Vagrants — virtual development environments. It costs .95 (or .95 if you use my short-time discount code of Winter2016).With Desktop Server, you can quickly create a local replica of your hosted site, test your updates, make note of or fix issues, then repeat the process on your live site.To do this, you simply need to make a backup Zip of your site using one of the above Word Press backup plugins.Be sure to exclude any large directories, because you really don’t need every single uploaded media file to test an update.The only way to truly know what has changed with the plugin or theme is to read the change log.