Auto updating themes and plugins outside of

(Leland Fiegel) #1

I’m curious on how others handle one-click updates for themes and plugins not hosted on

I use EDD’s software licensing extension. It will generate a license key upon download/purchase. After activating, it will allow one-click updates on a customer site until the license key expires. It’s designed to work with themes and plugins (at least in the context of WordPress products).

I haven’t tested this one, but I’ve seen Reaktiv Remote Repo as a recommended solution. It only makes references to updating plugins, but I’m assuming it could be used for themes too.

There’s a service called WP Updates that handles one-click updates for WordPress products, but I’m not sure if it’s trustworthy anymore.

One I just got tipped off on by @turtlepod called f(x) Updater, which sounds like it’s worth a look.

ThemeForest and CodeCanyon products can be updated with the Envato Market plugin.

Then there’s this script, also untested by me. It’s worth noting that it appears it was last updated over six years ago.

If you distribute themes and plugins outside of for whatever reason (probably because they’re paid), how do you handle one-click updates?

As a follow up question, do you have any sort of mechanism to push “emergency” updates (like critical security fixes) without having to wait for the site owner to click an update button?

(Jason) #2

While we don’t do this for our clients, I’ve certainly thought about it as a handy way of updating proprietary plugins for clients.

The f(x) Update looks promising, but I am curious why it’s coming up on a year since it’s been updated. I do like the concept, though.

Concerning pushing emergency updates, I’d suggest going the route of having the plugin/theme (on a cron job or something) check the update source for emergency updates and then pull at that time. Like WordPress does for security releases. Having a system for “pushing” updates can be a security concern in and of itself.

(Mahdi Yazdani) #3

Currently the best and easy to integrate solution in the market is EDD’s software licensing, I am using this addon and quite happy with all the features that comes with it.

(Ben) #4

I’m using my own custom system that’s based on Kaspars code. I customised it to use a licensing system so that I can generate, verify, and revoke licenses myself. The update system is the most dynamic part of my site. The rest of my site is static and doesn’t use WordPress so I can’t use EDD or similar.

I don’t have a method for forcing updates, I’m not sure that’s something I would ever use.

(David) #5

Coming up on a year after release? Do plugin expires? LOL.

I released this plugin last year
It’s been a while since I updated it. but I use it on daily basis.

I don’t feel the need to update it. No one really report a bug, probably because only a few actually using this, I did get several emails occasionally, mostly about the docs and how to use it.

And I have no plan to add new features in near future.

(Jason) #6

I understand, and that’s encouraging to know that you continue to use it. I still remain a bit uncertain about whether I would use it as, in my experience, if a component isn’t updated at least once a month or two, it’s likely not going to be supported long-term. I wouldn’t want to build a workflow in my business around something like this if I don’t feel it’s dependable for years to come. If there’s no bugs, come up with improvements. At the very least unit tests would be a good idea.

That said, I do not mean to be insulting. I’d like to use something like this, but I need to be careful before putting dependancies upon it. If it’s just a pet project you’re kind enough to share, that’s awesome. I’m just not sure I’d consider it a general commercial solution for businesses outside of your own.

(David) #7

I definitely also consider “last update time” as consideration for using a plugin.
And I don’t mean that your comment is insulting in any way.

Friendly note: If anyone consider using this plugin, please understand, I create a plugin and release it mostly for my own use. And I don’t sell it (it’s free). I only answer support when I have time (but, I always reply emails, usually in less than 24 hour). I only update when I need to update (if there’s a bug or new feature that I need). I usually reject feature request (unless I need it/it’s really cool and I have free time).

I don’t really “market” it (except for sharing it in forum or facebook when it’s relevant/others need the functionality/as code example)
Specially not in the term of “It’s the best-best plugin for xxx in the world, and you have to use this plugin period” (because it’s not).

But I do appreciate all bug reports and the feedback for sharing the plugin for free :slight_smile:
(it’s the beauty of open source).

So, you can use it as is, or “steal” the code for a starting point (it’s GPL), but if you need a dependable & fully supported plugin, always best to get a commercial plugin such as EDD Software Licensing.

(Ben) #8

Another solution is PixelGrades updating service:

(Brad) #9


  • Stick your code in a private repo
  • Fire this up
  • Load it in your plugin / theme
  • Get beer

(Leland Fiegel) #10

Nice! I’ll check it out.

(Anh Tran) #11

I developed a custom system to sell plugins at and made a custom updater plugin to handle all the updates for customers. When a customer buys an extension on my website, an API key is generated for him. This API key will be used to check the expiration of the products and provide updates when available.

In my situation, using a single updater plugin to check the license and update all the products is better than embedding update script inside each product like EDD License Software plugin.

The code of the plugin is similar to Kaspars code (it’s free so you can download it to see).

(Kobe Ben Itamar) #12

Here’s another solid solution I’ve heard many good things about for automatic updates for plugins & themes:

(Andy Fragen) #13

Just to mention my own project GitHub Updater as another alternative. It will update a plugin or theme hosted on GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab in either a public or private repo. It also works with self-hosted GitHub and GitLab installations, working on self-hosted Bitbucket.

Very low overhead to use, minimum of a single header line. Check out the wiki for more details.

Questions welcome.

(David) #14

that’s very cool. how do you handle private repo in github? is it supported?

(Andy Fragen) #15

Yes private repos are supported.

You must create and enter a personal access token for GitHub or GitLab. It’s always better to use one by default for GitHub as you may hit the API limit of 60 API calls/hour without it. Bitbucket uses a user/password combination. You only need read access.

(Leland Fiegel) #16

This sounds great. Any chance your custom system would be open sourced?

(Anh Tran) #17

I will. Currently the plugin has some old code I made specifically for my website.

(Richard Tabor) #18

I’ve been using EDD Software Licensing since it’s inception a few years back. I don’t see any reason to switch to anything else. Never had any problems.



I know this is from awhile ago, but it is still relevant I hope.

We created WP Easy Updates for the updating needs of all of our products: It is totally free and can be adopted by anyone for their themes or plugins no matter if they use EDD or Github to push their updates.

It is fully compatible with the EDD’s software licensing and the main perks of WP Easy Updates is that it makes 1 call only to the server to check for updates, no matter how many plugins it needs to check the license for, while EDD’s updating script will make 1 call for each plugin slowing down your website if you have several plugins to check.

If you need a script to push auto-updates for your themes and/or plugins, feel free to adopt it! :slight_smile:

(Leland Fiegel) #20

No problem. It’s relevant. :slight_smile:

Which site are you talking about? The customer’s site? Or the EDD seller’s site?