A new feature is being added to WordPress by the developer team. This new feature is an auto-update feature for theme and plugins. This is an important feature as many websites were hacked due to site owners forgetting to install themes and plugins.
The auto-update feature will roll out soon:
As of now, the auto-update feature is implemented for plugins, and it is working very well. Soon, the work will begin for WordPress Theme. The WordPress developer team has said that the feature will release a stable version of the WordPress content management system (CMS). After that, site owners would be able to configure themes and plugins by just checking an option in their site’s admin panel.
Code for Auto-update feature was present since 2013:
The auto-update feature isn’t a new feature. The WordPress developer team has been working on it since WP version 3.7 that was released in October 2013. Back then, a background auto-update mechanism was added. Since then, all sites would automatically install minor security updates from v4.3.1 to v4.3.2. However, it requires admin approval from v4 to v5.
A lot of WordPress developers anticipated that the background auto-update mechanism would extend to themes and plugins. However, it didn’t materialize. Many website owners found the code and have been hacking their own configuration file to enable auto-update for their plugins and themes. While others found the code and used to create free or commercial plugins to create their own auto-updater for plugins and themes.
Reduction in Website hacks:
Cyber Security firms like Wordfence, NinTechNet, WebARX, and Sucuri have pointed out in the past that the majority of the WordPress sites were hacked due to owners forgetting to update their themes and plugins. After the auto-update feature is released in WP 5.4, the number of hacked WordPress sites will reduce by a large number.