WordPress 5.5 is named “Eckstine” in the honour of Billy Eckstine. It is available for download or update in your dashboard.
Now you can choose to update plugins and themes automatically–or pick just a few–from the screens you’ve always used.
Auto-updates for Plugins and Themes
WordPress Automatic updates have been available as a feature since WordPress 3.7. Now, the problem here is that while automatic updates are enabled by default for core maintenance and security releases, before WordPress 5.5, many site owners didn’t take advantage of auto-updates for plugins and themes.
Reason being that this feature required basic knowledge of WordPress development. In fact, developers could fine-tune their update preferences by defining one or more constants in wp-config.php or using a filter in a plugin.
Now with WordPress 5.5, site admins can toggle plugin and theme auto-updates on and off with a single click directly in their WordPress dashboard.
Plugin auto-updates can be enabled and disabled by clicking on the link appearing in the Automatic Updates column now available in the Plugins screen.
You can also turn auto-updates on or off for each plugin or theme you have installed — all on the same screens you’ve always used.
If you want to enable automatic updates for your theme, browse to Appearance > Themes, then hover over your theme and click on Theme Details. Then, click on the new Enable auto-updates link and you’re done.
Update by uploading ZIP files
Before WordPress 5.5, when lacking a one-click update feature, site admins could only upload plugin/theme updates via FTP/SFTP or file manager. That was mostly true with custom plugins/themes or with extensions hosted on third-party marketplaces.
Starting with WordPress 5.5, you can update plugins and themes by uploading a .zip package from your computer within your WordPress dashboard.
If you want to update a plugin, browse to Plugins > Add New screen and click on the Upload Plugin button. Then, if you have the plugin installed on your website, a new screen lets you know that “This plugin is already installed” and shows the current version and uploaded version details.
The process is pretty similar with theme updates.
Browse to Appearance > Themes screen, then click on Add New, then on Upload Theme. If you have the theme already installed on your WordPress website, a new screen lets you know that “This theme is already installed” and shows the current version and uploaded version details.
If updating plugins and themes manually is your thing, now that’s easier too — just upload a ZIP file.
Now it’s your turn. What are the features and/or improvements you like the most in WordPress 5.5? And what security features would you like to be added to WordPress 5.6? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!