Plugin Auto-Updates Are Available for All Watchful Users

Published by Steve Burge on

Here at Watchful, our goal is to save you time and money (as much as $650 per year on every site).

One key way we do that is by automating tasks:

  • Site backups? You choose your settings once, and we’ll create the backups every day.
  • Uptime monitoring? You relax and we’ll contact you if there are any problems.
  • Security checks? Our Early Warning Audit scans your site every three hours.
  • Site changes? If your SSL is expiring, your URL changes or anything else happens, we’re automatically looking out for you.

So we’re delighted to launch another automation feature: plugin auto-updates! This feature allows Watchful to automatically update software you trust. These auto-updates are available for the Joomla and WordPress core files, plugins, and extensions that you select. Every hour, Watchful will check for updates. If we find an update, we’ll deploy it for you.

Here is the Watchful dashboard with an “Enable autoupdate” option.

enable auto updates

Why auto-updates?

We chose to launch plugin auto-updates for two key reasons:

  1. It is a commonly requested feature by Watchful customers.
  2. Auto-updates are a very helpful tool to keep sites safe. When Drupal revealed a major security flaw in 2018, it took hackers less than five hours to start exploiting the flaw. In a situation like this, auto-updates are one of very few effective solutions.

We understand that auto-updates can cause nervousness, but there’s now enough proof that auto-updates are more helpful than harmful.

WordPress is the platform that has pushed hardest for auto-updates. WordPress has been using auto-updating for core files for nearly six years now, since version 3.7 in 2013. Joomla and Drupal are both looking at adding auto-updates to their core software. Auto-updates are a proven, trustworthy and helpful way to keep your sites safe.

We are keeping your sites safe

If you have any concerns, don’t worry. Here at Watchful, we have added layers of protection:

  • This auto-update feature will be entirely optional and will be disabled by default.
  • You can schedule regular backups right in Watchful so you’ll always have a fresh backup in case anything goes wrong.
  • Auto-updates will be available for all plugins and extensions, every one will be opt-in on a per-site basis. In short, we won’t force you to auto-update anything. You’ll be in full control of rolling out this feature for your websites.

Auto-updates have been live on the Watchful platform for over two months now. We already run hundreds of successful auto-updates every day. You can trust Watchful to keep your sites safe.

Full details of the Add-on Auto Updater are available in our knowledge base.

Open your free Watchful account

Watchful is a free website dashboard for digital agencies. Open your free account today and learn how much time you’ll save managing your WordPress backups, updates, and security with Watchful.

No credit card is required and there is no long-term commitment.

Categories: News


Stephen Crewson · December 12, 2019 at 10:11 AM

Thanks again Vic and team for all you our doing to help us manage our client’s websites. I agree, the auto-update is a little scary at times but knowing that the site is also monitored for any issues provides peace of mind. Thanks again.

    Vic Drover · December 12, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    You’re welcome Stephen. Keep those backups current!

      Stephen Crewson · December 12, 2019 at 11:31 AM

      Always. I have daily auto-updates through Watchful as well as my Hosting Company for a little bit of added protection. ūüôā

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