I'd like to know how you go about managing WP Core & Plugin updates for clients? It's a service my web company would like to start offering but we are unsure of the best solution.

Let me provide some details:

  1. The sites we build are under Version Control (Git/Github)
  2. Our process typically involves 3 environments: Local Dev, Staging/Testing, Production
  3. Deployment is handled through Github & DeployHQ
  4. Databases are Sync'd using the excellent WP Migrate DB Pro Plugin
  5. Sites are hosted on a VPS

By default we disable automatic updates in WP.

We are looking for a solution which fits within our workflow and wonder if anyone else uses a similar workflow?

We do not want to simply login to a clients production site and update the core and/or plugins through the admin. This would mean code under Version Control would be "out-of-date" and this could potentially break the live site.

We will soon be managing code & db backups with CodeGuard.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


1 Answer 1


Not sure if there actually is a in scope answer for what you are asking, but the below are some hopefully helpful informations/thoughts.

Besides that, I don't know about (all) the tools you are mentioning, but thats secondary anyway.

What you want, of course, is to keep the development process, like you described it, alive. As you said, it looks like this:

local dev (start cycle 1) > testing/staging (cycle 1) > production (cycle 1)

This of course isn't a linear process, it is a cycle. Because after you deployed your work to production you certainly will develop new features based on the latest state you reached, this applies in the same manner for updates - core or plugin.

So if your beginning your new development cycle it would be like this:

local dev (production from cycle 1, start cycle 2) > testing/staging (cycle 2) > production (cycle 2)

This way your code is at the same stage on every step of the way, your version controlling is intact, but of course this is just a simplified draft on how to do it.

After all you want to make git branches for the new features/updates and make use of the version control possibilities in general. So, one more insertion, because of those possibilities the cycle isn't one dimensional, just thinking of parallel development branches and such.

Anyhow, it boils down to choosing a fitting git workflow, combined with your syncing and backuping needs. As a git branching model or workflow concept is definitely out of scope on here I just leave it at that. Take a look around there is plenty of information about git workflow models out there.

Note: This should be a comment, but I just don't know how to keep it short.

  • This could easily become one of the most upvoted comments ever ;)
    – kaiser
    Apr 1, 2014 at 19:54
  • To be honest, I'm a bit surprised, I actually was debating with myself if I should even publish it, it seemed just to obvious at that moment. But now, after realizing there is a interest, I feel kind of obligated to make this a good one. The »in scope«-matter is still disputable I guess, on the other hand under a development and administration view it seems valuable. Anyway, before I update this I want to do some deeper examination on what's already on here. It might take some days, but it's on the agenda. @kaiser Apr 1, 2014 at 21:33
  • The question received some voting love and was featured in the newsletter already so I didn't take it down. On the other hand it already has pending close votes. Will discuss this question with the other mods. Your answer anyway should be a blog post - don't forget to ping with it in chat ;)
    – kaiser
    Apr 1, 2014 at 21:43
  • 1
    Haha, ok, I guess I should have added some kind of emotion indicator.. I'm writing on a book, but it has nothing to do with wordpress or programing at all, it's in the field of the philosophy of science. That is what I originally studied, but - not - surprisingly nobody pays money for that. Writing a programing related book would be preposterous, because I'd be taking ideas from all of you - and all the other resources - and, if I'm very lucky, bring those smartly together. Apr 2, 2014 at 22:54
  • 1
    I'm really just a beginner, ok, maybe I have medium knowledge, but I guess a foundation of logical thinking is after all somewhat advantageous in certain fields, so I do alright with this one. Ok, like I mentioned, I really don't know how to keep it short.. :D I'm going to clean this up in a while. @kaiser Apr 2, 2014 at 22:55

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