Silent Worker updates: the How and Why

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Hello! Let’s talk Worker updates. I am here to tell you all about them so stay awhile and listen. For those who played the legendary RPG, you might have read the last sentence in a different voice. This is also my first official ManageWP article, so go easy on me.

If you used ManageWP for a while, you might have noticed the conspicuous lack of ManageWP Worker updates. It’s almost as if the Worker plugin is automagically updating itself. But that’s not possible?

It is. It is all true, except the automagical part. Instead of magic and good vibes, we built a fairly sophisticated system that updates our Worker plugins securely and reliably. Here’s the how and the why.

The Why

Failed updates are probably the worst part of WordPress website management. And dealing with a failed Worker plugin update is worst of all, because you lose access to all your troubleshooting and damage control tools.

That’s why we set out to build a more robust way to update the Worker plugin. It’s silent, it’s incremental, and it doesn’t put your website into maintenance mode. Most importantly, it’s able to rebuild itself if an update fails.

This gives you the peace of mind that, no matter what, you’ll always have ManageWP to rely on in the time of need. It’s a part of the solution, not the problem.

The How

When a new Worker version comes out, each website managed by ManageWP is put into a queue, and updated to the latest version over the next 7 days. And if you log into ManageWP and start working, we’ll prioritize your sites and update them in the next couple of hours.

The update is incremental, which further reduces the load on your server. This means that only the files that have changed since the last version will get uploaded to your website. Very similar to how our Backup system works. It also doesn’t put your WordPress installation in the maintenance mode, so no downtime on those busy websites you take care of.

If anything goes south during the Worker update, the self-check/self-repair mechanism kicks in straight away acting as a safety net, repairing and rebuilding things on the fly, always resulting in uninterrupted service for the website visitors.worker update


Why doesn’t WordFence flag the silent update?

We came up with a clever ploy: the silent update is pushed as a new version, preventing comparison with the WordPress repo. Once the silent updates are complete, we push them to the WordPress repo as well. Effectively, we go above & beyond WordFence, because our system is able to detect any discrepancies in the code (either malicious or broken code) and fix it automatically.

How do I update the Worker plugin manually?

In a situation where ManageWP requires having the latest Worker version for an action you are trying pull off and the silent update hasn’t reached the website yet, you can manually reinstall the Worker if one doesn’t want to, or can’t wait for a couple of hours.

We are also working on a system that will allow you to click a button and voila, the Worker updates will instantly get pushed to all the websites on your dashboard, giving you a choice between waiting for the update to happen on itself or instantly triggering it on all your websites with a single click.

The post Silent Worker updates: the How and Why appeared first on ManageWP.

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