Webhosts Supporting WordPress one-click upgrades

Since version 2.7.0 was released in December 2008, WordPress has included the ability to automatically update itself with one click.  This is a great feature for end-users of self-hosted WordPress blogs, but not everyone can take advantage of it because of webhosting server configuration issues.

For many WordPress users, when the click the “Upgrade Automatically” button, instead of WordPress updating itself, they are presented with a request for their FTP login information.  Then, 9 times out of 10, even entering correct FTP login information results in failure, and the user is left with the only remaining option of performing a manual WordPress upgrade using an FTP client. For many users, this is very difficult and daunting, even with good instructions, and mistakes can mean lost data.

As a web-hosting company, it’s definitely in your best-interest to make sure that your servers are configured so that one-click updating of WordPress works without a hitch.  Why?  WordPress is by far the most-often used CMS in the world — the W3C estimates that more than 23.5%% of the entire internet is run by WordPress.

Many web-hosting companies are going to great lengths to be WordPress-friendly, and if you don’t do the same, your customers will start to migrate elsewhere for their hosting needs.

Also, by making it easy for your users to upgrade their WordPress version, you also will prevent many security exploits.  The WordPress team releases security updates regularly, and it is almost always old versions of WordPress that are exploited by hackers, which can lead to a tremendous amount of customer support, frustration, and possible server-wide security problems in a shared hosting environment.

Testing your servers:

To see if WordPress automatic upgrades work on your servers, set up a test account and install a vanilla, brand-new self-hosted WordPress blog. Then, add “/wp-admin/update-core.php” to the end of the installed blog address, and click the “Upgrade Automatically” button near the top.  If you get prompted for “Connection Information” your servers aren’t configured to work correctly for one-click upgrades. If, on the other hand, WordPress downloads, unpacks, and installs the upgrade successfully, you’re fine. (However, if you have multiple variations of server setups, you will probably want to test all of them).

How to fix it:

The short answer is you have to configure your servers with suPHP or suExec.  The upside of this is greater security overall for your shared servers.  Running PHP under suPHP or suExec is more resource-intensive, but it’s necessary and most of the world’s top web-hosts are doing it.

How to fix it (more details):

We’re not syadmins, so honestly you’d probably have a better shot understanding this than we do, but here’s some thoughts.  First, whatever you do, you should be able to test if it’s working by trying the procedure outlined in the above section titled “Testing your servers”. If the one-click upgrader works, you’re golden. Second, know that you might want to take a careful look at the function called “get_filesystem_method” inside the file.php file of WordPress.  You want that function to return the value “direct”.  Any other return is not good.  You can see inside  that function that WordPress basically attempts to create a php-created temp file, then, tests if the file owner is the same as the process owner. Getting those to be the same is where suPHP and suExec come in. For more information, here are some more links:

suExec (Wikipedia)

suExec Apache Documentation

suExec + PHP tutorial

suPHP website

suPHP Tutorial 1

suPHP Tutorial 2


Since version 2.7.0 was released in December 2008, WordPress has included the ability to automatically update itself with one click.  This is a great feature for end-users of self-hosted WordPress blogs, but not everyone can take advantage of it because of webhosting server configuration issues.

For many WordPress users, when the click the “Upgrade Automatically” button, instead of WordPress updating itself, they are presented with a request for their FTP login information.  Then, 9 times out of 10, even entering correct FTP login information results in failure, and the user is left with the only remaining option of performing a manual WordPress upgrade using an FTP client. For many users, this is very difficult and daunting, even with good instructions, and mistakes can mean lost data.

As a web-hosting company, it’s definitely in your best-interest to make sure that your servers are configured so that one-click updating of WordPress works without a hitch.  Why?  WordPress is by far the most-often used CMS in the world — the W3C estimates that more than 20.4% of the entire internet is run by WordPress.

Many web-hosting companies are going to great lengths to be WordPress-friendly, and if you don’t do the same, your customers will start to migrate elsewhere for their hosting needs.

Also, by making it easy for your users to upgrade their WordPress version, you also will prevent many security exploits.  The WordPress team releases security updates regularly, and it is almost always old versions of WordPress that are exploited by hackers, which can lead to a tremendous amount of customer support, frustration, and possible server-wide security problems in a shared hosting environment.

Testing your servers:

To see if WordPress automatic upgrades work on your servers, set up a test account and install a vanilla, brand-new self-hosted WordPress blog. Then, add “/wp-admin/update-core.php” to the end of the installed blog address, and click the “Upgrade Automatically” button near the top.  If you get prompted for “Connection Information” your servers aren’t configured to work correctly for one-click upgrades. If, on the other hand, WordPress downloads, unpacks, and installs the upgrade successfully, you’re fine. (However, if you have multiple variations of server setups, you will probably want to test all of them).

How to fix it:

The short answer is you have to configure your servers with suPHP or suExec.  The upside of this is greater security overall for your shared servers.  Running PHP under suPHP or suExec is more resource-intensive, but it’s necessary and most of the world’s top web-hosts are doing it.

How to fix it (more details):

We’re not syadmins, so honestly you’d probably have a better shot understanding this than we do, but here’s some thoughts.  First, whatever you do, you should be able to test if it’s working by trying the procedure outlined in the above section titled “Testing your servers”. If the one-click upgrader works, you’re golden. Second, know that you might want to take a careful look at the function called “get_filesystem_method” inside the file.php file of WordPress.  You want that function to return the value “direct”.  Any other return is not good.  You can see inside  that function that WordPress basically attempts to create a php-created temp file, then, tests if the file owner is the same as the process owner. Getting those to be the same is where suPHP and suExec come in. For more information, here are some more links:

suExec (Wikipedia)

suExec Apache Documentation

suExec + PHP tutorial

suPHP website

suPHP Tutorial 1

suPHP Tutorial 2

Since version 2.7.0 was released in December 2008, WordPress has included the ability to automatically update itself with one click.  This is a great feature for end-users of self-hosted WordPress blogs, but not everyone can take advantage of it because of webhosting server configuration issues.

For many WordPress users, when the click the “Upgrade Automatically” button, instead of WordPress updating itself, they are presented with a request for their FTP login information.  Then, 9 times out of 10, even entering correct FTP login information results in failure, and the user is left with the only remaining option of performing a manual WordPress upgrade using an FTP client. For many users, this is very difficult and daunting, even with good instructions, and mistakes can mean lost data.

As a web-hosting company, it’s definitely in your best-interest to make sure that your servers are configured so that one-click updating of WordPress works without a hitch.  Why?  WordPress is by far the most-often used CMS in the world — the W3C estimates that more than 20.4% of the entire internet is run by WordPress.

Many web-hosting companies are going to great lengths to be WordPress-friendly, and if you don’t do the same, your customers will start to migrate elsewhere for their hosting needs.

Also, by making it easy for your users to upgrade their WordPress version, you also will prevent many security exploits.  The WordPress team releases security updates regularly, and it is almost always old versions of WordPress that are exploited by hackers, which can lead to a tremendous amount of customer support, frustration, and possible server-wide security problems in a shared hosting environment.

Testing your servers:

To see if WordPress automatic upgrades work on your servers, set up a test account and install a vanilla, brand-new self-hosted WordPress blog. Then, add “/wp-admin/update-core.php” to the end of the installed blog address, and click the “Upgrade Automatically” button near the top.  If you get prompted for “Connection Information” your servers aren’t configured to work correctly for one-click upgrades. If, on the other hand, WordPress downloads, unpacks, and installs the upgrade successfully, you’re fine. (However, if you have multiple variations of server setups, you will probably want to test all of them).

How to fix it:

The short answer is you have to configure your servers with suPHP or suExec.  The upside of this is greater security overall for your shared servers.  Running PHP under suPHP or suExec is more resource-intensive, but it’s necessary and most of the world’s top web-hosts are doing it.

How to fix it (more details):

We’re not syadmins, so honestly you’d probably have a better shot understanding this than we do, but here’s some thoughts.  First, whatever you do, you should be able to test if it’s working by trying the procedure outlined in the above section titled “Testing your servers”. If the one-click upgrader works, you’re golden. Second, know that you might want to take a careful look at the function called “get_filesystem_method” inside the file.php file of WordPress.  You want that function to return the value “direct”.  Any other return is not good.  You can see inside  that function that WordPress basically attempts to create a php-created temp file, then, tests if the file owner is the same as the process owner. Getting those to be the same is where suPHP and suExec come in. For more information, here are some more links:

suExec (Wikipedia)

suExec Apache Documentation

suExec + PHP tutorial

suPHP website

suPHP Tutorial 1

suPHP Tutorial 2

 

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