It seems like a possibility (and should be).
If you’ve been around for a while then you probably have a combination of a number of WordPress.org plugins that have the ability to be updated automatically with the touch of a button (via your notifications inside your dash) and you’ve also got some non-WP.org plugins as well, perhaps even some premium/commercial plugins that need to get updated.
The problem, of course, is that there isn’t an easy auto-update capability for the latter scenarios. Gary Pendergast from Automattic has written about some of those exact issues that he’s bumped into via his Automatic Uploader plugin and what’s not said explicitly (but probably should be) is the fact that it will update all other plugins except for a few commercial ones.
But what’s the big deal with Gary’s solution? Don’t we have things like InfiniteWP and ManageWP already? Yes and no. You see, we’ve all been there, right? Who has time to login and update their all client and personal WordPress sites? Sure there are one click dashboard options like InfiniteWP and ManageWP but you still have to login and click in their panels to update everything.
Well, the reason this plugin is pretty awesome is because it updates any time WP Cron fires with zero admin interaction. Oh. Yes. Please:
Since I created the Automatic Updater plugin, one of the most frequent support requests I get is for commercial plugins and themes. Over the years, the various commercial development studios have created their own update systems, but none of them seem to play nicely with the WordPress core way of doing things.
The good news is, I’m here to help you fix that. I’ve created sample Server and Client plugins, for you to copy and integrate into your own code. If you’re just starting a commercial plugin, you can base your update system on it.
It all runs through the core update systems, so it works with the normal Update process, it works with Automatic Updater, and it’ll continue to work when automatic updates come to core, for example.
Gravity Forms and BackupBuddy are two commercial plugins that can’t be updated (at this point) but it’s possible as I believe InfiniteWP has implemented a workaround in one of their earlier releases. ManageWP may have done this as well.
In any case, props to Gary and his clever solution and I hope that as things mature we’ll have better and more simple updating experiences! You can, of course, go check out Gary’s gist if you want a look at what he’s up to.
Thanks Bronson for the tip!