AutoUpdate tool cured?

The next post should be the long awaited verdict on SiteGround new control panel, namely Site Tools (see Want to bet?). However, once again (and hopefully once and for all), I will talk about the AutoUpdate tool.

“I thought you were done with that one?”

You may wonder the same thing as my geeky little bird1. After my many unsuccessful attempts to keep using this tool (see part 10, part 12 and SiteGround AutoUpdate tool ruined), I thought too. Yet, despite its repeated failures, I kept on giving it another chance (see AutoUpdate tool ruined or delusional?). Why? As explained in part 10, owing to the constant improvements introduced by WordPress, the tool may soon become obsolete. However, for now, it still offers three advantages (as compared to the WordPress features) and the reason for my persistence lies in one of them: its built-in backup functionality.

Backing up your website before updating is an important step in case something goes wrong with the upgrade . . . My advice is not to skip this step under any circumstances.Lisa Sabin Wilson

To keep your
sites always safe and up-to-date

Of course, the biggest problem with this tool is that it was not working properly – anymore2. Given its inability to identify the current WordPress version, the tool was unable to perform its main task, which is to keep your installation up to date! In fact, as described in the previous post, owing to its delusional beliefs, the tool could even reverse an up-to-date WordPress to a previous version. To sum up, the tool developed by SiteGround to keep your WordPress sites always safe and up-to-date is failing to do just that!

While working on my next week post, I thought of skipping Site Tools > WordPress > Autoupdate altogether. However, I was curious to see if the tool was still delusional (see AutoUpdate tool ruined or delusional?):

Status: UP TO DATE
Current version: WordPress 5.6.2

Instead, the tool was back to realty with a nice:

Status: UP TO DATE
Current version: WordPress 5.7

Is it in remission? Although I did not contact SiteGround knowledgeable agents for understandable reasons (see A (SiteGround) ticket to hell), I want to believe that they did notice that something was wrong and fix it. Maybe, I am too naïve.

Now, as I said, while I really want to use this tool, I cannot trust it! For this reason, I will not reverse my decision to comment out the code – added by SiteGround – that disables WordPress automatic updates (see SiteGround AutoUpdate tool ruined). However, to avoid any interference (for Minor Release only) between both SiteGround and WordPress services – remember, SiteGround tool cannot be disabled – I have changed my settings (for Minor Release) to 24 hours, while keeping the others as before. If the tool successfully updates my installation to WordPress 5.8 (i.e. next major release planned for June), I will undo my commenting out, and put my settings back to Immediately. Let’s be optimistic…

Quick aside about commenting out SiteGround code

Although not directly related to the topic, I found a thread in in which the code was proposed as the culprit for a problem with a plugin (Easy Updates Manager). One person explained that the code added to the wp-config.php file by SiteGround was indeed blocking Easy Updates Manager to perform autoupdates. According to this person, commenting out the code would do the trick.

Here is Hristo Pandjarov (SiteGround Representative) comment on that solution:

We disable the default WordPress autoupdate functionality because of the SiteGround Autoupdate service. Please, post a ticket in your Help Desk if you want to completely opt out from this. Commenting out that line won’t do the trick…

In keeping with my concern with SiteGround knowledgeable agents, here the best part of this thread, the reply:

Hi Hristo,
Commenting out the line is not my solution, it is the solution the help desk gave me last week (ID 3311678). Could you tell us what to do?

Perhaps, I should be thankful to SiteGround. With all these glitches, I will definitively not run out of material for my blog. However, believe me, I would prefer to resume the CogitActive Saga, or at least – for now3 – the mini-series on my micro-entrepreneur escapade, rather than complaining about the many snags that arose since the actual migration to Site Tools. Let’s hope that my review (i.e. verdict on SiteGround Site Tools) will not be delayed yet again…

1 Introduced in Getting my web host. ^
2 As in after the migration to Site Tools! ^
3 As apologized in the first post of this mini-series, I cannot keep up with my usual in-depth, informative articles in these trying times. ^

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