Offering automatic updates allows administrators to have the latest updates installed on their website as soon as it’s released.
WordPress introduced automatic updates for plugins in late 2020. This allows developers to release an update and have it automatically installed on a user’s website without having to wait until the website administrator can run it manually.
This feature was introduced in WordPress 3.7 (October 24, 2013) for WordPress core and allowed WordPress to automatically install a new minor release to improve your website security.
Being able to provide automatic updates in your WordPress plugin requires that you have a license server set up and can serve plugin updates (for products that aren’t hosted on WordPress.org) through a customer’s WordPress dashboard. Sign Up for WP Updatr for Free and get set up in a matter of minutes.
Why would you want to do this?
Convenience – Established websites can often have 20-30+ plugins installed with a number of updates available at any given time. By enabling automatic updates on a plugin such as yours means that it will always be up to date for them, they never have to worry about being x amount of versions behind.
Security – If you’re having a rough Monday and have found a security vulnerability in your plugin, you’ll be able to patch and release it, and have it installed and updated on your users sites that have enabled automatic updates.
Being able to offer this sort of convenience and peace of mind from a security perspective requires that you have a license server set up for your Premium or Add On product to serve the updates.