Commercial plugins typically do not adhere to the Wordpress updating method and need to be updated manually. Some, like WooThemes, create their own updater to update primary, and add-on, plugins.
As we continue to roll-out the use of BB across numerous sites, we’re running into a problem of scale. When BB was used on only a handful of sites, it was easy to use InfiniteWP (our preferred management solution, but this is an issue with ManageWP and others too) to see that BB needed updating, then login to each site, and update BB manually.
But now that we’re using BB on more than a dozen sites, this is getting pretty tedious. We project by the end of this year to have BB on 20-30 sites, making something tedious become downright laborious.
Thinking about this strategically I wonder:
- If there is something I can suggest to InfiniteWP that will help enable them to remotely update BB?
- A more streamlined method of updating I'm just not seeing?
- Anything else?
I have no experience with the WooThemes updater plugin. Therefore, I just watched a video for something called the Help plugin which I assume is what you’re referring to (I apologise in advance if I am incorrect). I am not sure how that would help you update multiple WooTheme plugins across multiple websites?
From what I seen on the video, it only updates plugins/add-ons for the site the plugin is installed on?
Also, what is the problem with ManageWP and others? Are BB updates not showing when using those services? Again, I apologise, I have no experience with them, but it was my understanding that they allowed you to update plugins across multisite sites?
Forget the WooThemes piece since that was just an example.
So here is what happens:
In InfiniteWP I’m alerted to all plugin updates, including BB. I update plugins across all sites and the cron job runs and does it’s thing updating. All plugins update except for most commercial plugins. Not a big deal with WooCommerce, for example, since we’re not managing more than 10 sites using Woo currently. But since BB never updates this way, and we have numerous sites using it, it’s tedious to have to do it manually.
Why manually? Since I now know that BB never updates remotely, this is the behavior you probably want to know about since I suspect this is why it won’t remotely update:
a) I login to each site, go to “Plugins” and see the yellow background indicating a BB plugin update is pending.
b) The problem? THE LINK TO UPDATE THE PLUGIN DOES NOT APPEAR. It seems to be hidden. It requires me to refresh the Plugins page in wp-admin in order to see the update link. Every. Single. Time. On. Every. Site.
So that’s the issue.
I’m very interested in this as well since I use infinitewp and now Beaver builder for my customers.
I’ve managed a lot of sites before as well and we did encounter an issue like this. What I did was I just downloaded the latest version of the plugin and uploaded it via the tool. I think it was InfiniteWP that time, or MainWP or ManageWP, not sure. Then I installed it on all the sites that were using the said plugin, overwriting the last one. Is this not an option on your case?
InfiniteWP does do that and I just had a “doh!” moment so I tested it on a low-risk site and it worked! Nicely done Ben.
For others reading this who use InfiniteWP (IWP), here is how it’s done:
- Download your copy of BB so it's on your computer
- Go to IWP and "Manage > Plugins & Themes". Now that you're in this area at the top you will see "MANAGE" and "INSTALL". Click on "INSTALL"
- "Plugins" should be chosen
- Choose the site(s) you want to update BB on
- You'll see "INSTALLATION OPTIONS" appear. Check *both* options to "Activate plugins after install" and "Overwrite, if plugins already exist".
- Since BB is a commercial plugin you downloaded, choose "My Computer" in "Install from"
- Upload the file and click "Install plugins" and let IWP do its magic.
There are some other things you can do, but this will install BB on multiple sites. Thanks again Ben!