The newest release of the Plesk WP Toolkit, version 5.7, has arrived! So what’s new and improved? Let’s take a look:
Individual Plugin & Theme Autoupdates
WP Toolkit always had the ability to configure site-wide autoupdate policy for plugins and themes, but there was no natural way to set up autoupdates for individual plugins and themes because WordPress itself didn’t support that. The situation has changed in WordPress version 5.5, where automatic updates for individual plugins and themes were introduced. To support this change, WP Toolkit v5.7 has added the ability to configure automatic updates for individual plugins and themes via the WP Toolkit interface.
The feature includes multiple changes in several places:
- Autoupdates for individual plugins and themes can be toggled on the respective Plugins and Themes tabs of the site card.
- If you want to toggle autoupdates for all plugins or themes on a site without changing the overall policy, there’s a separate ‘Autoupdate all plugins / themes‘ switch in the same place:
- Site-wide autoupdate policy now allows to choose between forcing all plugin or theme autoupdates (like before) or allowing every plugin and theme to use their own autoupdate settings:
- This policy is transparently inherited from old autoupdate policies in previous WP Toolkit versions:
- When ‘Defined individually‘ update policy is selected, site admins can also opt to enable autoupdates by default for all new plugins or themes installed via the WordPress Tookit. This option is not enabled by default to ensure a smooth and transparent update experience.
- If site admins decide to change autoupdate settings from within WordPress itself, the actual status will be updated in WP Toolkit within 24 hours.
- As a bonus, WP Toolkit can also manage all these settings for WordPress versions earlier than 5.5, even though old versions of WordPress cannot do it. Moreover, when site owners will update their pre-v5.5 WordPress sites, existing autoupdate settings for each plugin and theme will be automagically picked up by WordPress itself, providing a seamless experience for site admins.
Access WordPress Admin Area In Maintenance Mode
One of the most popular and long-standing requests we’ve ever had is the ability to access WordPress admin area when the site is in maintenance mode. The value is quite clear — when my site is in maintenance mode, I need to be able to access WordPress admin area to do actual maintenance (update things or fix stuff). We wanted to avoid creating additional plugins for your WordPress sites, so when we found a way to make this happen without developing a plugin — we promptly implemented this feature in WP Toolkit v5.7:
As you can see, this behavior is optional, and it’s enabled by default. You can turn it off in the Maintenance Mode settings if you want to restrict access to WordPress admin dashboard for some reason. Restricting access will also disable the Log in button when the site is in maintenance mode:
Customization Of Hotlink Protection
The Hotlink Protection feature was introduced in the WP Toolkit v3.5 as a simple toggle — you could either enable it or disable, nothing else. This approach limited the usefulness of the feature, as you couldn’t fine-tune it to fit your particular situation. To remedy this, WP Toolkit v5.7 introduces the ability to customize this feature:
Note: if your site is served by NGINX, file extensions protected by this feature are treated as case-sensitive.
Blocklist is a feature that was added in the previous WP Toolkit release. It had several non-critical limitations that we set out to address in v5.7. Here’s what’s changed:
- We’ve added a new email notification that is sent whenever WP Toolkit finds and disables an active plugin from a blocklist:
- ‘Sets‘ and global ‘Plugins‘ tabs now fully support the plugin blocklist feature. If a set contains a plugin from a blocklist, it will be very difficult to miss:
- Global ‘Plugins‘ tab also marks blocklisted plugins and prevents user from activating them:
WP Toolkit v5.7 includes several small(er) changes that should make life better for users:
- Server administrators now have access to a new CLI command that allows them to update login URL suffix so that one-click login feature in WP Toolkit continues to work. The command is ‘–update-login-url-suffix‘, and it could be useful when you preinstall a plugin that changes the login URL for security reasons.
- We have updated the UI Library that powers WP Toolkit interface. The biggest changes can be seen in the design of slide-out “drawer” screens — they look streamlined and less “edgy” now.
- WP Toolkit performance is something we’re always looking at, and in this new release we’ve worked on making the scanning process faster.
- Due to certain circumstances we had to change the way WP Toolkit works with its logs. All old logs are still accessible in their old place via File Manager. Logs created after the update to v5.7 will be accessible only via ‘Logs‘ screen for now. Don’t worry, we’re going to re-add the ability to download the logs and access them via File Manager in the next WP Toolkit release.
- Speaking of platform-specific changes, the Plesk WP Toolkit now shows the ‘Install WordPress‘ link on the Websites & Domains site card if there’s no WordPress detected. Once a WordPress site is present, the link is changed to ‘WP Toolkit‘:
For our next release we already have a number of follow-ups and small features to do, which as always we are excited about! . And we’re working on bigger and better things that might take more than one major release to emerge. So thank you for your time, and watch this space!