As a contractor of UpdraftPlus, I have decided to do my own review of the plugin. I’m a bit biased, as I worked on both the free and premium versions of Easy Updates Manager, but I thought an overview of the new features would benefit the reader. I will approach this post as an end user, and will not be paid for this overview/review. As a special thank you, if you make it to the end of this post, there is a coupon offer for Easy Updates Manager Premium.
A Brief History of Easy Updates Manager
Easy Updates Manager has a long history. It was originally conceived by Matthew Sparrow and I was graciously brought in to revamp the plugin to work with WordPress multisite and an overhaul of the code.
We saw success in download/install numbers and were acquired by Updraft in January of 2018. Since then, the plugin has been given a bit of a code overhaul, including a new testing suite, and more thorough code reviews.
I was brought on to help bring Easy Updates Manager to a premium state in June. The team behind Easy Updates Manager was gracious and patient with me, especially since I suffer from bipolar disorder. After months of coding/planning, Easy Updates Manager Premium was introduced a the end of October of 2018.
Overview of New Features
With Easy Updates Manager Premium, there are a plethora of new features to try out.
New General Screen
The General Screen still uses React, but it adds a new feature called Notification of Email Updates.
You can see from my settings that I have plugins set to individual updates, and theme updates set to individual.
This feature allows you to disable updates but allows you to receive periodic emails when WordPress updates are disabled.
New and Updated Plugins Screen
The plugins screen is now more intuitive and allows you to save your options inline using Ajax. It will also show you the installation status and recommend removal if the plugin isn’t active.
On Multisite, the plugin will show you which sites the plugin is installed on, so you can determine removal there as well.
It allows you to block plugin updates, as well as automatic updates and will show you a list of plugins that are blocked and plugins that have automatic updates enabled/disabled.
New and Updated Themes Screen
The themes screen is now much more intuitive and allows you to save your options inline. It will also show you the installation status of the theme and recommend removal.
There are still some tweaks needed on this screen to account for child themes. On multisite, it’ll show you which sites have the theme enabled.
Logs have been revamped for more stability. You also have the option to schedule log clearance and log options to external channels.
You’ll also see a new “Search” and “Export” feature.
You can search by asset name or by a user. This is all handled automatically.
And finally, exporting allows you to set a date range and provide a report for your clients should they want to know what’s updated. Exporting can be printed, outputted as a CSV, or outputted as JSON.
Here are the export options once you select to export.
And print output where you can print out a report or save to PDF:
Or to CSV:
Revamped Advanced Screen
Since there are many Advanced options now, we decided to break it into sub-groups for UX. We have push states so that if you refresh or go back, you’ll be taken to the Advanced Option of your choice.
Here’s what the Advanced Tab looks like with EUM Premium. I’ll go over each one of the features.
Exclude Users (Free and Premium)
The Exclude Users functionality allows you to maintain full operation of the plugin, but exclude users from making any changes. In a way, excluding users will hide the Easy Updates Manager plugin.
Automatic Backup Scheduling
This is one of the features worth upgrading to premium for alone. This feature allows you to select a custom schedule for when automatic backups are run. For example, a high-traffic website might want to run their updates every day at 4 am. You can now do this with Easy Updates Manager Premium.
If you’d like to delay updates for a given period due to frequent releases, this option is for you. Sometimes a plugin author will release an update and may break your site. Delaying updates allow you to set a delay so the plugin author can provide an update and any hotfixes that may occur.
There may be a scenario where you do not want your WordPress.org data sent to the WordPress APIs, especially if you have privacy concerns. This is where anonymize updates shines.
You can choose to send the full data, partial data, or random data.
Easy Updates Manager Premium allows you to create a webhook that will allow third-party services to run updates on your installation.
Simply navigate to Webhook and enable it. It’ll create a hash that you can share with third-party services such as Zapier.
Plugin Safe Mode
Plugin safe mode allows you to make sure an update will not break with your WordPress or PHP version. When enabled, it blocks automatic updates from occurring for out-of-date assets.
When enabled, it’ll show in the Plugins screen which assets are out of date.
Force Updates (Free and Premium)
Force Updates has been around for a while, and it’s mostly used for testing. However, it can be a crucial feature when troubleshooting automatic updates.
Admin Bar Removal (Free and Premium)
Some users are annoyed by the new admin bar. As a result, we added an Advanced option to disable it.
If you have a lot of sites with Easy Updates Manager, importing/exporting your settings will save you a lot of time.
Once nice-to-have I’d like added is for plugins and themes settings to run across, but I can see why that isn’t in there as different sites have different types of plugins/themes.
Check Dead Plugins
Dead plugins are considered plugins that have been removed from the WordPress plugin directory for any reason.
When you click “Check Plugins”, your plugins will be checked for any plugins that are no longer updated/maintained. It takes a few minutes, but you’ll be given a yay or nay on any plugins that have been removed.
If any plugins are found, it’ll alert you in the main Plugins screen for WordPress.
Reset Options (Free and Premium
You can also reset options should you so desire.
White Label the Plugin
White labeling is one of my favorite features of Premium. It allows you to prevent the advertisements from displaying, and you can customize the plugin output if you are running it on a client site.
Automatic Update Protection
Automatic update protection runs silently in the background. After an automatic update, the plugin checks for the White-Screen-of-Death on your site and deactivates any problem plugins. It’ll also alert you by e-mail should the worst happen.
It’ll also check for any previous plugins that were active but now de-activated after the automatic update process is complete. The plugin will attempt to re-activate these plugins and send you an email of the status.
Easy Updates Manager Premium was a long time in the making and I hope you enjoy its new features.
There are some nice-to-haves I would like added, but that is dependent on the success of EUM premium. Things I would like added would be notes, logs enabled by default, better integration with UpdraftCentral, and better compatibility with third-party plugins/themes.