how often should a multisite network be updated?

I'm just wondering how often should a multisite network be updated. When you're logged in as super-admin, it shows all the themes and plugins that need updating, but doesn't recommend when to update the network, which I believe is the database.

I have about 40 subsites and add new ones monthly, so as a rule of thumb, when should I be running the network update. I know it takes some time to do this, so I don't want to be overloading my server too frequently.

Thanks, Joe.

  • Michael Bissett

    Hey @joejacobson, hope you're doing well today! :slight_smile:

    To quote a colleague of mine on this:

    Whether you're updating a theme, a plugin, or your WP install, here's a rule of thumb: if the item is enabled or activated network-wide, then yes, "Update Network". That means that on a multisite installation, WP update should always be network-wide.

    If you have a plugin or theme enabled exclusively on your main site, and not available to sub-sites, then there's no need to network update.

    Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

    Kind Regards,

  • joejacobson

    Thanks, Michael. Yes, most of my plugins are network activated. But, really, my question was much simpler: when I click on my network updates link, it says that it is going to update the database. It then starts loading 5 subsites at a time to do the updates, and then the next 5, etc., until they are all done. I just ran my updates and it took about 3 minutes.

    So I am just wondering how often to run this Network Updates of my databases. Daily, weekly, monthly??

    Thanks, Joe.

  • Patrick

    To be honest, if there is an update and even if it isn't activated (network or enabled) update it. Always.. Unless there is a known conflict and then you'll need to manage the risk.

    This basically comes down to security. Any php code sitting on a server that might have a vulnerability in it can still be called or accessed even if it isn't enabled. It might be harder to do, but its still a risk. I generally go so far as to remove any unused plugins off my live servers to reduce the risk.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hey there!

    I hope you're both having a great day!

    Actually, Patrick's got the point. It's always better to keep an eye on product pages, changelogs and forum threads regarding those plugins - just to know what's cookin' - and stick to the rule stated here by my colleague @Michael Bissett. But, if you don't know if there's any issue or conflict with the particular plugin(s) it's much better to update than not to update :slight_smile:

    Security is always a daunting task, they say. In most cases it's not really a difference if you update plugin today or in a week but there's always a chance that those few days of delay will prove critical. That being said, the advice here is simple: update immediately after you notice the update flag.


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