Category: WordPress

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Qualified WordPress Plugins and Themes for Free and Automatic Update Service

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The following plugins and themes are qualified for the free automatic update service that Host Pond offers its hosting customers with WordPress websites.


Qualified Themes


All Woo Themes (Please ask us to install the license key for this plugin)
All default WordPress themes starting with Twenty Twelve


Qualified Plugins


Rather than provide a list of the plugins we support in the free automated update service, we use a point system to determine if a plugin is supported.  A plugin must have 5 points or more to be included in the free automated update service.  Here is the criteria used to determine how many points a plugin has.

Rating : A plugin MUST have at least 10 people who have rated it to earn any points at all for rating.  3.5 stars or more earns 1 point.  4.5 stars or more earns 2 points.

Active Installs : For every 20,000 active installs, a plugin will earn 1 point.  A maximum of 4 points can be earned based on active installs.  So, if a plugin has 80,000 or more active installs, it has earned 4 points.

Updates : A plugin can earn up to 2 points based on its update history.  A plugin earns 2 points if it has been updated at least once in the past 9 months.  A plugin will earn 1 point if it has been updated at least once in the past 18 months.


Endorsed Plugins


These are plugins we endorse beyond simply providing free automated updates for them.  If you are looking for a plugin to perform a certain task, please be sure to choose one of the following if they will work for you.


BackupBuddy (Please ask us to install the license key for this plugin)
Bulletproof Security
Contact Form 7
Gravity Forms (Please ask us to install the license key for the pro version)
NextGen Gallery
Simple History
TinyMCE Advanced
Wordfence Security
WordPress SEO by Yoast





Any customization’s to themes or plugins can potentially invalidate the support for automatic updates. Typically, if a theme is customized, doing so using the “child-theme” structure can work in most cases so that we will continue to support free automatic updates to your WordPress install.  However, we reserve the right to make that choice on a case by case basis.


Fee Calculations for unqualified plugins


For customers that don’t qualify for our free automatic update service, you can still have us provide the automatic update service by paying the calculated fees.  Fee’s are calculated as follows.

One Time Upgrade Fees : (5 – POINTS) x $5
Monthly Recurring Fees : (5 – POINTS) x $1

So, for a plugin with 3 points, the One Time fee to bring the plugin fully up to date would be $10, and the monthly recurring fee for us to provide automatic updates would be $2.

Please note that paying for this service does not guarantee that we will be able to update a plugin or theme for you if the developer is no longer providing updates.  There may be cases where we simply have to remove a plugin that no longer functions properly.  What the service does guarantee is that if the update breaks your website, we will restore to the website from a recent backup, and we will do some cursory research to find out what it will take to upgrade the plugin, if it is even possible.  In general, we may spend up to two hours trying to make a plugin upgrade at no additional cost to you if you’re paying us for this update service.  Though, we will certainly spend more time if we feel a solution may exist for a reasonable amount of effort.


Special Requests


Would you like to request a review of a particular plugin or theme for inclusion into our supported list? If so, please send an email to with the subject line of “WordPress auto-update review request”. We will have a look and let you know if it is possible to include the plugin or theme.

Automatic Update Services for WordPress

wordpress-logoAnnouncement: 18-Mar-2015


Host Pond is pleased to announce that, starting in the second quarter of 2015 we will be implementing an automatic update service for a large number of our customers with WordPress websites. Due to the popularity of WordPress, there has been a sustained and formidable effort on the part of hackers to break into WordPress-based websites. The best defense against these attacks is to ensure that your website is up to date with the latest version of the software.


To better support our customers, starting sometime between April and June 2015 we will be offering an automatic update service for qualifying websites. This service – which will be provided free of charge to a large number of our customers who have WordPress websites – is a service that other companies are legitimately charging anywhere from $5 to $50 per month for.


It is important to understand that automatic updates are not without risk of creating problems with your WordPress website. It is this very reason why companies charge money for providing this service. It is also the reason why not all Host Pond customers will qualify for the free service. If and when upgrades cause problems with a website, it takes time and effort to revert the website back to the previous version, and then to figure out what it will take to successfully update the website. Typically, it is a poorly written plugin or theme that is the cause of updates breaking the website. So, to begin with, the free offering of this service will be limited to only those WordPress websites with supported plugins and themes installed on them. For any websites with unsupported plugins or themes, we will communicate with the customer regarding alternative possibilities for keeping their website up to date and secure.


If for some reason, you wish to be excluded from this service, then you must let us know by clicking here and completing the opt-out form for automatic WordPress updates.


Full terms of the automated update service can be found on the following web page.

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