WordPress All in One SEO Auto Updates Cause Backlashes

All in One SEO plugin for WordPress is a nifty tool for website owners and SEO professionals. WordPress recently turned on automatic updates for the plugin. The auto-updates came with an upgrade which was probably not compatible with many existing websites. This caused multiple sites to suffer outages and abnormal behavior. 

top view of coffee cup and keyboard with wordpress inscription on table

Publishers are Not Happy

Generally, for any kind of update, the user gets an option to turn automatic updates on or off. If the user opts for auto-updates, there is no further action required from their end. The application will run an update whenever there is one available. 

Those users who choose to install updates manually have the option to save a backup so as to do a system reset if needed.  However, with forced auto-updates, the publisher is no longer in control. Timing a system backup is difficult. 

What happens if something goes wrong with an update and you have no way to reset it to the older version? 

Some websites were already showing abnormal behavior.

‘Ethically Wrong’

User groups on Facebook and Twitter have come out and expressed their displeasure. Users agree that any automatic update, whether to opt for an automatic update or not should be left to the user. The Publisher has to let the user choose if they want the update or not. Some have even termed it ethically wrong.

What Were These Updates All About?

There were multiple updates for All in One SEO, from 3.7 to 4.X  version on November 14, 2020. 

Between November 14th and December 2020, All in One SEO plugin released twelve updates to sort out dozens of bugs. As per Yoast SEO plugin changelog, three updates were released within the time period. The following bugs have been cleared:

Seo Update Search Engine Optimization Concept
  • A bug that prevented editors and authors from modifying SEO titles and descriptions.
  • Closing head tag not showing up at times.
  • Title tag stripping out the dollar sign and any following numbers. 
  • PHP error associated with lacking arrays during migration.
  • AIO SEO wouldn’t take away amp from canonical URLs.
  • Conflict with WP Shop plugin.

However, the update release dated Dec 21, 2020, seems to have forced automatic updates for the users. “Updated: Default choices for auto-updates” 

Response on Twitter 

Many users chose to show their displeasure on Twitter about the All in One SEO update. 

person holding a smartphone
Editorial credit: Worawee Meepian / Shutterstock.com

One user said:

Another user pointed out:

Similar reactions were seen on the Facebook page of the AIO SEO community. Many individuals demanded that publishers allow users to toggle the selection to opt-in to auto-updates. The All in One SEO publishers have apologized and assured to get rid of the forced automated updates. 

girl using a smartphone
Editorial credit: PK Studio / Shutterstock.com

It’s not all gloom and doom though. 

What do you think? Is this something they shouldn’t have turned on to begin with?

Paul Andrewshttp://optiwiseonline.com
If you are looking to sell on eCommerce or are already selling on the platform but looking to scale up operations, then I am that guy you think you’re not looking for! But if you think again you can let me leverage my years of selling experience on ecommerce platforms to provide hands-on, strategic guidance to your brands or private labels to help set up, grow and scale your business.

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