A better way to update the theme

Even though WordPress core, plugin, and theme updates are not mandatory, it is absolutely crucial to keep your site up to date for security and performance reasons.

What is the Theme Updater

By default, a WordPress core does not provide an easy way to update any premium themes when a new version of it is released.

It means that there is no functionality in a WordPress core that allows to update your premium theme via a single click, the same way as it’s done for free themes hosted at WordPress.org.

Instead, you need to obtain, then upload, a zip file of a new version of the theme, using a manual method of updating WordPress themes. Moreover, you need to manually check the theme provider website for a new update.

This is the reason why many shops include in its premium themes a special functionality, designed to simplify a process of updating premium themes.

Themes Harbor also provides a special functionality — Theme Updater — in its professional WordPress themes which allows easily update the purchased theme.

Hi. My name is Taras and I am a founder of Themes Harbor. Today, I would like to tell you about changes made to the Theme Updater, and the reasons behind these changes.

Need for a change

Updates are important for any software because technologies are changing rapidly. Since your site, and many other sites, do not exist in a vacuum, it is very important to keep it up to date on a regular basis.

The previous version of the Theme Updater was designed (and still is) to allow to update the theme via a few clicks without a need to leave a WordPress dashboard. However, it was not very informative.

The process of updating the theme should be simple. Professionals, who use themes from Themes Harbor, should not spend their valuable time for figuring out on how to update the theme.

So, the Theme Updater must be not only functional but also informative.

The change

First, the Theme Info page received update, where each section on the page has been refactored to create a much cleaner look, and to keep the consistency between sections.

Second, the License key form has now a more logical display of the buttons needed for the form. For example, if the license key is already saved then there is no need to display a button which saves license key.

So, by eliminating displaying unnecessary buttons, the form becomes less confusing.

Third, WordPress will notify the site owner if there is a problem connecting to Themes Harbor when checking for a new update, by showing the site owner a notice on the Themes page.

Moreover, an error, caused by a failed connection to Themes Harbor during the update check, no longer will display just an error message on a blank page.

Instead, it will show a totally functional admin page with a notice bar at the top of the page.

Fourth, WordPress will notify the site owner regarding a new update, or license key issue, by showing the site owner a notification bubble in the admin menu. The same approach is used by a WordPress core for plugins and themes hosted at WordPress.org.

Fifth, some sections include a more descriptive text to make the section more informative and easy to follow.

Sixth, a new version of the Theme Updater now checks if your current WordPress installation and PHP environment suitable for a new theme update.

It adds an additional layer of security which prevents the site from breaking because of a critical issue caused by an unsupported functionality.


This is not a final version of the Theme Updater but just another major update.

At Themes Harbor, we strive to bring the best for professionals who use our themes. That is why, we are constantly working on improvements for the current themes rather than building new ones every single month.

We choose quality over quantity, so you can focus on growing your business, while we keep the visual appearance of your WordPress site professional.