366 posts WordPress Guy
  • Envato Staff
  • Australia
  • Has been a member for 5-6 years
  • Contributed a Tutorial to a Tuts+ Site
  • Exclusive Author
  • Sold between 100 and 1 000 dollars
  • Bought between 50 and 99 items
  • Referred between 1 and 9 users
  • Repeatedly Helped protect Envato Marketplaces against copyright violations
Japh Staff says

Originally posted on Envato Notes by Japheth Thomson

One of the best features of WordPress is the way it lets users check for, download, and install updates for plugins and themes from within the WordPress admin interface. Last year you may recall Jason announced the WordPress Theme Only Attachment and after more work we’re ready to roll out a way for authors to implement automatic updates for their themes in a standard way.

We now have a plugin for WordPress that will show you when a theme you’ve purchased from ThemeForest has an update available. You can then choose to automatically download and install the update. Even better than that though, the plugin will show you all the WordPress themes you’ve purchased on ThemeForest, and allow you to install them too!

We also have a PHP library for authors to include in their WordPress themes that will provide an easy way to implement this functionality within the themes themselves.

The plugin can be found here and the PHP library here.

Before a ThemeForest theme is able to be installed or updated through this plugin or PHP library, we need a little something from our authors. In addition to the main ZIP file that an author provides, we need them to also provide another ZIP file containing only the WordPress theme, which the plugin will then use. As Jason mentioned in the forum post authors need to also be sure that the comment header inside the style.css file provides the exact details about the theme. This must include the ‘Theme Name’, ‘Author’, and ‘Version’. Of course, the ‘Theme Name’ and ‘Author’ should remain the same for each updated upload of a theme, and the ‘Version’ must be incremented on each updated upload to ThemeForest.

Until now, including this file has been optional for authors (though roughly 25% of themes already have it!). To ensure automatic updates work consistently across all WordPress themes we’re now making this a mandatory inclusion. Authors, starting from Wednesday 4th April, please ensure you update your WordPress themes on ThemeForest and upload a WordPress Theme ZIP file for each of your themes.

This plugin and PHP library are a work in progress, so we’re hoping you’ll jump in with both feet, and if there are any teething problems bare with us as we fix them up. We have more features in the pipeline too, so keep in mind that we’ll be releasing incremental updates to them.

We really hope using this plugin/PHP library makes everyone’s life a lot easier. If you have feedback on this, please let us know in the comments below, or leave a post on the forum thread linked above.

2485 posts Premium Scripts, Plugins and Themes
  • Bought between 10 and 49 items
  • Elite Author
  • Envato Studio (Microlancer) Beta Tester
  • Exclusive Author
  • Has been a member for 7-8 years
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
  • Referred between 200 and 499 users
+1 more
LucidStudios says

It’s nice to see that Envato is providing tools to authors to make theme development easier and quicker but these tools/plugins need constant updates in order to work with latest versions of WordPress so sometimes author get into a locked down position which is not good. For example OptionTree hasn’t been upgraded to work with WordPress 3.3.1 and if you see the “Compatibility” section for OptionTree plugin then 50% of the people are having trouble installing it with WordPress 3.3.1.

3007 posts
  • Author had a File in an Envato Bundle
  • Bought between 1 and 9 items
  • Elite Author
  • Europe
  • Exclusive Author
  • Has been a member for 4-5 years
  • Referred between 100 and 199 users
+2 more
duotive says

What happens if we want to test it out on a theme that has not been added to themeforest yet? We want to be sure that it will work with a new framework.

294 posts
  • Sold between 10 000 and 50 000 dollars
  • Exclusive Author
  • Europe
  • Bought between 50 and 99 items
  • Referred between 10 and 49 users
  • Envato Studio (Microlancer) Beta Tester
  • Has been a member for 3-4 years
cosmincotor says

Do we need to write the version number in a certain way ? (1.0 or 1.0.0 …)

Because I usually add the date after it and it looks like this: 1.0.0.xxxxxx

822 posts
  • Power Elite Author: Sold between 1 000 000 - 1 999 999 dollars
  • Power Elite Author
  • Won a Competition
  • Exclusive Author
  • Repeatedly Helped protect Envato Marketplaces against copyright violations
  • Europe
  • Bought between 50 and 99 items
+2 more
wpbakery says

It’s great to see this plugin finally coming to life!

385 posts
  • Elite Author
  • Sold between 250 000 and 1 000 000 dollars
  • Has been a member for 4-5 years
  • United Kingdom
  • Referred between 100 and 199 users
  • Bought between 10 and 49 items
  • Exclusive Author
EugeneO says

I’m not sure how authors will be able to test this with their items. Would it be possible to work with the authors own items when they use their own API key? At least this way we can add and test it out with items we already have for sale on the marketplace.

367 posts plop
  • Elite Author
  • Sold between 50 000 and 100 000 dollars
  • Beta Tester
  • Has been a member for 5-6 years
  • Grew a moustache for the Envato Movember competition
  • Referred between 50 and 99 users
  • Interviewed on the Envato Notes blog
+3 more
kimonoThemes says

Nice work! What if the user made some custom change on his theme… Will this plugin overwrite its change? Is there a child theme compatibility with it?

327 posts
  • Bought between 100 and 499 items
  • Exclusive Author
  • Has been a member for 4-5 years
  • Referred between 10 and 49 users
  • Sold between 50 000 and 100 000 dollars
  • United Kingdom
PaulWinslow says

Awesome news :) This’ll be very handy, indeed.

366 posts WordPress Guy
  • Envato Staff
  • Australia
  • Has been a member for 5-6 years
  • Contributed a Tutorial to a Tuts+ Site
  • Exclusive Author
  • Sold between 100 and 1 000 dollars
  • Bought between 50 and 99 items
  • Referred between 1 and 9 users
  • Repeatedly Helped protect Envato Marketplaces against copyright violations
Japh Staff says

It’s nice to see that Envato is providing tools to authors to make theme development easier and quicker but these tools/plugins need constant updates in order to work with latest versions of WordPress so sometimes author get into a locked down position which is not good. For example OptionTree hasn’t been upgraded to work with WordPress 3.3.1 and if you see the “Compatibility” section for OptionTree plugin then 50% of the people are having trouble installing it with WordPress 3.3.1.

Thank you! Glad you mentioned OptionTree too, we’re certainly well aware of the need to continued updates on OptionTree and the Envato WordPress Toolkit. You’ll be seeing more from us on this in the future :)


What happens if we want to test it out on a theme that has not been added to themeforest yet? We want to be sure that it will work with a new framework.

Good point! For the moment, the best solution for existing themes is to manually decrement the version number to see updates happen. For new themes, we’ll look into this and get back to you shortly.


Do we need to write the version number in a certain way ? (1.0 or 1.0.0 …) Because I usually add the date after it and it looks like this: 1.0.0.xxxxxx

Essentially you’ll need to comply with the PHP -standardized version number strings. You can get more info on those under version_compare() in the PHP manual


Nice work! What if the user made some custom change on his theme… Will this plugin overwrite its change? Is there a child theme compatibility with it?

Thank you! And yes, theme updates overwrite changes, just as theme updates from the WordPress.org theme directory do. If you implement the library into your theme, you may like to include a warning to that effect.

812 posts
  • Bought between 10 and 49 items
  • Exclusive Author
  • Has been a member for 4-5 years
iamthwee says

+1 for option tree updates.

by
by
by
by
by
by