I heard today what for me was an unusual method of updating a small to medium size Wordpress site but got me curious if I was just naive at thinking so. It is a methodology I've managed on enterprise level sites but seemed overkill on most Wordpress sites.
My current process:
1) Backup files & database, ready to roll back if site breaks at any time.
2) Update Wordpress version, test site to make sure it's still working.
3) Update plugins, one or two at a time if many to update, test each update to ensure site is working.
Process someone else described:
1) Copy & migrate site to a new folder.
2) Export DB from live site and import into new DB.
3) Change all relevant URLs and settings to point copied site to new DB, to create a "staging" version of the site.
4, 5, 6) Go through steps 1-3 from my process above.
7) Change staging site settings and config file to live site URL.
8) In Cpanel or similar point live URL to updated staging site.
9) Test updated live site thoroughly to ensure all your settings and URL changes have been done correctly.
As I said to the person who told me this, it seems like a lot of extra work just for updating plugins, which 90% of the time proceed without a hitch. You might obviously look to do this if something goes wrong with the updating and you need to debug of course, but most of the time why?
I'd never allow auto updating, I myself plus many blog owner friends I know have had problems at one stage or another with plugin/code conflicts. For me it included with some major/paid plugins. And the plugin developer's apology does not help much if a site has been down for a day or two due to an auto update problem that I wasn't made aware of.
seems like there is a huge range of pricing for wp maintenance packages (like web design on the whole I guess) seen anywhere from included free with hosting @ $100-150 a year like me, to the same per month!
I have just been doing for free (without really even telling clients) so need to fix that!
selling it to clients who I have been doing for free might be tricky tho...
new clients I will be saying a website includes 1 year hosting + wp maintenance , then adding a price for this after the 1st year....thinking $150 hosting + $100 maintenance