Simba Plugin Updates Manager


This plugin enables you to host updates for your own plugins from your own WordPress site.

i.e. It provides a service for the availability and download of WordPress plugin updates – just like the plugin repository. This can be for free plugins, or licensed plugins – it includes a full licence manager.

It is a free, cleaned-up version of the plugin updates server that has been providing plugin updates to thousands of users of the paid versions of the UpdraftPlus backup/restore/clone WordPress plugin since 2013 (and users of various Simba Hosting plugins).

A paid connector for WooCommerce is also available, allowing WordPress to automatically assign and renew licences when purchases are made; plus other features for coupons and renewal emails (including pre-filled carts); follow this link for more information.

The best way to get a feel for its features is to take a look at the available screenshots.


  • Manage multiple plugins, both free and paid

  • Manage user licences – create, renew and delete licence entitlements for non-free plugins

  • Send renewal reminder emails for licensed plugins

  • Have multiple different zips (i.e. different plugin versions) available for your plugins

  • Have sophisticated rules for which zip a particular user gets delivered (e.g. send them an older version if they are on an old version of WordPress or PHP)

  • Counts plugin downloads, by version – calculate how many active users you have

  • Shortcode provided for showing users on your website what plugins are available

This is the full version of the plugin, beginning from the 1.5 series. (Versions up to 1.4 were a cut-down version that had no licence or renewal management features).

Running an updates and an licensing server are two important parts of providing plugin updates to your users. You will also need to add code in your plugin to point towards that updates server. A popular class used for this purpose with free plugins, that requires you to do nothing more than include it and tell it the updates URL, is available here: . For licenced plugins, a compatible class is available here: .

Other information


The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright © 2015- David Anderson,

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.



  • Display of managed plugins

  • Adding a new plugin

  • Adding a new zip for a plugin

  • Managing zips for a plugin

  • Adding a download rule for a plugin

  • Managing download rules for a plugin

  • Showing users on your website the plugins that they can download, using a shortcode

  • Configuring renewal reminder emails for expiring licences

  • Setting up the renewal reminder email for customers with expiring licences

  • Setting up a licence renewal coupon in WooCommerce (via a paid extension).

  • Manging a user's licences in your WP dashboard

  • The updater class in action in one of your users' dashboards

  • Easy drag-and-drop uploading of new plugin zip versions


Standard WordPress installation; either:

  • Go to the Plugins -> Add New screen in your dashboard and search for this plugin; then install and activate it.


  • Upload this plugin’s zip file into Plugins -> Add New -> Upload in your dashboard; then activate it.

After installation, you will want to configure this plugin. To find its settings, look for the “Plugins Manager” entry in your WordPress dashboard menu.

To show users on your website what plugins they can download, use this shortcode (changing the value of userid to match the ID of the WordPress user who is providing the plugins): [udmanager showunpurchased=”free” userid=”1″]


Please go here for plugin FAQs.

Installation Instructions

Standard WordPress installation; either:

  • Go to the Plugins -> Add New screen in your dashboard and search for this plugin; then install and activate it.


  • Upload this plugin’s zip file into Plugins -> Add New -> Upload in your dashboard; then activate it.

After installation, you will want to configure this plugin. To find its settings, look for the “Plugins Manager” entry in your WordPress dashboard menu.

To show users on your website what plugins they can download, use this shortcode (changing the value of userid to match the ID of the WordPress user who is providing the plugins): [udmanager showunpurchased=”free” userid=”1″]

Contributors & Developers

“Simba Plugin Updates Manager” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.



1.6.15 – 2017-06-01

  • FIX: Handling of the showaddons and showlink parameters in the udmanager shortcode was incorrect
  • FIX: Fix incorrect total counts shown in 1.6.14
  • COMPATIBILITY: Mark as compatible with WP 4.8 (tested/supported: 3.7+)
  • TWEAK: Improve the layout of the (shortcode) box showing licensing information, especially when there are many licences

1.6.12 – 2017-05-31

  • FIX: Fix a wrong manipulation of registered hooks in the mailer class

1.6.11 – 2017-05-24

  • FIX: Fix a wrong variable reference in the get_licences_for_url() method which resulted in wrong results

1.6.10 – 2017-05-10

  • TWEAK: Add a filter updraftmanager_check_password to allow external code to confirm passwords

1.6.9 – 2017-05-10

  • TWEAK: Allow the noun ‘password’ to be filtered (e.g. call it a licence key)

1.6.8 – 2017-05-09

  • TWEAK: Replace is_site_licensed() with the more flexible get_licences_for_url()
  • TWEAK: Make the $expire_window_end parameter optional in db_get_all_entitlements()

1.6.7 – 2017-05-08

  • TWEAK: Add a method is_site_licensed() for checking whether a particular site is licensed
  • TWEAK: Fold duplicate versions of function normalise_url() into one

1.6.6 – 2017-05-06

  • TWEAK: Add url_normalised column to the entitlements table. This will perform an automatic update on the existing table.
  • FIX: Add files missed from SVN commit for 1.6.5

1.6.4 – 2017-04-27

  • FIX: download was missing a JavaScript file used by the quick-uploader

1.6.3 – 2017-04-11

  • TWEAK: Log more information when zip delivery fails
  • TWEAK: Previous unhooking of WP mail from filters after delivery was not taking effect
  • TWEAK: Distinguish the responses for empty and unknown email addresses when disconnecting
  • TWEAK: Prevent a possible PHP notice when showing add-ons on the front-end

1.6.2 – 2017-02-16

  • TWEAK: Prevent a PHP notice on some updates checks from legacy clients on PHP >= 7.0
  • TWEAK: Add a filter udmanager_claim_addon_entitlement_allow to allow the forbidding of a claim to an entitlement

1.6.1 – 2017-02-06

  • TWEAK: Add an action updraftmanager_renewalemail_log to make it easier to process the renewal log arbitrarily
  • TWEAK: When parsing an uploaded zip in the drag/drop uploader, trim the lines first, to avoid line-ending issues

1.6.0 – 2017-02-04

  • FEATURE: Added a drag-drop uploader, allowing you to upload new plugin versions very quickly (no details to enter, as long as the plugin includes a readme.txt with fields for supported WP versions). If combined with the commercial WooCommerce conncetor, any linked WooCommerce products will also have their downloads updated.

1.5.26 – 2017-01-09

  • TWEAK: Added an extra parameter to the updraftmanager_send_response filter, which previously did not provide a way to identify which plugin it was being called for.

1.5.25 – 2017-01-06

  • FIX: The fix in 1.5.21 for saving the contents of the renewal email setting if TinyMCE had not been initialised was incorrect.
  • TWEAK: Bump minimum supported WP version up to 3.4 (intention is now to raise it with every new WP release)

1.5.24 – 2017-01-03

  • TWEAK: Add a few more hooks for extensions to hook into
  • TWEAK: Remove a few bits of legacy code
  • FIX: The API for allowing extensions to save meta-data together with a plugin’s data was broken
  • FIX: Editing the details for an existing zip file could result in (harmless/unused) extra rows in the database
  • FIX: Add missing files from 1.5.22, 1.5.23 to SVN

1.5.21 – 2016-12-31

  • TWEAK: Update bundled html2text and phpseclib libraries
  • FIX: Fix bug that prevented saving the contents of the renewal email setting if TinyMCE had not been initialised

1.5.20 – 2016-12-17

  • FEATURE: New rule added for deciding what download to make available: allow an upgrade to be made available to a random percentage of sites checking for updates (e.g. roll out a new version more slowly than making it immediately universally available)
  • TWEAK: Do not show download links (which didn’t work, anyway) for expired products
  • FIX: In the UI, any download rules when comparing version numbers had less than/greater than accidentally transposed

1.5.19 – 2016-09-12

  • TWEAK: Make the filter adjustments when sending mails compatible with WP 4.7
  • FEATURE: The “renewal reminders” dashboard screen now has a feature for debugging renewal reminders for a chosen specific customer

1.5.18 – 2016-08-18

  • TWEAK: When wp_die-ing due to an invalid/expired token, return an HTTP 401 (unauthorised) (instead of the default 500)

1.5.17 – 2016-07-28

  • TWEAK: Added a couple of filters for customisation
  • COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with WP 4.6
  • FIX: When using the shortcode to show a logged in user’s plugins, the user ID was over-ridable by the wrong filter (hence, this only made a difference when a filter was being used for customisation)

1.5.16 – 2016-04-08

  • FIX: Download rules based on a PHP version were not previously working (PHP version was ignored)
  • SECURITY: Information sent from the client (such as WP version, PHP version) that was taken into account for calculating the download to be offered was transported using PHP’s serialize() format, which is unsafe. To be exploitable, your site would need to have a second vulnerability in another PHP component, that performed unsafe actions on object creation. The transport format has now been updated to JSON. If your updates server has download rules depending on client site information (e.g. WP/PHP versions), then after updating, if your server is running an earlier version than PHP 7 (which is the first version to allow safe handling of serialized data), you will need to update the client updater class ( to a version from 8th April 2016 onwards, in order to send this data in the new format. (You can also set the filter updraftmanager_process_old_siteinfo_format to be (bool)true to continue the old, unsafe behaviour, if you must and are confident that your site has no object creation vulnerabilities – which would be very hard to audit). If your site has no such download rules, then after updating this plugin, updating the client-side class does not matter, since the potentially unsafe data is ignored.

1.5.15 – 2016-03-11

  • FIX: The date-picker/reset button on the admin licence management page stopped working after editing entitlements, until you refreshed the page
  • TWEAK: Display the user ID directly on the licence page (instead of reading it from the URL bar)

1.5.14 – 2016-02-22

  • TWEAK: Tweak format that data is sent back in upon connect (remains backwards-compatible)

1.5.13 – 2016-02-06

  • TWEAK: Mark a method static

1.5.12 – 2016-01-27

  • TWEAK: Add a filter to allow modification of returned plugin_info calls
  • TWEAK: Send back JSON with the correct MIME type when returning plugin_info calls

1.5.11 – 2016-01-20

  • TWEAK: Add an extra parameter to a public function, allowing item renewals specified in “months from now” style to be skipped if they are already later than the specified time

1.5.10 – 2015-12-03

  • FIX: “Send emails from” setting was not taking effect (default was always used)
  • TWEAK: Trim invalid non-numeric values entered for renewal reminder days setting
  • TWEAK: Add action to allow insertion of content on the user entitlement management page

1.5.8 – 2015-11-26

  • FIX: New downloads were not being recorded in the download summary
  • TWEAK: Provide extra filter when checking renewals, for more flexibility

1.5.7 – 2015-11-20

  • TWEAK: Log all PHP events during renewal reminder email run
  • TWEAK: Added urlparameters code to renewal emails, for connection plugins to replace with URL parameters for auto-adding products to cart
  • TWEAK: When auto-logging in a user, include the $user parameter on the wp_login action
  • TWEAK: Add a filter for the maximum number of renewal mails sent when in debug mode (defaults to 1)
  • FIX: Fix conflict with WP Better Emails when sending outgoing mail
  • FIX: The user unsubscribe option, set by connectors, was not being honoured

1.5.5 – 2015-11-12

  • SPEED: No longer write a transient on every updates check
  • SPEED: Introduce SIMBA_PLUGINS_MANAGER_LOCKDOWN constant – define this to true to prevent updating the “last checked-in” field for a licence (useful if under heavy load)
  • TWEAK: Changed one of the filters to make it more flexible
  • FIX: Fix mishandling of parameters in db_get_all_entitlements method
  • FIX: Fix a bug introduced in 1.5.4 that prevented plugins being deleted
  • FIX: Fix bug introduced in 1.5.4 in the granting of new support entitlements

1.5.4 – 2015-11-09

  • FEATURES: This is now a full version of the plugin, identical to that used on commercial sites. Instead of selling the premium plugin, we are now selling connectors for e-commerce stores; a WooCommerce connector is available:
  • FEATURE: Licence handling – add, delete, renew and display information about licences.
  • FEATURE: Automatic emailing of customers whose licences are coming up for expiry – including the facility to automatically add the items to the user’s cart (and optionally, log the user in).
  • FEATURE: New filter + code allowing users to be allowed to entirely delete their own licences (most suitable for products with unlimited licences)
  • INTERNALS: Renewal code now re-written to treat the licence as the primary object, and orders as secondary – as it ought to be (instead of vice-versa). As a result, a lot of internal things are now more straightforward.
  • INTERNALS: Plugins and associated data are now stored in their own table, instead of in usermeta. To migrate old data, use the script convert-plugins.php found in this plugin’s directory (or recreate manually).
  • INTERNALS: Licences and associated data are now stored in their own table, instead of in usermeta
  • INTERNALS: Download counts and associated data are now stored in their own table, instead of in usermeta
  • TWEAK: Re-route all code that saves entitlement information through a single method, to allow for future format changes
  • TESTING: Now tested up to WordPress 4.4 (beta)

1.4.8 – 2015-10-02

  • TWEAK: Add extra parameter to the internal function for resetting unused licences

1.4.7 – 2015-08-27

  • TWEAK: Split the capability checks into two (both with the same default value), to allow filters to cause different users to have different levels of access to admin functions (managing plugins and managing licences); the filter udmanager_user_id_for_licences is also introduced as part of this.
  • FEATURE: New date widget for resetting all licence expiries at once (hence relevant to Premium only)
  • TWEAK: Enqueue internal scripts with a version number, to prevent them being cached across updates

1.4.6 – 2015-08-22

  • TWEAK: Trim email addresses used for authentication (saw a user who prefixed his with a space)
  • TWEAK: Prevent PHP fatal error in case of an unexpectedly missing internal directory

1.4.5 – 2015-08-04

  • TWEAK: Implement new token-based authentication method (paid plugins, i.e. Premium version)
  • COMPATIBILITY: Tested + marked as compatible on WP 4.3

1.4.4 – 2015-05-13

  • FIX: Prevent PHP notices when unregistered site checks in (Premium)
  • TWEAK: Admin users get to see the internal licence ID as a tooltip
  • TWEAK: Improve detection of recycled licences

1.4.3 – 2015-05-11

  • FIX: Now displays correct download numbers again on WP 4.2+
  • FEATURE: If the uploaded plugin contains a changelog (either within a WordPress-format readme.txt, or as changelog.txt), then this is automatically parsed and included with the plugin information. If the readme.txt contains an FAQ section, then this is included likewise.
  • TWEAK: Add udmanager_manage_permission filter, allowing the capability needed to perform operations filterable.
  • TWEAK: Return HTTPS urls for downloads when the original request was over HTTPS
  • TWEAK: Better error handling in various places in the zip download process
  • TWEAK: When zip file creation fails (Premium), set the HTTP status code to 500

1.4.0 – 2015-03-01

  • RELEASE: First public release. Supports hosting + providing updates for free plugins, with multiple versions and download rules.