In Varbase, we categorize configuration changes and updates into 4 types:
We have a new module that became a dependency, a configuration "fix", or a database table alter.
This is forced and will always be executed through hook_update.
Increasing the "Maximum length" of a field of type "Text"
Enabling a low-risk module that will become a standard in Varbase
Forced Update if Unchanged
Mostly a configuration change. Using Update Helper module config, in the hook_update we check if this setting remained the same before we do the update, so we don’t override user’s setting. If the user has overridden it, it becomes an “Optional Update” - see below.
Changed a checkbox default value.
Added a new CKEditor button to the a text format toolbar configuration.
A nice enhancement that we recommend users to use or an update that failed to apply - see "Forced Update if Unchanged" above. There’s no hook_update for this. Instead it is communicated through Update Helper module checklist integration in Drupal UI. The UI would give instructions to the users on how to apply this update (mostly using a Drush command that reads Update Helper config) or manually by liking to release notes or help articles.
Introduced an updated view with more exposed filters for admins to manage content.
Only new installs would get this change.
A new theme has been introduced.
Varbase Update Changelog UI
Varbase uses the Update Helper module (a module made by Thunder team) which provides a UI using the Checklist API. This is a good tool as it shows the site admin, developer, or maintainer what new updates are available from inside the site itself.