Having WordPress auto update? – How to turn on/off and why.

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

WordPress now has the ability to auto update the core software when a new release is out. This has been rather a controversial issue among developers, but the default state is now that your WordPress will update automatically.

Why such a big issue? – We get countless windows updates, even Apple, Andriod and software companies like Adobe release updates. So why not WordPress?

The issue is one of compatibility. If you have a large website with custom themes and a few high-powered plugins, maybe some e-commerce thrown in, you at not going to be so happy that the website goes into update mode when it feels like it!  People with such sites should be making a backup to a test site and then doing the backup on the test site first to check for any issues. In the same way as they would for any major theme or plugin update.

But for the rest of the websites out there, whose owners don’t even check in on the site daily….it is a good idea for auto backups. WordPress should even be sending you an ‘I have updated’ email if you are the main admin!

It is possible to stop the auto updates and it is quite easy but needs a plugin installed or access to the wp-config.php file. The level of knowledge to do this should be equal to the level of knowledge required to make local test server backups and do all the upgrading by hand.

Stop Updates Plugin

Easy Updates Manager


Stop updates with wp-config.php

Scroll down to the line

/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

and add above it

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );
/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

If you are keen to stop themes and plugins you could also add

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_false' ); 
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_false' );

See how we did it on this site just using Firezilla FTP software. (FREE)


Featured Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash