Did you know that WordPress can make changes to your website automatically? This can sometimes also include plugins and themes.
Even though these background updates are good for security, there is a small chance that they could break your website.
In this article, we’ll show you how to stop WordPress from updating automatically, so you can do it yourself.
The Automatic Updates in WordPress and Its Benefits
WordPress updates the core software automatically for security reasons.
To eliminate a potential risk, WordPress might also occasionally update a plugin or theme, although this happens not that often these days. The WordPress core team may roll out an automatic update for a plugin or theme if really a bunch of websites are using it.
Other than those specific cases, WordPress gives you complete control over when you wish to deploy updates.
We cannot suggest turning off WordPress’s automatic updates. They are a key part of security.
But on the other side we cannot deny that there are cases when updates can break or change how your website works. This could cause you to lose customers and business especially if you do not have an up-to-date backup which you could restore in such a case.
If you are sure that you can take care of manually updating WordPress on your own, you can safely turn off automatic updates.
We present you in the following two Methods for configuring Automatic WordPress Updates.
Method I – Disabling Automatic WordPress Updates Using Code (Recommended)
Method II – Configuring Automatic WordPress Updates With the help of a Plugin
Method I: Disabling Automatic WordPress Updates Using Code
By adding this line of code to your wp-config.php file, you can turn off automatic updates in WordPress:
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );
This will stop WordPress from updating itself automatically.
Important: Please read our step-by-step article on how to edit the wp-config.php file in WordPress safely.
You can stop theme and plugin updates while still getting minor core updates by adding the following filters to the functions.php file of your theme.
Disable automatic WordPress plugin updates:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_false’ );
Disable automatic WordPress theme updates:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_false’ );
Method 2. Configuring and Disabling Automatic WordPress Updates With a Plugin
Installing and turning on the Easy Updates Manager plugin is another way to turn off automatic WordPress updates. No idea how to install a Plugin in WordPress? No problem – just take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Once the plugin is turned on, go to Dashboard » Updates Options to set up your settings.
“Disable all updates” is an option, but we don’t recommend it. Mostly because it will stop all update alerts from showing up.
You could turn off auto-updates for plugins and themes but leave core WordPress auto-updates on.
Because Easy Updates Manager maintains a track of what has been modified, you will be able to revert to a prior version of your website’s code that was stable in the event that something breaks after an update. Just head over to the Dashboard and select the Updates Options. There you will find the “Logs” tab.
Pros and Cons of Automatic WordPress Updates
You are now aware of how to prevent automatically occurring updates; nevertheless, should you actually disable them? There is no correct response, as this question is dependent on both you and your website.
Let’s take a look at the benefits as well as the potential drawbacks of using automatic updates. You then can choose whether to disable the automatic updates on your website.
Advantages of Automatic Updates in WordPress
WordPress’ security is improved by automatic updates. Many WordPress users forget to keep their plugins and WordPress itself up to date.
If you have automatic WordPress updates turned on, you won’t need to worry about keeping your website up to date whenever a new minor version of WordPress is made. These are moved out for reasons of maintenance and safety.
In the past, you had to pay for managed WordPress hosting to get automatic updates.
As you saw WordPress can update itself automatically if a major security gap is found in the core software or in one of the most popular plugins. No need to worry even if you are not checking daily your administrative WordPress Dashboard.
If you have numerous sites, updates that happen on their own can save you a lot of time. Even if you only have one website, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that WordPress is taking care of everything may be worth it.
Disadvantages of Automatic Updates in WordPress
The core WordPress team responsible for releasing updates makes sure that it goes without a hiccup.
Sometimes automatic updates of WordPress Core can stop your site from working.
As long as the core WordPress Files had not been modified in the past you are usually safe. But if you are dealing with modified WordPress core files automatic updates can override them and the website stops working.
The same is for updating plugins. Especially updates of more complex plugins like ECommerce or Website Builder can sometimes cause a lot of trouble.
Please note that in the past there had been plugins which did automatically update themselves without further notifying the webmaster.
Should I Disable Automatic WordPress Updates?
In all honesty, the choice is solely within your control at this point.
In 9 out of 10 cases automatic updates of the WordPress Core do no harm and you should not disable them.
But you can turn off automatic updates if you have an online store or don’t want to lose customers because your site is broken.
Just make sure you manually install these updates on time to keep your website safe. We have seen by far too many websites where the last updates happened even years ago.
We hope that this post helped you figure out how to disable WordPress updates for your WordPress.
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