To Enable or Disable? Automatically Update WordPress, Themes & Plugins
There's no getting away from it, we all need to update WordPress themes & plugins and we want it done easier than ever. We have a choice to do it automatically or manually, and since we live in a world of ‘NOW’ most of us choose automatic.
Truth is if something makes my life easier, I’ll have it. And, that goes for pain-free updating or even disabling – I simply love simplicity! I personally think updating plugins and themes without having to click on a button takes the strain off your shoulders, it leaves you being able to concentrate on creating more awesome content.
It's good to have control over your site, having no control could compromise it. Think of it akin to Windows 7/8 etc update; it gave you complete control over its updating. This is likewise with WordPress, themes and plugins; if they’re not in tune with one another there could be breaks whether done automatically or manually.
Having control over your #WordPress site, #themes and #plugins. With a simple code there's no more need having to update theme manually. Take the pressure off!
For some folks, automatic updates take the guess work out of WordPress changes. Every host is different; some perform automatic updates for their customers, and others don’t so please check before making any changes.
The company I use Wealthy Affiliate automatically update WordPress, but do not update plugins or themes. I have the option to disable my automatic WordPress update which I haven't, and enable my plugins and themes automatically using a plugin or code.
How to Update WordPress Plugins
My first recommendation is to perform a daily backup of your site before updating anything on your site. This should be mandatory!
There are two ways to configure the auto update to say on or off:
- Use a WP.org plugin
- Configure the coding manually via FTP or cPanel
The healthier way to automatically update or disable your plugins is to change the code in wp.config.php; however not everybody feels at easy using this method. This is where a plugin can be convenient.
Using A Good Plugin
If you’re daring, it’s better to add some extra coding than have many plugins on your site. Enabling too many plugins effects WP load time can negatively impact your SERPS. As long as you back up your site prior to any changes you’ll be fine.
Here are some options to help you get started:
- Easy Updates Manager – free plugin
- Disable All WordPress Updates – free plugin
- Change your host that offer automatic updates
- Configuring an automatic WordPress core to update
Obviously, a plugin appears easier and if that’s what you prefer, then go ahead and activate it.
Update WordPress, Plugins & Themes With Code
To change the core WP behavior some simple code needs to added to the wp.config.php file. Prior to adding any code please ensure the code isn’t already written. Once activated you will receive update notifications.
/* Enable major WordPress automatic updates */define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );
To enable major automatic WordPress updates, add this code to your wp.config.php file.
/* Enable updating WordPress plugins and theme */
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );
To enable plugins and your theme add this code.
Disable Update, Plugins & Themes With Code
The problem with enabling automatic WordPress updates means you will receive daily promptings.
/* Disable major WordPress automatic updates */define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );
To disable all major automatic WordPress updates, add this code to your wp.config.php file.
/* Disable minor and major WordPress automatic updates */define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true )
To disable minor and major automatic WordPress updates, add this code to your wp.config.php file.
/* Disable update WordPress plugins and theme */add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_false' );add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_false' );
To disable plugins and your theme add this code.
/* Disable Daily WordPress automatic updates */add_filter( 'allow_dev_auto_core_updates', '__return_false' );
To disable the daily promptings add the following code to your function.php file.
Themes and Plugin Values
Notice the values at the end of each code for plugins and themes:
- True enables updates
- False disables updates
Should you prefer one or the other (plugin or theme), simply use your preferred code.
Any new code added to wp.config.php should be placed above a specific code, which can be found near the bottom end of the wp.config.php file as defined here:
/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */
Notice the value at the very end of each code for WordPress. They state ‘true’ or ‘false’, this value defines how the configuration works. For example:
- True enables development, major and minor updates
- False disables development, major and minor updates
Prior to adding any code please ensure the code isn’t already written. Any new code added to wp.config.php should be placed above a specific code, which can be found near the bottom end of the wp.config.php file as defined here:
/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */
If you own a whole load of websites, then configuring the wp.config.php could be invaluable. If you configure your sites to gain more control, then please remember to always update WordPress ASAP. The latest WP version offers higher security than its predecessors.
Where To Find Your Wp.Config.Php File Path
To change your wp.config.php file you need to know its path. Some hosts use cPanel and/or FTP; whichever is used, the wp.config.php is easily accessible from either.
- For cPanel follow this path: public_html folder – wp-admin – wp-content – wp.config.php
- For FTP using FileZilla follow this path: From the Remote site window click on httpdocs, then go to the Filename window to find wp.config.php
After changing your configurations, refresh your site to check it functions. If you’re left with a blank screen do not fret, it just means your host does not allow these permissions, with simple revert configurations and you’re good to go again.