Automatic WordPress Updates

WPX Hosting is a Managed WordPress hosting company, this means that the lion’s share of technical work and maintenance is done by us, so you don’t have to.

As a standard, your WordPress website updates regularly for greater security. In WordPress 3.7 a new feature was introduced to the core functionality – the automatic updates.

This article explains the way those auto-updates work, and how you can configure them manually.

Why is it important to update WordPress?

Regarding site safety and functionality, it’s important to regularly update WordPress installations like core, themes, and plugins. WordPress updates help keep your website safe and bug-free. The old and outdated versions of your core, themes, and plugins could be vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals. Updating your WordPress, keeps you safe as well, while you have the newest features, better compatibility, and a smooth WordPress experience.

That’s why we recommend keeping your WordPress websites up-to-date.

Types of updates in WordPress.

In WordPress, there are four types of automatic background updates:

  1. Core updates;
  2. Plugin updates;
  3. Theme updates;
  4. Translation file updates.

Core updates are subdivided into three types:

  1. Minor core updates, such as maintenance and security releases;
  2. Major core release updates;
  3. Core development updates, known as the “bleeding edge” are not enabled by default.

Before WordPress 5.6, by default, every site had automatic updates enabled for minor core releases and translation files only.

If your WordPress site is running on version 5.6 and above, then it has automatic updates enabled for both minor and major releases.

What if I want to control my updates?

Apart from WordPress plugins and WordPress themes/templates, there is the matter of updating WordPress itself (remember, this is often referred to as a core update).

For beginners, we recommend managing the WordPress Updates through our new feature on our hosting plan. Please check out our article about that topic here.

How else can I control my updates? (wp-config.php)

For those who are not afraid of editing the wp-config.php file of your website(s), there are multiple ways to enable/disable different parts of the auto-update system of WordPress.

Keep in mind that editing your wp-config.php can be risky, that’s why we recommend creating a personal backup that can be restored if something goes wrong.

To access the wp-config.php file, you can use our File Manager feature from your WPX control panel or connect to an FTP client like FileZilla.

Once, you find the wp-config.php file, add the following line of code to disable any automatic WordPress updates:

define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

Keep in mind that, you need to add the code, right above the line that says:
/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */

Also, editing the wp-config.php file allows you to modify the settings of your WordPress core updates, for example:

  • To enable minor updates, you need to add the following code:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', 'minor' );
  • Enables all the core updates, including minor and major:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );
  • Disable all core updates:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

Feel free to change the true to another value according to your needs, like false or minor.

If you have any other questions on the topic, don’t hesitate to contact the WPX Support Team via live chat (use the bottom right-hand widget) and they will respond and help within 30 seconds or less.

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