WordPress 3.7 has been released and it comes with some brand new features. Some major features of this release is automatic core updates, strong password recommendations, better language support and improved search results (finally). Of all these features, many users are wondering what does this new automatic update means in WordPress 3.7 and how will it work. Let’s clear out all doubts related to this new feature.
What is Automatic Core Updates?
Starting from WordPress 3.7, minor releases such as maintenance and security related updates will be automatically applied to the installation, without any user input. Such type of security and maintenance updates usually do not break anyone’s website, theme or plugin. Just in case if a plugin does breaks, then it means that the plugin developer is not following best practices for interacting with WordPress core.
For example, updating from WordPress 3.7 to 3.7.1 will be carried out automatically since it is a minor release. But automatic update won’t be performed for major release such as from 3.7.1 to 3.8.
For those who’re keen on making changes and want to disable automatic updates, you’ll need to edit your wp-config.php file.
Why Disable WordPress Automatic Updates
Users who run WordPress for their clients may have their own ways to update WordPress when the new version is available. Also some users may want more control on how things work, and such users may prefer to update WordPress manually every time.
Also if you’re on managed WordPress hosting, then your host usually takes care of updating WordPress for users, but now with this new offering, all users will be able to get automatic updates. Some hosts may not be ready for this, or conflicts may occur. Such users will also want to disable automatic background updates.
How to Disable WordPress Automatic Updates
As said above, you’ll need to edit the wp-config.php file from the root of your WordPress installation. Add the below line of code to it:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );
This will turn off automatic updates in WordPress, and from now onwards, you’ll be notified whenever a minor or major release of WordPress is out. You’ll then need to manually update your WordPress installation.
Even though you can follow the above method anytime, WordPress strongly discourages disabling automatic updates. If the setting is left to default (turned on), then your WordPress will always stay up to date and will remain secure. If it’s turned off, then you’ll need to manually update it.
Update: The above code is updated based on Otto’s comment on this post.