Disable Automatic Wordpress Updates

Have you ever received emails such as ‘ Howdy! Your site at http://——.com has been updated automatically to WordPress 4.7.2 ‘. And what if you didn’t set it up that way during the installation? Fortunately, the fix is simple enough.

Automatic updates are a great way to ensure your site remains secure without much effort on your part, but what if you are using all kinds of plugins, themes, etc? Bugs are inevitable, especially in early releases, and I like to give the developers some time to update, patch, and fix what needs to be fixed before making the move. When I first installed my site, there was an option asking me if I wanted to allow automatic updates, to which I of course unchecked that option. Well, the setting seems to have been overridden, ignoring my preference.

I believe that simplification works best when the change is not meant to be permanent, but when it is, I would rather steer away from plugins and change or add a measly line of coding myself. Some folks are intimidated by the mere idea of touching their wp-config.php file, and that’s okay, because I’ve also included a simple fix using a nifty plugin.

Method 1: Editing the WP-Config.php File

You will need to log into your web hosting account. Most web hosting companies nowadays use Cpanel to simplify things, but the process should be similar either way. At the moment my Cpanel is using a theme called Paper_Lantern which is the modern standard. If you are using the classic theme, items should still be similarly named, but they might be placed differently. You will need to navigate into ‘ File Manager‘.

In file manager, there should be a folder called public_html, but if there isn’t, try to look for index or even your own domain name as the folder.

Click on that folder, and if you have more than one website, any domain other than your main one will be listed by folders. You need to navigate to the folder of the website you want to change.

Since I have more than 1 domain, I had to look for newgenmadness.com inside the public_html folder. Then you should see a folder structure similar to the image on the left.

Right-click on wp-config.php and a menu should pop up with several options. You need to choose ‘edit‘ and your wp-config.php file will open in a new window.

You need to copy and paste the following line of code: define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false ); right below define(‘NONCE_SALT’, and I have a visual set up to show you where you can easily insert the code.

Click ‘Save Changes‘ and you are done. Now, go back to your WordPress dashboard > Updates, hit refresh and you should be met with:

Method 2: Disabling Automatic WordPress Updates Using A Plugin

If you do decide to make use of a plugin, I’ve selected one that is multi-functional. What does this mean? This particular plugin can take care of all functions.php lines of coding in a simple, and familiar environment. You never have to leave the comfort of your WordPress dashboard. This particular plugin is called ‘ Code Snippets ‘ and you may get it from here or search it via plugins on the wp dashboard.

The first step is to activate the plugin from your ‘Plugins‘ menu > Installed plugins > Activate. 

You will find the tool under it’s own tab, called ‘ Snippets ‘ and if you hover over the word Snippets, you will receive extra options.

We are particularly interested in ‘Add new’. The title of the snippet is not important, it’s just there so you can differentiate between your snippets of code. Where it says code, go ahead and copy and paste the following line: define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );.Scroll down to where it says ‘Settings‘ and check ‘Only run in administration area‘. Click ‘Save changes and activate’. Go back to your WordPress dashboard: Updates, hit refresh and you should see the changes reflected right away.

This concludes our tutorial. I hope you guys enjoyed it, and feel free to leave your comments or observations below!