Disabling WordPress auto-updates

I’ve already written about WordPress auto-updates, a new hotly contested feature of WordPress 5.5.  I’ve previously said that the best advice I can give is to make sure that plugins involved in non-critical functionality should probably be set to auto-update, as if the plugin stops working, it’s most likely to only affect that functionality and the loss of it is certainly better than the loss of your whole site.  More critical plugins, you should look to keep on top of updates manually (or have someone do it for you) to ensure that nothing is going to break.

If you are maintaining multiple WordPress sites, then one of the easiest ways to do this is to use a central maintenance system, such as ManageWP or MainWP.  In this case, because you are managing the plugin upgrades from a central dashboard, you most likely want to disable the auto-updates within the site itself.

If you want to completely disable all updates, you can do this by adding the following line to the “wp–config.php”……

define( 'automatic_updater_disabled', true );

If you want to individually disable themes or plugins only, then you need to add filters in your theme’s “functions.php” file, which is maybe going a little more in depth than most people would want to go.

A much easier way to go is to use the Easy Updates Manager – this plugin allows you to configure not only if different types of items (core, themes, plugins, etc.) should auto-update or not, but also allows you to individually configure individual plugins and themes.  This is great because it allows you to differentiate between your critical and non-critical.