As Gutenberg will change everything about WordPress, you need to take control of your updates until all the glitches are worked out.
See how to use the Easy Updates Manager plugin to control when you do both minor and major updates.
What’s the Difference in a Minor and Major Update?
A major update is going from 4.6 to 4.7, or from 4.9 to 5.0.
A minor update is going from 4.9.5 to 4.9.6.
Why Do I Need to Control Updates Now?
Minor updates used to only contain bug fixes and security releases.
And we used to be able to allow minor changes to automatically update, mainly so those security fixes would hit our sites immediately.
But, the WordPress devs reserved version 5.0 for the release of Gutenberg into the WordPress core.
Because of that, they have to include major updates into what should be minor releases.
And, because Gutenberg is such a major change, it’s likely that we will want to be even more vigilant than usual about any core update for at least a year.
NOTE: When you turn updates off by either method shown here, you will no longer see update notices in your site. You will need to be extra vigilant to follow me to watch for when an update is available, and when it is safe to do.
The fastest way to get notified is on the BlogAid Facebook page, where I post and livestream breaking news.
The next best way is to subscribe to BlogAid News.
You’ll receive periodic updates with critical news you need, plus my regular blog posts, including Tips Tuesday, which is a weekly roundup of site news and tips that you can’t afford to miss, especially now with all these site changes happening.
NOTE: If you are on SiteGround Hosting, they have made themselves the middle-man in your update process.
You will need to open a support ticket and ask them to remove that feature so you can fully control your WP updates.
Specifically, ask them to remove the following from your wp-config.php file:
# Disables all core updates. Added by SiteGround Autoupdate:
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false )
Do not continue to use their update feature via cPanel or any other method. In other words, don’t set that thing to delay 72 hours or such. You want to remove them from being in the middle completely.
Two Ways to Control Updates
You can either hard code the control of updates in your wp-config.php file, or use a plugin.
If you are a site tech, and know how to take proper precautions to backup your WordPress core files, then you may want to use the hard-coded method.
If you are not a site tech, please use the plugin method.
NOTE: I do not offer on-demand support for either method if you goof it up, or have other issues on your site.
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, by all means hire a qualified tech to do it right the first time. It will be WAY cheaper.
How to Hard Code Update Control
Add the following to your wp-config.php file, at the bottom.
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );
(run it through a plain text editor first, of course)
This will turn off ALL WordPress updates, both major and minor.
There are other directives you can input to get finer control. If you want those, just Google it.
How to Use the Easy Updates Manager Plugin
For non-techs, this plug is the best way to go and will keep the whole process super simple and clean for you.
Install the plugin from the WordPress plugin repository (same place you get all other free plugins).
Once activated, you’ll find the link for the plugin in the left admin sidebar,
under Dashboard > Update Options.
The plugin offers a TON of features for specific control of every update-able item on your site.
But for this tutorial, we’re going to keep it super simple, and focused on the temporary situation we have with WordPress core updates.
Ensure you are on the General tab.
Then scroll down to the WordPress Core Updates section.
Click on Disable Core Updates, and it will turn green, signifying that it is on.
There is no Save button or such for the settings.
NOTE: Don’t turn any other setting on. You don’t need them.
How to Allow an Update
Reminder: You will not see a WordPress update notice on your site while this plugin is active.
So, your really do need to be sure you follow me for notification when updates are available.
Be sure you get a full backup before attempting any updates to your site.
Once a WordPress update does roll out, and it is safe to do it, follow the instructions below.
Go to your Dashboard > Update Options.
From the General tab, scroll down to the WordPress Core Updates section.
Click Enable Core Updates. It should turn green to signify that it is active.
Then, go to Dashboard > Updates.
You’ll see all of your available updates, as usual.
If you don’t see a WordPress update available, then click the Check Again button, so it will refresh.
Then update WordPress and check your site.
Turn Updates Back Off
If all is well with your site, return to the Update Options, and Disable WordPress Core Updates again.
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