WordPress 3.7′s Automatic Updates

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I was originally very concerned about the new automatic updates, because updates on a WordPress site occasionally break things. When I update, I want to get a quick backup right before, and have a restore plan in place, in case anything goes awry. It’s a risky procedure, and the thought of WordPress updating itself whenever it wants to is enough to send chills down my spine.

The first thing I looked for was how to disable the updates, which can be done by adding this to your wp-config.php:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

And in doing so, I found an article written by one of the WordPress devs{.colorbox}. It outlined the precautions they’ve taken to keep automatic updates from messing up your site. For instance, they realized that people that deploy their sites using some kind of version control will likely have something broken or out of sync if the automatic update happens, so they look for version control files and disable the automatic updater if they’re found. There are of a tn of checks that take place before your site decides to update.

Additionally, I realized that it’s not major versions that it updates, it’s only minor version, which are just bug fixes and security patches. If a bug fix or security patch breaks your site, you’re doing it wrong, and you probably should have much larger concerns about how your site is coded.

So, all-in-all there’s not much to be concerned about. Automatic updates keep sites safe, and shouldn’t break anything, unless you’re site was coded by a horrible human being.