Did you know that WordPress comes with automatic updates enabled for minor releases? This means that the WordPress.org team can automatically install security updates without requiring user input.
In this article, we’ll show you how to easily enable automatic updates in WordPress for major releases as well.
How WordPress Automatic Updates Work
WordPress introduced automatic updates feature in WordPress 3.7 (October 24, 2013). This allowed WordPress to automatically install a new minor release to improve your website security.
There is an option to disable automatic updates in WordPress. However, we recommend that you keep automatic updates enabled because they usually address crucial security issues and vulnerabilities.
Once you have set up automatic WordPress backups, you can go ahead and turn on automated WordPress update for major releases.
Method 1. Enable Automatic WordPress Updates for Major Releases Using a Plugin
This method is easier and recommended for all users.
First, you need to install and activate the Easy Updates Manager plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, you need to visit Dashboard » Updates Options page to setup the plugin.
Under the ‘Automatic updates’ section, click on the ‘Custom’ option. After that, click on the ‘Enable Major Releases’ button under the ‘Major WordPress Releases’ section.
The plugin will automatically store your settings and enable the major WordPress releases to be automatically updated.
Method 2. Manually Enable Automatic Update for Major Releases in WordPress
This method requires you to add code to your WordPress files.
First, you need to add the following line of code to your site’s wp-config.php file.
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );
There is one little problem with this code. It also enables development or nightly updates.
To disable nightly builds and development updates, you need to add the following code in a site-specific plugin or Code Snippets plugin.
add_filter( 'allow_dev_auto_core_updates', '__return_false');
This filter will disable automatic updates for nightly builds or development updates.
Your WordPress site is now ready to automatically update itself, without your input, whenever there is a new WordPress version available.
Frequently Asked Questions about WordPress Automatic Updates
1. Why do I need to install WordPress updates?
WordPress is a regularly maintained software. Thousands of developers contribute to make WordPress better and secure.
You need to install WordPress updates as soon as they are available. This ensures that your website has the latest security patches, new features, and best speed and performance.
2. Are updates safe for my website?
As the world’s most popular website builder, WordPress updates immediately become available to millions of websites. The core team works very hard to ensure that they are absolutely safe for all websites to install.
However, we recommend everyone to always back your WordPress website before updates. This allows you to quickly revert back in case anything goes wrong after an update.
3. Can I also automatically update WordPress plugins?
By default, WordPress requires you to manually install plugin updates. However, you can enable automatic updates for plugins as well. See our guide on how to enable automatic updates for WordPress plugins.
4. Can I install updates on all my websites from a single dashboard?
By default, you’ll need to login to each WordPress website to install updates. Luckily, you can use tools to manage multiple WordPress sites. These tools make it easier to install updates on all your WordPress sites without having to login to each site.