• Sun. Oct 17th, 2021

Adding Control To Your WordPress 3.7+ Updates

Making Sure You Control Your WordPress Not The Other Way Around

In case you missed this important detail, as I know I missed it at first, there is a way to control the new upcoming updates from WordPress 3.7 and newer.

The plugin is called, Oddly enough: Update Control


This plugin adds some options to your Settings > General page, letting you specify how auto-upgrades should function, without the need to specify constants or add filters by hand.

There was also a recent 3.7.1 update, which fixed did fix a few bugs from the major update.

I personally did not wait around for the “automatic” updating process. In fact, as of this moment I am still looking to determine exactly how quickly the automatic updates will take effect.

Personally we will likely disable the automatic update issues until such time as we are comfortable with the manner in which they are released. We will be looking at time frames of release, if any issues arise during updates and frequency of updates.

We’ll keep you posted on what we find.

Edit: From the Update Control PLugin FAQ page:

Why doesn’t this Plugin have its own settings page?

Plugin settings can be found under Settings -> General.

Not having a separate settings page is a decision based on UI philosophy. The Plugin simply isn’t complex enough to warrant a separate settings page. Perhaps a different admin page, such as Dashboard -> Updates, would be more appropriate; however, core does not provide a way to hook into that page to add settings sections.


How do I use this Plugin in a multisite network?

Activate the Plugin on the main network site, and configure options via Settings -> General.


What do “Minor”, “Major”, and “Development” core updates mean?

  • “Minor”: minor versions will be updated automatically. Minor versions in WordPress are “X.Y.Z”. A minor-version update is a change from “X.Y.Z” to “X.Y.Z+1”. This is the default core behavior.
  • “Major”: major versions will be updated automatically. Major versiosn in WordPress are “X.Y”. A major-version update is a change from “X.Y” to “X.Y+1”.
  • “Development”: development versions will be updated automatically. Development versions, also referred to as “bleeding-edge nightlies”, are daily updates in the current development branch. While usually quite stable, this option should be used only if you’re comfortable with using potentially unstable, development software. This option should only be used on production sites if your name is “Otto”.

Which setting should I use?

Core Updates:

  • If you want minor versions to update automatically (default WordPress core behavior): leave “Automatic Core Update Level?” set to “Minor”.
  • If you want both minor and major versions to update automatically: set “Automatic Core Update Level?” to “Major”.
  • If you want bleeding-edge nightlies: set “Automatic Core Update Level?” to “Development”
  • If you want to disable core updates altogether: set “Automatic Updates Enabled?” to “no”

Plugin/Theme/Translation Updates:

  • If you disable updates, Plugin, Theme, and Translation updates will also be disabled
  • Separately enable Plugin, Theme, and Translation updates via the appropriate checkboxes

What are advanced settings?

Disable VCS Check

  • By default, WordPress will check for the existence of VCS (version control system) files, and if any are found, will not perform automatic updates. Selecting “Disable VCS Check?” will force WordPress to bypass this check, and perform updates regardless of the existence of VCS files.

Update Result Emails

  • By default, WordPress sends an update result email for successful, failed, and critically failed updates
  • Selectively disable emails for each result type via the appropriate checkboxes

Debug Email

  • Enable this option to enable the debug email. This email is sent after ever occurrence of an attempted update, for core, Plugins, Themes, and translation files; and whether the attempt succeeds, fails, or fails critically.

Derek Wood

Derek is a Online Web Professional. He works with clients and customers in order to implement Web-Based solutions for businesses. These include websites, SEO, marketing, and company branding. His own company, Shadow Dragon Unlimited has been providing these services to local businesses in his Western Massachusetts area and online since 2003.