With the Easy Updates Manager plugin you can manage the different types of WordPress updates in your backend and configure the automatic WordPress updates. This gives you full control over all updates and, if you wish, you can have them recorded in log files.
Update types in WordPress
WordPress distinguishes between four different update types:
- Core updates
- Theme updates
- Plugin updates
- Translation updates
The WordPress core updates are also divided into major and minor releases.
Automatic updates in WordPress
Automatic updates were introduced with WordPress 3.7 and are primarily used to close critical security gaps faster and more easily.
By default, automatic updates are therefore activated for minor releases of the WordPress core, which usually represent security and maintenance updates. Major releases with new features will still be installed manually.
Some new constants have been added to WordPress to configure automatic updates. These can be defined in wp-config.php in order to activate or deactivate the different types of updates . You can find detailed instructions about the various constants for WordPress updates in the WordPress Codex.
The configuration of WordPress updates with Easy Updates Manager succeeds without adapting the code and is therefore somewhat easier. In addition, more detailed settings are available with the plugin.
Easy Updates Manager
The plugin is free and installed on over 100,000 websites:
Manage all WordPress updates including individual updates, log files and much more. Also works fully with WordPress Multisite.
It is updated regularly and is compatible with the current WordPress version 4.9.4.
Configure WordPress updates
You can find the plugin's settings under Dashboard → Update options in your WordPress backend.
With the first option in the general settings, all updates can be completely deactivated. In addition to automatic and manual updates for core, themes and plugins are completely switched off. For security reasons, I would therefore strongly advise against this first option.
The second option allows you to precisely configure the automatic updates. Automatic updates for major and minor releases of the core, but also for all themes and plugins, can be activated here.
All update types can be deactivated individually below:
Important: Updates are completely deactivated, ie automatic and manual updates.
A few other settings allow the management of update notification emails and the recording of updates in log files - more on this later.
Enable automatic updates for themes and plugins
In addition to the general options, updates can also be activated and deactivated individually for each theme and plugin.
Log files for WordPress updates
If you have activated the recording or logging of WordPress updates in the general settings, you can view the logs in the Log files tab.
The logs show which themes and plugins have been updated and provide information on how the version number has changed. In addition to the time of the update, the user who performed the update is also displayed.