Carol showing off a newly planted coyote bush that she planted at Magic's newest restoration site in Palo Alto

How Did my WordPress get Automatically Updated?

I got an email the other day saying my site was automatically updated to WordPress 4.3.2. How did that happen? I’m self-hosting this website, and I’d not logged in for a couple of months.

It turns out whenever your site requests a page, that is, someone visits your website, this page load will trigger a check for updates.

The update runs in the background via wp-cron. wp_cron checks whether there are any scheduled events in the database. If yes it calls spawn_cron(), which starts another PHP process to do all the actual work.

Lots of processes in WordPress are handled by the cron system: scheduled post publishing, processing pings, update checks, etc.

The automatic update only happens when releases a new minor or security update. Otherwise (for a “major” release like WP 4.3 to 4.4) you must do the update manually by logging in to the back end.

I got this information from Thanks to “DisgruntledGoat” for asking and others for answering and explaning.

One thought on “How Did my WordPress get Automatically Updated?”

  1. Look at all that mulch for the voles to hide in!

    The organizers of this 2016 planting along Deer Creek, said many of the plants died due to voles eating the roots. For the December 2017 plantings, we are to scrape the mulch away, and hack out the weeds, to leave bare soil around the plants, which voles won’t like.

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