I have created a web site, I want to activate minor updates (for security) on it and disable major updates (to avoid problems with themes or plugin or my functions.php which could become incompatible with the major new release).

Is it safe to do so? Will update against system vulnerabilities be done on the old major version by WordPress team, even if there is a new major version? Thanks

1 Answer 1


Yes and no, it depends.

When a security issue is fixed, it's usually backported, so officially the answer is no, you don't have to update to the latest major release.

However Backporting only goes back so far though, and you'll eventually be left in the dark given enough time. This would take many years currently, but there have been a lot of discussions suggesting the current back-porting policy is too generous and creates too high a burden.

You also run into other problems, as plugins and themes may not be able to update themselves, and PHP updates from your host may not work well with older versions of WordPress. E.g. PHP 8.0 is best used with the latest versions of WordPress to avoid issues.

Ideally keep within 2 or so major versions of the current release, and always apply minor updates. This brings you in line with many enterprise WordPress hosts, and gives a little room for testing.

Remember, WordPress updates should not break your site. If a theme or plugin breaks due to an update that's usually a warning sign that the plugin/theme is of poor quality. You can also look up the field guide posts in advance for new WordPress releases for breaking changes, so none of this should be a surprise. You should also be testing releases before applying them.

  • Thanks.I haven't thought about the problem that plugin still update and so may not be compatible with the previous version of WordPress. Apr 4, 2022 at 22:23
  • I will to still updates my plugin, apparently it's possible, but it may bring the problem in the previous message Apr 4, 2022 at 22:31
  • it's highly dependent on the plugin, a plugin update may use functions from a newer version of WordPress, or it may just bump the test up to field in the plugin header, eitherway if you're hoping you can set and forget, ignore major WP updates, you can't. You can freeze your codebase and only do minor updates but if you intend to update plugins you'll eventually run into issues
    – Tom J Nowell
    Apr 5, 2022 at 9:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.