Disable Automatic upgrades for a customised plugin

Update, for WordPress 2.8+: Please be advised that any mention of option_update_plugins(and friends) hooks will not be fired. This is due to the new Transients in WordPress 2.8. You’ll need to use the transient_update_plugins(and friends) hook instead. preferably both for 2.7 compat. – See http://groups.google.com/group/wp-hackers/browse_thread/thread/a12f70d6b649c917 for some background.

Recently there was a question posted to the WP-Hackers list asking how to disable Automatic upgrade for a plugin, Since it had been highly modified.

I was going to post in some code for it, But well.. I’ve been busy. So instead, I’ve just decided to sit back and write it up here instead now that I’ve got a day off.

For my examples, I’m going to use eShop (Simply because it was the only plugin which needed an upgrade at the time of writing this!).

So, You’ve modified the Core files of eShop because it doesnt achieve what you want, Or doesn’t have filters on something, A few days later, Up pops a update notice:

image1

Now, You don’t particularly want to Accidentally upgrade to the latest version and loose your changes, Or worse, a client upgrade and then complain it no longer works!

Now, Depending on the usage, Theres a few options and ways to go from here,

  1. Disable the upgrade notice entirely
  2. Remove the ability to do core upgrades
  3. Display a different notice instead
  4. Display a the update notice, And a reasoning for the removal

Disable the upgrade Notice entirely

This is quite straight forward really, And doesnt take much effort, Simply insert this tidbit of code into the plugins main file:

[sourcecode lang=”php”]
add_filter(‘option_update_plugins’, ‘plugin_prevent_upgrade’);
function plugin_prevent_upgrade($opt) {
$plugin = plugin_basename(__FILE__);
if ( $opt && isset($opt->response[$plugin]) ) {
//Theres an update, So lets remove it.
unset($opt->response[$plugin]);
}
return $opt;
}
[/sourcecode]

Simple enough?

Of course, This method has some drawbacks, The client (Or yourself) is not notified that theres an upgrade available for the plugin, Which could open yourself up to potential exploitation later down the line if a Plugin is found to have a vulnerability in it.

Remove the Ability for the plugin to use Automatically install updates

Much like the previous, Its rather simply to achieve this too:

[sourcecode lang=”php”]
add_filter(‘option_update_plugins’, ‘plugin_prevent_upgrade’);
function plugin_prevent_upgrade($opt) {
$plugin = plugin_basename(__FILE__);
if ( $opt && isset($opt->response[$plugin]) ) {
//Theres an update, So lets remove the package to prevent automatic upgrades:
$opt->response[$plugin]->package = ”;
}
return $opt;
}
[/sourcecode]

image3

Bingo, The upgrade functionality is disabled, Yet, Still notified of an update!

Of course, This might lead someone to question “Why cant i update it?”, Which is where the next 2 options come in handy

Display a custom notice

This mainly uses the code from section 1, But adds a bit of an extra step, Rather straight forward:

[sourcecode lang=”php”]
add_filter(‘option_update_plugins’, ‘plugin_prevent_upgrade’);
function plugin_prevent_upgrade($opt) {
$plugin = plugin_basename(__FILE__);
if ( $opt && isset($opt->response[$plugin]) ) {
//Theres an update. Remove warning
unset($opt->response[$plugin]);

//Now we’ve prevented the upgrade taking place, It might be worth to give users a note that theres an update available:
add_action("after_plugin_row_$plugin", ‘plugin_update_disabled_notice’);
}
return $opt;
}
function plugin_update_disabled_notice() {
echo ‘<tr><td class="plugin-update" colspan="5">There is an update available for this plugin, However the plugin has been modified by XYZ Corp.<br />If you require functionality introduced with the new version, Please contact us for a quote to customize the new version of the plugin for your uses.</td></tr>’;
}
[/sourcecode]

image4

Straight forward, Works well, Looks Ok-ish.. But isnt very helpful.

Disable automatic upgrade, And display a custom message

This is my favourite method, Which is why its been left ’till last:

[sourcecode lang=”php”]
add_filter(‘option_update_plugins’, ‘plugin_prevent_upgrade’);
function plugin_prevent_upgrade($opt) {
$plugin = plugin_basename(__FILE__);
if ( $opt && isset($opt->response[$plugin]) ) {
//Theres an update. Remove automatic upgrade:
$opt->response[$plugin]->package = ”;
//Now we’ve prevented the upgrade taking place, It might be worth to give users a note that theres an update available:
add_action("after_plugin_row_$plugin", ‘plugin_update_disabled_notice’);
}
return $opt;
}
function plugin_update_disabled_notice() {
echo ‘<tr><td class="plugin-update" colspan="5">There is an update available for this plugin, However the plugin has been modified by XYZ Corp.<br />If you require functionality introduced with the new version, Please contact us for a quote to customize the new version of the plugin for your uses.</td></tr>’;
}
[/sourcecode]

image5

Looks Alright, And for a non-power user, The extra warning is not going to bother them (hopefully), You can add some custom code to allow users to hide the update if you wish, But i’ll leave that up to you. The only downside to this is that it takes up so much room, You can style it however you want of course.

Also, You might want to prefix those functions with something other than “plugin” :) don’t particularly want to end up with conflicts!

Please Note: The technique above will only work for an active plugin. If your customer is going to deactivate the plugin for some reason, You might like to hard-code the plugin_basename() and put the PHP in your theme instead, Remember, A Theme can do everything that a Plugin can (And more!)

Sorry for the lack of indenting in those code pieces, I cant work out how to get the plugin to preserve formatting :)

9 Replies to “Disable Automatic upgrades for a customised plugin”

  1. Great article. I knew a lot of this, but ity’s nice to see it all in one place. :)

    For your last example, you *could* just replace the whole thing with a custom message. That is, the custom message can include the “[Version XXX] is available” bit, including the link. Then you don’t take up so much space. Also, a little inline CSS might tighten up the line spacing. ;-)

    1. You’re probably right.. But that was more hassle duplicating the functions and all that.. If someones writing a WordPress Plugin, Then they should be able to take what i’ve got here and work out how to use it for their purpose.. I’m not writing a dummies guide (Unfortunately some plugin “developers” need it..)

  2. Exactly what I need for my next plugin update. The new version requires PHP5 and WP2.7 and I don’t want people without those to upgrade and break their installation. Thank you!

  3. Useful – thanks. Other visitors might like to know that in the code samples above,
    &amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp;
    should be replaced with
    &&

  4. When you say that I should insert it into the plugin’s “main file” what does that mean? Does it matter where in the file? Thanks!!

    1. The main file being the one with the Plugin header (ie. /* Plugin Name: XYZ..)

      It doesn’t matter where in the file, just as long as it’s not within another code block.

      The simplest place is to place it after the header:

      <php
      /*
      Plugin Name: XY..
      */
       <-- Insert the custom code here
      class PluginXYZ {..
      
  5. Tried as per instructions on wordpress 3.21, but doesn’t work. Can u please suggest the best way to implement on new wordpress.

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