How to disable the wp-cron.php in WordPress

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How to disable the wp-cron.php in WordPress

In WordPress, a file called wp-cron.php is used to schedule tasks and automate some processes, such as publishing posts and so on.

WordPress is set up to call wp-cron.php every time someone visits your site and there is a scheduled task present. WordPress calls the file and checks if anything is due to run, or be posted, and so on.

This doesn’t really make a difference to low traffic sites, but when your site starts receiving higher numbers of visitors it can impact the load speed of your site and create resource usage issues.

In this blog post, we will be showing you how to disable the wp-cron call, and how to set up a cron job to call the wp-cron every six hours.

Disabling the wp-cron.php default behavior

Login to your cPanel and click on the File Manager.

cPanel Screenshot






Navigate to the wp-config.php file, select it and then click on the Code Editor.

cPanel Screenshot












Press ctrl-f to bring up the search box for the Code Editor, and enter DB_COLLATE. Underneath the line with DB_COLLATE in it, add the following code –

define(‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, ‘true’);

It should look like this –

Code editor screengrab





Click save changes in the top right.

WordPress will now NOT automatically run the wp-cron.php file every time your site has a new visit.

Set up a manual cron to run wp-cron.php

The next step is to set up a manual cron that will call the wp-cron.php. We will set it up to call every six hours.

cPanel or Plesk?

Login to your cPanel, scroll down to the advanced section, and click on Cron Jobs.

cPanel screenshot







In the common settings drop-down, select Once per hour.

cPanel screenshot










Select every sixth hour from the hour settings dropdown.

Add the following code to the Command field –

cd /home/username/public_html; php -q wp-cron.php

Replace username with your cpanel username, in this example uwhvideo –

cd /home/uwhvideo/public_html; php -q wp-cron.php

cPanel screenshot















Remember, the example path shown here is for a primary domain. If you are using anaddon domain, or your WordPress installation is in a subdirectory you will need to alter the path accordingly.

Click Add New Cron Job.

You will get a message confirming the job has been added, and you will be able to see it in the Current Cron Jobs list.

cPanel screenshot

Sara Elicon
Sara Elicon

Sara started her technical writing career years ago as an IT Project Manager creating both business and technical documents. With experience in composing manuals and guides, she turned her love of writing toward consumer tech and the internet. She is currently working as a writer and CEO of MoboHost.

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