What is WordPress cron job (WP-Cron)?


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Added: 10.08.2021 12:10:37     Last updated: 10.08.2021 13:47:41

WP-Cron is a built-in cron job (wp-cron.php) in WordPress that is used for several different tasks.
Below are some examples of things WP-Cron does:

  • Checks for WordPress kernel updates, themes, plugins
  • Publishes articles
  • Backup plugin is running at a predefined time

WP-Cron is a web-based system and runs every time someone visits the website. This is in most cases not a problem and works well in many cases.

Problems with low traffic websites
If you have a website that has little traffic then WP-Cron will not be a good solution. Because WP-Cron does not run without traffic on the website, there will be tasks that does not complete.

Problems with websites with a lot of traffic
If your website has a lot of traffic then WP-Cron could cause a lot of resource usage which in turn could make the website slower for visitors.

Plugins
If you want to have control over WP-Cron, then you can use inserts for this. For example, the WP Crontrol plugin will show all cron jobs where you can deactivate, run, edit or add cron jobs.

External WP-Cron
For websites with low and high traffic, we recommend setting up external running of WordPress cron job. Medium-traffic websites can also set up remote running of wp-cron.php.
Read more about how to disable WP-Cron here, as well as set up remote execution of wp-cron.php here.