The Scenario

You are building a WordPress site. You are working down your to-do list of annoyances, feature needs, etc.

As is usually the case, you have found the handful of plugins that do almost exactly what you are looking for. But some tweaking will be required to get rid of the almost and give you exactly what you want.

You set about styling the plugin output through style sheets and through trial and error, you have it. . .


Well, except for one minor thing that is going to bug the crap out of you and can’t be styled.  You are either going to:

  1. Delete the offending plug in and curse the developer who didn’t have the foresight to design to your exact specifications.
  2. Jump into the plugin file and search for a way to fix it.
  3. Live with this annoyance.

Realizing that #3 is no option at all and apologizing to the developer for his benevolence in giving you free code as you open door #2, you realize you can make a minor change to his code and get EXACTLY what you want and be done!

New Version Available


Yep you are done . . . until the plugin has an update.

WordPress is nothing if not persistent in letting you know you aren’t current. You make a promise to yourself to not update the modified plugin. But after a few months, you are tired of being nagged “Update Available” in the dashboard and you break your promise. You accept all updates and bring the imperfection back.

Now, you have to either look back through your development notes (you did take notes as you made all these changes right?) and remake the change. Or revisit option #3.

There’s Got To Be A Better Way!

Hat Tip: Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary

The quicker solution here is to disable updates on the modified plugin.

But of course, you won’t find an option in the WordPress Dashboard to selectively disable updates on Plugins.

The Solution


To make up for this Dashboard shortcoming, open up the modified plugin file. At the top of the php file, find the plugin metadata and change the version number.

I typically change the to version 100.100.100 so it is easy to distinguish as a hacked plugin, but you can put in any value you want so long as it is larger than the current version of the plugin.

Hopefully this will save you some time and frustration.