Stop automatic WordPress theme updates with Sparkling

I am web developer but new to the WordPress world. I installed Sparkling theme on my site and made a couple of customizations to it to make it work they way I wanted. A couple of days later I noticed all my customizations had been overwritten.

So my question is this… how do I stop Sparkling from updating automatically (and overwriting my customizations), OR even better… how can I customize Sparkling in such a way that the template updates don’t overwrite my customizations. I come from the Joomla world where this was possible with template overrides, but I don’t see that possibilty in WordPress.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me,


Themes does not update themselves automatically. WordPress updates itself for security releases such as 4.2.1, 4.2.2 etc. But not to a major releases that could potentially break some website functionality.

The only way you can configure theme to update itself is by using filter like this:

add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

You can read more about this filter here but by default this is not included in our themes and is now included on WordPress.

For WordPress themes to make them update safe you can use Child Theme. A sample Child Theme for Sparkling theme can be downloaded from here. It uses a similar template/function override just like you Joomla but with a slightly different approach.