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How To Safely Update Your WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugin Updates

Written by Robert Lane

I have a true passion for website and business development. Over two decades of experience planning, developing and implementing state-of-the-art web-based solutions for businesses.

July 3, 2022

While the idea of updating your plug-ins may make you cringe a bit, we’re here to tell you that new WordPress website updates generally shouldn’t cause any problems for your website. If you do them safely and correctly, that is. If you are unsure how to do that, we’re here to help. Let’s look at how to safely update both WordPress and your WordPress plugins.

Why Should I Update My WordPress Plugins?

You should update WordPress plugins to keep them safe from hackers and your site running smoothly. Security breaches caused by not performing plug-in updates are an avoidable headache. For this reason, you should also consider updating plugins. Bear in mind that plugins may fail if you do not perform updates.

Rather than visiting your plugins or WordPress manually, you won’t need to do so if you have never done it before. Having someone show you when updates are in order is safer and will prevent any website crashes or other problems.

How Often Should I Update My Site?

Preferably, you will want to check for updates to your site at least monthly or perhaps weekly if your site has eCommerce, memberships, or other advanced features. Updating your site prevents the possibility of missing important updates, having site crashes, and dealing with conflicts. Keeping your site updated also makes troubleshooting simpler for you and your team.

If you need to update plug-ins but would like some help from a reliable source, let s get started.

Step 1: Check for Updates
The easiest way to determine if your site requires updates is to look at the sidebar WordPress site update icon. It’s usually found next to the location of your site’s name or under the Dashboard tab. Both of these icons will show the number of available updates.

If your site contains any updates, you may want to visit the WordPress Updates page. Here you’ll see if the new version of WordPress is there, as well as view any updated plug-ins.

Step 2: Prepare a Backup
Before making any updates, it s wise to have a full site backup. A good backup ensures you won’t have to start again from scratch if anything unexpected happens. You can make substantial changes to your site’s code when you update WordPress plug-ins and WordPress. Sometimes, there can be conflicts between the updates and plug-ins, and this can cause problems.

Luckily, most web hosts have a convenient automatic backup function, meaning that all you need to do is set it and forget it. But, if you’re not so lucky, most web hosts have information on creating a manual backup. Once you’ve completed the backup, it’s time to move on to the third step.

Step 3: Update WordPress
It is essential to remember about plug-in updates that, in many cases, they are intended for the latest version of WordPress. Thus, ensuring you have the latest WordPress upgrade before updating your plug-ins is critical.

The current version of the WordPress software page on WordPress Updates will say whether you have the newest version of WordPress. Install the most recent version, then move on to the next step!

Step 4: Update Plugins
Thankfully, this is your opportunity to go crazy and update your WordPress site at once, but be careful not to do so too haphazardly. You may be wise to keep an eye on auto-cast of plug-ins that are a vital component of your site s functionality. Some examples would be Gutenberg, Divi Builder, or other page builders. If you leave a plug-in that holds your website together unattended, you may result in a website that is not working because of one problem.

Please browse the list of all your available updates and select them separately. Reviewing the list of updates will allow you to see if any of your plug-ins are causing problems. As soon as you know the source of the issue, load your backup file, and troubleshoot that particular plug-in.

Congratulations! Once you have completed your upgrades and seen that your website is running well, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for a well-done job. You have successfully updated WordPress and its plug-ins in a timely and safe fashion.

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