How to Update a WordPress Plugin

Hey Everyone, this post will be describing how to keep your WordPress Plugins update.  Having any kind of website will require you to keep elements of it up-to-date for a number of reason, including keeping it secure for you and your readers.  For starters, I will be describing what a WordPress Plugin is and then I will describe how to update a WordPress plugin

What is a WordPress Plugin?

A WordPress Plugin is software that allows you to add features onto your website to improve the functionality of it for yourself and your visitor.

There are literally thousands of them to do all sorts of things, from monitoring social media engagement, capturing email address for those who want to sign up for newsletters to being able to add photo galleries to your website.

There are free versions and some paid versions. If you want a bit more information on WordPress Plugins including how to install a WordPress Plugin, then check out this post.

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Why is keeping your Plugins Up-to-date So Important?

OK, anyone who is already using WordPress, will realise that there are normally updates available most times you log in to your website. So why is that?

If it is a brand-new plugin, then there will be a number of updates as and when problems arise that need addressing.

But the majority of updates will be to help keep you safe online. New updates will typically be to improve the security features of it to protect the information there of the owner of the website and the user visiting the website.

They also do updates to increase the performance of certain elements and remove any bugs that may have been in a previous version.

There can be a slight risk when updating a WordPress plugin, so it might be prudent to back up your website, but this would be a good habit to get into on a weekly basis anyway. But I haven’t experienced any issues updating any plugin I have had.

How to Update WordPress Plugins

I will be describing how to update WordPress plugins both individually and by bulk.  If you have updates available for a number of plugins and they are plugins you have used for a while and haven’t experienced any issues in the past with updating them, you could typically select them to update.  But if it is a new plugin for you, or one that you have experienced trouble with, it may be best to do this individually. Alternatively, have a look at this video below:

Step 1 – Login to your WordPress Editor

When you log into your WordPress Editor, you will see on the left-hand side menu you will see any updates highlighted as in the picture below.

How to Update a WordPress Plugin

Clicking either of the links will take you to the plugin menu where you can see which Plugin is due an update, what version it is and whether it is compatible with your WordPress Version and theme.

In this example, I am updating WP Product Review Lite.

Plugin Update list

Step 2 – Selecting & Updating the WordPress Plugin

You can select each update individually or you can choose to select them all to update. Then you can select update.

Select and Update a WordPress Plugin

This will take a few seconds and when the update is completed you will see the following screen showing it is complete

Confirmation of Update Complete

That’s it, You’ve Now Updated Your WordPress Plugin

That’s it, a nice simple 2 step process on how to update a WordPress plugin. Some would advise you to wait a week after the update has dropped down just in case there are any issues with them, but I haven’t experienced any issues from updates yet. But I would advise you to check out what the update is for and read the comments prior to it, if you are unsure on a newish plugin.

There is a way of setting WordPress plugins to automatically update, but I personally prefer not to do this, just in case it automatically updates and messes up your website and you haven’t been able to log on and are not aware there is an issue.  But for those who would like to set them up to automatically update, I detail it in this post.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you have any questions or would like to share your experiences, please leave them in the comments below.

John

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