If you’re using WordPress as your website platform, chances are you’ve also installed some of the many available and useful WordPress plugins. In order to keep your website running with minimal hassle and to get the most out of your plugins, you need to make sure your plugins are always up to date.. This time around, we’ll explain why updating your plugins is so important and teach you how to update plugins in WordPress using a few different methods.
Why You Should Update Your WordPress Plugins
One of the reasons WordPress is such a widely used CMS platform is due to the many third-party plugins available that can bring new functionality to your website and extend its functionality significantly. A plethora of plugins can be found for free in the WordPress.org repository, and many can be upgraded to the premium version as well.
That being said, the WordPress core itself is also constantly evolving. With each new WordPress update, the platform becomes more functional, more convenient and more secure than the previous one. Part of the reason so many plugins get new updates is so they can maintain compatibility with the latest version of WordPress. So, if you make sure to always update your plugins to the latest version, you will avoid having compatibility issues with the latest version of WordPress.
Aside from the WordPress core itself, another major reason why you should keep your plugins up to date is that plugin updates usually bring new features and also serve to fix current bugs. Even if you currently don’t need any new features, the bug fixes that come with many plugin updates are a solid reason to update your plugins. Plugin errors and bugs can cause a lot of problems, from making it difficult to use some (if not all) of their features to creating holes in your website’s security.
To summarize – Plugin updates not only help you fix existing issues and let you take advantage of new features, but they can also help keep your website secure as a whole..
Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of updating your WordPress plugins, let’s see how you can update them in the first place. We will cover the following points:
How to Update Your WordPress Plugins in the WordPress Admin
WordPress comes with many built-in admin management systems that make it very functional and easy to use, regardless of your skills and knowledge. One of these systems is the update system that automatically checks for available updates and displays notifications when new updates are available. This includes updates to your WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
You can view these notifications by going to Dashboard >> Updates section in your WordPress admin area.
Here, among the WordPress core and theme updates available, you will also see a list of plugins that can be updated. You can select one, several or all plugins in this list, then press the button Update plugins button to update the plugins in question.
Another way to update your plugins is to head straight to the Plugins >> Installed Plugins tongue.
If there are new updates available, a notification with a number of available updates will appear right next to the plugins menu tab in the admin bar.
Each plugin with an update will have a notification below.
Before you update any of your plugins, you can view the details of each new release so you know exactly what changes you can expect.
When you are ready to update your plugin, simply click on the Update now button and you’re all set.
You can also update multiple plugins at once in case multiple plugin updates are available. There is a box next to each plugin which you can use to select more than one plugin and use bulk options. Once you have selected all the plugins you want to update, use the Bulk actions scrolling menu and select the Update option. Then click on the Apply button.
Finally, note that the best practice is to wait a few days before updating your plugins because, during this period, the authors of the plugins generally fix the bugs or errors reported. However, an exception is the security update – we recommend that you install this type of update immediately.
How to Update Plugins in WordPress Automatically Using a Plugin
If you want to set automatic updates for your plugins, you can do so by installing a WordPress plugin called Easy Update Manager.
This is a lightweight yet powerful plugin that lets you manage and automate various types of updates, including your WordPress core, plugins, and themes from the WordPress.org repository. And while we plan to look at some of the useful plugin options, this time around we’re mainly going to focus on how you can set automatic updates for your plugins.
Once you have installed and activated the Easy Updates Manager plugin, the first thing to do is go to Dashboard >> Update Options to access and configure plugin settings. Here you will be able to configure some specific options regarding your WordPress core, themes, plugins, logs, etc.
In the General tab, you can use a master switch that allows you to enable or disable all updates for your WordPress installation.
You will also have access to some Quick Setup Actions which allow you to quickly change some of the settings available below in one go.
If you want, the General screen also lets you configure how you want your WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated, or you can disable automatic updates altogether.
For example, the Plugin updates section includes the option that allows you to update your plugins manually, disable plugin updates (the option that disables all plugin updates and prevents update notices from being displayed), enable automatic updates or choose by plugin.
If you choose the last option, you will be able to select the plugins you want to update automatically by going to plugins tongue.
Once there you will see a list of all available plugins similar to how they are listed in your dashboard. plugins filter.
Under each plugin, you will notice two options: the first option that allows you To allow Where To block plugin updates, and the second which allows you to enable or disable automatic updates for this specific plugin.
You can set options for each plugin individually, or you can select multiple plugins at once and apply the desired option from the Bulk actions scrolling menu.
Automatic plugin updates in functions.php file
If you prefer not to use a plugin for this task, another way to enable automatic updating of your plugins is to add a filter in your theme functions.php to file. As this is a more advanced and somewhat risky method (since you are making direct edits in the theme file), we advise you to use this method only if you are at least somewhat familiar with the theme. coding.
Go to oneappearance >> Theme editor and find a file named functions.php.
Once there, insert the following:
When you are done, press the Update file button and that’s it – it will trigger the automatic update of all your plugins.
Just keep in mind that you’ll have to add this snippet again if you end up changing themes, because it only works for the one you are currently using.
How to Undo WordPress Plugin Updates
Sometimes, despite taking extra measures, some plugin updates may still cause unexpected errors and cause some plugin features to malfunction. Luckily, if this happens, you have the option to rollback your WordPress plugin updates.
First, select the plugin that is causing problems and choose the Disable option.
Then install and activate the called plugin WP Rollback.
Then you will notice a new option in your plugins called screen Go back which will allow you to restore your plugin to the previous version. You need to click on this option.
A new page will open showing you the version you have installed and all previous versions.
You can click on the previous version and press the Go back button.
This will trigger a notification telling you that you need to take a backup of your WordPress website before proceeding with the restore.
Once you’ve made sure it’s safe to undo your update, select the Go back button again, and that’s it. The latest version of your plugin will be replaced by the previous one.
To say that plugin updates can bring various benefits to your WordPress website would be an understatement. These updates usually contain bug and/or security fixes, and some even contain exciting new features. If you ask us, these are more than enough reasons to update your WordPress plugins regularly. Now, whether you want to update them manually, opt for auto-updating just a few selected plugins, or just choose to update them all at once is completely up to you. Either way, if you use any of the methods we’ve mentioned in this guide, updating your plugins will be a no-brainer.
And just one last note before you go – if you have a plugin that comes with one of your WordPress themes, check if you need to update your WordPress theme first to make sure the plugin will work properly.