Keeping WordPress plugins up to date

5 years ago

If your WordPress site relies on more than a few plugins then it’s very important that you keep them updated on a regular basis for security purposes.

The wonderful thing about WordPress is its community of users and developers who work continuously to write new plugins and update existing ones with new features, keeping them secure and inline with technology advances.

These changes are then released as revisions, or updates, to the WordPress plugin repository where WordPress’ built in update system in your site’s backend will notify you of the available update.

A little tip of ours before you update your plugins in one fell swoop is to make a note of the previous versions of each plugin. A quick and easy way to do this is to go to the Plugins page in the backend and screen grab the entire page so you have a record of the version of each plugin before you update. Depending on which browser you use you can install a screen grab extension/addon quickly and easily to carry out this task.

Here’s a list of recommended screen grab extensions/addons for the most popular modern browsers:

After you’ve screengrabbed your plugin page go through and update each plugin one-by-one and check on the front-end that each update hasn’t broken anything such as the theme, the WordPress core, pages or posts, and that there are no other unexpected results.

If that is the case then you’ll need to deactivate said plugin and install another plugin called WP-Rollback. After you’ve installed and activated WP-Rollback you’ll see a ‘rollback’ option in each plugin on the plugin page. Rollback to the previous version you have in your screengrab and your plugin should function as before.

You’ll then need to spend some time testing the latest version on a mirrored version of your site in a test environment to get to the bottom of the issue.

We hope you found this article useful and if you have any questions or need any help with managing your WordPress site then please do get in touch.