How To Update WordPress Plugins

by | Aug 17, 2022 | Website Maintenance

If you are using a WordPress site, keeping your plugins up to date is important to ensure the website is performing at its best and to avoid any vulnerabilities and security breaches.

Now, are you wondering what is the correct way to update your WordPress plugins?

Well, we created this step-by-step guide that will walk you through the proper way to update your WordPress plugins and some tips to manage them more efficiently.

Why do WordPress Plugins Need to be updated?

WordPress plugins are used to install new features and functionalities on your site, such as contact forms, SEO tools, image optimisations, etc.

The plugins are created by third-party developers which are continuously updating them to improve the functionality and feature of the plugin, the code and to keep them secure. Whenever there is a change they are released as updates.

You should always aim to update the WordPress plugins straight away so as to incorporate those new changes immediately. This will enable you to improve the functionality of your WordPress site and overall security.

If you want to learn more about why do websites need to be updated, check our our recent article!

So, let’s now proceed to see how you should properly update WordPress plugins.

How To Correctly Update WordPress Plugins?

Your WordPress site comes with a functionality that automatically checks for any updates and shows you notifications when they are ready so you can take action straight away. This applies also to any theme and software updates.

How do I automatically update plugins in WordPress

You can also check these updates manually by simply clicking on the Dashboard tab and then selecting ‘Updates’.

Tips to manage WordPress updates more effectively

Whenever there is a new plugin update, you will see the notification on the Plugins menu in the WordPress admin bar.

You can install these updates by clicking on the Plugins – Installed Plugins page. You should see a notification that the plugin is ready to be updated. Then it’s as simple as clicking on the ‘Update Now’ link to install each update.

How To Correctly Update WordPress Plugins

Before you update, ensure to do this!

It’s important that first, you read the ‘view version details’ link to see what are the actual changes the plugin author has made.

Unless it contains a security update, we typically allow a week to go by to ensure that any issues or defects are caught, reported and fixed.

This is particularly important if you have a big site that generates tons of leads and traffic as it can easily crush it if the update contains a defect.

How do I automatically update plugins in WordPress?

If you are confident with the plugins you are using you can enable the automatic updates for all your WordPress plugins. At our agency, we typically apply this rule for plugins that we know need to be updated yes or yes (such as Wordfence Security, Yoast SEO, etc).

The way you do this is by enabling the auto updates function (on the right). This will automatically update the selected plugin without you having to manually check for any updates.

We strongly recommend having a backup plugin such as Updraft in case something goes wrong. We have daily backups conducted with our clients site so as to ensure we can easily restore the latest version.

Tips to manage WordPress updates more effectively

If you are managing several websites (like my case), then you are going to quickly see that every week you have a ton of updates to perform. It will soon become a burdensome task if you have to manually update every single plugin.

At our agency, we love using Manage Wp which is a software that enables you to conduct bulk updates for all your websites, and receive immediate notifications if you have a vulnerability or the site is down.

However, if you don’t manage multiple sites and you want to be on top of the game, we recommend setting email notifications so you know straight away when an update is available without having to manually log in to your website.

Let us take care of your website so you can concentrate on your business. Contact us today to find out how we can help you maintain your website in order to keep it safe and running smoothly.

About the Author

Tomás Affranchino Vivanco

Tomás is an SEO professional with over 10 years of experience. He's the founder of eWebsites, a leading SEO agency in Melbourne. Tomás has led several successful SEO campaigns in the most competitive niches in Australia, like health, real estate and law.

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