Tech Corner: Maintaining Existing Plugins on a WordPress Site

A man at a desk, building his list of propsects

Last time, we looked at how to choose the best plugins for your WordPress site.

This time, we’ll look at maintaining WordPress plugins, including why plugins need maintenance and how to decide when to retire an old plugin.

Keeping Your Plugins Updated

Like any software, plugins need updates. Updates might include bug fixes, but more often they’re necessary to ensure compatibility with the latest version of WordPress.

Check for updates weekly at a minimum.

Write it in your diary or as a recurring reminder on your cell phone. Write it on your hand if you must. Just make sure you do it.

Why the paranoia about updates?

Well, say WordPress releases an update. By its nature, an update means some code has changed. Plugin developers and theme builders may need to tweak their code to match the new WordPress code.

If they don’t, this opens potential weak spots in the code… a way for hackers to bypass your website’s security protection.

Here’s how you check for updates. Log into your website as an administrator. Look for the “Update” icon in the Admin bar.

WordPress Plugin Updates Notification Example
If you see this circular arrow icon in the Admin bar, then you have updates to do.

Click on the icon. It takes you through to an update page.

The WordPress Update Plugins Page
Check “Select All,” click on the “Update Plugins” button, and you’re up-to-date.

Select the plugins you want to update (normally “Select All”), click on the “Update Plugins” button, and the plugins update. Easy!

Checking Your Existing Plugins

Last time, I spoke about deciding which plugins to use based on these criteria:

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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew has traded the daily grind for a life on the road. He loves the lure of Australia’s wide-open spaces, solitude and isolation. Andrew and his wife Peta are experienced remote travelers, living the simple life on the road. They travel, work and live in their 4x4 truck camper. Andrew plans to build his Money-Making Website Top Wire Traveller to the point where it provides a regular income... enough to sustain their lifestyle on the road.

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