How to Upgrade a WordPress Plugin

Updating a WordPress Plugin

For the stability and security of your WordPress site, it is important to update plugins regularly. You additionally experience the new features the plugin developers have added. Most times users are hesitant to update their plugins because it could crash their website

No matter the number of plugins your website has, it is important to update them regularly to maintain peak performance and keep security threats at bay. You can install these updates by visiting the Plugins tab

A plugin should be updated for the following reasons:

CMS speed and compatibility management
New feature updates
Bugs or glitches
Security issues

How to Know When to Update a WordPress Plugin?

You will get a notification in your WordPress dashboard when a plugin needs to be updated. An icon showing the plugins that require an update will appear next to the updates or plugins tab. Plugins can either be updated manually or automatically.

How to Manually Update a Plugin

  • Log in to the WordPress Dashboard
  • Check the box in front of the plugin you wish to update in the update menu
  • Click on the “Updates” menu to update your plugins
  • Log in to the WordPress dashboard
  • Go to Plugins
  • Click Update now to update the plugin.
  • Update the plugin.

How to Manually Update a Plugin Using FTP

  • Download the plugin .zip file from the WordPress Plugin directory or a third-party source.
  • Extract the .zip file on your desktop
  • Use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Client to connect to your site.
  • Go to the wp-content/plugins folder in cPanel and delete or deactivate the folder of the outdated plugin you’re updating.
  • Find the extracted plugin folder you just downloaded, and upload it to your wp-content/plugins folder in cPanel
  • Log into your WordPress dashboard and website to ensure the plugin is active and functioning correctly.

How to Automatically Update a Plugin
Manually updating many plugins could be tedious which is why you need to enable automatic updates. Enabling automatic updates saves time, you can enable auto-updates for plugins individually, enter a code snippet or use a site management tool depending on what best works for you.

Update Individual Plugins Automatically
To set up automatic updates:

  • Log into your WordPress dashboard
  • Go to the Plugins
  • Click Enable auto-updates for each plugin
  • To turn off automatic updates, click Disable auto-updates.

You can also do this for bulk updates

  • Bulk select the plugins you want
  • Choose Enable Auto-updates or Disable Auto-updates from the Bulk actions menu
  • Click Apply

Update Plugins Automatically with a Site Management Tool
What a site management tool does is automatically handles tasks for you, such as backing up your website, performing security scans, or updating WordPress, WordPress themes and plugins). You can simply use plugins like WPMU Dev, Jetpack, Easy Updates Manager, ManageWP for a swift update

Update Plugins Automatically with a Code Snippet
Add a code that signals to your website to update plugins as soon as they become available

Simply insert the code below to the functions.php file:

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );

If this process fails, you can try to manually update the plugin. Plugin update failures are common, especially with an automatic update.

Updating a plugin is important as this will help you correct some bugs you may not notice, reinforce security and take advantage of some functionalities. It is a simple process that should take just a few clicks. Depending on the approach you wish to take to update your plugin, be diligent should in case things go awry, you can immediately fix it. Staying on top of these updates gives you and your users a smooth and secure experience with your website.