Keep your site working effectively

A great advantage to WordPress is the ability to extend its default capabilities via utilities called “plugins”. WordPress plug-ins are extra features you can install to your website to bring new functionality, such as sign-up forms, reporting or embedding different types of media.

An extra benefit to these plugins is they can be added to, extended and fixed by their developers to ensure you have the latest available features that the plugin brings.

How to know when an update is available

When an update is available, there are several places you may see notifications of the update in your WordPress administration area.

WordPress Update Plugin 1

  1. A total of all available updates for your WordPress installation can be seen in the top bar of the administration area. Here you can see there are five total updates, and clicking on this notification will take you to the update screen.
  2. If you are on your WordPress dashboard (the default landing page after logging in), the total available updates are shown in the sidebar under the Dashboard menu item.
  3. If WordPress itself has an update available, the dashboard will show a notification letting you know with an update link.
  4. The dashboard will also show you separately any plugins that need updating with a notification. Each plugin is different, so some will not provide an update link. If this is the case, select the update icon in the top bar (1).
  5. An update badge will show next to the Plugins menu item also, here you can see there are five total updates, however only one of them is for a plugin.

How to Update WordPress Plugins

Once you have identified that an update is available, select one of the the options listed above to go to the update screen.

WordPress Plugin Update 2

  1. First thing to do is select which of the your available updates you want to install. You can select the plugins one by one via each check box, or you can “Select All”.
  2. Once you’re happy with your selection, select the “Update Plugins” button to start the installation process.

Once selected, WordPress will automatically update your plugins to the latest version. When the update process has completed, WordPress will display a success message to let you know the updates are complete.

WordPress Plugin Update 3

That’s it, your job is done. Well not quite. When updating plugins or WordPress itself make sure you check your site across all your browsers including mobile. Plugin and WordPress updates can make changes to how content is displayed and sometimes (more often than most of us would like to admit) errors may appear. Checking your site after an update is therefore a must do.

Now you’re done! You can continue creating fantastic content. Learn how to change your WordPress pasword on our next article.

Written by Al  |  3 April 2020