WordPress powers 39% of all the websites on the internet. And with such a large user-base, hackers have their eyes open for any vulnerability within the system or any of the available plugins.
For this reason, the WordPress core system and plugin developers release regular security and functionality updates. To ensure the security of your website, it is highly important that all of your plugins and themes are up-to-date.
For starters, WordPress makes it very easy to update the system, and this guide will walk you through the steps to update your plugins quickly.
Manually Update WordPress Plugins
With the latest version of WordPress, you can enable auto-updates for most of your plugins. However, you may want to manually update the plugins for more control.
For that purpose, WordPress offers a built-in version check that notifies you when there’s a new release for any of your installed plugins. To update your plugins follow the steps below:
1. Visit the WordPress updates section
Click Dashboard > Updates where you’ll see a list of all the updates available for your installed plugins, themes, and the WordPress core.
2. Select plugins to update
Next, choose the plugins that you wish to install the updates for. You can also select all the plugins at once by checking the “Select All” checkbox.
3. Click update plugins
Finally, click the button right above the Select All checkbox that says “Update Plugins”. The WordPress system will automatically download and install the latest versions from the repositories while you can sit back and relax.
Alternate Method to Manually Update WordPress Plugins
Apart from the Dashboard Updates page, you can update your plugins individually from the plugins screen too. To do so, follow the steps below:
1. Click “Plugins” from the left sidebar
On your left sidebar menu, click “Plugins”, and you’ll be redirected to the list of all the installed plugins.
2. Find and update the plugins that have an update available
For any plugin that has an update available, you’ll see a banner notification right below the plugin that says “There is a new version of <plugin name> available. View version or update now.”
To update the plugin, click “update now” and that specific plugin will be updated. You can view the changelog by visiting the “view version details” link.
Continue to do so for all the plugins that you wish to update.
Enable Auto-Updates for Your Plugins (WordPress 5.5+)
If you have WordPress 5.5 or higher for your website, you will see the option to enable auto-updates for most of your plugins.
A few plugins that can affect the system core will not offer the option and will need manual updating. You can follow the steps outlined above for this reason.
Let us enable auto-updates for the plugins that offer the option:
1. Click “Plugins” from the left sidebar.
Go to the installed plugins page to view all the plugins that are available on your system. Some of those will offer you the option to enable automatic updates.
2. Click “Enable auto-update.”
Selectively pick the plugins that you are okay with being automatically updated. Please note, updating critical plugins to unstable versions, can break your site. So only choose those plugins that will not have a big impact if an update goes wrong.
If you’re working with a cloud provider like E2E Cloud, follow the WordPress installation management guide that walks you through the steps to create your entire website’s backups. As a general rule of thumb, create a backup before updating any of the core plugins or performing a system update.
How to Rollback WordPress Plugin Updates?
In a rare case, plugin updates may misbehave and cause issues on your website. Now, WordPress does not offer any provision to rollback your plugin version. So, if you’re tech-savvy, you can downgrade the plugin by manually downloading the specific plugin version as a zip file and uploading it via FTP to replace the existing installation.
But for most people, it is easier to install the WP Rollback plugin that makes it quick to go back to specific plugin versions. To install WP Rollback, go to “Plugins” from the left sidebar, and click “Add New”.
Search WP Rollback and click install. The installation will take a few seconds.
Once complete, go back to the Installed Plugins page, and you’ll see a new “Rollback” option right below any of your recently updated plugins.
Click “Rollback” and choose the version you’d like to downgrade your installation to. If you’ve previously downgraded, you can choose a higher version as well and upgrade your plugins.
WordPress is a powerful all-purpose CMS with strong community support. You’ll always find someone else who has fixed an issue you may face with this CMS. So if you are ever stuck with an error on your screen, search the exact error, and some blog or forum will have a solution that suits your needs.