Why keeping WordPress plugins updated is a very common question…more common than you may imagine.
Keep in mind, however, that WordPress themes and plugins are software applications. These applications may become old over time, or the software developer may have released more updated versions with improved features or bug patches. So, the major reason for updating WordPress plugins is to keep your WordPress website up to date and functioning properly.
One of the most appealing aspects of making a website in WordPress is that there is almost always a plugin for everything you would want to do on your website.
Another excellent response to the question “why update WordPress plugins” is that WordPress is free and open-source software. It is absolutely free. Furthermore, some of the brightest minds collaborate publicly to develop seamless and useful website functionality known as plugins. This makes it easier for web developers and designers to code and construct websites.
What are Plugins and why should we keep Plugins Updated?
Most WordPress websites are made up of a collection of functions that are pre-programmed for functionality and effortlessly integrate into the WordPress platform. WordPress plugins are pre-built software solutions that may save web developers a significant amount of time and money when developing their own solutions.
From SEO tools to spinning banners, picture scaling to pop-up messaging, there is a plugin for practically anything. If you can imagine it, someone has probably already built a WordPress plugin solution for it. A managed WordPress hosting like WPFond is recommended if you want easy installation of plugins on your website.
Why Is It Necessary To Keep Plugins Updated?
Here are a few more reasons why WordPress plugins must be updated.
The WordPress Plugin Directory now has over 56,365 plugins (and counting) with over 1.3 billion downloads.
Too Many Plugins
Overuse of plugins might cause a website to slow down. Plugins can potentially conflict with one another, resulting in difficult-to-diagnose issues with your website.
Stale or Outdated
Some WordPress plugins are utterly worthless, while others no longer operate properly or are obsolete. Choosing a managed WordPress hosting like WPFond helps you get rid of this mess and keep your plugins updated.
However, if you want something for your website, chances are there is already a plugin for it.
Web developers are also constantly pushed to answer the question, “When should I use a plugin and when should I not use a plugin?” The key to efficiently using plugins is to only install plugins from trusted sources like WPFond only if they solve or provide a vital purpose that isn’t currently provided by your framework.
If updates are available, an indicator with the number of plugins that need to be updated will appear next to ‘plugins’ on your dashboard.
You may go to your plugin list and click “update” for each plugin separately. Depending on the resources available on your server, you may only wish to update one or two at a time.
Keep Up with the Changing WordPress Platform
Every WordPress update is published to help your website work better, from security and bug fixes to upgrades and increased performance.
In its hosted environment, your website remains static. Meanwhile, the Internet and computer languages are growing at a rapid pace. In addition, hackers are constantly discovering new weaknesses. WordPress plugin updates are published to stay up with advancements and bug fixes.
WordPress was running version 5.1.1 as of March 12, 2019. This figure will very certainly have changed by the time you read this. WordPress releases new updated versions on a regular basis in order to assure functionality and security.
Ensure Regular Backups of Your Website
Another reason why updating WordPress plugins should be a mantra is change.
When you make a website update or alteration, anything might happen. Even with the best-laid plans, upgrades or plugins are often incompatible with other, even unrelated, features of the website. This is why it is critical to do frequent website backups.
There are plugins available for the website backup protocol!
You’ll be glad you have a recent backup to revert to if you ever get hacked or run into a serious problem with the ability to conduct daily or weekly site backups.
Use a Security Plugin To Protect Your Website
WordPress is the most hacked CMS system in the world, with 61% of attacked websites running an out-of-date version. Meanwhile, incompatible or outdated plugins are responsible for 52% of reported vulnerabilities.
You must guarantee that your website is safe in order to prevent it from any vulnerabilities and hackers. While keeping up with WordPress plugin updates is a good start, there’s more you can do to secure your website.
WPFond’s Secure WordPress Hosting Keeps Plugins Updated
With all of these features, companies of all sizes, as well as agencies that manage many websites, are increasingly turning to WP Fond’s safe WordPress hosting platform for more than simply uptime, performance, caching, and support.
Every website, not just those with sensitive data or compliance requirements, should prioritize website security, and relying on a managed WordPress host that can provide robust security solutions in addition to best-in-class hosting and support has become an increasingly appealing option for any company looking to ensure that every aspect of their digital presence is taken care of.
As previously stated, the WPFond managed WordPress hosting platform’s security features automatically prevented the File Manager vulnerability from being exploited, and the same features have also helped to prevent a number of other vulnerabilities over the years. As new vulnerabilities are eventually discovered, staying ahead of the curve necessitates a hands-on, active approach.
WPFond’s Protection Against The Vulnerable Plugins
While many businesses have in-house security teams, keeping track of plugin updates and possible vulnerabilities may not be the most efficient use of their time. Keeping up with the continuously changing threat landscape is a losing proposition for smaller teams who don’t have the funding for in-house security help.
You gain a needed ear-to-the-ground when it comes to emerging security threats by outsourcing much of your website maintenance to a managed WordPress hosting provider like WPFond. You not only benefit from better-performing websites, but you also gain a needed ear-to-the-ground when it comes to emerging security threats, keeping you well ahead of the next vulnerability.
Update Your Plugins Regularly
Plugins can be updated in the same way that the WordPress platform and themes can. Most plugin developers are constantly adding new features, improving code, increasing quality, and reducing vulnerabilities. Updates are issued to reflect these changes. It’s critical to keep your plugins up to date so that your site can make use of the new features right away.
Solving Plugin Incompatibility Issues
Plugins…the very thing that makes WordPress so wonderful may also be the source of big problems! Because there are so many plugins available from third-party developers, compatibility difficulties are prevalent.
Some plugins are no longer compatible with newer WordPress versions.
Other plugins will have compatibility concerns when used in conjunction with each other.
What causes compatibility issues? Various plugins may be attempting to accomplish the same goal on the website, or they may be attempting to modify or update a feature or element in different ways. Plugins may have been created using a previous version of WordPress. Finally, when a plugin was written with faulty or broken code, compatibility concerns are prevalent.
In most cases, someone else will have previously noticed the compatibility problem and noted it or suggested a possible solution. It’s a good idea to look for any known concerns before installing or updating a plugin.
What is the appearance of a compatibility error? It may be anything from a malfunctioning feature to something less noticeable. In fact, you may not even be aware of the problem since it manifests in ways you are not expecting or seeking. This is why, after installing a WordPress or plugin update, you should test and go through your website thoroughly.
Only Keep Plugins That You Are Using
Another reason to update WordPress plugins is to keep your website clean. You can aid in the prevention of future issues and weaknesses. Even if they aren’t utilized, plugins are frequently left active or installed on a website. They are then forgotten and abandoned, leaving the website exposed to hackers or causing other problems. Perform a plugin audit on a regular basis and disable any plugins that you are no longer utilizing.
How to Update, Maintain & Secure Your WordPress Website
Now that we’ve covered why it’s critical to keep your WordPress platform and plugins up to date, maintained, and safe, let’s talk about how to do it right.
You may get a notification when you log in to WordPress alerting you to a core WordPress update or plugins that need to be updated.
If you’re a professional web developer, you shouldn’t have any trouble making the changes; but, if you’re a website user, you should have your web developer make the changes for you to avoid any potential problems.
If you run into an incompatibility problem, you should probably move your site to a staging server and disable all plugins. Then, one by one, reactivate them until you find the plugin that is causing the problem.
If you attempt to install updates yourself and encounter problems, this might lead to further problems in the future. When it comes to website maintenance, it’s better to leave it to the pros.
The Importance of Regular Website Maintenance Plans
When most firms got their first website, there was a “set it and forget it” mentality. To put it another way, you had your website constructed for you, the material was static, and you didn’t have to think about it again unless you needed to modify something. It was most likely created and programmed in a unique environment with limited complexity and capability. In other words, unless you expressly requested something, there was no need for website upkeep.
With the introduction of content management systems like WordPress, maintaining your own website became much easier; unfortunately, new risks arose. Websites improved in terms of functionality, However, a single change might cause major problems.
It’s critical to have a long-term site maintenance strategy in place. While a site hack is the most obvious threat to your website, there are other issues that might occur if you neglect to make changes or wait too long.
Regular site maintenance programs are meant to offer the best possible user experience, from better functionality to greater performance. A well-maintained and updated website enhances search engine results, speed, usability, brand protection, and may even increase client retention and conversion.
Regrettably, your website is in jeopardy. According to studies, WordPress websites are subjected to up to 90,000 assaults each minute. Non-WordPress sites are also vulnerable to hacking.
Functionalities can Change and Evolve
Consider your website to be a car. Regular usage necessitates routine maintenance, such as gas, oil changes, and tire alignments. Consider contemporary automobiles and the incredible rate at which new technology has become accessible in recent years. The same may be said for websites. Websites today are complicated, with a multitude of moving components, similar to an automobile. Even things that appear to be unrelated to one another might be linked in some way.
It’s just as necessary to take your automobile to a mechanic as it is to have a competent staff looking after your website.
Maintenance plans often involve tasks like optimizing the hosting environment and upgrading themes and plugins. Larger, more sophisticated websites frequently employ a specialized, hands-on approach to maintenance, which includes extensive testing when changes are made.
In general, the more intricate your website is, the more frequent maintenance it will require.
Here’s the deal: You may either wait until your website breaks before realizing it needs to be maintained, or you can avoid tragedy by implementing a solid maintenance strategy today. Returning to our automotive comparison, frequent oil changes are significantly less expensive in the long term than rebuilding your complete engine due to a lack of oil maintenance.