How to Properly Update WordPress Plugins (Step by Step)

After you start your blog and install plugins, its extremely important for security reasons that you keep the plugins updated. In this step by step guide, we will show you how to properly update WordPress plugins, and how to manage plugin updates more efficiently. Why… Read More »

The post How to Properly Update WordPress Plugins (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

After you start your blog and install plugins, its extremely important for security reasons that you keep the plugins updated. In this step by step guide, we will show you how to properly update WordPress plugins, and how to manage plugin updates more efficiently.

How to update WordPress plugins

Why Update WordPress Plugins?

WordPress plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. You can install them to add new features and functionality to your website like adding contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, etc.

You can learn more about WordPress plugins in our guide what are WordPress plugins? How do they work?.

Plugins are created by third-party developers. Most of them keep improving their plugins by adding new features, improving code quality, and keeping them secure. These changes are then released as updates.

You should always keep your WordPress plugins up to date to ensure that those changes are applied on your site immediately. This improves WordPress security and performance of your website.

Having said that, let’s see how to update WordPress plugins.

How to Properly Update WordPress Plugins

WordPress comes with a built-in update system. It automatically checks for updates and shows you notifications when there are updates available for your WordPress plugins, themes, and WordPress core software.

WordPress update notifications inside admin area

You can also manually check for updates by visiting Dashboard » Updates page.

Updates page

When there is a new update available for plugins, you will see the notification on the plugins menu in the WordPress admin bar.

You can install these updates by visiting the Plugins page. You will see a notification below each plugin that has updates available for you to install.

Updates highlighted on the plugins page

You can just click on the ‘Update Now’ link to install each update.

Bulk Update WordPress Plugins

If there are updates for several plugins on your website, then you may want to quickly review and bulk update those plugins.

To do that, you need to visit the Plugins page and click on the ‘Update Available’ link.

This will show you the list of all plugins that have updates available. You can select all of them and then select ‘Update’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ drop down menu.

Bulk update plugins

Before You Update, Read this!

Before you update the plugin, it’s important that you click on the View version details link to see what changes the plugin author has made.

This will keep you informed as to what changes were made should anything not work properly.

Unless the version details specifically say security update, we usually wait one full week before updating the plugin. In this time, all errors usually get caught, reported, and fixed.

If you have a heavy traffic site that is generating a lot of leads, then we recommend you to do the same.

How to Undo the WordPress Plugin Update

Sometimes a plugin update can produce unexpected results like some plugin features may not work properly.

In that case, first you will need to deactivate that plugin.

If you can access the Plugins page in WordPress admin area, then simply click on the ‘Deactivate’ link below the misbehaving plugin.

Deactivate plugins

After that you can install the WP-Rollback plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go back to the Plugins page, and you will be able to see a rollback option below each plugin. Clicking on it will allow you to rollback the plugin to any previous version.

Rollback plugin to previous version

For detailed instructions, check out our guide on how to how to rollback WordPress plugins.

If you are unable to access the WordPress admin area, then follow the steps in our guide on how to deactivate all plugins when not able to access WordPress admin area.

Tips to Manage WordPress Plugins More Efficiently

If you manage multiple WordPress sites, then you will soon realize that you have to update plugins quite often. Here are some tips to help you manage them more effeciently.

If you are confident about the plugins that you are using, then you can enable automatic updates for all your WordPress plugins.

However, a better approach will be to setup automatic updates only for select few plugins that you trust. Follow the instructions in our guide on how to better manage WordPress updates.

If you don’t manage multiple WordPress sites, then you can setup email notifications for plugin updates. This will allow you to be alerted when there is an update available without logging into your WordPress site.

Always make sure that you have setup an automatic backup plugin on your WordPress site. This will allow you to restore your WordPress site in case something goes wrong.

Last but not least, if you can afford managed WordPress hosting, then the staging website feature is definitely worth the investment. It allows you to test the new plugin updates on a staging environment before going live. We recommend using either WPEngine or SiteGround’s GoGeek plan.

We hope this article helped you learn how to update WordPress plugins. You may also want to see our list of essential WordPress plugins for your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Properly Update WordPress Plugins (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Disable Automatic Update Email Notification in WordPress

Do you want to disable automatic update email notification in WordPress? By default, WordPress sends an email notification to inform you that your WordPress site is updated after security updates. Recently one of our readers asked if there is an easy way to disable that.… Read More »

The post How to Disable Automatic Update Email Notification in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to disable automatic update email notification in WordPress? By default, WordPress sends an email notification to inform you that your WordPress site is updated after security updates. Recently one of our readers asked if there is an easy way to disable that. In this article, we will show you how to easily disable automatic update email notification in WordPress.

How to Disable Automatic Update Email Notification in WordPress

About Automatic Updates in WordPress

WordPress is an open source software which is maintained by a community of developers. It is regularly updated to fix security issues, bugs, and to add new features.

WordPress updates

This is why you should always use the latest version of WordPress to make sure that your website is safe and up to date.

WordPress automatically installs minor updates as soon as they are available. After the update, your WordPress site sends a notification to the WordPress admin email address.

The purpose of this email notification is just to inform you that your WordPress site is updated.

If you maintain multiple WordPress sites, then you will get an email from each website. This can be a bit annoying.

Let’s see how to easily turn off the automatic update email notification in WordPress.

Method 1: Disable Automatic Update Email Notification Using Plugin

This method is simpler and does not require you to add any code to your WordPress site.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Disable WordPress Core Update Email. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

The plugin works out of the box, and there are no settings for you to configure.

Upon activation, it simply disables email notification sent after WordPress automatic update.

Method 2: Disable Automatic Update Email Notification Using Code

This method requires you to add code to your WordPress files. If you haven’t done this before, then take a look at our beginner’s guide on pasting snippets from web into WordPress.

You will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

add_filter( 'auto_core_update_send_email', 'wpb_stop_auto_update_emails', 10, 4 );
 
function wpb_stop_update_emails( $send, $type, $core_update, $result ) {
if ( ! empty( $type ) && $type == 'success' ) {
return false;
}
return true;
}

This code simply adds a filter to disable email notification after automatic core update.

Managing Notifications and Updates in WordPress

By default, WordPress does not allow you to automatically install updates. Many site owners find it a bit annoying to update themes and plugins, especially if they maintain multiple WordPress sites.

Managing WordPress updates

Luckily, there are plugins that allow you to more efficiently manage WordPress updates. For detailed instructions see our guide on how to better manage automatic WordPress updates.

Similarly, WordPress by default has no unified interface to manage notification emails. It may not even send email notifications and you wouldn’t notice it.

There are plugins that allow you to manage and control emails sent by WordPress. You can even customize default WordPress emails. For detailed instructions take a look at our guide on how to add better custom notifications in WordPress.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to disable automatic update email notification in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Disable Automatic Update Email Notification in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Better Manage Automatic WordPress Updates

Are you looking for a way to automatically manage WordPress updates? Updates are important for security and stability of your WordPress site. In this article, we will show you how to better manage automatic WordPress updates. Why and Who Needs Better Automatic Updates in WordPress?… Read More »

The post How to Better Manage Automatic WordPress Updates appeared first on WPBeginner.

Are you looking for a way to automatically manage WordPress updates? Updates are important for security and stability of your WordPress site. In this article, we will show you how to better manage automatic WordPress updates.

How to Better Manage Automatic WordPress Updates

Why and Who Needs Better Automatic Updates in WordPress?

By default WordPress can automatically update itself when a security or minor release is available. For major releases, you have to initiate the update yourself. You also have to install plugin and theme updates manually as well.

Keeping your WordPress site updated is extremely important. See our guide on why you should always use the latest version of WordPress.

Same goes for all plugins and themes installed on your website. You need to install updates for themes and plugins to get new features and fixes.

However, you may have noticed that some of them are updated more frequently than others. A lot of popular plugins are updated almost weekly.

WordPress updates

Some users find it a bit annoying that whenever they login there are new updates available for one or more plugins, WordPress core, or theme. It becomes even more time consuming when you manage multiple WordPress sites.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could setup WordPress to automatically install updates for WordPress core, trusted plugins, and themes?

Let’s see how you can take total control of WordPress and minimize the time spent on installing updates.

Setting up Easy Updates Manager

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Easy Updates Manager plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Dashboard » Updates Options page to set up the plugin.

Manage WordPress updates page

The plugin’s settings page is divided into different tabs. You will land on the Dashboard tab which has three columns and two rows.

This page provides you quick access to turn off updates for WordPress core, plugins, themes, translations, etc. The default settings here are recommended for all WordPress site owners.

We strongly recommend not to turn off updates for WordPress core, plugins, or themes. It will seriously compromise your site’s security and health.

Next, click on the General tab in plugin settings. This page provides you access to Enable or Disable WordPress updates globally on your site.

Global update settings

Setting Up Automatic Updates for WordPress, Plugins, and Themes

Easy Updates Manager allow you to quickly enable automatic updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes.

Go to the plugin’s settings page and click on General tab. After that scroll down to the automatic updates section.

Managing auto updates

Here you can quickly turn on automatic updates for Core, plugins, or themes. Simply click on enable and then click on save changes button to store your settings.

This plugin also allows you to selectively turn on automatic updates for some plugins or themes. If you would like to selectively turn on automatic updates, then click on ‘Select Individually’ next to the Automatic Plugin Updates option.

Set Automatic Updates for Select Plugins and Themes

If you selected to individually enable automatic updates for few plugins, then you need to switch to the plugins tab under plugin settings.

Enable automatic updates for individual plugins

Here you will see a list of all plugins installed on your WordPress site. Below each plugin, you will find a link to enable automatic updates for that plugin.

Switch to the Themes tab, and you will see a list of themes installed on your site.

Select which themes to automatically update

Simply click on enable automatic updates for themes that you want to be automatically updated.

How to Rollback to a Previous Version of Plugin or Theme After Update?

Plugin or theme incompatibilities is the major reason why some users are hesitant when it comes to updating. Even though most good developers thoroughly test their plugins, there can still be bugs that can cause your site to break.

The first step you should take to protect your website is to install a WordPress backup solution.

However, restoring your WordPress site from a backup can be a lot of work. If you know what plugin or theme update caused the problem, then it would be easier to just rollback the update.

Here is how you can easily rollback plugin or theme updates.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Rollback plugin.

Upon activation, go back to the plugins page on your WordPress site. You will notice a new Rollback option below each plugin installed on your site.

Rollback plugin updates

Clicking on Rollback will allow you to rollback your plugin to any previous version you want. It can also rollback theme updates. For more detailed instructions see our guide on how to rollback WordPress plugins.

We hope this article helped you find a better way to manage automatic WordPress updates on your site. You may also want to see our list of 40 useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress blog

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Better Manage Automatic WordPress Updates appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Setup Email Notifications for WordPress Updates

Keeping your WordPress site up to date is crucial for security. Recently one of our readers asked if it was possible to get email notifications for WordPress updates. By default, WordPress only shows you update notifications when you login to the admin area. In this… Read More »

The post How to Setup Email Notifications for WordPress Updates appeared first on WPBeginner.

Keeping your WordPress site up to date is crucial for security. Recently one of our readers asked if it was possible to get email notifications for WordPress updates. By default, WordPress only shows you update notifications when you login to the admin area. In this article, we will show you how to setup email notifications for WordPress updates.

Email notifications for WordPress updates

Why and When You Need Email Notifications for WordPress Updates?

WordPress only shows you update notifications when you log into your WordPress admin area. Updates are highlighted for plugin and core updates. Theme updates are only visible on the Themes page or on the Updates page.

If you have a WordPress site, and you don’t login regularly, then you wouldn’t know when there is an update available to be installed.

WordPress Updates

One way to deal with this is by setting up automatic updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes. It will allow your WordPress site to manage updates automatically.

Another way to manage updates is by setting up an email notification system for updates. Each time there is an update to WordPress core, plugin, or themes, you will get an email alert. You can then login to your website and install the update.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to easily setup email notifications for WordPress updates.

Setting up Email Notifications for WordPress Updates

First thing you need to do is install and activate WP Updates Notifier plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Updates Notifier page to configure plugin settings.

Updates Notifier settings

First you need to select cron method. By default, it is set to WordPress, and you don’t need to change that unless you know what you are doing.

Next, you need to select how often you want to check for updates. The default is set for once every hour, but you can change that to once or twice a day.

After that enter the email addresses you want to be notified. By default, the plugin will show the email address used in your WordPress settings. You can change it to a different address or add multiple email addresses separated by a comma.

WP Updates Notifier can also notify you about plugin and theme updates. Simply check Yes next to the plugin and theme update notifications.

Once you are done, click on the ‘Save settings with test email’ button to store your changes. The plugin will store your settings and send you a test email.

If you are having trouble receiving the email, then checkout our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

That’s all.

We hope this article helped you setup email notifications for WordPress updates. You may also want to check out our guide on keeping your WordPress content safe with BackupBuddy.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Setup Email Notifications for WordPress Updates appeared first on WPBeginner.

Why You Should Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress

Every time a new WordPress update comes out, we get several emails from users asking whether it’s safe to update their WordPress site. Are you wondering whether you should update your WordPress to the latest version? Want to know the pros and cons of updating… Read More »

To leave a comment please visit Why You Should Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress on WPBeginner.

Every time a new WordPress update comes out, we get several emails from users asking whether it’s safe to update their WordPress site. Are you wondering whether you should update your WordPress to the latest version? Want to know the pros and cons of updating WordPress? In this article, we will explain why it is crucial that you always use the latest version of WordPress as well as show you how to properly update WordPress.

Update WordPress

WordPress is free, and it is developed by a community of developers. With each new release, they fix bugs, add new features, improve performance, and enhance existing features to stay up to date with new industry standards.

So in other words, when you do not update your WordPress site, you are risking your website security and missing out on new features / improvements.

Let’s take a look at pros and cons of updating WordPress.

1. Security

Security is arguably the most important reason why you should keep your WordPress website up to date.

WordPress currently powers 23% of all websites in the world. Due to it’s immense popularity, WordPress is a popular target for hackers, malicious code distributors, data thieves, and wanna be hackers.

CMS Marketshare

Since WordPress is open source, anyone can study the source code to learn and improve it. However it also means that hackers can study it too and find ways to break into websites.

Now the good part is that not all hackers are bad. There are a lot more good hackers than bad ones which means that security experts around the world can study the code and properly report security bugs / fixes. Every time a security vulnerability is reported, the core WordPress team works diligently to release an update that fixes the issue.

This means that if you are not using the latest version of WordPress, then you are using software with known security vulnerabilities. Hackers can search for websites running the older version, and you may become a victim of a sophisticated attack.

Not just WordPress itself, plugins can also be exploited by hackers. You need to make sure that all your WordPress plugins, themes, and the core itself is always up to date.

2. Cool New Features

Each major WordPress release comes with new features and changes to the software. For example, WordPress 4.0 came with improved plugin install experience, 4.1 introduced inline image editing, and 4.2 came with faster plugin updates.

WordPress 4.2 introduced faster plugin updates

Now if you were using an older version of WordPress, then your WordPress experience would be a lot different than someone using the latest version.

You will have trouble finding WordPress help online because you are using an older version. Users on WordPress support forums will assume that you are using the latest version of WordPress.

3. Speed

Each new WordPress version improves performance

WordPress developers are always trying to make things faster. Each new release comes with several performance improvements that makes WordPress run faster and more efficient.

For example, WordPress 4.2 improved JS performance for navigation menus, and WordPress 4.1 improved complex queries which helped with performance of sites using those queries.

Since speed is a huge factor in SEO, you should definitely keep your WordPress updated to ensure maximum performance benefits.

4. Bug Fixes

Older WordPress versions may have bugs

Despite the rigorous testing of major WordPress releases, sometimes bugs may slip through the cracks. That’s why there are timely minor WordPress releases (the ones with X.X.X) to account for that. For example, the most recent WordPress 4.2.3 update fixed 20 bugs from the 4.2 release.

Now if you go to WordPress support forums asking for help, the first advice you will get is to update WordPress because that may fix the issue. If you insist on not updating WordPress, then you will be unable to receive help.

5. Compatibility (or NOT)

Often plugin and theme developers coordinate their updates with major WordPress releases to ensure they’re taking advantage of newly available features and enhancements.

However in some cases, an update can break your existing WordPress plugins if they weren’t following the best practices and coding standards.

This is why it is crucial that you keep regular WordPress backups.

To sum this up, the only downside is that in some rare cases your site will break. However the upside is that you have:

  • Improved WordPress security
  • Cool new WordPress features
  • Faster WordPress experience
  • A bug free WordPress website
  • Better compatibility

Now that you know why it’s important to keep your WordPress site updated, let’s take a look at how to update WordPress.

How to Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

Updating your WordPress core, plugins, and themes whenever there is a new update for them is fairly easy. WordPress comes with a built-in update notification system. It highlights the number of available updates when you log into your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress updates screen

All you need to do is visit Dashboard » Updates page and install those updates. This is a one-click process.

However since many website owners do not login to their WordPress dashboard daily, they may not even know that there is an update available for days. Thankfully, you have a few options.

If you’re using WordPress 3.7 or above, then automatic updates are turned on for minor releases (which are reserved for security and bugfixes). You can turn on automatic updates for major releases, plugins as well as themes.

Alternatively, you can get email notifications when there is a new update for your WordPress site.

Get Email Notifications for Updates in WordPress

When you’re busy running your business, logging into your site to check for updates is usually the last thing on your mind. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could get an email notification whenever there is an update on your WordPress sites?

Well that’s possible.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Updates Notifier plugin. Upon activation, visit Settings » Updates Notifier to configure the plugin settings.

WordPress update notification plugin settings

This plugin uses WordPress cron to check your site for updates every hour. You can change that to once or twice daily. When there is a new update available, this plugin will send you an email notification.

By default it checks for WordPress core update, plugin updates, and theme updates. All you need to do is click on save settings with test email button.

If you do not recieve the test email from the plugin, then check out our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.

Auto Install WordPress Updates

You can automate the process even further. WordPress allows you to enable automatic updates for major releases, plugins, and themes.

This option is risky if you’re not using managed WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosting companies automatically update your site to major WordPress versions and keep an eye out if something breaks.

If you turn on automatic updates, then there is a slight risk that your site may break and you won’t be online to fix it right away. Having that said, if you like to enable automatic updates, then there are two ways to do it (plugin method and code method).

Let’s take a look at the plugin method first.

First you need to install and activate the Easy Updates Manager plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Dashboard » Update Options page to configure the plugin.

Setting up WordPress automatic updates

Now you need to scroll down to automatic updates section where you can enable automatic updates for core, plugins, themes, and translation files. Once you are done, simply save your settings.

Enable Auto Updates Using wp-config File

You can enable automatic updates for WordPress core by simply adding this line to your wp-config.php file.

define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);

If you also want to automatically update your themes and plugins, then you would need to add this to your theme’s functions.php file or a site specific plugin.

add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' );
add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );

We hope this article helped you learn why you should always use the latest version of WordPress. You may also want to check out our expert pick of 20 must have WordPress plugins for 2015.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

To leave a comment please visit Why You Should Always Use the Latest Version of WordPress on WPBeginner.