A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Update Plugins in WordPress Manually
WordPress plugins are like the Swiss Army knives of website functionality, offering countless features to enhance your site. However, keeping these plugins up to date is crucial for security, performance, and compatibility. While WordPress provides an automatic update feature for plugins, there may be times when you need to update them manually. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to manually update your WordPress plugins safely.
Why Manual Updates?
Before we dive into the process, let’s understand why manual updates may be necessary:
- Automatic Updates Disabled: You might have disabled automatic updates for plugins, either intentionally or due to specific plugin requirements.
- Compatibility Concerns: Sometimes, updates can introduce compatibility issues with your theme or other plugins. Manually updating allows you to test the update before applying it to your live site.
- Version Dependency: Some plugins may require manual updates if they have dependencies on other plugins or libraries that aren’t handled by automatic updates.
Now, let’s get started with the manual update process.
1. Backup Your Website
Before making any changes, it’s essential to create a backup of your entire WordPress website. You can use a reliable backup plugin or your hosting provider’s backup service. This ensures that you can restore your site in case anything goes wrong during the update.
2. Download the Latest Plugin Version
Visit the official WordPress.org plugin repository or the plugin developer’s website to download the latest version of the plugin you want to update. Ensure that you’re downloading the correct version compatible with your WordPress installation.
3. Deactivate and Delete the Old Plugin
In your WordPress dashboard:
- Navigate to “Plugins” on the left sidebar.
- Find the plugin you want to update and deactivate it.
- After deactivation, you can safely delete the old version by clicking the “Delete” option below the plugin’s name.
4. Install the Updated Plugin
Now that you’ve removed the old version, it’s time to install the updated one:
- Go to “Plugins” > “Add New.”
- Click on the “Upload Plugin” button at the top.
- Choose the ZIP file you downloaded earlier and click “Install Now.”
5. Activate the Plugin
Once the installation is complete:
- Activate the updated plugin by clicking the “Activate” button that appears after installation.
6. Test Your Website
After activation, thoroughly test your website to ensure that the updated plugin works correctly and doesn’t cause any conflicts or issues. Check all the plugin’s features and functions to confirm everything is functioning as expected.
7. Monitor for Compatibility Issues
Keep an eye on your website in the days following the update. Sometimes, compatibility issues can arise after an update, so it’s crucial to be vigilant and address any issues promptly.
8. Repeat for Other Plugins
If you have multiple plugins that require manual updates, repeat the above steps for each one.
Manually updating WordPress plugins is a straightforward process that allows you to maintain control over your website’s functionality and compatibility. By following these steps and keeping a close eye on your site’s performance, you can ensure that your WordPress website remains secure, up-to-date, and fully functional.
Remember, while manual updates are useful in specific situations, it’s generally recommended to enable automatic updates for plugins whenever possible to ensure your site stays protected and optimized. Regularly updating your plugins is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy and secure WordPress website.