Running on Autopilot: How to Set Up Seamless Updating for your WordPress Plugins
Running a unique and stand-out WordPress site often requires some crucial elements in the form of multiple plugins. But unfortunately, having all those plugins come at a price, and that price is a seemingly endless barrage of alerts and notices telling you need to update the individual programs.
Of course, as annoying as it may be, updating is incredibly important. Lapses in security within plugins are often found daily, and keeping them running on the absolute latest version keeps your site safe from hacks and potential data breaches. And security concerns aside, keeping plugins updated simply means they’re operating at their very best and offering the newest features and functions that can really enhance your pages and how you administer your site overall.
But again, constant calls for updating can really be a drag on your time and distracting overall. Therefore, consider taking yourself out of the equation of the entire process by allowing a trusted program to auto-update your plugins without you even having to think about it. Here’s how.
To begin, one quick way to enable this function is to simply add a code to a site-specific plugin: “add filter(‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘_return_true’).” This is an easy way to take plugin updates off your plate, but you won’t have any control over which programs get updated: they all will, and this may cause you headaches down the road if compatibility problems arise or if you find that you aren’t happy with the newest version of a particular plugin.
Therefore, if you’re not comfortable adding code, there are other ways to get automatic updates and control the process from the outset. Install the Automatic Plugin Updates plugin, visit “Settings, Automatic Plugin Updates” and configure the settings. Here you can choose which plugins you want to automatically update—particularly handy for those programs that seem to need updating on a daily basis—and enable email notifications for the process. Then click on the save changes button to store your settings and you’re good to go.
However, dedicated and seasoned WordPress site owners may often find that, after updating a specific plugin, there is an issue between the newest version of said plugin and some other element of their site, such as the theme. Therefore at times it may be necessary to “rollback” to a previous version of a plugin post-update, which often solves the aforementioned compatibility issue.
To do this, install and activate the WP Rollback plugin, return to your plugins page on your site and view the “rollback” option located below each plugin. Here you can click on those programs that you want to see reverted back to a previous version of your choosing. This is an extremely nice feature to have, especially if the latest update to one or more plugins doesn’t have some sort of security enhancement to it and was simply meant to add features or functions to the core program.
But no matter whether you choose to give up control of plugin updating to a dedicated program or want to attack the process manually, remember that updating is an absolute must if you want to keep your site safe, secure and running at its optimal best.