WordPress plugin update is a just like any other software upgradation, that is being installed in our computer or like any other application update, in our devices. From time to time, in order to fix any known bug or to provide recent unique features, the software developer releases updates. WordPress is not only Open Source, but also detection of any security flaws and their fixation is usually a easy job in WordPress.. Updating the installation includes addition, deletion or replacement of some files, manually or automatically. But this upgradation of WordPress should only be done being careful so as not allow any problem to set in or else WordPress can be broken.
Some steps are extremely important while carrying out WordPress plugin update manually, and they are as follows:-
You must download the latest version of WordPress. You have to download and unpack an archive from the site: WordPress.org
You have to deactivate all plugins if any of our existing plugins are causing a conflict while installing the ZIP file of the plugin that we are trying to update. Normally most of the upgradeable plugins are found in the plugin repository with links to download recent ZIP files. You have to unzip the ZIP file that we have downloaded, in your local machine and then it will create a directory with some sort of name like “plugin name”, under which it will have the required files.
Replacement of files is very important which has to be done with care. Before uploading new files, you must erase existing files, for example, folders such as wp-includes or wp-admin, which was currently in use. sFTP app can be used to delete all files that are existing under plugin directory and it will overwrite all those files with the new ones. In this case, it will not affect any other plugins or other media files. The replacements is to be done in the root directory.
Next step includes uploading of unzipped plugin by replacing the deleted directory and all the old files. Through this replacements of files we could change old and existing themes and plugins. One thing, that we should always keep in mind is that the wp-config.php files, which is synonymous to wp-config-sample.php and they need to be compared, as wp-config-sample.php is being downloaded with the recent ZIP files.
This file cannot be replaced, deleted or even overwritten as it does not exist in newly downloaded files. We will have to copy a few new lines from wp-config-sample.php and paste to the old wp-config.php manually after comparison and it is an important part of this process. You must replace the deleted directory with newly uploaded files, which are the ones unzipped after fresh downloads of plugins to the “wp-content/plugins/directory” and leaving it very similar to the ones in “wp-content/plugins/plugin-name”. You must note that at times, a certain maintenance file might get attached to the installation, especially in the case of an automatic update. You can easily fix this problem manually by deleting the files entirely upon upgradation.
After that, apart from wordpress plugin update, there is a real need for updating or upgradation of databases. And it can also be easily done by checking or visiting the administration panel of WordPress. If upgradation is needed, then we could find messages containing salient links. We will have to click on those links to update our databases.
After finishing the above steps for manual updating, we need to reactivate the plugins. For this we need to sign in to the WordPress site. Upgradation of the Plugin is being carried out or not, can be verified through Plugin – Menu and if it is not, then we need to reactivate it in the newest version.
However, most users find it extremely annoying that in WordPress, they need to update some plugin or the other almost every other day. Hence, the necessity to know the basic steps involved in setting your wordpress plugin update to automatic mode arise. This is divided into two parts:
1. To start automatic updates for all wordpress plugin
2. To exclude some wordpress plugins from automatic updates while allowing the others to update automatically.
Before moving to the steps to perform automatic update of wordpress plugin, it is necessary to understand when and why one must go for automatically updating wordpress plugins. Except for the major releases, WordPress is set to update itself automatically by default. And as we have already dealt with it before, due to the security and stability of our wordpress site, it is extremely important to maintain wordpress plugin update at regular intervals.
The process of enabling automatic updation for all wordpress plugins involves adding a simple filter code in the present theme’s function.php file or by including it in some of the site specific plugin. The code looks a bit like:- add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’,’_return_true’); The idea of this code is to instruct WordPress automatic updater to do install the updates, whenever available. Similarly, themes can be set to update automatically by adding another almost similar looking filter file.
There might be certain plugins which get updated frequently than others, which makes them the obvious choice of enabling automatic update. Another reason for having automatic update for certain WordPress plugins ON is when there are certain plugins for which one does not want the automatic update at all. For this special purpose of automatic update for WordPress plugin, one needs to install the “Automatic Plugin Updates” plugin. Then from the settings menu of CMS, one can access the configuration menu of this particular plugin, there the plugins for which automatic update is not desired can be easily be disabled with the help of a simple tick corresponding to the plugin’s name. But, if this particular ““Automatic Plugin Updates” is used in that case, the previously mentioned auto_update_plugin filter is not required.
Lastly, despite doing all the above, there might still be some automatic bugs which can disrupt the normal performance of the website. In such rare occasions, one must always be prepared with the installation of “Wordpress backup solution”. But, such a restoration could sound like a hectic job for many and having a “WP Rollback” plugin can help in such a situation.