Plugins are not a “set it and forget it”. A typical WordPress web site has six to ten plugins installed. In order to keep your site running with minimal downtime, your plugins should be updated as the plugin developers release new versions.
Why You Need to Keep Your Plugins Updated
- Updates typically include security fixes that reduce a site’s vulnerability to hacks.
- Out of date plugins can become incompatible with WordPress themes and WordPress updates. This can cause errors in your site.
- Plugin version updates not only include new features, but also fix known bugs.
If you plan to go out on your own and perform the updates, here is what you need to know:
- Back-up your site first. Just in case an error occurs you can always restore the previous version
- View the New Version Detail from your dashboard so you know exactly what’s included in the update.
- Update one plugin at a time. Test the site to insure everything is working before updating the next plugin.
- Perform updates during non-prime time.
- Security related updates should be performed first.
If a plugin is old and has not been updated by the developer in a very long time, then you can assume the plugin might have issues as WordPress is updated. It’s best to search out a newer plugin with the same functionality. If you want to protect your site and insure it runs at optimal performance, WordPress plugins, themes and WordPress should be fully updated at all times.