What to keep in mind when installing or upgrading a plugin

Plugins are there to enhance basic functionality of WordPress. Plugins can be extremely useful and easy to use but at the same time care should be take while installing and upgrading. It is necessary to read the documentation of the plugin. Also remember that too many plugins can make your site slower.

Installing a new Plugin

When adding a new plugin make sure of the following:

  • Check how long the plug-in has been around. A new plugin could have bugs that have not been uncovered as yet.
  • How many people have used this plugin. If you are going to be among the first people to use a plugin, be sure you are comfortable using untested plugins.
  • When was the plugin last updated. For instance, a plugin that has not been updated for over a year could mean that the developer is not actively improving it or fixing bugs.
  • Check whether the plugin works with your version of WordPress.

Upgrading a plugin

Upgrade Plugins

Upgrade Plugins

If any of your installed plugins have updates available, the WordPress dashboard will indicate the number of plugins that have such updates available.

Most times plugins can be upgraded automatically with a single click. But as technology and WordPress changes the plugin developer has to sometimes completely rewrite the plugin code to keep up with technology and provide improved functionality. In such cases the upgrade process can involve a few steps. So it’s very important to read the documentation (change-log) on what is changing.

Whenever a plugin has to be upgraded there will always be a link to view the new version details.

Upgrade Plugin Documentation

Before upgrading a plugin

  • Take a backup of your website.
  • Read the change-log and compare your version with new version before hitting the automatic upgrade button. In the change-log there will be details of what the new version is all about.
  • Look at the date when the new upgrade was released. Unless it is a critical security update, wait a few weeks to a month at least before upgrading to the new version. This way, if the version has any bugs, chances are other people will report it. And your website will not suffer.
  • Follow all the instructions in the documentation of the plugin when upgrading a plugin.

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