Update your plugins, everything will be fine…

Well, most of the time it will be. If you have a WordPress website, one day this will be you; Have you had that experience, the one where you cross our fingers, hit the update button and hope everything works out? We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t you’re probably not updating your software, which is a disaster waiting to happen, but that’s a tale for another day.

We see updates break things pretty often, it’s the nature of website management, especially websites of value that have advanced features, that have been customised to deliver specific results. Updates can break functionality. A perfect case in point is a recent update to WooCommerce on a clients site that broke a plugin that was supplying this funky little flyout shopping cart in the header of the site. WooCommerce released an update (that included security patches, as they often do). Once WooCommerce was updated the site no longer displayed, just the very top bar of the layout, nothing else!

Luckily the update was tested on a staging server, the issue identified and the plugin was disabled. Followed by an investigation into possible updates to that plugin that would make it compatible with the new version of WooCommerce, discovering that was not likely, we sourced an alternative solution, tested everything again on the staging server before applying all updates and software changes on the live site.

The result was zero downtime for the live site, zero stress for the site owner, and up-to-date, secure software – happy days. We provide these services to a select group of clients, that understand the value of their website, and don’t like to play roulette with the “update” button.

How are you managing your website core and plugin updates? we’d love to hear your experiences in managing this important aspect of website maintenance.

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