There are three reasons why you must keep all your WordPress plugins up to date.
- Plugins out of date can fail because the code is no longer compatible with the core WordPress software or the underlying PHP version. If the plugins fail it is likely that the website will start to show errors or there will be a critical error and the website will not be available.
- Plugins that are not updated can have vulnerabilities in the code that may allow it to be hacked. If one plugin becomes vulnerable the whole site is open to being hacked and corrupted. The outdated code can also impact the speed of the website. See Top Tip #2.
- You should also update the plugins to make sure that you have the latest features available. By checking the plugin changelog you will be able to see the new features and any bugs that have been fixed.
Keeping the plugins up to date is relatively easy. Some plugins can be checked to allow automatic updates. I think it best to limit this to ‘simple’ plugins that are less likely to impact the sire should the update cause a conflict. Second regular visits to the website admin will allow you to see the plugins (and templates) that need updating. It is worth mentioning that updates to a template can be quite risky – I will create a future Top Tip on this subject.
The third way is to employ Support From Richard to monitor your site, update plugins and check for any conflicts, etc. Check out the WordPress Maintenance, Advice And Management Solution.