Small Buisness Web Sites

WordPress Plugin Updates

There is a great deal to look after if you are operating a blog. They tell us that keeping the content original, up to date and current is important. Use valid keywords. Make it look nice and add interesting content that readers want to read. There are many more factors, but one important item is making sure that your WordPress Plugin updates are up to date.

Recently, I was upgrading my WordPress installation. Usually, all that is needed is to click upgrade the WordPress icon, then the templates, and then any plugins that indicated upgrading is needed. This time, an error was generated,

“There has been a critical error on your website. “

I could not log on to the site, nor view any pages or posts. This was serious since my blog was out of commission. Fortunately, I have other blogs, I can check and verify before considering an upgrade. I was concerned that the database was corrupted. Always make sure you have backups of everything before doing any upgrades.

WordPress Plugin Updates – Trouble Shooting

I also use Yoast to help manage SEO issues. On another site, the plugin was telling me that several plugins were out of date and had not been upgraded in several years. This is often a good sign that there may be an incompatibility issue with the latest release of WordPress. This issue could cause the entire blog to fail.

I decided to remove all of the plugins and reactivate them one at a time after I was able to get my WordPress blog working again. In order to do that, I needed to revert back to the older version of WordPress. I used the following step by step approach and it worked for me.

Step by Step WordPress Plugin Updates

I was running WP 5.5.X and got the message to upgrade to 5.6,

Here are the steps I used
1. Download the older version of the WP version 5.5.x to my computer

2. Using FTP, I changed the file names of wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes folders by adding xcopy in front of each

3. Uploaded the older version of 5.5.X to my Host (wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes folders)

4. Confirmed that I could log on and view a page minus all of the plugins, images, etc.

5. Changed the file names of all of the plugins in the xcopy-wp-content folder

6. Transferred all of the plugins to the new wp-content folder

7. Activated all of the plugins at the WP 5.5.x level and confirmed they worked, one at a time

8 Changed the plugin folder names to add xcopy for each plugin folder

9 Upgraded WP to 5.6

10 Confirmed that I could access WP and access all pages and posts

11 Activated each plugin one at a time and confirmed that WordPress still worked

12 Transferred all uploads, which are the images etc from the old WP to the new WP folders
13 Confirmed that it all works, which it does

14 Deactivated old plugins that were not used

15 Deactivated old plugins that had not been upgraded in some time and replaced them with new plugins that were more current and supported the functionality I was looking for.

This was a lot of work to recover a blog that was down. But the database was fine and everything worked!

Upgrading Other Blogs

Before upgrading any other blogs, I took the step of deactivating all plugins that were not active and also those that were no longer current. These were replaced. Fortunately, all of the other blogs upgraded to WordPress 5.6 with no issues.

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