A new update. Panic!
If you are one of the millions of bloggers who use self-hosted WordPress as your blogging platform, you will know the sense of dread and fear that runs down your spine when the little update icon turns red and warns you with a number of how many possible disasters await you.
Unfortunately, by the very nature of the Internet, updates are a necessity for a number of reasons, which include security most importantly, but also for aesthetics as well as site speed and efficiency.
After my recent vacation, when I decided to forget about my blogs for a whole four weeks, it was no surprise to me to find a little red number on all my blogs when I returned to work. Although my vacation had been over the December-January holiday season, it would seem that programmers, coders and developers don’t get so lucky at this time of the year, as I had at least 8 updates for each of my blogs.
As luck would have it, after clicking the dreaded update all button, I was quite happy to discover that only one update caused me any problem. Mind you, it was a nasty one. It was a small plugin that I have been using without a problem for over four years, but for some reason (isn’t it always an unknown reason?) the updated version had a few bugs, which made it inoperable.
As experienced WordPress bloggers know, deleting a corrupt plugin and installing the previous version usually solves the problem, as it did in my case.
For those bloggers who use online blogging platforms such as WordPress.com or Blogger, you may wonder why so many bloggers make the switch to a self-hosted site. In return for a little site maintenance and of course updates, self-hosted WordPress sites offer literally thousands of additional functions and tools, of which many are essential if a blog is to be used to earn an income. These include your own URL, design flexibility, site speed, email campaigns, advertising placement, social media automation, mobile readiness and importantly, the freedom to modify code and CSS.
Yes, the little red button is a pain, but then again, where there is no pain, there is no gain.
But you can avoid even these small issues by using a Sandbox WordPress installation to test any changes you make to your site.