WordPress is a wonderful example of what people can achieve when they work together. There are so many plugins available these days that are invaluable … that take many hours to develop … and yet are completely free.

WordPress is a wonderful example of what people can achieve when they work together. There are so many plugins available these days that are invaluable … that take many hours to develop … and yet are completely free.

Without them WordPress would not be the success that it is today but at the same time every plugin is a ticking time bomb. Plugins can be extremely valuable at yet they can also be extremely vulnerable to hackers who want to break into your website and create havoc.

And so we see that just about every plugin that you’re using has to be updated frequently. Sometimes the plugin needs to be updated because there is a problem within the plugin and at other times the plugin needs to be updated so that it will continue to work with other plugins that have been updated.

A never ending cycle that can cause problems

It’s a never-ending cycle and it must be quite a pain in the ass for every plugin developer. It takes hours and hours to produce the plugin in the first place and then they have to go on spending time to keep the plugin up to date.

It’s no wonder that sometimes an update to a plugin is released and problems begin to appear … often because the update was rushed and not thoroughly tested before release. Unfortunately those problems that begin to appear can be quite catastrophic and websites can disappear from the web for days before a solution is found.

So what can you do if you update a plugin only to find that the update has created problems that need to be fixed as soon as possible?

Just last week a major security plugin was updated and somewhere in that update was some code that caused a conflict with other plugins. It didn’t affect every website that we manage but it certainly did block our access to the admin section of a number of sites and began spitting out strange email alerts.

The plugins authors must have noticed the problem quite quickly because another update was released the next day but that wasn’t much help to those of us who couldn’t access the admin sections of impacted websites to install the second update.

Improvise, adapt and overcome

To overcome the problem we:

1. We needed to disable the plugin so we accessed the site via FTP … but you can also do this through your CPanel access.

2. We drilled down to the plugin folder and renamed the plugin simply by adding 4 or 5 numbers to the front of the name.

3. We then logged into the admin section of the website via wp-admin and deactivated the plugin.

4. Once the plugin was deactivated we then updated it.

5. On the servers, that the affected sites were on, the act of updating the plugin automatically renames the plugin back to its original name but you may have to do  that manually on your server.

6. We then activated the plugin, logged out and then logged back in to make sure that it was working.

If that had not fixed the problem we would have gone back in via FTP or CPanel, renamed the plugin, deactivated it in the WordPress admin area and gone looking for a solution.

Fortunately it did work and everything is running smoothly again.

It’s a simple and quick solution but if you feel confident enough to do the work yourself we can always help.