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With WordPress plugins you can create an interesting and adaptive website that customers will want to use. By using plugins you can increase speed, security, and add a huge amount of functionality for free or low cost to your WordPress website, replacing the need for advanced coding. You can have an e-commerce site up and running in a day or so for example using Woocommerce.

The thing to bear in mind is they are also potentially the most vulnerable part of your website. They may be hacked, bought out by companies that want to compromise your site and data. If you are installing a plugin yourself (and not asking me) make sure it has at least 4.5 stars and in installed on many websites – 100,000 minimum and in the millions ideally.

Then make sure they are always updated. If you forget your website is at risk. WordPress will automatically update plugins if you set them to ‘Enable Updates’, typically about two days after release. You can always update manually anytime.

If your site starts playing up always start with the plugins, de-activate the last plugin you installed and see if that helps. You may end up doing that to all plugins one by one to check if one is causing a problem. If an update is not available for the latest version of WordPress after a couple of days I recommend deleting it.

To put this in perspective I have only had one issue in 12 years of building WordPress websites but I only install plugins I believe I can trust.

To check quickly if anything needs updating on your website (including themes) check the top of the dashboard. In this example you will see a 1 next to a circle. That alerts you something needs updating.

Click on it and you will see what does:

And then check compatibility before updating. This one says the compatibility for WordPress 6.0.3 is 100% (according to its author). You’ll want to see that before updating. There may be a lag of a day or two but if more than a few days I would delete the plugin. It’s a security risk. And hopefully it was not a central plugin for the working of your website.

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