WordPress Plugin and Theme Updates: The Ultimate Guide and Best Ways to Update WordPress

When everything is running smoothly  on our sites we’re happy WordPress users!  When something goes wrong that’s a different story! Have you ever stared in shock at your precious website that is suddenly looking a bit or a lot messed up?  I have and it isn’t fun, but the good news is that knowing about how and why WordPress updates take place can go a long way to better understanding your site’s behavior!  Not knowing what happened or how to fix it adds to the dilemma. You can usually fix these issues by troubleshooting a few common causes. We like to say you can always fix it in WordPress, and we’re here to help.


This tutorial addresses the necessary updating of your WordPress site, themes, and plugins. Referencing the popular and widely used Site Origin Page Builder plugin. Included in this guide is basic beginner information about plugins and updates with potential problems and solutions.

 What will you learn?

  • Understanding plugins with some suggested ones to start with.
  • Basic information about WordPress, themes and plugin updates.
  • Identifying and resolving site issues following updates to WordPress,
    themes, and plugins. Including Site Origin Page Builder Plugin.

     Who should read this?

This is good reading material for anyone who wants to make a WordPress blog or has started WordPress in the past year. Your first year is a crucial time on your learning curve, and following best practices outlined here can help you build a successful blog you and hopefully many others love someday.

  • If your site platform is powered by WordPress.org
  • Use Site Origin Page Builder Plugin
  • Those experiencing issues on your site following updates.
  • You want to learn more about plugins, installation, and conflicts

wordpress updates

Plugins power your site with amazing functions. They help us build our sites in so many ways. Understanding what plugins are. How to install and use them effectively is a valuable asset to your WordPress experience.  In this video below Greg introduces you to the basics of plugins. Which ones to start with and how to install them.


plugin updates

There are several common questions I’m frequently asked about updates to WordPress, themes, and plugins.  See the questions and answers below;


theme updates


Q: What is that little red circle on the upper left of my dashboard?

A: You will often be alerted in your WordPress dashboard of current updates requiring you to install them. That little red circle indicates you have updates ready to install.

Q: Are WordPress, plugins, and theme updates 100% necessary?

A:  Yes, these updates are very important!  They fix any potential or existing bugs, optimize your site protection by increasing your site security. Often times updating your theme or a plugin works magic and solves a problem you were working on tirelessly, have you ever seen this?


Q: Will these WordPress updates break my site?

A: Usually, everything works out just fine. However, there are those unfortunate times when things don’t. But we (and developers in general) don’t like the word “break” because it’s sounds terrible – something that’s broken isn’t usable at all! Usually if you update your site and encounter a problem it’s because the update moved some images or overwrote some text. You can fix it and we can help. The good news is there are always solutions that will get your site running beautifully again!


Q: Can I update themes and plugins automatically?
A: Yes! There is a plugin called ‘WordPress Advanced Automatic Updates’ that you can install.
In the video tutorial below Greg addresses using this plugin and how to install it.



Greg has a helpful video tutorial about updates to WordPress, themes, and plugins.

It can be a daunting task trying to identify the cause of your site issues. Especially if you don’t know what to do. Often these are common problems with some fairly simple solutions.  It is necessary to follow a few basic steps to determine the cause. Here are a few things you can do;

Clearing browser cache is a great first step in troubleshooting your issues on site.

1. Clearing Browser Cache  If you need help with this step see the following links;

Clear Browser Cache or Turn Caching Off

Clear or Delete Browser Cache in Chrome

2. Plugin Conflicts

Plugin conflicts are a common reason that your site will act strangely following updates or in general.
Steps to determine if it is a plugin conflict and identify which plugin is causing your problem.

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Select plugins and access installed plugins list
  3. Deactivate plugins one at a time.
  4. Be sure to check your site for changes with each one you deactivate.
  5. You may need to refresh your site to see changes.
  6. If all looks the same proceed to deactivate the next plugin.
  7. Once you have checked them all reactivate one by one.
  8. If any caused a problem…don’t reactivate that plugin.
    It may also be a good idea to delete it. You can always
    re-install it later on.

WordPress Theme Updates

Periodically the issue can be related to your WordPress theme.

1. It can be that you need to update your theme. In your dashboard area you are alerted when your theme needs to be updated. Don’t ignore this as updates to your theme is essential for optimum functionality.

2. If your theme is updated. Possibly just updated. You can troubleshoot this by installing 2016 or 2017 WordPress theme. If your site looks better then you it may be your theme causing an issue. Contacting the maker of your theme can often help too.

Site Origin does their best to keep up with the pace of WordPress updates.  Most often things work out fine following updates to the Page Builder plugin. However, there are times when you may experience a plugin conflict.

This is exactly what happened to me following recent updates to WordPress and Site Origin Page Builder Plugin. I went into my client’s website early in the morning only to discover that it looked well… in one word ‘wonky’! All before my first coffee of the day!  Site Origin Widgets were out of alignment. Some squished together. Images off center. Site Origin Page Builder was not working properly. I was unable to delete anything and my changes did not show up.

Note: Site Origin recommends you deactivate all non- Site Origin plugins as a troubleshooting step.

See this helpful video tutorial by Site Origin
About understanding and troubleshooting WordPress Plugin Issues.

If you are experiencing any problems with the function of your website following updates to WordPress, themes or plugins we’re here to help 24/7! Simply head over to our forum and create a topic. Then submit to us the issue you are having with your site. Someone from our team will answer you within 24 hours.

  • Do you have a story to share with us about an issue you’ve experienced following updates?
  • Did you manage to fix the issue?
  • What was problem and how did you resolve it?

Let us know and see you below in the comments!

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