When updating a plugin for WordPress, there is always a risk that it might “break something”, but follow these simple steps to ensure it’s not a heart breaking moment!

If you don’t backup your site before updating a plugin (or WordPress itself), you really should. This piece of advice will ensure that whatever happens, you can always “roll back” to a happy time…

You can back up via your hosting company (contact them directly for advice), or you can take backups of your site using a number of backup plugins for WordPress. Type in “backup” at wordpress.org and you’ll have a wealth of options.

Okay, so let’s assume you didn’t backup…

The most likely scenario: you see a plugin needs updating via your WordPress admin dashboard, and you go ahead and update. And whoosh….. your site now can’t be accessed, with an error showing on the screen.

First… Don’t Panic!

Douglas Adams anyone? It will be alright.
You’ve not read HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Do so. Now.

If you are one of our customers.

Really sorry – we’re here to help. Log a helpdesk ticket, and we’ll fix it for you as a priority.

Or if you’d like to sort it yourself, read on…

Step 1, FTP…

Open up FTP, and connect to your website. Your hosting company can advise on how to do this, if you’ve not done this before, and “Google it” for lots of help.

Step 2, rename the offending plugin

In wp-content/plugins are all your plugins, one folder for each one. Rename the folder for the plugin you just tried to update, perhaps adding an ‘x’ at the start.

Step 3, back to your admin dashboard

Now go back to www.example.com/wp-admin (for your site), and click on Plugins. You’ll see a notice about your plugin being de-activated.

Step 4, rename the offending plugin back again

Via FTP, get rid of that ‘x’ you added. The plugin will remain de-activated, giving you time to breath.

Step 5, contact the plugin author for advice

Find out why it happened and what to do next. They will probably ask if you took a backup…

What about WP Symposium Pro?

If this does happen after updating WP Symposium Pro, it may be because you have the Core plugin and the Extensions plugin, but they are not the same version and WP Symposium Pro wasn’t allowed to check.

So it’s a simple fix:

  1. Download the latest versions of the Core plugin from wordpress.org, and the Extensions plugin from your “My Account” page at www.wpsymposiumpro.com.
  2. If you’ve downloaded a ZIP file, extract the ZIP file.
  3. Via your FTP connection, over-write the plugins with the latest versions (make sure you are copying over the top, in the right place)


In future, when both the Core and the Extensions plugins both need updating, do them at the same time via Dashboard->Updates on your WordPress admin dashboard.