How to monitor plugin updates

Yesterday’s release of WordPress 2.2 has prompted a wave of upgrades again not just in WordPress-powered blogs but it includes the hundreds if not thousands of WordPress plugins that make the blogging software one, if not the best blogging platform out there.

Also, yesterday’s successful upgrade of this blog to WordPress 2.2 was smooth and painless all thanks to miracle that all of the plugins that power The Four-eyed Journal were compatible with the version of WordPress. This has eliminated the need to visit each plugin’s site for updates or fixes in case it has some incompatibility issues with the new version. So I’m a lucky blogger, and so as Jaypee, but what about the others who weren’t and had to hold out on upgrading to the latest version of WordPress because a plugin or two doesn’t jive well with ‘Getz’?

All of this could’ve been avoided if we bloggers were to keep up to date on the plugins we use. Sure plugin authors and developers offer support for their plugins, some who still continue developing their plugins offer updates and even dedicated sections of their blogs for this purpose.

Question now is, do we regularly visit them? Do we check up on them from time to time? A common observation among us bloggers is once we successfully installed a plugin, integrated it into our theme and even made some custom hacks, we completely forget about them in terms of maintenance and updates.

We only remember and bother to check up on the plugin’s home page or author site if it gets broken or it gets in the way of some upgrades to our WordPress blogs or other plugins. In this light, some plugin authors are in a way being under appreciated. This is because we only got to know these authors because we decided to use their plugins, we neglect the fact that most of these authors are bloggers as well, and it turns out, they are good bloggers too.

So to bridge this gap, help us prevent blogs being broken by outdated plugins and to give something back to the plugin authors aside from piles of support tickets or e-mails, here’s a simple tip on how to keep updated about the plugins we use for our WordPress blogs.

Bookmark all of them in one folder

You go to Plugins management page in the WordPress admin area, right-click on every active plugin and choose “Bookmark This Link…”

Then create a bookmark folder solely for the homepages of the plugins you use.

Give it a custom name, something to help you remember what’s the folder for and what’s in it.

Do the same thing to the rest of the plugins you actively use.

Once you’ve added all the links, go to Bookmarks > Organize Bookmarks menu in Firefox. Then simply drag the folder to your Bookmarks Toolbar and presto! Updates and fixes for your plugins are now a click-away.

This neat tip could be extended into your feed reader because hey, these authors are bloggers as well, so why don’t we give them a boost in their subscription stats and add their feeds to our reader. I’m sure they offer good posts as well as good plugins.

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5 thoughts on “How to monitor plugin updates

  1. I did something similar except I just clicked open new tab on all the uninstall buttons. lol. When I upgraded I pressed reinstall. I love the fact that WP now refuses plugins that are not compatible. Nice new look here too. This theme is clean!

  2. @ Jaypee: I've been trying to figure out how to turn the list into feed list, but some of the plugin pages are out. πŸ˜‰

    @ Shari: You are an OC Shari. It takes one to know one. πŸ˜€

    @ Darwin: We are indeed lucky. What plugins are those?

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