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Today I had a question from a client that was so excellent, I just had to share it and my answer with you.  You see, this particular client typically does his own website maintenance using WordPress, but we had noticed one of the plugins was a little more out of date than we would want to see on any website.  Our hosting server provides us daily insights into issues we may want to address, with WordPress and its plugin update notifications arriving daily.

So, here was the question:

What is a plugin and why does it need to be updated?


A good metaphor for plugins would be a car and its windshield wipers.  Sure your car would run without the windshield wipers, but you need them to perform a specific purpose.  So, you can think of WordPress as the car, the plugins as the windshield wipers or “add-ons” that provide additional functions.  

We monitor WordPress and plugins on your site to ensure they are kept up to date.  There are a wide variety of reasons a plugin would be updated:  browsers like Chrome, Firefox and the like release updates that break plugins and the plugin developer issues an update to fix it, WordPress released an update and it needs the plugin to follow suit to stay in sync, the developer added some functionality or released a patch for something not quite right.

That about covers it – probably more than you wanted to know – but that’s pretty much it.