Remember being told to make haste slowly? Or more haste, less speed?
This sage advice applies when making changes to any website, including updating plugins in WordPress.
Yesterday, I was looking for the most popular post on the Baker Marketing website, Using Hootsuite for ethical eavesdropping on social media, but it did NOT appear in search.
I was temporarily dumbstruck, particularly because search on our site has been world class and super user friendly since installing the Relevanssi search plugin in 2012. I wrote about it here: How to improve the search function of your WordPress website.
However, the troubleshooting process I went through might be helpful to you as you manage your own WordPress website; here it is.
Check the WordPress plugin homepage
One of the reassuring things about official WordPress plugins is that they have official pages on the WordPress.org website.
I hopped across to wordpress.org and searched for Relevanssi, which led me to the plugin’s homepage.
The first thing I clicked on was Installation which typically has notes on how to install plugins and apply updates.
And there was a note about Updates. It read:
If it seems the plugin doesn’t work after an update, the first thing to try is deactivating and reactivating the plugin. If there are changes in the database structure, those changes do not happen without a deactivation.
I did that, and all was fixed.
Deactivating and Reactivating plugins
When your plugin suggests you deactivate and reactivate it, here is what you do.
Go to your WordPress admin area, scroll down to Plugins and click to see a list of all your installed plugins.
Look for the plugin you need to work on and under its title will be a link called Deactivate. Click it.
Your screen will refresh and that plugin will now have a new link under its title called, Activate. Click it.
Visit the plugin forum
Hopefully, deactivating and reactivating will result in your problem being solved.
In the rare case that it is not, go back to the plugin’s wordpress.org homepage and look at the right hand side of the screen for the support area. It will feature a button labelled View support forum.
In most plugins, there will be some activity underway with people asking questions about tweaks, tips and errors.
This is where you are likely to find the answer you want because someone else will have asked it OR you will be able to post your own question.
Then, if all else fails, search Google.