It seems like every time you login to WordPress there is always some new update. However, are those updates necessary? Yes, it is important to keep your site as up-to-date as possible for three main reasons: (1) updates keep your site secure, (2) updates fix bugs in the code, and (3) updates add cool new features. Now, let’s dive deeper into these reasons, as well as how to properly implement the updates.
1) Staying Up-To-Date Keeps Your Site Secure
The number one reason for updating WordPress is to keep it secure. The older your version of WordPress is, the longer hackers have had to find loopholes in the security and take over your site. Every time you update WordPress it is almost like hitting the reset button on their process, because they now have new hoops to jump through before hacking your site. Not updating your site can lead to a warning like the one below. Think of all the visitors you’re losing when a warning pops up on your site telling people to go away.
2) Updates Fix Bugs in the Code
Bugs need to be fixed and updates fix them, deal with it. No matter how much testing people do on software there are almost always bugs. Most of the time they are small ones, but they still need to be fixed when possible. There will always be bugs as long as new features are added, because more code has been added for those features. Therefore, your option is to have a site with outdated features and bugs waiting to be found by hackers or a site with new features and bugs that hackers haven’t had time to find yet.
3) With Updates Come Cool New Features
Newer versions of WordPress means new cool features. This is just a bonus on top of security and bug fixes. WordPress updates will improve your user experience with WordPress, which includes an easier to use platform and additional features. An example of this is how much WordPress’ dashboard has changed over the years. For example, it wasn’t always user-friendly on mobile devices.
Ready to Update? Take These Steps
- Back everything up. I mean it, back up everything.
- There are two ways to go about this. You can do it manually by backing up all of your WordPress files via FTP and follow-up by backing up your database as well. Before you do this I recommend turning off permalinks so you do not run into an issue later. The other and much easier option is to find a plugin to help you do this. I recommend BackupBuddy, because it’s straight up awesome. By awesome, I mean it is super user-friendly and it backs your site and database up automatically, which is something you should be doing on a regular schedule anyways. You can go and start backing up your site now. Don’t worry, we will still be here.
- Update your site.
- Yep, update it until it stops telling you it needs an update. You can do this manually via FTP or just use the auto updater on the dashboard.
- Review your site.
- Look for anything that might have been broken during this update and fix anything that appears to be broken. If you have a custom theme you might need to go in and fix some CSS and HTML. If you’re using a theme from ThemeForest, or one of the default themes, make sure you have the latest version of your theme installed.
So go update your website, get cool new features, and put those hackers in their place.