If you are managing a blog or website yourself and are using the WordPress content management system (CMS), then you will no doubt want to make life easier for yourself and your readers or website users. To get the most from your site, therefore, it is important that you improve it and add to it regularly. However, it is also essential that you make sure that your version of WordPress, as well as those of your plugins, are kept up to date. Below we have listed some of the main reasons that updating WordPress is so important.
- Security – The most important reason for updating regularly is that it will ensure your site is more secure. All open source applications are at risk of being hacked but, with each update, security risks are fixed as and when these are discovered. WordPress is continually working to minimise the risks of hacking within its CMS, and it will release updates as and when specific security issues have been addressed. Making sure the version of WordPress you are using on your website or blog is up to date is the single most effective way of protecting the site. A hacked site could end up being disastrous, especially if you rely on the website for business. It is vital that you take every precaution necessary, especially in terms of security for your customers’ details.
- Features – If you want to get more from your site, you will want to ensure that you have access to all the latest features and tools. The best way to do this is by having the latest version installed.
- Improved Performance – With each new update, the performance of your site will improve. This will obviously enhance user experience on all levels.
Things to Consider before Updating your WordPress Site
If you are going to update your WordPress blog or website, there are a number of things you will need to consider before doing so. You need to be prepared for all eventualities, so a backup is essential. Although your web host should offer automatic backups, it is a good idea to do your own backup as well. Vaultpress or BackupBuddy are great plugins designed for creating backups of your WordPress site.
Many website owners choose to test any new updates before applying it to their live site, which is an especially good idea if your website is a business site. WPStagecoach will allow you to test updates before going live.
As well as your version of WordPress, you should also update your themes and plugins. If you have a number of plugins installed on your site, you should know that there is a chance they will not work with a new updated version of WordPress. Many people end up disappointed when they install a new version of WordPress only to find that their plugins are not working. What they fail to realise is that, very often, the plugin needs to be updated as well.