Is it really that important to keep updating the WordPress version your site uses?
If you run your own site or are thinking about getting one created, you need to might’ve heard people saying about updating WordPress.
This can be quite a scary word I know, but it’s important.
Many people think updates can be a pain. Especially since we’re all guilty of clicking ‘remind me later’ on our phones and tablets whenever it pops up.
But updating WordPress is important as it keeps your site running as it should – amongst other things!
What are WordPress updates?
Firstly, to be able to appreciate how important keeping your WordPress version up-to-date is, you need to understand what they are!
WordPress is made from the WordPress core. This is the group of files that essentially make up the foundations of your WordPress site.
You add your own themes, content, images and plugins to make up the rest of it. But the foundations and admin interface are created by the WordPress core.
Keeping everything Secure
One of the most important reasons for keeping up-to-date with your WordPress updates is for security reasons.
Hackers are constantly looking for ways to get into sites. So, with WordPress being one of the most popular CMS used, it makes it a big target.
Each WordPress update has different fixes and changes. There are notes available on what has been changed for each of these.
This gives hackers an insight into what they could use to get in. Sites that haven’t been updated will still have the same issues from those notes that have been fixed in the newer updates.
It’s almost like giving a hacker a key to get into your site – which is something you want to avoid!
Don’t Damage Your SEO Efforts!
Site speed is an important factor in user experience. You don’t want to put people off by having a slow site!
This is the same aim of the WordPress developers – they are always trying to make sure WordPress is a fast and efficient CMS.
So this is something they think of as important in their updates! Each update comes with fixes to make the core of WordPress run efficiently for its users.
Site speed also affects SEO rankings. If you’ve done a lot of work on that front, but not updated your WordPress, you might be struggling to work out why you’re falling down the results!
To make sure you’re taking full advantage of the improved efficiency, and not denting your SEO efforts, you need to keep up to date with your updates.
Get Rid of Those Bugs
Some bugs are more annoying that others. Some can affect a small portion of your site, whilst others can affect the whole thing.
Either way, they’re something you could live without.
But what are these bugs?
Computer bugs are described as coding mistakes. They then cause your output to behave in an unintended way.
Some developers see these as an exciting challenge – but when you’re just trying to get your website running, it can be a pain!
If you ask someone for help, the first thing they will say is “Is your WordPress updated?”
This is the most common fix and such a simple solution, so by keeping your site updated, your preventing those pesky bugs from getting in.
Keep Updated With The Latest From Plugins
To get some extra functionality on your site, you’re likely going to have at least a few plugins on there.
These can do a massive range of jobs, from creating sliders and galleries to making forms and social feeds.
There are estimated to be over 50,000 plugins available for WordPress, so there is a wide range of choice!
All of these plugins are created by developers and authors, and they can leave plugins as they are – or keep developing it.
So they release updates for each change they make – meaning all of your plugins need updating every so often too.
It’s best practise to only add plugins which have been recently updated so you can prevent any bugs from getting into your site for the same reasons as above.
So keeping your site updated is not just important in terms of the WordPress core.
The Fear of Missing Out!
Whilst a lot of the reasons for keeping your site up-to-date are for security, some might be for things more beneficial to your website’s features.
The majority of the updates that are released in plugins and the WordPress core are for security, speed and bug fixes.
But, as most developers will keep working on their plugins and WordPress, they will often listen to customer feedback.
If, for example, there is a slider plugin which is great, but customers would love it so much more if you could add buttons, developers are hardly going to ignore this potential improvement.
They can work on the plugin and release a new feature to add buttons to the slider. And, if you have the plugin already installed on the site, this will be released as an update!
If you’re not onto your updates, you’ll miss out on these new features, and might make things harder for yourself when working on your site.
If you keep onto your updates, you’ll gain all of the benefits those developers are creating for you.
Getting snowed under with updates? Not sure where to get help? Get in touch with us on 01295 266644 or fill out the form below and we can give you a hand!