The Importance of Updating Your WordPress and Plugins

The Importance of Updating Your WordPress and Plugins

WordPress is a very popular platform due to its ease-of use, flexibility and adaptability. It’s even used by top brands like Ford, CNN and the New York Times. In addition to using it as a blogging platform, it’s a comprehensive content management suite used to power many different types of websites, including classified ads, job boards and business sites. However, updating a WordPress site often falls by the wayside. It should be updated on a regular basis, including WordPress itself, plugins and themes. The reasons behind updating a WordPress site on a regular basis are enhanced security, performance, features, bug fixes and compatibility. Each of these factors are important, but security is number one.

Enhanced Performance

The WordPress CMS powers up about 25 percent of the internet and is an attraction for hackers. As a matter of fact, studies show that 83 percent of hacked WordPress sites were not updated. This is due to outdated versions of PHP, themes and plugins. Hackers are on the prowl to steal data, insert viruses and dismantle sites. Today’s worms cleverly make its way around old, unpatched WordPress versions. It disguises itself as an administrator and uses JavaScript to hide. Then, it inserts hidden malware and spam into old posts.

When someone in the WordPress community or the developer spots a security threat, it’s fixed with an update. But if you don’t keep your version of WordPress, plugins and themes updated, you can’t reap the benefits. You’ll wind up just keeping your WordPress site vulnerable to security threats. Updating your WordPress website is site maintenance 101.

Better Performance

WordPress sites, plugins and themes perform better with regular updates. Think of it as an under-the-hood check and tune-up. You’ll notice the difference in faster scripts and the site’s efficiency. Who wouldn’t want their site running better? Keep in mind that performance is one of the important factors of a successful website.

Fix Bugs with an Update

New WordPress releases also fix bugs. Sometimes, a bug will slip through the internet, and a minor release will come on board to fix it. For example, release 3.8.3 eliminated a bug with the “quick draft” tool that was broken.  It’s also not uncommon for bugs to be discovered in previous versions. Get the fixed version with an update.

Ensure Compatibility

After a major WordPress release, many plugins get an update to ensure compatibility. This is to ensure that plugins don’t have compatibility issues with another plugin. If you update, be sure to back up your site first. One tip is to become a WPMU DEV member. This company’s plugins are always compatible with each other.

Get New Features with an Update

Updates often have new features. Take advantage of the new goodies with an update. Enjoy new features like WP post type, WP site query, easier plugin installation and deletion and improved auto saving. Don’t miss out on the available new shiny updates.

The Update Process

WordPress sites are pretty easy to update. You’ll see notifications when you log in to your site or you can get email alerts with the WP Updates Notifier. Here’s the process:

  • Review the changelog to see new updates
  • Test the update on a development site
  • Backup your site regularly
  • Install the updates
  • Test your site

When you’re seeking better security, performance, compatibility, bug elimination and new features, regular updating is the key solution. And If you don’t want to do your own updating, turn to the experts at Rockets Update. Our WordPress maintenance services include updates and backups. Give us a call today and get started.

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