You know the saying, nothing in life is free. WordPress is not different. Yes, it is free to download and use, and you can even host it for free, but there is a catch.
WordPress is built by a community of developers. With each new release, they fix bugs, add new features, improve performance, and enhance existing features to stay up to date with new industry standards. So, in other words, when you do not update your WordPress site, you are risking your website security and missing out on improvements. Just like any piece of software, updating it is not only important, but necessary to ensure a functioning, high performing website. Let’s look at the key reasons why it is important to update WordPress.
Security is the primary reason you should keep your WordPress site up to date; updates often feature security enhancements that prevent sites from being exploited aka hacked. Since WordPress is open source (free), it benefits from a community of developers and security experts who are constantly testing every version of the software and properly reporting security fixes. Failing to update the latest version of WordPress can make your site an easy target for hackers and malicious code distributors.
Although every major release of WordPress goes through a rigorous testing process, sometimes smaller bugs slip through the cracks. This may or may not affect your website, but it is always a good idea to update WordPress in order to reduce any issues caused by bugs.
Web technology is constantly changing and WordPress developers are always searching for ways to make WordPress run faster and more efficiently. By keeping your WordPress site up to date you will provide not only a better user experience, but improve your site’s search engine rankings.
Every major release of WordPress includes new features tailored to improve the user experience. Past improvements include the ability to easily include embeds in text and video widgets, a redesigned plugin directory, and inline link editing via the visual post editor. Updating WordPress will only improve your ability to add new content to your site
So… What’s the downside to keeping your site up to date?
Running a WordPress website involves having a variety of 3rd party plugins and themes running. Each of these needs to be tested and updated with each updated version of the WordPress core. If they are not also updated on a regular basis, they may no longer be compatible with the latest version of WordPress. This could cause your website to stop functioning!
Keeping a regular backup of your website is essential to maintaining and regularly updating your website. If a plugin or theme update causes your site to crash or stop functioning as intended, you can restore a backup copy of your website and systematically figure out which update caused the issue.
It’s always a good idea to check the compatibility of your plugins and themes before you update WordPress. Remember, anyone can create a plugin or a theme, do your homework and make sure you are getting them from a reputable source.
Another option is to sign up for a secure hosting package such as one of The Miller Group’s Hosting Packages which offers regular backups and updates for your WordPress website and includes security services such as daily scans for malware and additional security protocols. This ensures you have peace of mind and that your website is always functioning and secure!