What is WordPress and why should you do WordPress updates?
WordPress is a free, open source platform, and it is developed 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. When you do not update your WordPress site, you are risking your website security and missing out on new features and improvements.
What are WordPress plugins and why should you do plugin updates?
WordPress plugins are like apps for your WordPress site. You can install them to add new features and functionality—like contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, etc.—to your website. Plugins are created by third-party developers. Most of them keep improving their plugins by adding new features, improving code quality, and keeping them secure. These changes are then released as updates. You should always keep your WordPress plugins up-to-date to ensure that those changes are applied on your site immediately. This improves WordPress security and the performance of your website.
Why is WordPress security so important?
Security is arguably the most important reason why you should keep your WordPress website up-to-date. WordPress currently powers over 30% of all websites in the world. Due to its immense popularity, WordPress is a target for hackers, malicious code distributors and data thieves. Since WordPress is open source, anyone can study the source code to learn and improve it. However, it also means that hackers can study it too and find ways to break into websites. The good part is that not all hackers are bad. There are a lot more good hackers than bad ones, which means that security experts around the world can study the code and properly report security bugs and fixes. Every time a security vulnerability is reported, the core WordPress team works diligently to release an update that fixes the issue. This means that if you are not using the latest version of WordPress, then you are using software with known security vulnerabilities. Hackers can search for websites running older versions, and you may become a victim of a sophisticated attack. This does not only apply to the WordPress core itself—plugins can also be exploited by hackers. You need to make sure that all your WordPress plugins, themes, and the core itself are always up-to-date.
For all of the reasons described above, we recommend your WordPress core and plugins be updated at least quarterly.
Will updating WordPress and WordPress plugins break my site?
Most of the time, you can update your WordPress core and its plugins without any problems. However, sometimes things can go wrong. Error messages pop up, functionality is lost, your website looks different than it did before, or even worse, you encounter the dreaded white screen of death. This can be caused by a variety of different things, including plugin, hosting or theme compatibility issues. And, it can be very costly and time consuming to fix. Therefore, before you do any updates, make sure you have a full backup of your website’s site files and database. Should something go wrong while you’re updating, you can restore the site from the backup you have made. Or, you can let us take care of the process for you!