Why must you keep your WordPress website and plugins updated?

Do you know how important it is to regularly update your WordPress website and plugins? There are three main reasons you need to update:

  1. Security
  2. Bug Fixes
  3. Cool New Features and Better Performance

The good news is, it’s really easy to update your WordPress website and the benefits are significant. Read on to learn why you need to update your website today and how to go about it.

Keep your site secure and safe from hackers.

More than 30% of websites are made with WordPress. In fact it’s the most popular CMS in the world. However, its popularity makes it a big target for hackers and malicious code distributors.

Since WordPress is open source, anyone can study the source code to learn it and improve it. This also means hackers can study it too and find new ways to break into your website.

With every WordPress update there are release notes which list everything that has been fixed and updated from the previous version. The hackers read these release notes and then try to exploit them by searching for websites that have not been updated yet. If your website is running on an older version of WordPress then you run the risk of hackers breaking in.

Remember your plugins too!

You need to remember to always update your plugins and themes too as they can be exploited as well, just like your core installation.

Get those bug fixes sorted.

All software, including WordPress, has bugs. Bugs are mistakes in a computer program that can cause your WordPress website to behave oddly and display frustrating glitches. Despite rigorous testing of new releases, bugs do slip through the net. It’s essential your website always runs smoothly so your users can enjoy a seamless experience. This means it’s important you always implement bug fixes and keep your WordPress website updated.

Make sure your website has the latest features.

WordPress is always being improved and gets better with every new version. Each new release contains new features and performance upgrades which will help you build a better website, and could ultimately lead to an increase in sales or improved interaction with your brand.

For example, WordPress 5.0 introduced the block editor, WordPress 5.3 included accessibility and UI (user interface) improvements, and WordPress 5.4 offered new blocks and improvements to the block editor. The software is always evolving and you need to make the most of it.

It’s also worth remembering that as well as your core installation being updated with new versions, your plugins are always improving too and offering you better functionality.

How do you update?

The great news is that it is super easy to keep your website updated, safe from hackers and providing the best performance. When you log into your WordPress dashboard, simply look at your menu on the left-hand side and you will see all your available updates clearly highlighted. Click on them and follow the instructions. It couldn’t be more straight-forward.

Minor releases that include security improvements and bug fixes are updated automatically, but you can also ask WordPress to install major releases automatically too. You can simply configure this manually in wp-config or set it up using an easy updates plugin. These plugins let you choose what should be updated automatically and which you’d like to update manually.

Automatic updating does come with an element of risk though. Sometimes a website can break with a new update and if the update is automatic then you might not notice straightaway. If you decide you’d like help updating your WordPress site and plugins, then just take a look at our hosting and care packages, any questions please just get in touch with us at EngineRoom any time.

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