WordPress is an online, open-source content management system (CMS) that is used for blogging and website creation. As an open-source CMS, WordPress is developed and maintained by a community of developers. The community of developers work to add new features and identify security vulnerabilities. WordPress updates are continuously released to improve functionality and security.
As an open-source platform, anyone can study the source code. While the open source developers are studying the code to learn ways to improve it, hackers are studying the code to learn ways to break in. If you are not using the latest version of WordPress, you are missing out on the latest fixes and features while putting your website’s security at risk.
New versions of WordPress are continuously released as the CMS evolves. New versions bring new features, feature enhancements, improved performance, improved security, and bug fixes. New versions of WordPress, plugin updates, and theme updates are released on a sporadic basis.
Here are 5 reasons why you should continuously update your WordPress website:
1) Improved Functionality
New versions of WordPress mean new features and enhanced features. For improved functionality of the CMS, it essential to update your website. Furthermore, WordPress support forms assume you are using the latest version. If you want support or guidance, you must update your website first.
2) Fixed Bugs
As with any CMS or software, there is the potential for bugs. As bugs are identified, the WordPress developers fix the bugs and resolve the issues. If you are using an outdated version, you may be fighting bugs that have already been fixed.
3) Improved Performance
Today, you have three seconds to engage a prospect or customer. Speed is essential for engagement as well as search engine optimization. WordPress developers continue to make performance improvements to make WordPress run faster.
4) Improved Security
As the most popular CMS system, WordPress is a target for hackers and malicious code distributors. If you are not using the latest version of WordPress, your website is vulnerable and could easily be hacked. Hackers know how to search for older versions of WordPress and specifically attack vulnerable sites.
5) Plugin Compatibility
Plugin and theme developers often coordinate their updates with WordPress versions. Usually, these updates are coordinated and introduce the latest enhancements and features. However, we do not live in a perfect world and sometimes an update breaks the plugins or theme on your website. This can be extremely frustrating and therefore make website backups essential.
It is best practice to keep your plugins, themes, and WordPress version up-to-date. When you log into WordPress, look for the updates page on your dashboard and install the recent updates. If you do not log into WordPress often, consider the following options:
- Turn on automatic updates
- Set-up email notifications for updates
- Hire someone else to maintain the website.
With the risk of incompatible plugins, it is best to manually install the updates or hire someone to manually install the updates. That way you can create a backup of your website in case of issues. If an update breaks your website, you will know which update broke it and how to resolve the issue. If the updates go on autopilot, the website could break and take you by surprise. It is best to know if your website breaks and what caused the issue.