Why WordPress updates are so important

Jul 7, 2021

83% of hacked WordPress sites are hacked because they haven’t been upgraded. 

And……. 

14% of web host services aren’t upgraded properly! 

Unfortunately, the statistics speak for themselves, in that most WordPress sites are hacked or fail functionally because they aren’t running the most up to date version of the software available. 

Updates are there for a reason.  Not to take up valuable time and resources, but because the digital world is ever-changing and updates have become a necessary feature and addition to help our systems and software keep up! 

Updates also help to fix bugs, increase online security, add additional features and update functionality and speed – all of which we’ll cover in more detail shortly. 

WordPress itself has various themes and plugins that allow you, their customer, to individualise and personalise your website to exactly your requirements and design specifications. 

However, to keep a fully functional website, you must regularly update WordPress with the latest plugins and themes, all in a timely manner.  Just like we update to the latest version of Windows, or we update our smartphones operating systems, software packages like WordPress and their plugins, etc., must also be updated in the same way. 

Updates help keep your website functional, relevant, and a must for website maintenance.

Find out more here!

Reasons why these updates are so important 

Online security should be one of the most important factors for your business, you need to protect your data and your customer’s data at all costs. 

Updating plugins and themes for WordPress is vital if you want (and you really should) to keep your online security tight. 

Why/how?

Because most updates provide patches – security patches for known and identified vulnerabilities helping to strengthen your system against potential cyber-attacks. 

Hackers and cybercriminals alike love to see vulnerability and will pounce on any system showing not to have the latest updates installed. 

This is why installing these updates reduces the risk of your site getting hacked or having malicious software installed, and your computer and operating system riddled with viruses!  For example, anti-spam plugins help to protect your website and keep your content safe. 

Remember, 83% of hacked WordPress sites were found not to have been updated. 

Of course, not all updates are security patches, so it’s not always necessary to carry these out asap.  However, we’d recommend installing new updates within the first week of receiving the original notification. 

Updates also help you to keep up with your competitors.  Having the latest features, functionality, and increased speed keeps your site on top of its game, and if your competitors are doing it, can you really afford to be left behind, with your website lagging while theirs flourishes? 

Updates, as we’ve briefly mentioned, also fix bugs that were found in previous versions.  WordPress developers continue to create new versions of the software platform to iron out these bugs and ensure you’re operating and working with the latest version of WordPress.  The key to ensuring all work well is to install and update your plugins! 

This leads nicely to new features and improved functionality, which can all be added to WordPress through updating themes and plugins – features and functionality that you can only take advantage of if you opt for the update. 

For example, think about the plugins you currently have on your site.  You have them because you like the features and functionality aspects they provide.  The same can be said for new plugins, i.e., new and different functionality and features now available to help you to boost your online revenue further. 

Ultimately, if you like the original versions, you’ll love the updated ones – just think about all the new features you can have by simply installing the latest WordPress update! 

Updates also help to improve speed. 

When it comes to SEO and high-ranking websites, speed is of the essence.  We know that a customer will leave a web page if the page in question takes longer than 3 seconds to load!  People feel like they no longer have the time or the patience to wait for information, so your web pages must load properly. 

To help, the new WordPress releases often come with small improvements to support the speed of your site – allowing you to improve your overall user experience.  

Increase your site’s performance, increase your user experience – to us, it’s a great win, win. 

Making updates easy 

The good news is that updating WordPress is relatively straightforward. You don’t have to remember times and dates for these updates, as you will automatically receive a notification when you log in to your system. 

Following the notifications that appear once you log in to your systems, these updates will outline what updates, if any, are currently available. 

Alternatively, WP Updates Notifier will also allow you to receive these notifications via email with the plugin update in the email body. 

Ideally, when installing new updates, you should also review and remove any plugins or themes you no longer use – this again tightens up your online security, making it more difficult for hackers to get in. 

Before installing the update: 

  • Read through all the release notes, so you know exactly what the new update is all about and just what it has to offer you. 
  • Look to test the update first before updating your live site (this is more of a security blanket for you and peace of mind if anything goes wrong). 
  • Ensure your site is backed up (this should be automatic, but it’s always worth double and triple-checking). 
  • Once the update is installed, review and test your site to make sure everything is working as it should be. 

We’re here to help 

Our advice: 

  • Please don’t overdo it with the plugins.  It’s important only to use the ones you really need, making it harder for hackers to gain access, and with fewer plugins, you will have fewer updates to carry out. 
  • WordPress core, theme, and plugin updates aren’t mandatory, but they help improve functionality, increase security, repair bugs, and increase site speed. 
  • Benefits outweigh the reasons to hold off updating. 
  • Digital is fast-changing, so updates, either critical security patches or those offering additional features, will happen sooner rather than later. 

For all updates seem pretty straightforward, updating plugins and themes to your WordPress site can still be a minefield, and regular maintenance can become a pain.  We get it.  That’s why our team is available to take care of your website for you, supporting you in all your website design needs. 

Freeing up your time so you can really get down to business. 

Why not give us a call today on 01606 374 995 and see how we can help you.

Find out more here!

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