Why you should keep your WordPress Website Updated
WordPress – One of the best CMS platforms available out there! Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you should because according to the WordCamp website, there are currently over 75 million WordPress websites online.
Yes, that is seventy-five freaking millions. 75,000,000 websites!!
It wouldn’t be if it wasn’t the best CMS out there. But even the best of things need maintenance and the same is the case here. To keep your WordPress website working a-okay, you need to make sure it is up to date, not just the platform, but everything on your website – the theme, plugins, and the likes. But …..
Why is it so important to keep my WordPress website updated?
Security. That’s correct. It is only a one-word answer to a question that has popped up countless times before on many WordPress forums. But I bet, it is the most important one unless you want to get attacked by hackers, that put some gibberish code on your website for everyone to see. Yeah, not a pretty picture, right? We thought so.
So unless you want your website to be a victim of these sneaky hackers, it is CRUCIAL that you keep your website updated.
Now, since WordPress is open-source software, the code is out in the open for everyone to see. If there is a security vulnerability found, it will be there for everyone to see. Fortunately, WordPress acts quickly and works to make sure a fixed version is rolled out as soon as possible to minimize the security risk for millions and millions of websites being made on WordPress. But this would mean that you have to update your core WordPress to stay up to date with all of the security fixes and updates. It is the most important. I cannot stress this enough!
Just keep your WordPress updated? At least for all of the major updates. Pretty please.
Updating the Plugins and Themes
WordPress itself has a lot of functionality, and you can always custom code your website on WordPress. But there are more than 50k + plugins and more than 11k themes available in the WordPress repository. Keeping your WordPress website updated would mean not only you have to keep the Core WordPress platform updated, but also keep everything else you have used for your website updated as well. This includes all the plugins and themes.
Normally, when WordPress rolls out an update, many of the themes and plugins will also roll out updates to keep up the compatibility with the CMS, mainly so that your website doesn’t break in functionality.
Although, keeping everything updated wouldn’t require anything more than a click of a button, but there are certain things you need to keep in mind when performing a major update – be it WordPress, theme or the plugins.
For the sake of keeping everything sorted and not confusing for you, let’s focus on what is the one thing that you need to take care of before taking on a major update.
Backup Backup Backup!
This is probably the one thing all WordPress gurus will agree with. Create a complete backup of your website before performing any update on your live website.
You can backup either manually or via plugins. Either way, creating complete backup of your website is one of the best ways to ensure that you’d have a backup to rely on if anything goes wrong.
Create a Staging Environment
Another way you can make sure that your website doesn’t break when you update your website or any of its components is to create a staging environment and test all the updates on your staging site before doing anything to your live website.
Again, you can either create a staging environment manually, or via third party applications available. Here is an awesome guide if you’re looking for a detailed step-by-step.
The Final Word
I really hope you’re convinced on why you need to keep your WordPress website updated. Whatever update that your website might need, just make sure you do not forget to backup your complete website before making any changes or performing an update to your live website. This will give you peace of mind and assure you of your secure backup plan to rely on if anything goes wrong. I am sure you’d not want your website traffic to experience a broken website that might affect your website traffic by the hundreds. If you create backups, and can restore them if anything goes wrong, you’d have nothing to worry about while performing an update. Now go on your way to keep your website updated. Good Luck!
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This is Adeel, the author of the popular LearnDash myCRED Integration addon and Adaptive Learning with LearnDash. Former BadgeOS contributor and Ninja at WooNinjas. I have been working as a web developer for the past 8 years now. I am passionate about applying the principles of progressive education to online learning and I believe e-learning should evolve according to the learning paradigm of the 21st century