Is it Really Critical to Upgrade WordPress? 5 Things You Need to Know
WordPress has quickly become a go-to choice for a self-hosted website content management system. Easy to install and simple to learn, while still enabling users to integrate the latest technologies of the Web through plugins, themes and customization, WordPress can be the perfect solution for many websites. However, once it is installed, it can be tempting for many website owners to simply leave it alone, ignoring prompts for upgrades. Unfortunately, the old adage of “If it’s isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” does not apply to WordPress installations. Here are 5 things that you need to know now about upgrading WordPress:
- The most important reason to upgrade your WordPress installation is the security aspect. Weaknesses and loopholes in the code are constantly being sought out and exploited by malicious hackers. This is especially concerning if your site collects any personal information from visitors or processes any purchases. The only way to keep your site as secure as possible is to install upgrades as soon as they come out to patch potential vulnerabilities.
- Upgrading WordPress ensures that your site is compatible with current versions of plugins and themes, preventing crashes due to clashing code. With the speed with which technology is advancing, this attention to compatibility issues in advance can save you from lost data, site downtime and expensive repairs down the road. Left unchecked too long, your site will inevitably run into these issues, making constant, gentle maintenance the best route to take.
- Without upgrading, you’ll also find yourself missing out on the latest features and functionalities being introduced, which can easily give your competition an edge over you. Working with dated tools is giving yourself a handicap in the world of business, so keeping up with the latest trends are important if you want to stay relevant and offer your site’s visitors the best experience possible.
- Even if it does not expose you to a security threat, no code is perfect, with bugs continually discovered in older versions of WordPress. New updates constantly work to repair these bugs, and clean up known issues. Even if a bug seems to not affect you, if it has been identified as an issue, there’s always a possibility that it can be triggered in the future. It’s best to save yourself the worry, and stick to the new versions.
- Finally, upgrading WordPress ensures that your website’s performance will not be inhibited by outdated code and design. As new technologies and techniques are developed to boost page speed and loading times, device compatibility, page size and more, WordPress is adjusted to accommodate the latest improvements. Skipping upgrades can leave you using out-dated technology, which can not only leave you with an inferior website, but also affect your search engine ranking, as site performance is a key influence on this. Save your Google ranking, and start paying attention to your upgrades.
Neglecting WordPress upgrades can leave your website vulnerable, out-dated, and at risk, and by the time something breaks, it can require far more work to fix it than it would to simply maintain things in the first place. In the worst case scenarios, it can mean that content on your site is permanently lost or confidential information is leaked. It’s far better to save yourself the stress and consequences down the road, and start keeping up to date with your upgrades now!