When is it time to update WordPress? The simple answer is whenever an update is released.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world. It currently powers close to 30% of all websites in the world. Due to its popularity, it is a common target for hackers. You can prevent a good share of this by being proactive.
Biggest Reason to Update WordPress: Security
Keeping WordPress core, plugins and themes updated is the best way to keep hackers out of your site. Conversely, the easiest way for hackers to gain access to your website is through out-dated software.
Fortunately, there are good hackers who look for vulnerabilities, which they report on and fix. The bad hackers look for these vulnerabilities as well and you may become a victim of an attack if you haven’t updated your version WordPress.
Other Reasons to Update WordPress
Each new release comes with performance improvements that make WordPress run faster and more efficient. We all want fast websites, right? Did you know that if your site doesn’t load in three seconds, the viewer is likely to leave your site? That means a loss of potential revenue if you sell products or services on your site.
There are often new features and changes to the software with an update as well.
Things to Do to Keep WordPress Up-to-Date
- Check on the back end of your site. If there is an update, there will be a notification to that effect. There is no time line for this, so check it frequently. If you are posting blogs on a regular basis, all it takes is a quick look in the tool bar.
- Do a backup of your site in case anything goes wrong.
- Examine your plugins while you’re in the back end. As WordPress gets updated, plugins developers should update their product as well. If they don’t you may run into compatibility issues, which sometimes means something doesn’t display correctly. It’s pretty easy to visit the plugin repository via the back end and see when a plugin was last updated. If it’s been more than a year or so, I’d be looking for a new source.
- Delete any plugins or themes that are not being used. There’s no need to maintain them if you aren’t using them.
If this is all too confusing, or you’re uncomfortable updating WordPress yourself, consider hiring someone to do WordPress updates for you. It’s that important!