Why it is Important to Keep WordPress Up to Date
There are over 1 billion websites that make up the internet and around 35% of them are powered by WordPress. The popularity of WordPress makes it a perfect choice for hackers around the world that are crawling the internet looking for out of date WordPress sites. They use automated scripts to gain access to your site with the intention of stealing your customers’ information, installing malware, or even worse, turn it into porn. The end result is a damaged reputation for your business and lost customers.
What are WordPress versions?
From the very first update in May 2003, WordPress has been announcing updates and change logs (the changes made in this release) on their website. Typically, 3 or 4 times a year, a major upgrade is released that contains new functionality, performance enhancements, and bug fixes to name a few. These are scheduled releases and the release date is known in advance. In addition, multiple minor releases are published. Often times a minor version can indicate that a security flaw was found and fixed, thus requiring an update of your site as soon as possible.
Security fixes are released as soon as they are found and fixed. Keeping your site up to date is your responsibility. Having notifications turned on will let you know when you need to take action.
Why Should I Upgrade My WordPress site?
What Happens if I do not Upgrade my site?
Creating relationships with your customers, and fulfilling their needs is the top priority for any small business. Not everyone has time, or more importantly the desire, to research and update their WordPress site on time. It requires that your pause what you are doing and apply the update, and test to make sure nothing is broken. If something is broken, then that problem needs to be researched and fixed too. Unfortunately, all of this needs to be done in a timely manner. That’s where WPFix comes in! Our engineers can update your WordPress version and do some testing to make sure it is working properly.
The longer you wait, the higher chance of one or more of the following things can happen:
- Your website gets hacked, and attempts to install malware on your customers’ computer.
- Even worse, your site is hacked to becomes a porn site.
- Increased chances of something breaking when finally apply the update(s).
- A theme or plugin changes or becomes difficult to update.
- Increased complexity and time required to troubleshoot problems during the update.
- Potential negative impact on Search Engine ranking.
- Loss of business or customer data.
Auto Updates for Plugins and Themes. What are the Pros & Cons?
WordPress has a feature to allow plugins to be automatically updated, which is recommended, for simple plugins that are not updated often. This is a nice feature that prevents you from constantly checking to see if you have updates that need to be installed. Most of the time auto updates go smoothly will not create a problem. The down side here, is you still need to do some basic testing. Making sure that the email system of your website is properly configured is critical here. Notifications, will be sent when these automatic updates happen. More complex plugins, like WooCommerce, should be done manually to make sure everything is goes smoothly. WPFix can help you resolve any problems that occur durring this process, or help get your emil configuration properly setup.
Why Upgrade to WordPress 5?
The most current version of WordPress 5.x. If your website is running on 4 or less versions then you should consider upgrading to version 5 as soon as you can. Unless you have had custom programming done to your website, most of your plugins and themes will be compatible. Before doing an upgrade to version 5 a full backup should be before doing so. Once everything has been updated, more thorough testing will be need to make sure everything is working properly. These upgrades are more complex than updating a plugin or theme. Again, the longer you wait the more difficult, and expensive, this upgrade becomes.