From time to time you need to Update WordPress, your theme and plugins.Updates typically happen when developers release security patches or add extra functionality.
It’s good practice to keep your themes, plugins & WordPress version updated to the latest versions. The top two reasons for sites being hacked are insecure passwords & outdated (vulnerable) software.
Automatic WordPress Updates
- WordPress has introduced automatic background updates in an effort to promote better security and to streamline the update experience. By default, only minor WordPress releases are enabled (e.g. v4.5.2, v4.6.1). These minor releases are usually for maintenance and security purposes or translation file updates. Only core WordPress files will be auto-updated. Your themes or plugins won’t be automatically updated.
- Once your site is auto-updated your site administrator will be notified by email. If your WordPress installation can’t update itself automatically for one reason or another, your site administrator will be notified of this as well.
How to Update WordPress Installation
To update your WordPress version manually or to update your themes and plugins, hover your cursor over the Dashboard menu option in the left-hand navigation menu and in the fly-out menu, click the Updates link. Alternatively, click the Dashboard menu option and then click the Updates link underneath.
The Updates page is divided into three sections
- Update WordPress Core: If your version of WordPress requires updating, this will be displayed at the top of the page. Updating your WordPress version is as simple as clicking the Update Now button. WordPress will download the necessary files, perform a validation of those files and then automatically update your site.
- Update WordPress Plugins: Next you’ll be notified of any plugin updates, you can easily update all plugins.
- Update WordPress Themes: Next are theme updates, again you can easily update your theme here.
Note: If there are Plugins or Themes that you are NOT using please be sure to remove these as they may cause issues at some point.
To much for you to handle? Need someone to handle updates and security for you? Check out our Managed WordPress Services.
Why you should update WordPress
There are several reasons why you should update WordPress regularly:
- WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, powering over 40% of all websites on the internet. While it is a reliable and user-friendly platform, it is essential to keep it up-to-date by regularly updating it to the latest version. In this article, we will explore the various reasons why updating WordPress is crucial and why you should do it regularly.
- Security – One of the most crucial reasons to update WordPress is to enhance your website’s security. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities in software, and older versions of WordPress are more prone to security breaches than newer ones. With every new update, WordPress releases security patches to address any known vulnerabilities in previous versions. These patches help protect your website from potential security threats and keep your data safe from unauthorized access.
- Bug Fixes – Like any other software, WordPress has bugs that need fixing from time to time. When WordPress users report issues, developers work on finding and fixing the problem. Newer versions of WordPress come with bug fixes, which help improve your website’s performance, address any issues reported by users, and ensure your website runs smoothly.
- Compatibility – Updates are vital for ensuring that WordPress remains compatible with other software, including plugins, themes, and browsers. As technology advances, new versions of these tools are released, and they may not work with older versions of WordPress. By updating to the latest version, you ensure that your website is compatible with the latest tools and technologies.
- New Features and Functionality – One of the most exciting aspects of WordPress is the frequent introduction of new features and functionality with every update. These features can help improve your website’s user experience, make it easier to manage your site, and enhance your website’s overall functionality. Regular updates mean you get to take advantage of these new features and functionality as soon as they are released.
- Improved Performance – WordPress updates also come with performance enhancements that improve your website’s speed and performance. These improvements can include optimizing code, database queries, and other performance-related aspects that can have a significant impact on your website’s overall speed.
- Support – WordPress is an open-source platform, which means it is continually evolving, and developers from around the world are always working on new updates and features. However, this also means that older versions of WordPress may no longer be supported, and you may not be able to get help if you run into any issues. By updating to the latest version, you ensure that you have access to the latest support and resources available.
- Compliance with Legal Regulations – If your website is used for business, you need to ensure that it is compliant with the latest legal regulations. Updates to WordPress often include compliance with the latest regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and others. By updating to the latest version, you ensure that your website is compliant with these regulations and avoid any potential legal issues.
- Increased Accessibility – The latest versions of WordPress often come with improved accessibility features that make it easier for people with disabilities to use your website. These features include better keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, and other accessibility-related enhancements.
In conclusion, updating WordPress is crucial for maintaining the security, performance, and compatibility of your website. It also ensures that you have access to the latest features and functionality, support, and compliance with legal regulations. Updating your WordPress site is easy and can be done with just a few clicks. You can set up automatic updates or do it manually as per your preference. Regularly updating your WordPress site ensures that you keep up with the latest technology and remain competitive in the online world.