Many bloggers and small business owners work diligently to keep their website content updated and looking fresh, but leave things to get a little messy under the hood. Some fail to hit the update button more than just a couple of times per year, which, based on the following 5 reasons, you’ll hopefully never do yourself.
Avoid Hack Attacks
Most website-related problems are singularly down to viruses or hacks. And there’s a direct correlation between hacked sites and neglected updates. In fact, 83% of blogs that fall victim to hackers don’t have up-to-date plugins or versions of WordPress core. These attacks can be downright crippling to your business by leading to loss of data, injected malware, and other issues.
The main reason you want to update your WordPress plugins alongside the core version is to avoid such hacks. Patches and additional security features are constantly being added by hard working developers around the globe – make sure you take advantage and update as often as possible.
Adds the Latest Functionality
Updating WordPress core, themes, and plugins isn’t just about keeping your website secure. Making sure everything is in tip-top shape also gives you improved and extended functionality across the board. You’ll be shocked at just how different WordPress can look from one major release to the next.
WordPress is consistently evolving, ensuring it gives the user the most advanced system available. Plugins extend functionality all the time as well, giving you even greater control and options for expansion and improvement. Considering these updates are completely free, it’s silly not to do it.
Fix Annoying Bugs
While WordPress is incredibly powerful with well-developed plugins in terms of code and functionality, no piece of software is perfect. With evolving co-dependencies such as themes and other add-ons, plugins need to be constantly updated to fix bugs or allow for compatibility with other new releases.
If you don’t update your installation, you’ll be left with a collection of irritating bugs that won’t be fixed. Symptoms will include the inability to use certain features, some items of functionality simply not working, as well as a host of other problems. You’ll end up losing a lot of man-hours just to bypass the annoyances of these bugs.
Updates are essentially changes to the code, the ‘behind the scenes’ elements of what you see on your screen, which means minor errors and bloated code can creep in. This not only leads to the aforementioned security problems, but it can also have an impact on performance.
Bloated code and unnecessary function calls mean that your server is placed under avoidable duress. If you keep adding plugins without ‘trimming the fat’, so to speak, you run the risk of your website becoming a lumbering dinosaur. This not only affects your user, but Google doesn’t like it either (i.e. lower rankings!).
It’s Easy to Update!
If you think updating WordPress is going to be a time-consuming chore, you’ve got it completely wrong. For major WordPress releases, you can set your installation to do everything automatically. Otherwise, the click of a couple of buttons is enough to ensure your entire site is fully up-to-date. All you need to do is set up a backup solution alongside and you’ve got a modern website that’s protected from hackers, packed with the latest functionality, and lightning quick with code optimisations. Considering how easy it is to complete the process, you’ve got no excuses.