The Importance of Updating from a WordPress Blogger
You would think WordPress is pretty self-contained, which is true, but it still requires you to do one thing: Update your Theme [and Plug Ins].
Updating your WordPress consistently [or whenever updates are available] gives you access to the latest features, widgets, and is crucial for the following reasons:
- Increase your sites Functionality
- Strengthen security
- Remove or correct bugs from the current or previous version
As a blogger, I feel it important to choose themes that fit my writing and allow my audience to interact more with the content. Whether it be comments, likes, shares or participating in the many polls and questionnaires or surveys I host. I later learned that my theme can be my greatest security flaw.
Until reading up on the various ways a hacker can attack, I had chosen my theme based on looks and my plug in’s based on missing aspects of the theme. I had never even thought of updating my WordPress Account itself, let alone the theme or plug-ins.
WordPress is still Software
WordPress is still software that must be updated frequently like you have to do so with other Operating Systems like Windows, your smart phones and their apps, and Wi-Fi capable gaming systems like X-Box. Here’s why:
- By patching up soft spots with in your security and strengthening it from future attacks, Updates to WP core, Themes, and Plug Ins increase security.
- WP Beginner reports that 83% of hacked sites had not yet been updated. Most could be hacked frequently because of outdated versions of PHP, WordPress, Themes, and Plug Ins.
- Not all updates relate to security patches, Example: updates containing a single digit with in the Version title [like WordPress 3.5 and 3.6] will not usually come with security repairs so they aren’t major updates. It is still advised, however, that they be updated within a week.
Experts advise installing updates the moment you are alerted. Hackers and other Cyber Criminals watch the update feeds like a news roll, which exposes any bad coding or glitches left unattended by those who have yet to update. The quicker you update, the less time they have of getting their hands on your site.
Installing Updates: More like Give-and-Take
Installing updates to your WordPress Core, Theme, and Plug Ins is more so a give and take relationship: you give up the Bugs and unforeseen glitches in return for new features and bonus functionality. This scenario is definitely a win-win for you since you don’t have time to root of the problem, locate replacement features, or opt for buying plug ins you might have needed later.
How to Upgrade Your WordPress
Even though WordPress is still software, it still has the capability to reach out to you! By letting you know upon logging in to your site that there is a new update available for your WP Core, Theme, or a specific Plug In.
Not online daily? Don’t worry; you should still receive notification via e-mail by installing another great plug-in: WP Update Notifier. Thanks WordPress!
Always remember to take a moment out and do simple things. Like:
- Review/Remove any Plug-Ins or widgets that you have no use for.
- Do not simply de-activate but be sure to delete it completely
- Don’t go for Grand and remember baby themes [or simple beginner themes] are always best.
Try to remember that the less coding required creating your site, the less access for a hacker to penetrate it.
Tips on before Upgrading:
- Educate Yourself by reading the release note attached to the upgrades themselves.
- If possible, test your updates offline so if any errors occur they won’t affect your site.
- Back up your site before the upgrades. This can be done easily and automatically using a plug in like BackupBuddy.
You are now ready to install those updates and review the changes to your site live. Be sure to double check the glitches and bugs mentioned in the release note.
Not everyone has the time to continuously check and install updates, many put it off until they do and find out it is too late. If you have fallen behind or have too much on your plate, we’d be happy to help you update your site with our WordPress Maintenance & Support Services, which also includes Back Up and Optimizations.
Contact CMS Managers, we’re here to help you with your WordPress Security!