Although WordPress is the most popular platform for creating websites, there are still many webmasters who are not sure about keeping WordPress up to date and even seriously outdate their WordPress sites. This means they miss out on many real benefits and open themselves up to problems. Therefore, we put together this article to explain why everyone should be using the latest version of WordPress on their website. Hopefully, at the end, you will be convinced of the importance of properly updating your WordPress site. Having said that, let’s get started.
Benefits of using the latest version of WordPress
There are some important reasons why you should always update WordPress to its latest version. However, in this article, we will focus on the most important ones—Website speed and solving bugs, Improving security, remaining compatible with other aspects of your website such as themes and plugins, as well as adding new features that improve your website.
The global popularity of WordPress as a content management system (CMS) has its disadvantages. WordPress sites suffer the most hacks and are often a common target for hackers. The reason is that WordPress is an open source project, so anyone can see the code. While this means that anyone can contribute to improving it, it also means that hackers are free to analyze the code for any security holes or backdoors.
However, not all hackers are malicious – some hackers study WordPress code to find and report any security holes. The WordPress team then carefully reviews these reports and provides quick updates to address the issues raised. All of this helps limit the potential damage of a malicious hacker.
In order for the modifications made by the WordPress team to work properly, you need to regularly update WordPress on your site. Websites with old versions of WordPress are easy prey for hackers. They can find your current version of WordPress and simply exploit known vulnerabilities that have been fixed in later versions of WordPress. Regularly updating WordPress will reduce the success rate of these hacks and improve the overall security of your website.
Solving Bugs (Major & Minor)
Despite all the work that is done for it, no software is free from bugs and problems that hinder its performance. Therefore, it is very important to continuously improve and fix the bugs found. Through rigorous testing, the WordPress team works hard to fix all newly discovered bugs, and patches are shared in each subsequent release.
This does not mean that all WordPress updates run smoothly. However, the WordPress team often reacts quickly to issues such as problems with certain plugins by releasing small updates that fix minor bugs, even before major updates. You can improve website’s working experience overall, by Updating WordPress.
On the other hand, if you don’t update WordPress, you’ll have to deal with the errors yourself. At the same time, you run the risk of potential hackers who want to exploit known bugs that you haven’t updated yet.
Adding New Features
As WordPress has gained popularity, its user base has diversified, and as a result, its list of aspects has grown to make website creation easier. Today, every major version of WordPress has its own set of new features and improvements. For example, WordPress 5.0 introduced Gutenberg as its new default editor, and it has even improved and become more user-friendly in subsequent versions. WordPress 5.1 brought us the Site Health page, while WordPress 5.2 includes PHP error protection, both of which are used to troubleshoot configuration issues on websites.
Some features in the latest versions of WordPress make managing WordPress sites easier for beginners. Some of these features are default sitemaps in WordPress 5.5, automatic updates in WordPress 5.6, and easier switching from HTTP to HTTPS in the WordPress 5.7 update.
And many more features are coming, all designed to make your WordPress experience even more enjoyable. So it’s compulsory to update your WordPress installation regular to take advantage of the evolving software.
Improving Website Speed
In addition WordPress updates provide small improvements to site performance and speed. A faster website will lower your bounce rate and will give you better rankings, and help your site’s overall SEO. Since performance & speed are condemning to the success of any website, updating WordPress to the latest version is very beneficial for your business.
Every major WordPress update updates themes and plugins. This is done to take advantage of newly introduced features and resolve compatibility issues that have occurred. Aside from WordPress, if you want full compatibility with every aspect of your website, you need to regularly update your plugins and themes.
However, you should also back up your website before updating. It is recommended to do this regularly. Major WordPress updates can cause issues with your plugins or themes, and it’s important to back up your site. It keeps your data safe if something goes wrong with updating WordPress or something goes wrong during the update.
Keeping Your WordPress Updated Properly
Now that we’ve covered the main reasons why it’s important to update WordPress regularly, let’s talk about the update process itself. First, WordPress has a built-in update notification system. It’s under Dashboard > Updates in the admin dashboard. The same section contains notifications about any pending plugins and themes.
This makes it very easy to check for available updates. Just log into your dashboard periodically and check if you have any pending updates. When you find an available update, you can install it using the appropriate button in that section.
When it comes to updating WordPress core files, there is more than one way to do it. You can run the update manually by overwriting the file via FTP or by enabling automatic update. Whichever method you choose, we recommend making a backup beforehand. This ensures that nothing happens to your website due to a mistaken WordPress update, as you can simply restore it using a backup.
Also, you should know that automatic updates have advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, if you choose to use them as a way to update WordPress, you should be notified first. You can then decide whether to enable them, enable them only for partial updates, or disable automatic updates entirely.