One of the great benefits of having a WordPress site is that the core software is updated easily and with a simple click of a button. But why is it important that you keep your core software and any themes or plugins up to date? Should you use the auto updates on plugins? What Could happen if you don’t update these? In this article we will discuss all of these questions so that you can be fully informed and keep your site safe and secure.
WordPress Core Software
The primary reason for keeping your core software up to date is security of your site and customer data. A very close second would be the additional features which each update comes with.
Updating your site to the latest version will mean that your site has the latest security patches and reduce the risk of your site being hacked. Being secure protects your data but most of all your business reputation. It is very easy to not update your site when releases are made available but not doing so can very quickly ruin your business and all the hard work that you have put into building it.
How Do You Know When An Update Is Available?
WordPress has it’s own built in notification system within the admin area which let’s you know when a new release is available. When you login to your admin area you will see a red circle with a number within it next to updates. This shows you that you have updates available within your site for any one of the plugins, themes or the core software. If you do not login to your admin area regularly I would recommend logging in at least once a month to keep your site secure and up to date.
Updating Plugins and Themes
You definitely want to keep your plugins and themes up to date for the same reason as your core software. The new releases of these will give you all the security patches but also any new features.
Before updating and moving forward from this let me talk with you about updates going wrong and how you can fix this. There are numerous things that can go wrong with an update from programming errors to plugin/theme incompatibility. So if this happens what can you do to get your site back up and running again? Firstly, you will need to look at the plugin wp-rollback. This is a simple plugin that will add an additional option to enable you to rollback your plugin which is faulty to the previously working version. A must for any WordPress site owner and totally priceless.
Enabling Auto Updates
Auto updates are a great resource for those who do not login regularly to their admin area, however a word of warning be sure to only enable those plugins that you know you can trust to no break your site otherwise you could be spending money marketing your site not realising that it is broken!