While business owners, marketing managers or entrepreneurs are usually pretty good about updating page content or writing new blog posts for their website, they often neglect the technical stuff.

It’s essential to update public-facing web copy, images and pages, when the behind-the-scenes part is forgotten or ignored, it results in ever-increasing numbers within multiple round red circles in the Admin Dashboard sidebar, indicating some form of action is required.

Website security is of the utmost importance and programming languages and the internet are constantly changing to adapt to an increased risk from hackers and bots.

Failure to keep your website up-to-date can result in not only performance issues, but risk to the website itself.

According to WPBeginner, 83% of hacked WordPress sites had not been updated.

Think of your car as an example. Periodic servicing (oil changes, tire pressure, wiper blades, brakes, etc.) helps ensure your vehicle is safe and performing at its best. The same goes for your website.

Why is it Important to Update Plugins, Themes and WordPress?

Developers of plugins, themes and WordPress regularly release updates which contain patches and fixes to resolve known issues and to strengthen your site against attacks. If you don’t keep up with updates, you leave your site open to an increased risk. Not only does outdated software cause security issues, it can also cause buggy behavior or be incompatible with other parts of your website.

In addition to plugins, themes, and WordPress, your hosting server PHP version should be as current as possible for optimal security and speed.

Before You Update

Since WordPress websites use a variety of 3rd party plugins and themes, each of these components need to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress at their time of release.

Care should be taken when performing updates since sometimes conflicts between software can occur, which can potentially affect the functionality or even break the website resolved. Always make a backup of your website database and files before running major updates and get help from a web developer if you’re unsure of what you are doing.

It is far easier to update regularly than it is to wait long periods of time and then perform major updates spanning mutable versions.

You have invested time and money in your website. Help ensure trouble-free operation and an extended life-span.