Whether your website is simple or more complex, it relies on the synergy of all software (plugins, themes, and the WordPress core code) to function properly. Maintaining your WordPress website means performing and testing these updates regularly. Unfortunately, many business owners are not aware of WordPress updates, how important they are, and subsequently neglect to do them.
Your website has a front-end and a back-end, and both may require updates. Front-end refers to the content your customer sees, such as your text and images. The back-end refers to the WordPress platform core code, themes, and plugins.
WordPress comes outfitted with an option of automatic security and maintenance updates. However, some updates still need to be done manually, and should be done on a monthly basis at minimum, more often as needed. Outdated software on your website can wreak havoc on the functionality of your website or render your site vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Whether automatic or manually done, regular WordPress updates help keep your website secure and working as it should. Occasionally, issues can arise because a new version of a plugin is not compatible with another piece of software. This can lead to problems, underscoring the importance of knowing what you’re doing and how to fix it if an update goes awry.
If the plugin you are updating is not compatible with the WordPress core, for example, or if two plugins are not compatible with one another after an update, it can cause an update to fail. This can result in problems with the functionality that can be serious or cosmetic.
There are lots of resources on how to update WordPress, and you certainly have the option to do it yourself. If you’re not comfortable with attempting updates yourself, or your website is critically important to your business, a WordPress maintenance program customized for your business may be the best choice.
WordPress updates are a critically important, but often overlooked part of owning a website. Every WordPress website requires regular maintenance to remain functional and secure.
Regular backend updates and maintenance keep your website working as it should. Like a car or other piece of machinery, regular use wears down your system. If you don’t maintain your website, it can lead to breaks and expensive repairs. It’s important to understand that:
- A website that is not regularly maintained can gradually slow down due to outdated or buggy plugins and software.
- A website that is not regularly updated is more susceptible to hacks and other cyberattacks, such as malware.
- Customers will stop using your website or go elsewhere if they have a bad user experience with your website caused by slow speed, security warnings, and/or inability to complete transactions due to an outdated system.
It’s understandable and common for website maintenance to get overlooked in the shuffle of running a business, but maintaining your website does not have to be expensive or time consuming. If you’ve never updated your website, now is the time to start. You can do these updates yourself, or bring in a professional to help you.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or outsource to a professional, regular updates to your website are an important part of running your business and will save you time and money over the long run.