You log into your WordPress site and you see that there are updates available. You may see updates for WordPress, any plugins you have installed, and your theme. Why do you need to keep your WordPress site up to date? Here are 3 reasons.
1. New Functionality
The folks that write WordPress are always looking for ways to make it better. That is a good thing for you! They want to make it more flexible for you. WordPress is a powerful platform for building virtually any type of website, and not just blogs. If you were to look back at older versions of WordPress, you could see the vast improvements made over the years. It is so popular because of it’s flexibility and ease of use. If you don’t update, you can’t take advantage of all the new, cool stuff!
2. Keep Your Site In Synch
What I mean by this is one of the biggest advantages of using WordPress is the availability of plugins. Plugins allow you to expand the capability of WordPress and add bells and whistles too! There are so many plugins available written by people who want to make WordPress even better! Just look at the plugin directory at http://wordpress.org/plugins/ to get an idea. Right now there are over 27,000 plugins!
So you need to make sure you keep your plugins and WordPress up to date so they will play well together. Plugin authors write plugins with “hooks” provided by WordPress so they work together. If either one is out of date, it may cause problems with your site. Your plugin may be expecting some functionality that is in the latest version of WordPress to function properly. If it is missing, the plugin could misbehave causing you grief.
Your theme also needs to be up to date because it controls how your site is displayed. It needs to be in synch with WordPress so they play well together also.
Security is the biggest reason to keep your WordPress site up to date. With WordPress being such a popular platform, it can be a target for hackers. For some reason, they like to figure out how to break into sites and wreak havoc! The WordPress authors are constantly on top of this and fix any security issues that are brought to their attention.
Out of date plugins can be a big security risk! They can provide hackers a “window” into your site if the plugin isn’t up to date with the current version of WordPress. The plugin authors also keep track of any security issues with the plugin’s functionality and make corrections when problems are found.
Keep Your WordPress Site Up To Date
Bottom line is you need to keep your website up to date. Things online change so rapidly that if you are not up to date, it can cause you lots of headaches to get fixed!
Your assignment: Log into your WordPress site and update it! If this makes you nervous or you want some help, please contact me and I can help you out!