Updating your WordPress website is one of the most important things that you can do and it needs to be done regularly.
So, why is it so important?
Things go wrong, and it’s far more common than you think.
WordPress, your theme and your plugins need to be kept up to day to fix things that go wrong. If a plugin is found to conflict with another plugin or there is a bug in the plugin and something isn’t working then the creators will bring out an update to fix those problems.
There are also always improvements that can be made, some suggested by users and some thought of by the various developers. All of these bits of your website are always being improved and fixed so the least you can do is to take advantage of that 🙂
An out of date theme, plugins and also WordPress can also pose security risks to your site. Hackers find ways of getting into websites and all this is automated. They don’t come across your website, have a nice look around and then think let’s ruin things for this person. They have ways of finding sites that are vulnerable, things that are out of date are one of those vulnerabilities. Imagine a plugin that hasn’t been updated for years, no one has taken the precautions of protecting the plugin from more recent security risks and developments. Whether the developer or yourself hasn’t updated the plugin the risk is the same.
Things can also stop working if you don’t update things, so if something is going wrong on your site then make sure it is all up to date before you start panicking.
So how do you go about updating your WordPress website?
Luckily, quite simply. Simply go to your WordPress dashboard and if you have any updates then there will be a number next to the Update menu item. Click on update and you will see a list of available updates. Select everything you want to update and click update.
Yes, it really is that easy!
Will updating break my site?
However, new updates can cause problems and conflict with other plugins or your theme that have their own issues. There are so many things that are running your site it can often be hard to keep up and many people worry about updating things in case it breaks their site.
If there are any problems or conflicts with an update then the developers usually get to know about them pretty quickly and then release another update to fix the problem. If it is a plugin update that is causing a problem, you can always switch that plugin off or go back to a previous version.
Which brings me on to backing up your website…
So what if something goes wrong with an update, well you can just restore a previous version of your backed up website. But you need to make sure that you back up your site in the first place!
There are other things that can also go wrong, remember those hackers I told you about earlier? Well, there are also other ways that they can get into your site and wipe it clean. Yup, all your hard work, time and money GONE in seconds.
You keep your home safe, make sure you keep your business safe!
Your hosting or domain name could expire, that’s it – website gone.
These incidents are also far more comment than you think so always remember the importance of updating and backing up your website.
A great, free plugin to back up your website is called Updraft Plus. This plugin allows you to set your site to automatically back up to a cloud based platform such as Dropbox or Google Drive etc.
It’s really easy to set up and you can set it up then forget about it, as it’s working in the background automatically.
Updating your WordPress Website Top Tip
Update your website at least once a month, as when people come to me with glitches on their website it’s usually becuase they haven’t updated for months. Once the updates are done the glitches tend to dissapear!
Set a date in your diary to do your updates or if you go to Plugins on the WordPress dashboard menu you can select plugins to auto update. But I always recommend visiting your website at least once a week to make sure everything is running smoothly.
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