Updating a WordPress Site
WordPress is without question an awesome piece of kit. There are an estimated 64 million WordPress websites around the world today due to the popularity and ease of use. However, having a WordPress website comes with the commitment of keeping it updated! 99% of the time nothing will go wrong when you perform an update, but that 1% of the time something does go wrong will be the one that you remember!
Before you click that enticing “Update All” button, you might want to consider what could potentially happen to your website if you don’t follow these steps first!
Let’s first learn about each type of update and what they’re actually for. Within WordPress, there are three main components that are recommended to keep up to date.
1) WordPress Core
This is fairly self-explanatory, WordPress is considered the “core” platform of what your website is built upon. Similar to how a phone uses android or IOS, regular updates provide latest security plugs, new features and improvements and keep everything running smoothly and safely.
A theme on WordPress dictates the design and functionality of the website. There are free themes and premium themes, both should receive updates on a regular basis for bug fixes and performance improvements. If your theme hasn’t received an update for twelve months or more, then it can be considered as abandoned and you should look for an alternative theme. Read this blog post if you are wondering how to install a new theme.
Plugins are little add-ons that you can download to increase the functionality of your website. This can be in the form of a contact form, galleries, additional login security etc. There are far to many to list on here. You can see on this plugin directory, there are thousands of options.
You shouldn’t really need any more than 10-15 plugins on your site. This can be more, depending on what the website does, but make sure you are not bloating your site with unneccessary plugins.
Plugins receive updates regularly, sometimes every other day – so it’s always best to keep an eye out for patch notes! Same as the themes, if a plugin hasn’t had an update in around twelve months, then it is worth looking for an alternative as it is likely to have been abandoned and will not be secure.