WordPress Updates – Do they matter?

WordPress is the most used CMS in the world. It is a very reliable system if you keep up with it. Just like your car as long as you change your oil. This has to do with performance and also with security. WordPress updates do matter, they are the ones that will keep your website working smoothly and safe.

We are going to see why it is important to keep everything up to date. But first, We are going to look at three types of updates.

WordPress Updates Core Files

WordPress.org releases core files upgrades regularly. Through these update, they release new versions and updates that are correcting potential security holes and new features that come “straight out of the box” with any WordPress Install. Sometimes those new features allow you to “drop” a plugin that was having the same function before, therefore having less “http requests” and a faster loading and more performant website.

Plugins

Everyone uses plugins, they are great and add functionalities to your website. Firstly plugins allow you to have things happen on your website that would not happen if you didn’t install them. It’s like options in a car. Those plugins could be free, freemium (meaning there is a pro version that would add even more features if you pay for it), or straight up commercial licenses. Anyway, those plugins need to be updated very often. They are the ones that require the most maintenance and as you have a few of them, there are multiple entities to look after. They are bound to have bug correction, security breaches updates as well as straight up performance upgrade.

Now you need to keep the number of plugins you are using at a reasonable level, too many plugins will increase server load, decrease performance and you can run into compatibility issues. Yes, some of them are just like toddlers, they don’t play well with each other.

Themes

Every single WordPress website uses a theme. Could it be the ones that are included with wordpress, such as: Twenty Sixteen or Twenty Seventeen. Standard themes (they even go back with the years that wordpress was in genesis. The most downloaded wordpress theme on a daily basis through the repository, are those standard themes. Then you have the free themes, that will be fancier and already provide you with some updated looks and features. And there is the premium themes, those are the ones you get to pay for. It’s cheap, don’t worry about that too much. Anyway, those themes, as popular as they are can also updated with new features, new minor improvement on looks and security fixes.

Security with WordPress Updates

So, as you noticed, the term of security, security breaches came back quite often in the paragraphs above. Why? It’s because as wordpress is the most popular CMS in the world, it’s also the most hacked. Yes hacking still exist. Most people ask me, “I’m just a tiny little website, why would they hack me instead of hacking something big?” Because it’s much easier to hack you with a little bot, then going head to head with a large website with a security team on staff 24/7. There are two easy ways to reduce the risks of hacking and they can be done very easily. First one is to install a firewall plugin, and second one is, keep everything up to date (including the firewall plugin).

Is it bulletproof, no. Have I ever been a victim of a hack, yes. See it happens to all of us, but I was able to eradicate it very fast. And Yes, I had a firewall plugin and everything was up to date, so there are some people that are just more motivated then others, and some that are more performant then others.

Performance with WordPress Updates

Having everything working with best performance is always something to look for. If you could have the same features that will be less resource hungry and load quicker. Why would you prevent yourself to do so? That’s what updates do, they combien code, could it be CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), JS (Javascript) or simple PHP code. When developers release newer versions of “items” you can be sure it is to release an even better performing version.

So don’t wait, make sure you are updated all the way on your wordpress website. If you know how to do it, do it regularly. If you don’t know how to do it, ask your tech guy to either do it, or teach someone on your team how to do it. Now if you don’t have a tech guy, contact us and we’ll be very happy to do it for you.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Linkedin