I get asked quite a bit about updating WordPress. WordPress consistently updates their opensource CMS. This generally includes security updates and improvements. If you have a WP site you should always update your site if the admin is telling you you need to. The one time you should stop and consider whether you want to update your version or not is if you are multiple versions behind. At the time of this writing WordPress is on version 3.8.1. If for instance you are running version 3.4.1 you would want to check with your web developer before doing so. Being this far behind can cause breaks in your site.
Updating WordPress does 3 major things that help extend the life of your site:
- The first, and what I consider to be the most important is security. Because WordPress is an opensource software, it is subject to many hackers around the globe. Updates routinely contain security fixes.
- Fixes bugs. This doesn’t mean it will fix a specific issue on a theme you have, but that it can fix a bug that is known on the version of WP you may be running.
- Staying current within the codex. What is codex you may ask? Basically the codex is the ‘Bible’ to how WP sites should be coded. If your developer follows the codex you should be able to update your site without having a problem. Don’t follow the codex? This leads to site breaks and problems.
That is why it’s always important to follow the codex when doing WordPress development. Don’t be scared to ask your web team about the codex. If they shy away from this question, you may want to look elsewhere for help.
Do you see this above message in your dashboard when logged in? You need to update!
Don’t forget about your plugins either. Plugins also require updates. You will see which plugins need updating when prompted to update your WP version. Not updating plugins can lead to security breaches and broken websites.
Warning: we strongly recommend backing-up site files before updating themes and plugins.
If you need any help with updating WordPress or website maintenance we can help you here at Velvet Ink Media. Give us a call at 813-672-2678.