Why is it essential to update your WordPress site? If you are looking for an answer to this question, you are in the right place. In this post, you will learn why WordPress updates are not just the best but essential for your website.
Whether you have a business website or a personal blog site, you are open to new problems without updates. WordPress helps users by offering timely updates on plug-ins and themes. The team behind WordPress adds new features and security policies for security, compatibility, and smooth experience of the websites.
But sometimes, updates and program changes go differently than expected. The problem occurs for various reasons, such as theme and plug-in conflicts or programming errors. Failing the update process may result in data loss or other unexpected problems. Therefore, it is essential to back up the database before updating your WordPress site. We’ll share the steps to update your website the right way later in this post. Before that, let’s understand the importance of conducting timely updates.
What are WordPress Updates?
WordPress goes through cycles of major and small updates like most other types of software. Minor WordPress versions, like 9.0.2, typically include fixes or patches for known flaws, but major WordPress versions, like 9.0, may include new features and enhancements.
The primary purpose of a WordPress update is to install the most recent versions of the Core WordPress software as well as eliminate issues in the third-party plug-ins and themes.
WordPress updates can be done manually or automatically; both will be covered later in this article. Let’s move on to the steps before upgrading or updating WordPress sites.
7 Benefits of Updating Your WordPress Site
Neglecting WordPress updates increase your website’s vulnerability to cyber threats. A cyberattack can cause inconvenience for your business and website users. Here are a few reasons how updating your WordPress site can improve your website’s success rate:
The team behind WordPress is consistently improving its platform by releasing updates. They evaluate the problems faced by website owners and identify loopholes in the system. Moreover, they improve usability and experience for website owners through new features. The new features allow website owners to add cool themes and tools and make the user interface smoother than the prior version.
For instance, the team introduced the block editor in WordPress 5.0. Meanwhile, WordPress 5.3 comes with UI improvements and accessibility. The team identified that the block editor needs improvement and new features, such as new blocks, so they released WordPress 5.4.
UX Design allows businesses to fulfill their users’ needs. Following the latest updates allow businesses to stand out and make users loyal to the brand. Business owners and managers can define customer journeys to make the business a success. But, they can’t improve their website usability with outdated tools and plug-ins. They have to offer a platform that is easy to navigate and understand for the customers.
Web developers update their websites with the latest plug-ins and tools to offer incredible user experience. They follow and implement major WordPress releases and understand how they can offer intuitive web applications to their target audience.
Moreover, they analyze consumer behavior and identify what type of devices potential customers use. WordPress updates help them follow the best coding standards and practices. Better compatibility and cool WordPress features allow developers and website owners to meet their website standards for the latest devices.
Another crucial reason for a website owner or management team to consider updates is improved overall website performance. Website speed and performance have significant contributions to business continuity and growth. Unfortunately, a slow website won’t rank on the search engine. Also, it increases the bounce rate and decreases the conversion rate. A potential customer landing on a slow website will leave a negative impression on them, and eventually, they will move to competitors. According to Google, when loading time increases from one to three seconds, the bounce rate may increase by 32% affecting business growth.
To build brand recognition and reputation in the market and boost customer engagement, you need to give your users an incredible experience. You can build and maintain a high-loading website by updating your WordPress website to the latest updates.
Web bugs or beacon is an error, fault, or a flaw in your website that slows down the speed and performance. Unexpected bugs result in producing invalid results and web page crash. The website bug can be minor, major, critical, or blocker.
Website updates are practical solutions to resolve errors and prevent bugs. Moreover, updates can fix issues web developers cannot identify in the coding. WordPress updates prevent a webpage from breaking and resolve problems and plug-ins slowing websites. Usually, outdated plug-ins and software cause website issues and bugs. In other words, updates will make your website appealing and easier to use.
Many website owners think that website security is essential for their databases. But maximum security can also protect your business, brand, and website reputation. You can retain customers and build market recognition by adding updated security features to your website. Identifying the latest malware, spyware, and code injection techniques is complex, with outdated security features. Experts analyze common cyberattacks and vulnerabilities to introduce the latest security solutions.
The latest security measures include a Web Application Firewall, SSL Certificate, and SiteGuarding. But, your website would be compatible with advanced security tools with an updated WordPress version, and old website versions won’t support these tools. Hence, your website will remain vulnerable to security threats and data breaches.
WordPress updates don’t intervene with the websites’ functioning and user interface. With WordPress, the updating process is smooth and straightforward. But there are a few things that you should know before upgrading your WordPress site:
- Always back up your WordPress database sites and sites before conducting an upgrade. The time it takes for backups can take a while. But, the benefits are worthwhile. Another tip that you should remember is to back up with third-party plug-ins.
- Also, you should deactivate and disable caching mechanism before conducting the upgrade. By doing that, you can ensure that caching won’t affect updating process. However, once you complete the process, remember to enable caching.
- Before an update, check functionality such as user input fields, comments, or posts. Also, fix any issues or update before updating the website.
- Always ensure that the installed plug-ins are compatible with WordPress upgrades.
After following these steps updating your WordPress site won’t be an issue. Even if the issue occurs, you will be covered.
Once you successfully update your website, you should start the maintenance or update process. Refrain from fret if you are not a tech-savvy person. There are various types of steps for upgrading your WordPress site. Below you will find three easy techniques to conduct updates:Automatic Update
Many website owners will find automatic updates convenient because you don’t have to go through the process manually. But you still need to complete the backup process. Auto-update was available in WordPress version 3.7 onwards, and automatic updates are available for major and minor releases. In the latest WordPress versions, auto-update is enabled by default. However, it is not always in your best interest to have your update automated. Sometimes themes and plugins do play well together, and the one or more plugins will fail to update.
You also want to keep in mind that paid plugins usually require renewals each year and might require a manual update.
Updating Using Dashboard
From the dashboard of your WordPress account, you may apply WordPress updates. The most straightforward approach to updating WordPress is this.
You may check to see if WordPress has been updated by going to the Updates page from the dashboard account page. The WordPress version number will be mentioned if the answer is affirmative. All you have to do to install the version mentioned above of WordPress on your website is click the “Update now” button.
Updating with Third-Party Plug-in
The BlogVault backup plug-in is used in this technique for updating the WordPress website. Instead of spending money on a different program, it is possible to perform WordPress backups and upgrades with this one application.
There is still another benefit. Sometimes updates can break your website because of compatibility problems. The use of a staging environment is the best method to prevent this. A staging site builds a copy of your website so that any changes made there do not affect the live site. BlogVault has a built-in capability for website staging.
Avoid The Risk
If you go a long period of time without your website core, theme, or plugin not being updated, you should seek a professional to update your website. There are many things that could go wrong if you don’t keep your website current. The significant risk that you might have is losing your WordPress database. But this happens only because of incompatibility issues or website breaking. Therefore, you should always create a backup of your website and database files before updating your WordPress site. Also, test your website for a staging site to ensure the update goes your way.