WordPress is the most popular Content Management System upon which websites are built, which means that keeping your WordPress website updated is crucial from a security, performance, and features point of view.

WordPress is one of the most popular open-source platforms companies use to build their websites. While WordPress started out as a blogging platform, it has evolved into a powerful Content Management System (CMS).

There are lots of reasons to use WordPress to build your website, but there is one big word of caution. WordPress sites need regular updates for security, performance, and features to be at their best. Here are the top 3 reasons for keeping your WordPress-based website updated.


1. Security

WordPress is the most popular CMS out there, which means that finding vulnerabilities in it can impact hundreds of thousands of websites. That makes it an attractive target for hackers. Every time a new version of WordPress rolls out, there are bug fixes and vulnerability reports. It’s not just the good and trustworthy website administrators who read the release notes on the latest version of WordPress to find out what’s new and what might be a security concern. Hackers use those vulnerabilities to figure out how to attack sites that are not updated. In fact, not updating a WordPress site is the most common cause of a site being hacked.

A hacked website can lose any and all customer data stored on the site as well as content on the site itself. Other things that can happen when your website is hacked include the website not showing up (a 403 forbidden error), visitors being redirected to another site, and malware being injected into the site, which can make both antivirus software and Google block your site. This then necessitates a long and complicated process of proving to Google that your site is safe, and during that time, you’re not getting any search volume. So not only can being hacked cause a headache for you as a business owner, it can also cause your clients to lose faith in your ability to keep their data private.


2. Performance

WordPress system updates make your site more responsive and help decrease page load times. If you’re using an old version of WordPress or old plugins, it can make your site seem glitchy or cause parts of your website not to function correctly. Nobody wants to stay on a glitchy or slow site, and thus your SEO rankings will drop because Google isn’t going to send users to a site that is slow and glitchy.


3. Features

New updates bring in new features. This applies to WordPress core updates, theme updates and plugin updates. If you’re not using the latest versions, you’re missing out on potentially cool features.


Updating Your WordPress Site

While it can seem intimidating, you can update your WordPress site on your own. However, you need to make a backup every time you update because sometimes updates cause issues. This is especially true when you have multiple plugins running. It’s impossible to test every set of plugins a user could be running, and sometimes an update on one part of a site can make another part of the site cease to function correctly. This is where it’s critical to have a backup that you can revert to if necessary.

WordPress websites are not set-and-forget entities. As a business owner, there are lots of important demands on your time, so if checking your site regularly for updates, creating backups, and troubleshooting problems aren’t things that you’re willing or able to do, find a website administrator to do it for you.

At Y, we offer monthly or semi-annual updates of WordPress sites to all of our clients. If you’re looking for help building or maintaining your WordPress website, contact us today.