Last month, I collected some of the most recent WordPress statistics and, among the amazing numbers I found, I was also negatively surprised about something: only 22% of WordPress sites are up to date.
I have to admit that I didn’t expect to read this. I know that the most people using WordPress are just regular users and they are probably not aware of how important the updates are, but I was still surprised.
That’s why I thought I should write about why everyone should update their website every time a new WordPress version appears.
you don’t lose anything, you just make it worse
I believe that one of the reasons why people don’t upgrade their websites is because they think that all the existing content and settings will be lost.
WRONG! It’s exactly the opposite. By updating, you will actually improve your site’s performance. The update will bring out new features and will enhance the existing ones to correspond to the latest releases, will provide you a better protection against hacks and vulnerabilities, and will fix the bugs that are constantly appearing in the WordPress core.
the most important thing: Security
WordPress faces lots of bugs and vulnerabilities almost daily. Some are very dangerous (these are pretty rare) and some are not so bad, but each one affects your site little by little.
Each time a new vulnerability is reported by people who check the WordPress core and know how it works, the WordPress core team immediately releases a new version that will eliminate the new bugs and vulnerabilities.
The updates always come with fixed issues and if you don’t update to the latest version, you are just keeping all the vulnerabilities for yourself. And guess what are hackers waiting for? Attack.
Apart from updating to the newest WordPress version, you should as well update your plugins, themes, and tools.
new awesome features are released
The updates not only save you from being hacked but also bring you a couple of new features that can ease your work a lot. Most of them are great and very useful and are meant to improve the user’s experience with WordPress interface. If you have an old version and you update to the newest, you will surely be surprised by how easy you can set up WordPress now.
Also, if you keep your older WordPress version it will get tougher and tougher to find tutorials and help because all the specialized websites and blogs will consider that you already upgraded your site.
one of the most useful features is speed
Apart from security and features, speed is also taken into consideration when WordPress core team does the improvements. So each new WordPress version is set to run faster than the latest.
Speed is not important only for your visitors’ navigation experience but helps your website to be efficient in SEO process.
updates allow you to synchronize with every new modern tool
Since technology is evolving so fast, older WordPress versions won’t be “strong” enough to offer you very good performances of each new modern tool you install on your site. That’s why many times you will hear that your current version is not compatible with X tool. Or you’ll be angry to see that X tool, which was recently launched and built, won’t work properly on your site. This could be the main reason.
Each update comes with improvements that offer you compatibility with the newest products and trends on the market. For instance, parallax effect won’t be as spectacular as it is now in the very first WordPress version. What do you think?
All the developers usually create their tools based on the newest WordPress releases. If you want to stay in touch with modern technology – even if I just made a pleonasm – upgrade!
This is how your old WordPress version looks on the back-end:
bugs are everywhere
We can’t ever get rid of bugs. But at least we can avoid them. WordPress core team fixes lots of bugs with each new upgrade they make.
There’s not another solution for escaping bugs. Or least, not until you do the upgrade. If you don’t, then these bugs can affect your all installed plugins, themes, and tools. You may want to take care of this issue before things get more complicated and you will have to face a big hassle.
updating is not a piece of cake
Okay, to update doesn’t always mean that you just hit one button and everything is set and done. But it’s pretty simple to be made in a couple of minutes. And if you do it constantly, it becomes an automatism. There are some vital precautions you have to take care of before making the upgrade.
It won’t take very long. Not longer than having to face major and serious security issues with your site. Think about it and get out of your comfort zone.
how do you know when a new WordPress version is out?
Your dashboard will let you know about each new WordPress version release, so you won’t have to look for it and be permanently stressed to not missing it. All the most significant WordPress news are reported in your dashboard, just below the Drafts mini-section.
But to be able to receive the news, you have to update your older version. The news feature came out this year. So if you run a too old version, then you won’t find the news in your dashboard.
There’s also an option to auto-update each time a new release is out. But about this, I will be writing in a next article.
I always thought preventing a disaster is way better than facing it. Doing an update won’t steal too much time and will keep your site and all your work and money safe. All you have to do is to follow a few steps and never care about what happens next.
Keep your focus on your work and projects and not on how to repair hacked and attacked websites. And, I wonder, why wouldn’t you want to have a better performing website?