WordPress is a CMS that updates the latest version very frequently than any other CMS. But have you ever wondered if you are required to update your WordPress to the latest version? In this article, I will explain why it is so important for you to always have the latest version of WordPress and show you how to update or update your WordPress to the latest version.
WordPress is free, and WordPress is developed by a community of developers. With every new release of WordPress, they fix bugs, add new features, improve performance, and improve existing features to keep them up to date with new industry standards, making it easier for users.
So in other words, when you don’t update your WordPress site, you are risking the security of your website and losing the new features / improvements that have been brought in the latest version.
Here are some of the benefits with which you are using the latest WordPress.
This security factor is arguably the most important as the reason why you should keep your WordPress website up to date.
WordPress is currently used by 23% of all websites in the world. Due to its immense popularity, WordPress is a popular target for hackers, distributors of malicious code, and data theft.
Because WordPress is open source, anyone can learn the source code to learn and upgrade WordPress according to the user’s desire. But it also means that hackers can learn about it too and find a way to get into sites that use WordPress.
But you need to know that not all hackers are bad. There are more good hackers than bad ones which means that security experts around the world can study the code and report security bugs / fixes. Whenever a security vulnerability is reported, the WordPress core team works diligently to release updates and fix the problem.
This means that if you are not using the latest version of WordPress, then you are using software with known security vulnerabilities. Hackers can search for websites running older versions, and you may fall victim to hacker attacks.
Not only WordPress itself, plugins can also be used by hackers. You need to make sure that all plugins, themes and the core itself are always up to date.
2. New Features
Every major WordPress release comes with new features and software changes. For example, WordPress 4.0 came with an easy to install plugin upgrade, version 4.1 introduced inline image editing, and 4.2 came with a faster plugin update, version 4.3 with the more featured WordPress editor.
Now if you are using an older version of WordPress then your WordPress experience will be a lot different from someone using the latest version.
You will have trouble finding WordPress help on various forums because you are using an older version. Users on WordPress support forums will always assume that you are using the latest version of WordPress.
WordPress developers are always trying to make things faster on WordPress. Each new release comes with several performance improvements that make WordPress run faster and more efficiently.
For example, WordPress 4.2 improved JS performance for navigation menus, and WordPress 4.1 enhanced complex queries which helped with site performance using those queries.
Because speed is a big factor in SEO, You must keep your WordPress up to date to ensure maximum performance benefits.
4. Bug Fixes
Despite rigorous testing of major WordPress releases, bugs were occasionally seen in major WordPress releases. That’s why there is a small timely release of WordPress (the one with the XXX version) to fix those loopholes. For example, recently WordPress 4.2.3 appeared to fix 20 bugs from the release of version 4.2.
Now if you go to the WordPress support forums asking for help, the first advice you will get is to update WordPress as maybe that will fix your problem. If you insist on not updating WordPress, then you won’t be able to receive help.
Frequently plugin and theme developers coordinate updates with major WordPress releases to ensure they take advantage of new available features and enhancements.
But in some cases, updates can make WordPress plugins not work if they don’t follow best practices and coding standards. This is why it is so important that you always backup WordPress before updating.
Now that you know why it’s important to keep your WordPress site updated, let’s take a look at how to update WordPress.
Update or Update WordPress
Updating the WordPress core, plugins, and themes whenever there is a new update is fairly straightforward. WordPress comes with a built-in update notification system. It also shows the number of updates that are available when you log into your WordPress dashboard.
All you need to do is visit Dashboard »Update and install the update. You only need to do one click on the button “Update NowAnd WordPress will do an update. You can see what new features WordPress brings in http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin/about.php.
However since many website owners don’t log into their WordPress dashboard daily, they may not even know that there are updates available for the day. Luckily, you have several options.
If you are using WordPress 3.7 or above, automatic updates are enabled for minor releases (which are reserved for security and bug fixes). You can enable automatic updates for major releases, plugins and WordPress themes. Alternatively, you can get email notifications when there is a new update for your WordPress site.
Enable Auto Update Using the wp-config file
You can enable automatic updates for the WordPress core by simply adding this line to your wp-config.php file.
If you also want to automatically update themes and plugins, then you will need to add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or site specific plugins.
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' ); add_filter( 'auto_update_theme', '__return_true' );
I hope this article helped you figure out why you should always use the latest version of WordPress. Hope it is useful. 🙂