Why keeping your WordPress website updated is so important

With the rise of the popularity of WordPress over the past few years, more and more websites are being designed, developed and built on the versatile, blogging platform. It truly is a flexible and powerful platform, and one that I’ve been working with over a decade now.

Having developed hundreds of sites in WordPress, what still amazes me is the money that a client will spend in designing and building an online presence, but remain unwilling to protect that investment with updates, maintenance, quality hosting, and website security. The WordPress platform is consistently being tested and updated by developers to provide new versions of the CMS system. By not staying current with WordPress updates, business owners are opening themselves and their websites up to a myriad of issues and potential problems. Along with the platform itself being updated, plugins (a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website) are also being tested and maintained, and the importance of keeping plugins up to date is also vitally important for the health of a WordPress site.

WordPress platform, themes, PHP, plugins and more are consistently releasing updates, and it can be easy to ignore these updates as unnecessary. But here are 4 key reasons to keep your website updated:

1. Security

With over 35% of all websites on the Internet now being run on WordPress, the platform has become an ideal target for hackers, malware, and malicious targeting. Over the past 6 months, I have worked with multiple clients who lost their entire websites because they weren’t kept secure and ultimately were hacked or damaged beyond repair. The need for consistent backups is also important, and many low budget hosting companies do not offer quality and consistent website backups. Websites that run off older versions of WordPress and PHP are more susceptible to hackers and being compromised. With each new version of WordPress, there are additional security updates and features that are released to fix security breaches and vulnerabilities. Updating is easy to do if you work with a WordPress specialist, and keeping it updated can prevent downtime, security breaches, and in certain instances having to recover or even rebuild your investment.

2. Speed

WordPress developers are regularly making the platform faster and more efficient, and by keeping your WordPress website maintained and up to date, you increase your website speed and performance. In addition to the obvious reasons to keep your WordPress site running fast, speed also plays an important part in Search Engine ranking and optimization. I get consistent requests for SEO tips, organic ranking input, and more; and one of the very first things that I mention in regards to helping your Google rankings is simply keeping your website up to date and well maintained.

3. New Features

With every release of an updated version of WordPress, there are new features that are unveiled, created specifically to improve the website user experience and website performance. Keeping WordPress up to date, gives both you and your development team the ability to more easily manage your site, add new content, and speed up site performance and user engagement. Recent WordPress updates have included new features such as visual changes to the admin, making it easier to manage content, and uploading and rotation of high resolution images.

4. Performance

Although every version of WordPress goes through quite a bit of testing and QA, small bugs and glitches occasionally happen, and by keeping WordPress up to date and properly maintained you keep your website ahead of these types of issues and running at full and efficient capacity. Also, by keeping your WordPress site updated and backed up, you have the peace of mind that if something did happen, you would easily be able to recover your site and have it back up and running in a matter of a few minutes vs. waiting days or even having to potentially begin from the ground up.

In addition to keeping your WordPress site updated, hosting your site on a high-end server with quality, managed WordPress hosting is indispensable for your website’s health and success and ultimately the success of your business. In the past year, I have begun to offer managed WordPress hosting as a service for my clients, and it plays an important part in keeping my client’s websites secure and updated.

How often should I have my website updated?

New updates, features and releases to both WordPress, plugins, PHP, and WP themes are being released weekly, and I generally suggest monthly WordPress updates to be on the safe side. Far too often, I deal with business owners whose websites have been hacked, deleted or destroyed simply because they didn’t host with a quality provider and keep their site updated. At the very least, 3-4 months is the maximum amount of time I would recommend going without having core updates installed and activated.

To have your website backed up, updated and maintained contact me here and let’s chat about some options to keep your website running smooth, fast and efficient. Or if you’re interested in quality, managed WordPress hosting, reach out and let’s talk about your need for a fast and secure hosting option. I offer Atlanta WordPress design and development as well as Tampa Bay WordPress development from my office in both places. Don’t risk your website – make that move today!