5 Crucial Reasons to Keep WordPress Updated in 2019

WordPress is the most well-known Content Management system currently in use.
According to Web Technology Surveys, WordPress owns a 60% market share of all CMS platforms and is the best choice for clients that need a customizable site. 

Unfortunately, like all CMS systems, keeping your site healthy isn’t always straightforward. Whether your site is purely informational, for personal or business use, or an e-commerce site, maintaining your website is a crucial practice for every business in 2019. 

Continue reading to see if your WordPress site is in danger of added maintenance costs, hackers, and threats to your customer’s personal information!

WordPress at a Glance

WordPress is a free platform created and continuously improved upon by a community of developers. While the platform itself is free, you will still need to host your website through a service like HostGator, GoDaddy, or even WordPress.com

The open source community project is available for anyone to use, modify and build on. This means there are thousands of available extensions, plugins, and tools (both free and for purchase) to help differentiate and customize your site. 

WordPress boasts a huge team of people who are part of the community that helps improve the platform with new releases, bug fixes, and new features that come out every day. This makes it important to heed those upgrade notifications both for the platform as well as the plugins in use.

Let’s look and see how staying up to date with WordPress keeps your site and customers safe

Security

Security is the most important reason you need to keep WordPress up to date. The same things that make WordPress so great – free, open source code, popularity, a large number of plugins available – also make it the most popular target for hackers.

If you are not using the latest version of WordPress, then you are using software with known security vulnerabilities.

Keeping up with security updates for both WordPress and your plugins can help you stay on the safest, fastest, most reliable code available for you and your viewers. 

This is even more important when it comes to E-commerce sites that need to stay PCI DDS compliant. Essentially, the more up to date your CMS software is, the easier it will be to ensure the required steps towards compliance are met. 

Speed and Performance

The most frustrating thing for a customer is a slow and glitchy website and according to skilled.co, 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less. 

Better site speed and performance results in a far better experience for your users. This leads to more conversions, repeat visitors, and better search rankings, all of which increases your opportunity to build your core audience and eventually a strong brand. 

Most WordPress updates result in performance upgrades that help keep your site running smooth. Therefore, running an older version of the platform could be slowing you down.

New Features

New versions of WordPress aren’t just focused on keeping hackers and malware out, but they’re also vital to improving the product. The overarching goal is to make the software easier and more enjoyable to use.

If you are on an older version of WordPress, you’re missing out on all of the best new features. 

For a list of what’s new in the most recent major release of WordPress click here.

Bug Fixes

According to Kinsta, WordPress websites make up a staggering 34% of the entire internet. Therefore, the system must be rigorously tested before each and every release.

While most major issues are sorted out, some “bugs” will inevitably fall through the cracks. This is why WordPress releases minor periodic updates and patches to address these problems. 

Surprisingly, only 40% of WordPress sites are up to date! Most people tend to ignore the minor bug fixes that come through, but they can make a huge difference in the overall health and safety of your site if kept up to date. This will also mean less tedious upkeep in the long run of your site. 

Compatibility

Plugin and theme developers will often coordinate their updates with major WordPress releases to make sure they are taking advantage of all the new features and upgrades. 

In some rare cases, a WordPress update can break existing plugins, but only if their code wasn’t originally set up correctly. 

For just about every scenario, an update will improve your site’s compatibility with existing plugins and features. 

Additional Resources

Keeping your site up to date can take valuable time away from you or your development team. That’s why we came up with a list of our favorite resources we use to help keep our client sites and our own Brandastic site running smoothly.

 

  1. WPScan Vulnerability Database: WPScan is a free black box WordPress vulnerability scanner written for security professionals and blog maintainers to test the security of their sites.
  2. The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide: This ultimate guide from Sucuri is the perfect crash course for everything WordPress security related.
  3. Cloudflare: Cloudflare is an enterprise-class web application firewall (WAF) that protects your internet property from common vulnerabilities likes SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting, and cross-site forgery requests with no changes to your existing infrastructure. 
  4. Wild and Interesting WordPress Statistics and Facts: For an entertaining way to get to know the WordPress platform better, look no further than Kinsta’s WordPress Statistics and Facts article.

Need support with your website maintenance? Brandastic is a web development, digital marketing, and branding agency based in Costa Mesa, California. We specialize in new website development, website upgrades, and maintenance. Contact us today to ignite your website’s potential.

 

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