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Why are Updates for a WordPress Website so Important?

As a WordPress website owner, you are probably sick of WordPress updates, and rightly so. You have plugins that update all the time, most often just to check you are not stealing them. Then there are theme updates, which typically just update by resetting your install so that any changes (like removing the link at the bottom) have been reverted. 

Then come to the WordPress system updates, which appear seemingly randomly, and which can cause untold problems with your other plugins and extensions. If you are sick of WordPress updates, then nobody is going to blame you. However, the sad fact is that they are needed and required if you want a healthy and operational website.

Let me tell you a story about having a plugin that was not updated for years, and I kept having it for years until one hacker hacked through that  unupdated plugin as the hacker found a vulnerability and got access to my site. However, I managed to save my data and all. But, we cannot be so lucky all the time. Thus, regular update of the WordPress system and plugins is indeed required. 

There are a Few Factors Related to the WordPress Update

The Security Factor

When hackers try to brute force websites, they use tools that target a specific version of WordPress. When the developers of WordPress recognize a problem, they alter WordPress to make the new tools unable to function. 

The longer a version of WordPress exists, the longer the hackers have had to create tools that unlock it and hack it. The longer it takes you to update your version of WordPress, the more exposed you are to these hacking tools. Even when WordPress releases new builds, hackers are still running their old tools to see if any suckers have failed to update their websites yet.

The Broken Tools Factor

It is true that updates to WordPress can affect everything from your plugins to the tools you use for/with WordPress. When you fail to update your WordPress, the same thing can still happen. Your tools, your plugins, your templates, they may all advance beyond what your current version of WordPress is able to achieve. In addition, any new tools you use may fail to work on older versions of WordPress.

Developers Work With Current Versions of WordPress

This one isn’t as obvious as it first sounds. When you get a mechanic to fix your car, they will work on all varieties and all types of cars, including very old cars. However, when you work with a WordPress developer he will assume that you are using the most recent version of WordPress. If you are not, then he has to make things backward compatible, or simply convince you to update your WordPress yourself. If you are sticking to an older version of WordPress because you have self-made tools that will fail to work on the new updated version, then have the developer take a look at your tools to see if they can be modernized. 

Removing Your Good Work

There is a risk that your amendments to the WordPress code will be erased, changed, or removed if you update your WordPress. This is annoying, but WordPress rarely releases updates that cause massive change. There is a very good chance you will be able to re-alter your WordPress. If you recorded the changes you made last time, you may be able to go in and re-edit the changes back into WordPress. Otherwise, you will need to update the changes a little so that they work with your current version of WordPress.

Managed WordPress Websites

Perhaps you use a managed WordPress service. This is where the host will take care of your WordPress installation and your updates. If you are having problems, then check to see if your updates have been installed. In some cases, you don’t have to worry about your WordPress updates at all. 

You just receive an email every now and again to tell you that your WordPress website has been updated. It doesn’t seem as important when your host is doing it for you but do make sure to check when they do because your plugins will probably be out of date once the WordPress update has finished.

Final Words

WordPress updates are important for the proper running and safety of your website but at the same time, you should be careful about the custom changes you made to your site. So, before updating you can save them, and later you can again put those codes back.

This may look cumbersome at times but it is all worth it because your website would be safe from hackers.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is an established and independent voice dedicated to providing you with unique, well-researched and original information from the field of technology, SEO, social media, and blogging. He has in-depth knowledge of computers and tech as he pursued computer science.

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