The Importance of Keeping your WordPress Site Up-To-Date
You probably put a lot of time, energy, and even your hard-earned money into designing your WordPress website. But, all too often people get a great site up and running and think that’s the end of working in WordPress. But, the truth is, site maintenance and keeping your website up-to-date is actually really important. You want a place for your audience to go that has correct and relevant information, is secure, and is easy to navigate. Here are a few simple ways to keep your WordPress site up-to-date to keep it looking and working well:
From a Practical Point of View
Your website is often the first thing potential customers or clients see and you want to make a good impression. Avoid having things such as outdated Information broken links. They might translate the lack of updated information as a lack of good communication skills.
Post new and relevant content regularly. This will boost your SEO ranking and drive more traffic to your site. The more frequently you update and add new content to your site the more search engines will visit your site. This will do wonders for your keyword ranking.
Another way you should consider keeping your site up-to-date is by planning an annual refresh. Schedule a time each year to go through your site with a fine-tooth comb and see if everything is working well, see if it’s functional for visitors, and determine if you still love it.
To really keep your WordPress site from becoming stagnant, plan for a major redesign every couple of years. Similar to outdated information, an outdated website design can give the impression that you are not keeping up with current trends. Even if you regularly post new and fresh content and keep all of your software, plugins, and themes up-to-date, consider giving your website a facelift so visitors know what to expect from your business.
From a Security Standpoint
Security is probably the single most important reason to keep your WordPress site up-to-date. WordPress powers 23% of the world’s websites. As such a widely used, open source platform, WordPress is especially vulnerable to hackers. The WordPress team proactively provides regular bug fix and security updates to protect users. However, this means that in order to protect your data you have to do your part and install those updates. If you are using an out-of-date version of WordPress, you are using software that has known security vulnerabilities leaving your site open to a cyberattack.
Dodging the Downside
Along with security updates and bug fixes, WordPress updates often include new features and improved functionality. Which is great! But, there can be a downside to all of these updates. Most developers update plugins and themes on the same schedule as major WordPress updates. If this is the case, you should have no issues with your site. However, there is the possibility that themes and plugins don’t get updated and may no longer be compatible with the current version of WordPress. This situation could render your website “broken.”
Thankfully, there is a workaround. In order to avoid losing everything to an out-of-date plugin or theme, it’s critical to do regular backups of your WordPress site. If a software update occurs and a plugin or theme you use ends up being incompatible, you can restore your website to the old version and troubleshoot with a developer from there. Be sure to do a compatibility check before you install the latest WordPress update to make sure you don’t run into any unexpected errors. It’s also important to get plugins and themes from a reputable source that has a history of consistent version updates.