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A recent report found that 31% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress, so it’s clear that WordPress has become an important part of the web ecosystem. But, with the popularity of WordPress comes additional responsibilities to keep your site up-to-date and secure. It’s not uncommon to see websites running with old versions of WordPress, outdated plugins and themes, and outdated versions of PHP. But this can be dangerous! In this post, we will go over 3 reasons why updating your WordPress site regularly is critical for your website’s security and functionality. All three of these updates are crucial to keeping your website running properly, and if any one of them goes unpatched, you could be dealing with site display issues and inviting hackers into your site—and that could lead to major problems!

1. Old versions of themes can cause issues

Your website is a reflection of your business. If you’re using an old version of a theme, some parts of your website, like sections, images, animations, or overlays, may not show up correctly, giving potential customers the wrong impression of your company. Forms may not work correctly, text can run over other objects, and videos may not play. Updating themes is one important aspect of website maintenance.

2. Old plugins can make your site vulnerable

Old WordPress plugins can be a security risk for your website. Outdated software often has known vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. By keeping your plugins up-to-date, you can help protect your site from being hacked.

Aside from hackers, the problem with skipping updated is display issues. When plugins get outdated, they can become incompatible with your theme or the latest version of WordPress and cause errors.

3. Making all the required updates provide security upgrades that help guard your website against hackers

WordPress releases security updates on a regular basis to help protect against new threats. It’s important to install these WordPress technology updates as soon as they’re available to help keep your site secure. In parallel, it is critical to update the PHP version that your website runs on. After the update,  review your website for any potential compatibility errors.

Automated updates are not end-all

To make website maintenance easier, many hosting providers allow you to enable auto-updates. This means that you can choose to let your hosting provider’s software update the WordPress version, as well as themes and plugins on your site. As great as this is, you are not in the clear. Many plugins and themes are bypassed by auto-updating and have to be updated manually. Skipping these updates can cause compatibility issues that will result in your website breaking and may be expensive to fix.

Get help maintaining your website

Even with regular updates, no website is immune. When themes, plugins and Wordpess versions aren’t compatible (which can happen initially after updates are made), you need to keep an eye on your website and be prepared to restore a recent backup or fix PHP errors.
Getting professional support maintaining your website will ensure that it is protected from hackers and displaying correctly.

Is your WordPress website being maintained? If you are not sure, reach out to us and get a one-time tune-up free of charge. (Available to new clients.) We also offer annual WordPress maintenance packages to take website maintenance off your plate. These packages include fixing your website if an error occurs due to a compatibility issue.