WordPress is free and easy to use, so it’s no wonder so many people use it. The problem, however, is that because it’s so popular, it’s also the most targeted CMS on the market, and this means keeping your WordPress website up to date is extremely important.
Have you ever noticed plugins that need to be updated but put it off because everything seems to be working fine or perhaps stick with an older version of WordPress because you’re too afraid to update it in case you break something? This is too often the case for many users, and the reality is that longer you leave it, the more you put yourself at risk of being targeted by hackers or creating bigger technical problems down the track. It’s simply not a CMS you can set up and forget about.
This is the most obvious reason to keep up to date. It doesn’t matter who you’re hosting with, if you leave your WordPress website out of date, you are putting yourself at risk. New exploits are frequently discovered in WordPress, as well as themes and plugins, and when you don’t update, you leave your website exposed.
It’s worth noting that an exploit doesn’t necessarily mean someone is going to hack into your site and take control (though it can happen), but what is more common is malicious bots will try to seek out these exploits in order to inject your website with spam or defacing content. While MediaCloud takes daily backups to ensure you always a quick recovery option, it’s never a good look for your business when questionable content is uploaded to your site without your knowledge.
WordPress is not an inherently fast CMS, and we highly recommend all users look at caching and CDN to improve performance out of the gate. However, what you might not realise is that many of the themes and plugins used in WordPress (especially the free kind) are developed by individuals or small companies and are often far from optimised.
In most cases, a WordPress website eventually develops into a Frankenstein’s Monster of third-party software, and apart from the security risks that come from not updating your site, you may also discover it’s not running efficiently as a result too. With any free solutions, and even the paid kind, web applications are developed and improved over time with the help of user feedback, so by not updating you may be working with plugins that are inefficient or suffering from unresolved bugs.
One of the best things about WordPress being so popular is how quickly everything develops. It might be intimidating how frequent updates pop-up, but rest assured it’s always best to try and keep up to date as there are often new features and improvements that come as a part of these updates that can benefit you and your website users.
The most neglected updates are often premium themes and plugins because you may not be alerted within the CMS that updates are available. However, more often than not, these updates will be the most beneficial (as well as the most problematic, technically speaking, if you leave them for too long). What is important to know is that MediaCloud offers daily file-level backups, so if a plugin update goes wrong, it’s very easy to rollback to the previous version and then contact us for help.
If all of this sounds a bit daunting, or you’re still nervous about the idea of updating your website regularly – don’t worry, we have a solution to help! MediaCloud offers Managed WordPress hosting where we’ll take care of the technical work for you. It’s easy to get setup, and there are also additional benefits such as advanced security and performance optimisation.