In today’s world, WordPress is the most common and popular content management system (CMS). It powers millions of websites around the world. As a CMS, it has revolutionized the way people build and maintain content on the Internet. But, all of that well-deserved popularity comes with a price.
All the popularity makes WordPress websites vulnerable targets for hackers. After all, find an exploit that allows access to one website, and it could potentially grant that same access to millions more. To combat the ever-rising tide of malicious web activity, the WordPress community and the makers of various plugins and themes regularly update their software to patch known vulnerabilities. Some developers also offer security products for WordPress.
Hackers are attacking continuously. Many hackers play a volume game when it comes to choosing targets. They find a weakness common to many sites, then try to use it over and over to gain access to an array of sites. Once they gain access, they can hijack your server, deface your brand, steal private information, or cause other harm.
Developers often find themselves in an ongoing cat-and-mouse game with hackers, patching vulnerabilities as quickly as someone discovers them. The developers then disseminate fixes for these exploits via software updates. These updates usually include improvements and new features, as well. Keeping a WordPress site constantly upgraded helps to plug security gaps as soon as possible, discouraging hacking attacks.
Features and Performance:
To prevent the severe hacking attacks, upgrade the WordPress website ensures access to the latest features and best performance enhancements. It provides compatibility between outside services, plugins, and the CMS itself. Many features call third-party services to perform part of their function. For example, eCommerce plugins may call payment processors and security features outside of the site to execute a transaction. Those third-party sites will update their software frequently to remain as secure and functional as possible. A WordPress site that does not also remain upgraded may lose compatibility with the third-party service, potentially costing you traffic, sales, and consumer confidence. Similarly, if the CMS upgrades, your WordPress plugins will likely need an upgrade to ensure ongoing compatibility. Too many upgrades to either the CMS or a plugin without a corresponding upgrade of the other can cause instability, security vulnerabilities, and even crash part or all of your site.
Importance Of Upgrading WordPress Website:
It is important to update three things in WordPress: the actual WordPress application, themes and plugins. However, before you begin updating any of these items, you should make sure that you have a current backup. This is important because sometimes these updates don’t go as well as planned and you need to restore a previous version of your site. Additionally, you might have made some modifications to your theme or plugin and forgot about the changes you made. Having a backup can help in that situation as well.
Is It Possible To Upgrade WordPress Website Automatically?
At this point, you may feel convinced of the importance of keeping a WordPress site up-to-date, but skeptical about having the time or feasibility to do it. So, how can any site owner stay on top of upgrades? Gen X Web Hosting’s phenomenal new WPCanvas (Managed WordPress Hosting) includes free automatic upgrades. The service makes a backup of your site, applies the upgrade, and can roll everything back should a problem occur. That way, your site remains updated, but you do not have to worry about the upgrade crashing your site. Check out our WPCanvas page to get started with Gen X Web Hosting.