11 Jun Does WordPress Update Itself?
Most people will agree that regular updates are one of the top methods to ensure that your WordPress site stays secure and continues to function smoothly. However, knowing the right answer to the question,”Does WordPress Update Itself?” can directly affect how secure and smoothly functioning your website is.
One misconception that you may have is that WordPress updates automatically and you don’t need to do it manually. The reality is that automatic updates to your site only happen when a major security update is made by WordPress. Other than that, the core, plugins and themes all have to be updated manually.
A caveat here! You can manually create code in certain specific files, within WordPress, to have WordPress update automatically. However, it is a very bad idea to do this. More on this to come.
You may also be aware that you need to process updates for WordPress and the necessary plugins etc., but just can’t spare the time for it. If you lack the technical knowhow or time needed for regular updates and backup, you can easily avail the services of WordPress specialists to make your website secure from vulnerabilities and up-to-date.
So What Happens if You Don’t Update?
If your core WordPress files, plugins and themes are not kept up to date, they are vulnerable to several issues, such as:
- Security – A CMS (Content Management System) this huge is bound to become a target for all kinds of security attacks, but this also means that threats are sometimes quickly identified and resolved, whether the issue is in the core or in a popular plugin. Protecting your WordPress website from hackers is crucial as they tend to look for vulnerabilities in outdated or smaller type plugins. Some people say you can always find a plugin developer to fix the issue. Really!
Older plugins, or outdated plugins, may have been abandoned by their developers, leaving you extremely vulnerable to attacks.
- Bugs – You could end up with broken plugins or tools and glitches in the system if your WordPress site isn’t updated to a fixed and bug-free version. Whenever a bug is identified, minor update releases with the fixed version are made available fairly quickly.
- Features – New WordPress releases, particularly the major updates, often come with revamped looks, improved accessibility and interaction to meet the rapidly changing needs and dynamics of millions of WordPress users. You will miss out on all the latest features with an outdated core.
- Performance – Your site can run the most efficiently only if your WordPress version, themes and plugins are up to date. New versions often enhance the performance of and/or speed up WordPress sites, and enable plugins to run more smoothly. Failure to update any section and you’ll find you have problems looming on the horizon.
- Compatibility – When you install new plugins, chances are that an outdated WordPress core file might not be compatible with them unless you update it.
Remember the, “more on that later,” section from above, well this why you don’t want to update your core WordPress files automatically. “They can completely break your website!” Every time a new release is made a backup needs to be performed and then manually update WordPress. If something breaks, you can look to determine why the site broke or restore the backup if it looks like it will take too long to investigate the problem.
With an outdated WordPress site, you will possibly encounter problems with new plugins, that won’t be able to utilize the latest features and your website will be vulnerable to bugs and security threats.
Back, Backup & Then Backup
You should back-up your files before you perform any update, because occasionally there may be compatibility issues between your updated WordPress core and plugins. It is also possible that your updated plugin might not be compatible with other plugins, so have a professional check everything.
In any case, it is crucial to regularly have a backup made of all your important files so that they stay safe and secure. The cost of not backing up your WordPress website could be disastrous. WordPress developers and experts can manage both aspects of keeping your site running efficiently, i.e. updating the core file, themes and plugins as well as making backups beforehand to keep your data safe and your site secure.
Up-to-date WordPress Core, Plugins and Themes
Not only are updates necessary for the WordPress core, it is equally important to keep the plugins and themes in line. Some minor releases are automatically updated, but not all. You still need to periodically check for newer versions so that your plugins remain compatible with your WordPress site and other plugins.
There is an option to enable automatic updates for minor releases, but many people prefer to keep everything manual because this could possibly cause compatibility issues, and you want to be able to go over each plugin update before you decide to install it.
Most people find it hard to keep a constant check on new releases instead of concentrating on running their site. Hiring someone for specifically this purpose will save you time and effort since they can ensure the necessary updates are made and can better identify whether a plugin should be updated or not. They will also keep all your important files safe with regular backups.