The Importance of Updating Your WordPress Site

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different versions of WordPress released? Well one of the main reasons behind this is to improve security. Unfortunately, we live in a world where malware attacks and hacking are the norm, whether you are a start-up business or a global company. There is no victim too small and no victim too large it would seem. So to try and counteract this activity, WordPress release frequent updates to improve their security.

WordPress recently made nine security changes in the latest version, which is 4.8.2.  The problem is that as more hackers emerge and discover vulnerabilities, WordPress and other technology companies have to react and update their software. So if you want to keep your website as secure as you possibly can, it is a very good idea to update to 4.8.2 at your earliest opportunity.

There are a number of other reasons that WordPress roll out new versions, such as to provide users with improved features. Since WordPress was first launched in 2003 there have been absolutely loads of updates covering all manner of feature upgrades and introductions. If you are using an older version of WordPress you won’t be getting the benefits of all of these latest features. In 4.4 (also known as Clifford) for example, responsive images were introduced. As you can imagine, with such a focus on mobile friendly websites this was a very important update.

To have WordPress automatically crop images to the right size depending on the device was a very welcome change. In that same update a new theme – Twenty Sixteen was also introduced, bringing with it a range of new options. Again, this theme was heavily based around mobile-first features.

WordPress 4.5 or Coleman as it was named, enabled users to add logos from the customizer, which made life a lot easier for people building their own websites for the first time.

This year Evans, otherwise known as version 4.8 was released on 8 June and was largely focused on improving how widgets could be used. No more code needed to add an image to a widget. Again, a big step further into a world where a person without any coding experience can quite easily set up a website. It also made adding video to a sidebar a piece of cake. With video marketing becoming evermore popular, this was another well-received update that impressed the masses.

Having a fast site is really important to prevent website visitors from leaving sites. With improving website speed being a key priority, WordPress continually introduces tweaks and bigger updates to try and get everything moving along a bit faster. You know the saying ‘every second counts’? It couldn’t fit a better context than in the world of website visitors.

Updating your version of WordPress is very straightforward and you can choose to have automatic updates. If you haven’t chosen that option then you simply have to go to your dashboard and go to Updates. It should then list any updates that are available for you to install. It is recommended that you do a backup of your website before you install any major updates, just to be on the safe side. You can do this easily within cPanel depending on your web host. Some companies such as SiteGround have automatic back ups which is extremally handy (we’ve all been there).

So as you can see, there is a whole list of reasons from enhanced security, to accessing fancy features behind all of these WordPress updates. If you haven’t updated your site yet then there is no time better than the present. Don’t get neglectful of your updates as you could live to regret it should the worse case scenario happen and your site gets hacked.

 

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