What Happens When You Don’t Update Your WordPress Website
So, you see a notification that there’s a new version available to update your WordPress site. You think it’s okay to ignore it because your site’s working just fine and there’s nothing broken. Nothing wrong with that, right?
WordPress will require you to update a lot of stuff, actually. Not only your site, but your plugins and themes. Even things you’re not using will even be asked to update.
As someone who’s seen one too many websites having issues after several ignoring update notifications, I’d say that the cost of having someone fix your website (if you want a professional to do it) is potentially higher than having it maintained. If the issue is not money and if you feel that you can do it yourself, then it will cost you time and frustration. I’d say it’s not worth it.
Which is not to say that I do not understand the worry of some who encounter the dilemma of not being too sure of what to do. Seeing all those warnings about having to backup your site first before doing anything can be daunting. If that is the case, then it wouldn’t hurt to ask a little help while you study your way into understanding your website more.
So, what really happens if you don’t update your site?
You miss out on new features
This is quite literally the foremost reason why you are required to update. New updates means new features to look out for. Often, these features aren’t really worth mentioning, but it’s always good to be up-to-date and have access to new features. Granted, big updates will mean you’ll have to get used to a new process and you’ll have to re-learn your way and get used to this new changes, but nothing wrong with that. Updating regularly and having to get used to small things step by step certainly beats having to update in one go after a long time and having to get used to something that looks entirely foreign to you because you haven’t been checking up on it after so long.
You’re going to encounter problems along the way
Not updating your site, plugins and theme will mean big problems for you in the long run. Sure, it’s still working now, but what about when you want to make some changes to your website that need your WordPress version, your plugin or your theme updated? What if you want to have a new theme, but that theme requires for you to update your WordPress version to the latest version?
Sure, you can just update everything and all will be well, right? If only that can be nearer to the truth. Skipping update versions are more likely to cause you problems than updating on a regular basis. If your website is extremely out of date, chances are, you’ll have to build your website from scratch instead of just updating everything in your old site where you will potentially encounter problems and risk losing data altogether. It will cost you more time and money compared to creating a new site. You may just shrug it off if your website is just a simple one, but what if you own a complex website?
Remember, prevention is better than cure.
You miss out on security updates
Now, I bet you’ve updated your device’s software many times than you care to count. If so, then you’ll notice that new updates don’t come only with new features, but also with security updates. The same is true with new update versions for your site.
The thing is, WordPress isn’t so secure. And with so many other people using WordPress for their sites, it’s a constant target for hackers regardless of traffic volume of any given site. What hackers care about is to hack into your site and use it to send out spam or any other content used to inconvenience your website visitors. And we don’t want that, do we?
Again, prevention is better than cure. So the obvious prevention to this is to beef up your security. And one of the ways to do that is to update your site. Remember that the WordPress team is always on-the-go and on the look-out for security issues and always ready to release updates to fix any issues, especially those concerning security vulnerabilities. The same is true with your themes and plugins.
So, the three reasons above are the three biggest things to consider why you have to regularly update your website. Sure, it can be tedious and repetitive, but it’s better than having to scramble trying to fix your site after not updating it in so long.
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