Why and how to keep your WordPress website up to date

Keeping your WordPress website up to date is important for the security of your system, the compatibility of your software, and accessibility of your visitors. The benefits of an up to date website are numerous. A modern website with up to date software is less likely to experience hacking or spam. Older software is at risk of emerging security flaws due to modern technologies or methodology. Most software updates are released for the benefit of security improvements or increased compatibility. All websites should have a maintenance plan to ensure their software is up to date and backed up for safe keeping.

The Future of Updates

Websites are getting easier to update. Some content management systems like WordPress are beginning to use automatic background updates for small modifications to ensure their users are staying up to date. Automatic updates is certainly ideal, and we will most likely see this trend increase in popularity. Most software updates utilize a one-click update method, which is simple for all users. But be careful! Just because clicking update is easy does not mean that the update is compatible with all your software. The future of updating websites looks bright, but we currently need to utilize strategy to ensure updates occur smoothly.

Backup Your Files and Database

Before updating your software, backup your files and database. The updates will replace various files, and you don’t want to lose a functioning file in case you need to rollback to a previous version. For WordPress, the theme and plugin files can be accessed through FTP, and are located in the wp-content directory. The database is located on the server, and will require some experience with server management tools. We suggest contacting a professional to backup your files and database correctly. Any mistakes made while backing up your files might result in an accidentally broken website.

Update your website during a low activity time

Don’t disrupt your visitor’s experience while your website updates. Some software updates will temporarily disable website functions as the files are replaced. Sometimes updates are incompatible, and break the website connection or functionality. You will want to plan your update schedule wisely to minimize user exposure to your modifications. Always have a recovery plan to rollback your updates in case an issue occurs.

Our Maintenance Plan

Updating your website is important, but difficult. Making mistakes can result in website issues or permanently lost files. Our WordPress maintenance plan is designed to methodically backup and update your software to ensure a safer website. We make maintaining a website easy and bring assurance to the process. Each maintenance plan is accompanied with a monthly summary documenting all updates and improvements made to the website, so that you can stay current on your website health.

Work With Us

We've been building websites for over twenty years, and have learned a thing or two about how to make web projects go smoothly.