Launched in 2003, WordPress has come a long way and is now the world’s most popular and widely used content management system (CMS), powering 40.0% of all websites on the internet. Since WordPress is also an open source software, it has a massive community of developers and contributors that are working around the world to improve and update it to keep the software relevant and useful.
Just like any piece of software, updating is an essential and necessary step to making sure your WordPress website continues to function properly so you aren’t losing out on leads or sales. Let’s look at some of the most important reasons regularly updating your WordPress website is an essential part of your online success.
Security is arguably the most important reason why you should always keep your WordPress website up to date. Due to the popularity of WordPress, it can be a target for malicious code distribution and hacking attempts. The open source capabilities work both ways, as it is great for developers to keep improving on, but that also means data thieves and hackers may try to exploit susceptible websites that are running older versions of WordPress. Luckily, updates feature regular security enhancements that are there to keep any malicious activity at bay.
Security Tip: Don’t forget to update all of your plugins and themes as well.
When WordPress sends out a new release update, it contains new features and improvements that allow for an overall better, more streamlined experience for your website and those who visit it. Improvements can include widgets, embeds in text, redesigned plugins, new visual post editor fixes, and much more. These updates help keep you and our website up to date on all the latest features that other websites are using, so you can stay in the loop and with the times.
Feature Tip: Stay up to date with features to keep a streamlined browsing experience for your potential customers, leads and clients. If your page is ecommerce based, remember 6 out of 10 shoppers say the usability of a website is important when they’re online shopping and most users form an opinion based on your web design in a little over 3 seconds, so eye catching new features can really help keep web traffic interested and engaged.
No software is infallible to bugs, and WordPress is no stranger to the occasional bug in need of fixing. Although every release of WordPress goes through vigorous testing, smaller issues can sneak through the cracks. Bugs can cause errors, make pages not be able to load or even cause crashes. To fix these bugs, implementing a regular update schedule is essential to keeping things running smoothly on your WordPress site.
Bug Fix Tip: If you feel something on your page isn’t working properly, always check to see if there was an additional bug fix in your update that you need to download.
Performance updates to your WordPress site are beneficial as they help to enhance user experience as well as erase any glitches or bugs that may have been in a plugin or theme you may have downloaded. These performance updates adjust or remove them completely so you won’t have to worry about any hiccups in usage in the future. It’s always preferable to have the best performance for your website as possible to keep visitors happy and so they aren't pushed to leave. Losing leads because of sluggish or bad performance is a top reason why updating is incredibly important.
Performance Tip: Updates to your website performance are just as important to your potential customers as they are to you. When bugs or glitches appear in your software or the plugins that you use, the WordPress updates will help to adjust them or remove them so that you do not lose quality leads or sales due to poor performance.
In conjunction with performance, WordPress developers are always trying to make the platform run better and make things faster. When a new release comes out, there is usually code in that update that makes it so your WordPress site runs faster and more efficiently. Speed is a huge factor in SEO and how you rank in search, so having a website that is updated for speed is essential to keeping you competitive in the search engine rankings.
Speed Tip: Website feeling a little sluggish? In need of a boost? There are tips and tricks you can find online to help boost your speed besides just the updates WordPress provides.
At Stoute Web Solutions, we offer a wide range of services to our clients, including Website Design & Development, Website Hosting, AdWords Management, SEO, and PPC Campaign Management right here in Portland.
We are proud to specialize in creating custom website care plans, managed WordPress hosting, SEO, web design and are ready to help your business grow. Our team specializes in working with small and medium-sized businesses with affordable SEO services and web design services.
If you would like to take your business to the next level, reach out to us to schedule a consultation today.