Updating WordPress: A Quick Guide on Why and How

WordPress is a popular Content Management System that allows users to set up blogs and websites with ease. It is updated regularly to keep up with the growing needs of users. The team at WordPress constantly updates the core functions of WordPress, as well as regularly fixes bugs and releases security updates. To keep your WordPress website in top gear, you too need to carry out these changes in your WordPress install. This post is a quick guide to updating WordPress.

There are many reasons why you should update WordPress regularly. Firstly, new features are added with each update. For instance, WordPress 5.0 introduced the Gutenberg content builder. If you’d like to use this feature by default, you’ll need to update WordPress core. The same goes for the new default theme released with each WordPress release. If you like the new features offered by Twenty Nineteen and want to add it to your site, you’ll need to update.

Secondly, updating improves compatibility with plugins. Often, plugin authors check their work to see if the plugins remain compatible with the WordPress core after a major update. They update the plugins whenever required. For these plugins to work without any conflict on your site, you may find it necessary to upgrade to a compatible WordPress version.

Thirdly, updating fixes bugs. Many small glitches may become known after a major update. So WordPress releases minor updates to fix these bugs and you should make these changes too.

Fourthly, updating improves performance. An update can also add functions that tone up the performance of WordPress. It can add capabilities and features that improve overall performance.

Finally, updating ensures security. With more than 33% of all websites powered by WordPress, it’s a tempting target for hackers. The team at WordPress and the WordPress community is alert to security vulnerabilities and addresses them quickly. To keep your website secure, you must be sure to carry out these updates on your site as well.

To keep your WordPress install updated, you need to monitor and update WordPress core – major and minor, themes, and plugins. You also need to check for available updates to third party themes and plugins if you’ve installed any. Outdated plugins and themes can pose a danger to your website, so it’s important to keep them all up to date.

Before updating WordPress, always backup your WordPress site. This is an important precaution to take before making major changes. Look up the changelog to understand what is being changed. If you don’t need a feature, you can choose not to update your WordPress. Test the updates in a staging version of your site. This way, you’ll know if there’s any incompatibility between your WordPress install and the update you’re trying to effect. And if anything breaks, you can troubleshoot before going live with the changes.

WordPress has an in-built system that’ll inform you every time an update is available. Updating is simply a one-click process. If you’re not in the habit of logging into your site regularly, you may not even be aware of updates. If that’s the case, you may want to follow WordPress on Twitter or an influencer in the community. Alternatively, you can switch to managed WordPress hosting. Managed hosts will update your site for you in case of crucial security updates.

WordPress is set by default to update minor changes automatically, but that’s not the case with major updates. However, not everyone prefers automatic updates at all times. There’s always a risk that an update may not be compatible with any plugin or theme on your site. It’s also possible that you do not want to activate the feature being added by the update, or you may simply want more control over what’s in your install. If that’s the case, you can enable/disable automatic updates or tweak it to apply only to minor releases/major updates by making changes in the wp-config.php file.

Just like you update WordPress, you can update the themes and plugins too. If updates are available, you’ll be notified in Dashboard > Updates. And you can update them using the one-click method. Automatic updates to themes and plugins are disabled by default. To enable them, you can add filters in the functions.php file of the theme or plugin.

In conclusion, updating WordPress is important for the safety and reliability of your website. Next time you see an update notification in your WordPress, be sure not to ignore it. Check out the changelog to understand what is being changed and ensure the safety and reliability of your website by updating WordPress.

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