WordPress upgrades come out often. You might wonder why this is the case, and whether you should scramble to update as soon as possible. What are the possible consequences of WordPress upgrades, or of skipping an upgrade? Read on for answers to these questions.
Q: Can I / Should I update my WordPress installation myself?
A: As a site owner, you may get an email like this from WordPress from time to time:
From: WordPress [mailto:]
Subject: WordPress 4.6.1 is available.
Please update your site at http://www.yourdomain.com to WordPress 4.6.1.
Updating is easy and only takes a few moments: http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/update-core.php
If you experience any issues or need support, the volunteers in the WordPress.org support forums may be able to help.
Keeping your site updated is important for security. It also makes the internet a safer place for you and your readers.
The WordPress Team
You can perform these WordPress upgrades yourself. Whether you should is a decision you can make based on your level of comfort with the software. The upgrades are normally easy to perform and relatively low-risk, but as with any software update, it’s always possible that something could go wrong or your site might be using a plugin that isn’t compatible with the latest version. If you feel comfortable doing the upgrades yourself, but would like us to walk you through the process, we’ll be happy to help. If you’d prefer to let us handle it, we can do that, too.
Q: What if I try to do it myself, and something goes wrong?
A: Not to worry. We are here to help. Just drop us a line and we will be happy to help you sort things out quickly.
Q: WordPress seems to have non-stop updates. Why? What do I risk if I skip one?
A: Many times, the upgrades available are just feature additions or bug fixes. It’s possible, though not advisable, to skip some iterations of the software or plugins. However, security patches should always be applied as soon as possible. WordPress works hard to keep its software secure, which is why the WordPress team releases updates as soon as any security issues are discovered and rectified. They’re also constantly working to improve the user experience, which explains other updates. Most websites can be set up to perform WordPress upgrades automatically, saving you time and money, and keeping you current and protected immediately.
Q: Does my hosting make a difference to WordPress upgrades?
A: It can. Each hosting company sets its servers up slightly differently, and some settings may prevent you from being able to use WordPress’s built-in automatic upgrade features. If this is the case with your host, we can perform upgrades manually, or you can look for a more WordPress-friendly host and we can help you migrate your website.
Q: Is there a different system we can use that would have lower annual maintenance costs?
A: If you have a shop, you could opt for a hosted store like Shopify. They have a ‘lite’ version at a lower rate. The monthly costs include hosting and software maintenance, so it’s a predictable monthly fee, though you wouldn’t be able to have email hosted through their service.
You could use a website builder like Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.com. You can read more here about our recommendations about website builders.
Here at RED, it’s important to us to keep your site protected and secure, and that means keeping it up to date and safe from hackers. If you have questions about this process, or want to talk to us more in-depth about the best options for keeping your site secure and updated, drop us an email or give us a call. We’re always happy to help you understand your website better.