So you want to know why you have to keep updating your WordPress website, huh?

Part of what makes WordPress so awesome is that it has Plugins & Themes (and the core “WordPress system) like your phone has Apps. So whenever you want your website to have a new feature or do something cool you go to the WordPress Repository (‘PLUGINS > ADD NEW’ inside your WordPress Dashboard) and you search for a Plugin that suits your needs (think “Chat” plugins, “Translation” plugins, “Flippy box” plugins, etc) and you install it, set it up and BOOM your website has a new cool feature. It is no different than when you search for a new App for your phone in the Google Play store or Apple Apps. The same goes for Themes. If you want to change your WordPress theme you can search for a new theme and install it and set it up! WordPress is pretty cool like that.

WordPress needs to be Updated just like your Phone does

Think of your WordPress website like your phone. No matter whether you have an iPhone or an Android when your phone needs to be updated (Apps or the iOS or Android Software) you need to update it whenever an app releases a new version or your phone releases a software update. In fact you may not realize it but these updates often contain bug fixes and SECURITY patches to prevent hackers and malware from being installed on your phone. Got your attention now, didn’t I?
WordPress is the same. As I explained above, your WordPress website has plugins like your phone has apps. It also has themes and of course the WordPress core software. Just like your Apps on your phone, each Plugin or Theme is made by a different developer. As the developers improve their plugins and fix bugs and find security issues, they send new updates through to the WordPress Repository that then show up right inside your WordPress Dashboard.
Where to find your Updates in your WordPress Dashboard

How often new updates show up here is dependent on how many Plugins or Themes you have installed. We typically see the WordPress core software update around one time a month if not more. Websites with a ton of plugins will probably see new updates show up several time a week because each developer will send in their newest version to the WordPress Repository (that’s WordPress.ORG) which then sends the update notice out and your website then shows the little red icon next to the UPDATES section in the menu showing you that you now have an update. The more plugins and themes you have, the more often you will need to go in and update your site.

Now that does not mean you have to go in and update it every day. Once a month is enough if your site isn’t plugin heavy. More often if it is is. Just make sure you are doing it regularly and at LEAST once a month and you should be fine. It is also important to note that some updates can BREAK your site. So make sure you take a backup of your site BEFORE you update it. If you host with us, this won’t be an issue. Just let us know and we will restore it.

No matter who you host with, you have to update your WordPress site. Whether you choose our super amazing WordPress Hosting or you choose to host with Godaddy or HostGator or anywhere else – you are going to have to do it. Not doing it could cost you hundreds of dollars to clean it (we charge $250 to clean infected sites that are not hosted with us) or even more if you have to scrap it and start fresh.

I still don’t really understand WHY I have to update my WordPress website?

There are a lot of good reason for keeping your website updated: New features for your theme or plugin, improvements to their features or performance & bug fixes are among of the most important. You also need to make sure your plugins stay compatible with the latest version of WordPress. If you do not update your plugins then some of the features on your site may break or not work properly. We see it all the time.

The #1 reason to keep your WordPress website updated is SECURITY

WordPress is the #1 software used nowadays to build a website – therefor it is also the most attacked. Hackers spend tons of time looking for back doors and flaws in your theme or plugins (and in the WordPress software) trying to find a way to get into your website so they can do mean evil things like post mens underwear on your home page or insert links to the little blue pill sites into your blog posts. There are other reasons too but you get the idea. Once a flaw is found for a plugin or theme then hackers go around and try to find sites using that plugin or theme and they exploit it! This is where the updates come in. The developers find out about the flaw and they fix it; then they send the update to the WordPress Repository and it shows up on your site! BOOM! Time to Update! You are now safe!

Now there are literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of WordPress websites out there so as long as you are updating your site regularly – you will be fine. It is unlikely that a hacker will find your site in the first 3o days if it has a plugin/theme/Wordpress flaw and hasn’t been updated yet. But for those who update their site maybe every few months or once a year – you could be in trouble. In fact, I can almost guarantee you are. You wouldn’t even know your site was infected without using a Plugin like Wordfence to scan it and check for infected files. If this is you then I highly recommend scanning your site now.

If you host with us, you have options!

Hosting your WordPress website with us is like living in the Pentagon. No seriously – we got you covered! Not only is our hosting SUPER FAST (faster than any other host out there) but it is SUPER SECURE! We will automatically update the WordPress core software AND any plugins, themes when there is a known vulnerability. So you never have to worry about those. We also backup your site nightly. So if you happen to break your site just let us know. We will restore it for you no questions asked as far back as 30 days. AND (wait there’s more!) we add additional layers of security by running your domain name through Cloudflare. AND if you ever get a virus, we will clean it for free. Yep, we said FREE!

We have 2 options available when you choose to host with us:

$39/month for Hosting Only. This means YOU have to update it at LEAST one time a month. And yes, we will be checking it so you can expect us to nag you if you aren’t doing it. You’ve been warned. (Don’t worry, we can show you how to update it if you don’t know how). Your site is still safe from hackers and we will take care of the serious updates but you still must go in and update the plugins regularly.

OR

$49/month for Hosting plus Updates. This means we go in and update your site for you every single WEEK. So it’s always in tip top shape, secure, fast and has all the best things life can offer! Well, that WordPress can offer anyways!

Either option you still get the protection & security that comes with our hosting, the automatic updates for known flaws, the nightly backups, Cloudflare and our super amazing awesome customer service. To learn more about our hosting click on the link above or give us a call at 517-917-0582. We are always happy to answer any questions!