Great News! You finally finished your new WordPress website. Take a moment to marvel at its beauty and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Now that the moment has passed, it’s time to start thinking about updating that beautiful old site. That’s right old. Welcome to the digital age where websites can be put up quickly and become outdated even quicker — both the content and software.
If you’re thinking that your website doesn’t need to be updated on a regular basis then here are a few things for you to consider.
Maintain your Security
You may be thinking that your WordPress site does not need to change its appearance but you may be forgetting an important factor. Your website may no longer be secure. Thousands of WordPress sites get blacklisted due to hackers, malware, and ransomware. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure your WordPress site stays updated.
Since WordPress is open source software, it will typically receive minor updates automatically. For major updates, you will need to do the work yourself. Deciding not to do this can leave your website seriously exposed.
The other factor to consider from a security perspective is that WordPress uses a large number of third-party plug-ins. Each one of these third-party maintainers releases updates to their plug-ins. That means that you need to be mindful of more than just WordPress open source updates. The damage to your website and your credibility from a successful cyber-attack can ruin your website.
Skipping Updates can be Problematic
So now you may be thinking that you can just do the updates that concern you the most. Skipping updates here and there can’t really hurt, can it? Well, yes it can.
Skipping updates can actually cause significant problems. Open source software solutions are great in that so many talented people can contribute to its overall success. The downside to this is that there are several opportunities for problems to be introduced.
If you choose to skip updates you may spend more time resolving problems than you would have spent just doing the updates in order. Many a WordPress website has experienced unnecessary downtime because its owner was “saving time” by skipping updates here and there.
There is a Better Way
To help you keep your WordPress website up to date, here are a few simple steps that you can follow to safely upgrade your site.
- Create a backup site – Before you do any changes to your production site, you need to create a backup. This will allow you to restore the site quickly if anything goes wrong with the upgrade.
- Create a Staging site – The next step is to create a staging site. This is a copy of your WordPress website that you can safely make updates to. Updates made to your staging site will not be reflected on your live production site.
- Accept updates – This is where you incorporate the updates to WordPress, your theme, and the various plug-ins.
- Test the staging site – Now that the changes have been applied, you can safely test your site to see if there were any problems. If so, you can fix them without disrupting the live site.
- Move changes to the production site – Once you are happy with the testing, you can move the updated site to your production libraries.
- Test the live site – If it works then great. If not, then you can restore from the backup.
Following these simple steps will keep your WordPress website updated and running smoothly.
Make Sense, But You Already Have Enough to Do?
We know you didn’t go into business to maintain your website. The good news? UmeWorks can help. You do what you do best, and we’ll do the same. We can keep your website humming along – we’ll update the software – and the content too, if you wish. Just contact us to get started. We can even set you up with a site security monitoring service if you’d like that peace of mind.