What are WordPress Updates?

And Why You Should Care

WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) to manage websites. Over 30% of all websites are powered by WordPress, WordPress dominates the CMS market with almost 62% using WordPress, and in 2021, over 455 million websites are WordPress websites. [source: techjury, 2022] These are impressive statistics! 

It's not all ice cream and roses...

There’s a few challenges for WordPress, including:

Proper WP Website Management

Here are some FAQs to help you understand what’s involved with owning a WordPress website, with respect to WordPress Backups & Updates. 

WordPress updates are like any other technological updates that are applied across the board to devices and apps you use every day. My PC computer’s Windows operating system is updated every Tuesday. My cell phone processes updates provided intermittently by my cell phone provider. Likewise, our PS4 gaming system has a major update every month or so. Your WordPress website is no different. 

Essentially your updates fall into 3 main categories: 

  1. Security updates: A flaw in the code has been detected and the author is sending out a security patch. 
  2. Coding fixes: An error or glitch has been detected and the owner is sending out a fix. 
  3. New Features: The author has developed updates, upgrades or added functionality and is passing it along to its users. 

Updates are really important! 

There are 4 main parts of a WordPress website that can be updated: 

  1. The WordPress core
  2. Themes
  3. Plugins
  4. Database

It’s easy. Login to your WordPress website admin area and look at the top of your left navigation for Dashboard. On hover, you’ll see Updates and you can click on that to see the entire list of required updates. 

Some updates need to be manually installed and applied. It depends on where you purchased the asset and on the terms and conditions of use. 

Definitely. Some updates are really minor and some are major upgrades. A good clue as to whether you are approaching a minor or major update is by looking at the version number of the update. If you have an update going from v. 1.4.5 to 1.4.6, this is a minor update. Less precautions need to be taken. If you have a new number being released, this signals a big update and more precautions should be adhered to. 

For major updates, ensure you have a complete backup of your website and database before proceeding. Also, wait to do the update at a time when there will be less website traffic. 

Having your website break can be traumatic and scary the first time for sure. 

The first time you decide to press “update” on something inside WordPress, you might just be waiting for your website to implode—which doesn’t actually happen that often. 

Nowadays, WordPress has put safeguards in place to protect against broken websites. Most often, if an update fails, WordPress reverts to the previous version and gives you an error message alerting you to a problem with the updates. This way you can delay the update and contact your web designer. 

Worst case scenario: You will need to restore your website from a Backup. This means you will need to know how your website is backed up, and how to restore your website from a backup. The backup and restore process, functionality and capabilities depends on your web host and web hosting package. In some cases, this can be completed in two clicks. In other cases, you need to formally contact your web host and pay to get them to restore your website. 

If anything goes wrong with your website, you will need to restore your website from a Backup. If you are managing this process by yourself, here’s the information you need to know. 

Questions: 

  • What kind of backups system is included with my web host and web hosting plan? 
  • Do I have access to creating manual and on-demand backups? 
  • How complicated is it to create a backup all on my own? 
  • Will the web host restore a website and do they charge for this? 

In some cases, the backup process is so simple a monkey could do it. Click, click, and it’s done!

In other cases, you need to formally contact your web host and pay to get them to restore your website. 

Reality Check! 

Do you really want to do this task? Or do you want to hire Fun4business to manage it for you?! If the thought of WP updates makes you hurl, it’s time to contact us

You are playing with fire. Your site will eventually stop working properly or break entirely. Eventually, your site could get hacked into and infected with Malware or worse. 

The Best Defence Is A Good Offence

Here are some tips to keep your WordPress website in good working order and safe from attacks: 

Get Help With Your WordPress Updates

Sign up for one of our affordable update packages and keep your website investment protected!

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Picture of Allison Kessler
Allison Kessler is a Canadian entrepreneur and has been web designing professionally in Canada for 20+ years. She helps you with your business website and online marketing for local business, including blogging for business, Google Business Profile, Reviews, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Allison's platform of choice is the WordPress content management system. She lives in Calgary Canada with her 6-year-old son Damian and is usually found outside hiking and enjoying the Rocky Mountains.

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