What Happens If You Don’t Update WordPress

What Happens If You Don’t Update WordPress

It’s amazing how many times I get asked to help out on a site and find a version of WordPress that is 2 or even 4 versions behind. WordPress developers work hard improving and updating the CMS so that it is easier to use, faster and more secure. So why update WordPress? If you are not keeping up with the latest version, here’s the risk and what you are missing out on.

Security

I put this first because its so important. With all the spam bots out there and hacking attempts out there, you are vulnerable. Old versions of any software are bad, WordPress included. So for this reason alone, you really should update WordPress.

Features

Before WordPress 3.0 there was no easy way to manage menus. If you have (or had) a theme that doesn’t support WordPress menus, you know what I mean. For those that don’t, I’ll pray for you.

The latest features from 3.5.1 are the media uploader. Now creating and organizing a gallery is even better. WordPress 3.6 will bring a better interface for post formats and a new menu manager that will make managing menus even better!

Incompatibility Issues

Eventually you’ll see a loss in performance of your site due to deprecated WordPress functions and old PHP. With new features built into WordPress all the time to improve performance you’ll see plugins not work and eventually fail. New plugins you would want to add you will not be able to.

For example, you have a online store and use a plugin to manage your online shop. But you haven’t updated WordPress and kept your theme up to par either with the code. Oops, now your site is broke. Checking out doesn’t work as smoothly or shoppers can’t seem to use the site at all, it can happen.

SEO

Should have this with one of the above, but I thought keeping it separate was better. Google places site speed up there with ranking because fast sites mean visitors will interact. No one likes waiting in line at Walmart, same for your site pages coming up. It’s frustrating and not fun. Letting things get out of date will impact performance and your users experience. If your users are not happy then no one will be.

Conclusion

Most people who don’t update their themes and plugins because they are afraid they will break their site. Update! There are so many easy ways to backup your site so that if something happens during the upgrade process you can easily roll-back the update and restore your site. It’ll give you time to debug what and why things broke. Most of the time it’s a theme issue or plugin not WordPress.

Not updating runs the risk of having a insecure site. Prolonging updating can snowball into more and bigger problems such as site failure because you never updated your theme. Now you have to start from scratch. It’s easier to raise a baby than it is to raise the dead.

Anytime I find a site 4 versions behind I never try to resurrect anything. Jesus did and it worked out, Frankenstein did it and look how that turned out. So keep you stuff updated, you’ll save yourself massive headaches later.

I have been in marketing and technology for more than 20 years and have worked in many industries and worn many hats. From independent consultant, to cooking school, to establishing technology centers, it was a Spirit led adventure that landed me in the president & owner’s seat at Element 502.

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