Just how long ago your WordPress website was created has an effect on your visitors’ user experience now. After all, hardly anybody favors old school over functionality in the online world. The digital world continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and tools that worked well a few years ago may well be obsolete now.
If you want to keep up with your customers’ preferences and wish to make the most of the online marketplace, it is important that you keep your WordPress website up-to-date at all times. In doing so, you need to pay attention to different aspects.
If you feel that your website running on an older version of WordPress is secure, you need to think again. This is because using any older version leaves you susceptible to online attacks. With a market share of around 60% in the content management systems (CMS) sphere, WordPress makes for a very popular target among cybercriminals such as hackers, data thieves, and distributors of malicious codes.
Given that WordPress functions as open-source, just about anybody can study the code and look for ways to make it better. The flip side is that cybercriminals also use the same opportunity to look for flaws that give them back-end access to websites they wish to target.
Every new update released by WordPress fixes one or more security concerns. The version’s release notes give users complete descriptions about all fixes included in the update. It is common for hackers and the likes to review these fixes. Then, they target websites that are yet to undergo the latest updates.
According to data released by W3Techs, of all the websites that use WordPress, 76.8% use Version 5. More than 20% still use Version 4, whereas just around 1% makes use of Version 3.
If you choose not to update to the latest WordPress version, your existing website will keep running with known vulnerabilities.
New Features and Functionality
Many look at the WordPress content management system as a work in progress. This is because software experts from the world over are striving to make this open-source system better all the time. Every time there’s a major release, users benefit through improvement in performance as well as a range of added features.
With WordPress 4.0, users received an enhanced plugin installation experience. Line image editing was introduced in WordPress 4.1. Faster plugin updates was the highlight of Version 4.2. Quickly keeping up with changing times, the block editor in WordPress 5.4 now supports TikTok embeds.
By using the latest version of WordPress, your website will operate as it should, giving your visitors a great user experience. In addition, it also minimizes the probability of online attacks.
Where there’s software, there may well be a bug, and WordPress is no different. Simply put, a bug is a mistake, an error, a fault, or a flaw in a computing program. A bug may lead to unexpected or incorrect results, and even get a machine to behave in an unexpected manner. In some cases, bugs can get entire systems to crash.
To make sure that the system keeps running smoothly, web developers working on WordPress keep looking for any probable bugs in the existing version. If they find any, or if any are reported to them by users, they work in fixing them quickly. What follows is a minor WordPress release. For instance, WordPress 4.2.3 came with 20 known bug fixes, The minor release is characterized by the numbers that follow the actual version number (Example: WordPress 4.4.1).
Plugins and Themes
While cybercriminals can target your core WordPress platform, they also have the ability to exploit your website’s plugins. This requires that you keep all your plugins and themes updated at all times. If your website has themes or plugins it no longer uses, simply delete them. The WordPress development team continues to work on improving existing One.com plugins, while also adding new themes to its parent plugin – One.com themes and plugins. Once you update, you may look forward to make the most of the new plugins and themes on offer.
Web design and development technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace, and WordPress is not the one to be left behind. However, if you plan to use some of the newest plugins, you might have no option other than to use the latest versions of WordPress. It is not unusual for these and plugin developers to provide coordinated updates each time there’s a major WordPress release. This allows them, and other developers, to take full advantage of the newly available WordPress enhancements and features.
In some instances, WordPress plugins may cease to work after an update, especially ones that don’t follow best coding standards and practices. As a result, it is important that you backup your WordPress site regularly. Other than this, there is no other drawback when it comes to updating to the latest version of WordPress.
Does Your WordPress Website Need an Update?
Different signs indicate that your WordPress website could do with an upgrade:
- It does not stand out from its competition
- It lacks in branding
- It does not attract the right audience
- It has a low conversion rate
- It relies on outdated technologies
- It is not mobile-friendly
- It takes a while to load
No matter what ails your existing website, simply updating to the latest version of WordPress can help it get on the road to recovery. With a new improved website, not only can you expect more visitors who have great user experiences, but more paying customers as well.