The importance of plugins and theme updates in WordPress

Keeping a WordPress site’s assets up-to-date concerns WordPress users for many reasons – security, performance, and compatibility.

Indeed, updating routine is undeniable for WordPress site owners; especially – when an update for a theme, plugin, or script rolls out in WordPress.

In this article today, we will consider WordPress assets’ updating for WordPress users. Also, you’ll learn how to keep your site’s assets up-to-date, including WordPress core, themes, plugins, and 3rd party scripts.

Importance of Plugins and Theme Updates in WordPress

Here is a list of reasons you should keep updating your site’s themes and plugins. The following reasons address two aspects of WordPress users – individual site owners and those selling WordPress themes, plugins, or 3rd party scripts on marketplaces.

Also, the following reasons are listed in the order – the ones that come first show more importance for WordPress users.

Let’s address the importance of plugins and theme updates for WordPress websites.


Nobody on earth will deny – outdated assets of WordPress, such as themes and plugins, carry security loopholes.

If you don’t update your site’s themes, plugins, 3rd party scripts, and WordPress core on time, hackers will exploit outdated assets for malicious intents. Sometimes, hackers automate exploitation routines – making risks more catastrophic for WordPress users.

For example, having no-updating routines of WordPress core, themes, and plugins causes the compromise of more than 80% of Blogs – websites like WP BeginnerPagelyWeb Design, and the WordPress official resources confirm.

When an update rolls out for WordPress core, theme, or plugin – loopholes are patched with bug fixes.


WordPress only supports using one asset at a time if they are comfortable with each other’s infrastructure.

For example, you can only use specific WordPress plugins if the PHP core on your site is updated to its latest core.

importance of plugins and theme updates

The rule of thumb is that having no-updating routines for WordPress assets creates compatibility issues, thus creating the need to immediately update outdated PHP, themes, plugins, and WordPress core.

Similarly, outdated WordPress assets pose processing conflicts, affecting a WordPress site’s performance, speed, and functionality.

For example, page builders may only work correctly if the WordPress core and PHP are updated to the latest versions.

Bugs, Technical issues, Broken Functionality

Themes, Plugins, and 3rd party vendors constantly update their assets for improved performance – thus making updating critical for WordPress users.

The importance of updating WordPress assets is undeniable – as WordPress assets come with improved performance, bug fixes, and functionality once an update for a theme, plugin, or core files rolls out.

Broken functionality, bugs, and technical issues directly affect a WordPress website. A Bug is an error in a computer program that often results in broken functionality. Similarly, technical matters in outdated assets of WordPress leave no tracks behind for fixing routines.

New features

Above all, updates for WordPress core, themes, and plugins come with new features.

For example, Gutenberg – the block editor for WordPress pages and posts, started coming packed in November 2018 release – WordPress 5.0.

importance of plugins and theme updates

Users using WordPress lower versions (WordPress version < 5.0) – can’t use the Gutenberg editor. Thus, it is clear how much updating WordPress core is vital for improved functionality. Similarly, outdated themes don’t support the latest WordPress core, editors, or improved functionality.

For those who don’t know about WordPress editors – Gutenberg helps users create pages and posts with block elements. For example, Gutenberg editor has covered you if you want to create WordPress pages with a drag-and-drop experience.

In the same manner, updating WordPress core triggers additional alerts. For example, if a site runs with an outdated version of PHP, WordPress notifies users in the dashboard area.

Business purposes

There is a business approach to keeping your WordPress themes and plugins up-to-date – selling WordPress assets on marketplaces such as Envato.

Developers update their premium themes and plugins regularly. WordPress updates address commercial aspects for developers, support services, or premium assets’ owners.

Here, an update is more tailored to updating a WordPress theme or plugin’s source code. When this happens, asset owners on Marketplaces generate more sales.

Similarly, web hosting infrastructures contain automated scripts for WordPress installation, management, and performance. If they don’t install the latest updates, the chances of running WordPress sites smoother become slim.

What happens – if you don’t update your WordPress site’s Themes and Plugins?

For WordPress users – the more a theme or plugin trends, the more Hackers target loopholes for malicious activities.

If a site is left behind with no updates, the stacks of hacking incidents rise for ignorant WordPress users. Complete site take-over, access to sensitive information, website defacement, or leakage of users’ data are examples of hacking attempts on a WordPress site with no-updating routines in place.

How to update your site’s Themes and Plugins?

Fortunately, WordPress provides native features to update its core, themes, and plugins.

Once you’ve logged into WordPress dashboard, the Plugins page helps you identify – which plugins need updating. Similarly, the Themes page shows uploaded packages with updated information. You can also update packages on the Dashboard -> Updates page.

importance of plugins and theme updates

You can also update routines manually – by changing your site’s files with an FTP client, such as File Zilla, or logging into hosting cPanel -> File Manager. However, we recommend such routines only if your site needs custom management for some reason(s).

Professional Tips

  • WordPress can also automate the process of Plugin updating. See your site’s plugins list for more information. For Themes, you must land on Dashboard -> Themes page to update routines.
  • Ensure you’ve set up WordFence – one of the best plugins for WordPress security. WordFence sends automatic notifications when a plugin in WordPress needs updation. On the other hand, WordFence helps you protect your site from attacks, such as Brute Force vectors.
  • Always – take your site’s backup before you initiate the updation routines for themes and plugins. If possible, test out new updates on a staging site first.
  • If a plugin or theme requires API for updating, enter one and proceed with updating routines. Be aware – you can’t update premium themes or plugins – if you don’t have a working license key. Such assets can also pose security risks.
  • Stick to the basics, such as updating things on the WordPress Updates page, unless you need to perform manual routines, such as changing WordPress files from cPanel -> File Manager.

Summing up

So – what’s the importance of plugins and themes updates in WordPress?

WordPress updates make life easier for users who solely depend on WordPress infrastructure.

Updating routines can be simple without technical expertise. Beginners can easily update their site’s assets in WordPress dashboard – Plugins page.

The reason why you should update WordPress assets on time is – Security. Hackers can easily exploit if a WordPress site is running with outdated assets.

And, if you’re not technical enough – you can hire our WordPress support services for more information, bug fixes, and other routines on WordPress updates.

Image: Photo by Justin Morgan on Unsplash 

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