The importance of plugins and theme updates in WordPress
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The importance of plugins and theme updates in WordPress

I am keeping WordPress site assets up-to-date concerning WordPress users for 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.

Today’s article will consider updating WordPress assets 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 order—the ones that come first are more important for WordPress users.

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

Security

Nobody will deny that outdated WordPress assets, such as themes and plugins, carry security loopholes.

If you don’t update your site’s themes, plugins, 3rd party scripts, and WordPress core on time, hackers will exploit outdated assets for malicious intents.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, no-updating routines of WordPress core, themes, and plugins compromise 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.

Compatibility

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 your site’s PHP core is updated to the 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having no updating routines for WordPress assets creates compatibility issues, thus requiring the immediate update of outdated PHP, themes, plugins, and WordPress core.

Similarly, outdated WordPress assets pose processing conflicts, affecting a WordPress site’s performance, speed, and functionality.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 WordPress assets 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 the November 2018 release – of 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 vital updating WordPress core is for improved functionality. Similarly, outdated themes don’t support the latest WordPress core, editors, or enhanced functionality.

For those who don’t know about WordPress editors, Gutenberg helps users create pages and posts with block elements. For example, the Gutenberg editor covers you if you want to make 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 the owners of premium assets.

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 without updates, ignorant WordPress users will encounter several hacking incidents. Complete site takeover, 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 the 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 updating plugins. See your site’s plugins list for more information. For Themes, you must land on the 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 WordPress plugin needs updating. 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 that 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 theme 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 on the WordPress dashboard’s Plugins page.

For security reasons, you should update WordPress assets on time. Hackers can easily exploit a WordPress site 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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