Should I be updating my WordPress site? We get asked this often and the answer is YES!
Lets talk in car terms. If you have a WordPress website your site is made up of 3 main components.
Think of this as the engine. WordPress Core updates are usually for security reasons (often to plug a new vulnerability) or for functionality. Keeping wordpress up to date is very important.
The theme or the builder that the site is built with. Think of this as the chassis and the paintwork.
Theme Updates are usually released to ensure compatibility with the latest WordPress version and also to add features to the theme.
The plugins add extra functionality to the site. These are the accessories, like aircon, satnav , power steering etc. Plugins (like apps on your phone) are developed by third party developers who then have a responsibility to ensure they work with the latest WordPress version. If those developers don’t provide regular updates then your plugins may not function correctly (like the apps on your phone)
Updates are released all the time, if you have a number of plugins on your site then there will be multiple updates every week available for those plugins.
Problems when updating are rare. If they do arise it is usually a result of a conflict between a Plugin or a Theme that hasn’t been updated by its developer in a long period of time and it becomes incompatible with the latest WordPress Core update. When this happens you might need a web developer to look at it and either fix the conflict or often it is best just to find a new, more up to date plugin that can achieve the same result.
I have seen many instances where people don’t want to apply WordPress updates because it might cause a conflict with an old set of out of date plugins, but this is only delaying the issue and potentially putting your site at security risk.
So to sumarise the risk of not applying regular updates to your wordpress site far outweighs the small chance of those updates causing a problem.
At Buzzword we have a maintenance program for clients that also includes security checks and daily backups. You can read more about that here