WordPress Updates – Why you need them!

From time to time, WordPress will release an update. Along with many plugins you may be using, keeping your website up to date is very important. If not, it becomes almost inevitable that, over time, the site will age so poorly it may be compromised or shut down for not keeping up to minimal server standards. Why should you update your site? WordPress is used by a great many sites. If you where a potential attacker, you’d likely focus your attentions on the most used systems out there. Hence the great many automated attempts at hacking your logins, and spamming your forms. If you do not update your WordPress site, it becomes very easy to exploit security vulnerabilities that have otherwise been fixed. Leaving new features aside, security alone is worth the update. The downside to updating! Before you pull that trigger and hit that lovely “Update” button. Here are some things you should know. Sometimes, updates have unexpected results! Take for instance: The latest WP update (as of early March 2017). This release has major improvements for the use of php 7, and depreciates the uses of anything below php 5.6. Further more, WooCommerce now requires a minimum of 5.6. Both would like you to be on php 7.0. So, if you take the updates for WordPress and WooCommerce – you are likely to begin seeing some issues. Plugin Errors Many plugin makers are now converting their code to be php 7 compatible. If you are on an old version of say php 5.5, your WP site will likely show a “down for maintenance” message, locking you out of your own site. BE PREPARED! Our advice, before updating ALWAYS TAKE A BACKUP! This should include the files and database. Take both a local copy and leave one on the server (if you like restoring files the fast way). Next, update WordPress. Be patient! When complete, check your site (all of it). Next, update your plugins 1, by 1. Carefully checking that they still work. If any encounter an error, restore from your files. Should you go at it alone? Some updates are small, and it’s a quick task. Others, are not. It’s up to you to decide how critical it is. Best to read the release notes and know what you are getting into. Otherwise, we are always here to help anyone who’s having trouble updating their WordPress site or Plugins. Sometimes, you may need some new code On a final note. Understand that every now and then, you may need to change some CSS or modify a bit of code. If you take backups, work very carefully, and take it one step at a time, you’ll find most updates will go your way. When “most” doesn’t cut it! Contact us! We’ll see what you need and help you get your site up to date for an affordable fee.

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