There’s no reason a well-planned and built WordPress site can’t keep giving value for years after it goes live – whether you choose to make ongoing changes and improvements or not. But, it is very important that you regularly update WordPress and any plugins and themes for several reasons:

  1. Web malware warning
    Web malware warning courtesy of Wikimedia – you really don’t want your potential customers to see this!

    Security – this is the most important reason. WordPress is a huge target for hackers and other malicious online types – being able to hack WordPress means instant access to millions of websites. The WordPress security team works continually to identify and fix security risks and holes. These fixes are released as WordPress updates. If you don’t update your WordPress, you’re leaving known security risks in place, which means that sooner or later your site will probably be hacked. This could have serious impact on your business – resulting in loss of confidential data like client details, site downtime or embarrassing content being placed on your site, as well as costing you time, effort and money to fix.

  2. Performance – the WordPress core team put a lot of time and effort into making WordPress faster and more efficient. Keeping your WordPress updated means that your site is performing as well as it can.
  3. Features –  Major releases of WordPress typically include improved functionality and tools to allow you to get more from your site.
  4. User experience – Most updates to WordPress make the content management system quicker, easier and generally nicer to use, encouraging you to interact with your site more.
  5. Future-proofing –  at some point, you’re bound to want changes made to your site. Those changes might require the latest version of WordPress (for example to use a particular plugin that only works with newer versions). By updating frequently, you deal with small changes and errors on an ongoing basis, keeping your site up-to-date with the core of WordPress development. If you don’t update for a year or two, you’re far more likely to suffer major disruption when you do, because all of those small and minor issues have become intertwined, making diagnosis and fixing harder, more time-consuming and expensive.

These are the main reasons to keep WordPress updated. Keep your WordPress installation up-to-date. It’s more than just software, it’s part of your business.

At Pragmatic, we offer a managed WordPress hosting service that provides scheduled maintenance (updates) of the software your site runs – WordPress, plugins and themes. If you don’t choose to use our service, we’d recommend that you implement a regular, maintenance schedule to keep your software updated.