How Often Should You Update Your WordPress Website?

A WordPress front page

Dealing with updates of any kind is annoying, as can be attested to by any user of Windows ever. However, while it’s perfectly fine to turn off updates on your computer, doing so on your WordPress website might not be. This leaves us with a question: how often should you update your WordPress website?

Minor update frequency

The ‘minor’ updates you can opt to install will pop up rather frequently. Now, note that while they don’t seem too important, they can be crucial. After all, most of these constantly pushed updates to concern your security. You see, WordPress continually works to improve its platform and provide a better working environment for everyone who chooses them as the basis of their site. Preventing people from hacking your site is one of their priorities. 

However, as new and different security threats pop up, they must work on patching the security risks they reveal. As such, you should install these minor updates at least every two weeks. It would be much better for you to update your WordPress website for these as frequently as possible. This will ensure that you are always on top of the updates and your site is secure.
A coding reel after the update

Major updates to your WordPress website

Typically, major WordPress updates, which seriously impact how you run your site, happen about two to three times a year. Every time, you will receive ample warning from WordPress. These are ‘large’ updates in every sense of the word. This means you want to take full advantage of the warning to plan appropriately for the update. Set a date for when you want to do it, and let your site update. 

After that, you want to review your site carefully and see what’s changed. Sometimes, the update will not impact anything other than helping to improve your business by enhancing your site. However, sometimes, the update will break things. This happens because of the slight differences in coding, but it should not be too serious. Examples of such problems include photos refusing to load, some links breaking, and shenanigans with embedded media.

Update delay strategy

There is one important thing to remember when planning to update your WordPress website with significant updates. Namely, you do not want to do it immediately since that carries some risk. We just said that even a regular update has a chance of ‘breaking’ some minor parts of your site. A more severe risk is WordPress making a mistake in their coding and including stuff that significantly causes sites to break or shut down. 

They are, again, relatively quick in fixing such problems. But this still means you might have to spend several hours or even days trying to fix your site. Even rolling back the update can be complicated if you are not tech-savvy. If you don’t want to deal with this, hiring professionals for WP maintenance and software updates to let experts handle this is a good idea.

Updating plugins

One more thing to remember when discussing how often you should update your WordPress website. Namely, its plugins. WordPress plugins require just as many updates as your site itself. This is because the constant improvement and updates done to your WordPress need to be followed by the plugins. If the plugin creator does not update their software regularly, then the coding of WordPress will eventually change enough to cause the plugin to malfunction. 

Will this happen quickly enough to be a concern? No. You do not need to worry about updating them quite as rigorously as the site itself. The only reason you’d want to do the plugin updates every two to three weeks with the ‘minor’ WordPress updates is that they can also become security risks if they aren’t updated correctly. Still, the risk is relatively minor in comparison.
Trying to check how often should you update your WordPress website and its plugins

SEO reasons to update

Your site’s SEO, too, dictates how often should you update your WordPress website. You see, Google loves its requirements and constantly updates them, so only the ‘best’ sites make it high on its rankings. One of these SEO requirements is site optimization. Only the sites with the best optimization, fast loading times, and few to no bugs and issues hit all their requirements. 

As such, you want your site to run as well as possible at every moment. In fact, every major update in Google’s algorithm and code is swiftly followed by updates being done to WordPress. And you do not want to miss those updates! Just like when discussing major WordPress updates, here, too, you should receive a warning well in advance of the update itself. So, if you want to keep publishing marketing content smoothly, update as soon as possible!
Organizing an update

Do I want to update at all?

The final thing to go over when talking about how often should you update your WordPress website is whether you want to update at all. After all, if you don’t update your WordPress and don’t update the plugins, then there will be no issues popping up between the two. Well, that’s true because everything will continue to run relatively smoothly. 

However, that would simply be ignoring all the rest of the advice we’ve shared here. Security and site performance are the reasons to continue updating your WordPress website if you want to run a successful online business in Africa. If you refuse to do it, you risk your own businesses and your customers. You do not want to have there and your data stolen and misused!

Final Comment

So, how often should you update your WordPress website? For major updates, you need to balance waiting to see if there are issues with installing them as soon as you can. For the minor ones? Well, as often as you can without it turning into an unbearable chore.
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