WordPress, as the most well-loved content management system on the internet, lives up to its name because legions of developers contribute to the core and work on updating it and making it better everyday. WordPress pushes out at least 2-3 major version updates (recognizable by all the news made and named after famous jazz musicians), and releases about a dozen or so minor version updates as security and maintenance releases.
Here’s why you should keep pace with this fast paced development and update your WordPress website as regularly as possible:
1. New features
Some of the features that could only be included in a WordPress website thanks to plugins in the platform’s older versions are now actually integrated into the core.
New features and fixes are the main attractions and focus-points of every version update. In WordPress 4.5, features like performance optimized images and inline linking, responsive previews etc. were integrated within the core. Other features like oEmbed support, new text formatting tags and shortcuts, even multisite compatibility were brought to core with updates, while before they would have depended entirely on the mercy of plugin, code snippet, or unimaginable entirely.
Make WordPress core (development forum) is always active and you’ll find it positively littered with feature discussions and even requests/ wishes from users like yourself.
2. Improved UI
WordPress core contributors make it a point to improve upon the existing back end admin dashboard user interface with all major and minor version updates that are undergoing discussions and taking place. Responsive previews aside, WordPress core always comes with sleeker but otherwise unnoticeable interactions in your admin dashboard that let you streamline your workflow and publish your content with any hassle.
3. Theme/Plugin Compatibility
Chances are that a popular, and good theme or plugin will be updated as soon as WordPress core releases an update. Basically, all good theme and plugin developers keep pace with WordPress updates.
This means that most of the best and latest themes and plugins will be unable to work on ‘old enough to be obsolete’ versions of WordPress.
WordPress also deprecates some of the more repetitive or redundant functions and calls, making coding easier for your one of the best WordPress customization company. There are also new functions and script libraries and elements added to the core with the aim to improve performance as well as give your developers more stuff to work with.
This is the most important reason why you should update your WordPress website.
Despite the practice of responsible disclosure, hackers do find out the core vulnerabilities of a previous version and try to exploit them. This puts every WordPress website powered by that specific WP version at incredible risk. Also, this happens on all platforms. At least WordPress is prompt with responding to the problem.
Security and maintenance patches are released for every major version update to cover as much extra ground as possible to keep your website secure. Make sure you update your WordPress site as soon as update is available.
Core WordPress aside, you should also work to keep your WordPress themes and plugins updated to their latest versions for the exact same reasons mentioned above. It’s one of the 5 commandments of basic WordPress maintenance and makes your site healthier – always a good thing in the long run.