One of our frequently asked questions from clients is should I update to the latest version of WordPress? Great question, with a few different answers depending on how you’re using WordPress and what the upgrade entails.
There is usually a new major release of WordPress three to four times per year – a lot to digest and keep tabs on. The urgency and necessity of an upgrade/update depends on a few key factors:
Reason for the upgrade
Take a moment to review the reason for the update in the release notes or announcement explanation. Minor updates generally don’t “break” any plugins or themes. They tend to be limited to security fixes or minor bugs – which may or may not affect your site. If your site isn’t affected by the bug, chances are you don’t need to bother with the update.
But security updates (like 3.1 to 3.2) should be handled more urgently to ensure your site’s safety and security. Security shortfalls can turn you into prey for bad people interested in inserting spam links on your site – which could (in worst case scenarios) make Google or other search engines drop you. Not good.
Extent of the upgrade
Major release upgrades are a different story. We recommend upgrading but there’s no big hurry. These pose a greater risk of compatibility issues, so you need to due your due diligence by testing plugins and themes. An example is major release versions 2.0 to 3.0, where features were added and common bugs fixed.
How to upgrade seamlessly
So you’ve decided to update/upgrade. Now what? Depending on the version, there are a few things you can do to ensure compatibility and success. Ah So can walk you through those safeguards or point you to a quick step-by-step guide if you’re a do-it-yourselfer.