Just because you’ve finished your website, doesn’t mean you can just leave it to its own devices. Oh no. A website needs care and attention, even after it’s gone live, and failing to do so can have grave repercussions!
Why is it important to update WordPress?
Updating WordPress is vital for security, performance, and functions on your website! Doing so provides security patches and protects your site from potential hackers and viruses, which of course, are big no, no’s.
When you update your WordPress site, you’ll also boost the speed, fix bugs on the site, and ensure that it remains up to date with any themes or plug-ins you have installed. This also opens your site to new features and capabilities, and boosts its performance, keeping it up to date with everyone else online!
The Benefits of Updating WordPress
Updating WordPress minimises the risk of hackers and helps to protect your site from potential attacks.
Getting rid of existing bugs is vital and will provide a better experience on your site for your customers and visitors.
Once your site is updated, you will be able to make the most of new features, plug-ins and offer a better user experience.
An up-to-date site remains compatible with the themes and plug-ins on it. However, note that there is a buffer period between WordPress updating and plug-ins and themes updating. Typically, developers need time to align updates with the latest version of WordPress, meaning that you may need to wait for them to catch up. But you must ensure you keep everything up to date for zero conflict and seamless integration.
Keeping WordPress up to date allows you to benefit from refined code, improved loading times and increased efficiency. This gives your users a faster and better browsing experience all around on your site.
Of course, a messy, out of date site is a bad reflection on you and your business. Keeping it up to date shows your professionalism and dedication to having a secure and current website, which reflects positively on you and your business!
The Consequences of Not Updating WordPress
Of course, the consequences of failing to update your WordPress site can be dire, and any consequences as a result of you failing to do so can be a poor reflection upon you and your business!
Outdated WordPress sites are far more likely to be hacked and develop security risks as a result – getting hacked means bad news for you and any information stored on your site!
Poor security inevitably means potential data losses. Not updating WordPress leaves security patches that make hacking easy. Once hacked, hackers can take off with your data or worse, your customers’ data. Not only does this negatively affect business, but as a business in the UK, you have an obligation to protect the data of your customers as per the Data Protection Act 2018.
This means that if data is misused or mishandled, customers have every right to contact you or the Information Commissioner’s Office about it and, in the worst-case scenarios, you may be required to offer up compensation for any monetary loss or distress caused!
Data misuse is a huge problem in the digital world, and it can lead to financial fraud, ID theft, and a whole host of nasty consequences, including the above.
- 94% of companies that experience severe data loss do not recover.
- 51% of these companies close within two years of the data loss.
- 43% of these companies do not reopen again.
- 70% of small firms go out of business within a year of a large data loss incident.
So, the next time you think leaving the WordPress update for another day, think on these stats, and then think again.
Miss out on new features
Not updating your WordPress site will inevitably lead to your themes and plug-ins failing to work. Although there is a buffer period for them to catch up, it’s not a long one, and if you don’t catch up, you’ll be left behind with a website that doesn’t work, and users skipping over to one that does instead.
Also note that once those plug-ins and themes DO catch up, you will need to update them too or the same will apply – with features of your website failing to work as the plug-ins or themes are no longer compatible with your current version of WordPress. So, remember, it’s not just your site that needs updating, it’s all of it!
White Screen of Death
If you fail to update WordPress or set it to update automatically (and we’ll get to why that’s a terrible idea too), your site will begin to crash due to incompatibilities. Eventually, if you continue to leave it, your site will end up in disarray and become hard to use – in the worst-case scenario, you may have to hire developers to access the site’s admin and rebuild your site from the ground up.
If you also fail to backup your website, this can be a lengthy process, and a costly one. Both for your wallet and your business.
Website will lag
If you neglect your WordPress site, over time it will fail to look modern or contemporary – this will affect SEO and search engine rankings, alongside it just not looking very attractive to your audience and customers. What will also happen is your site will slow down as it fails to keep up with the new, which will lead to bad loading times, inevitably pushing your customers away too.
- 1 in 4 visitors abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load.
- 46% of users don’t revisit poorly performing websites.
- 64% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with their site visit will shop elsewhere next time.
- A 1 second delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16%!
- If you’re running an ecommerce site that makes $100,000 per day, a one second page delay could cost you $2.5 million per year in lost sales!
A laggy site means laggy sales. So, the next time you feel your revenue is suffering, perhaps take a look at your website speed and optimisation. You amy find the answer is more obvious than you think!
Of course, all of this inevitably means that you lose customers, which of course is the death of any business. With menus not working, contact forms that take forever to load and a site that overall takes an age to work, your customers will get annoyed and go elsewhere. It’s also very unlikely that they’ll return to you.
Think of your site as your online store front – you wouldn’t leave products strewn all over a shop window haphazardly. You wouldn’t keep the same display there for years on end and you certainly wouldn’t leave it a mess! The same entirely applies to your WordPress site. The difference? There are far more potential customers looking, and far more potentially to lose!
Why Updating WordPress Automatically isn’t the Good Idea you Think it is!
Right now, you’re probably thinking: oh, there’s so much to consider with updating my site! I don’t have the time! I have a business to run! So, you set your WordPress site to update automatically – there, all sorted. Except no. It’s not. In fact, setting your WordPress site to update automatically is a terrible idea, and here’s why!
Automatic updates can cause your site to lose functionality!
As we mentioned quickly above, leaving your site to its own devices can in fact cause it to lose functionality. If you’re setting it to update automatically, how do you know which plug-ins need updating? Which themes are now no longer working? Eventually this will leave your site in disarray, and as we’ve covered, you may need to get a developer in to sort out the mess. A costly mistake, really.
UI/UX aspects can become damaged!
This will inevitably lead to your site becoming disorganised and messy, which is terrible for your user experience. You know by now what that means – they turn around and go elsewhere, unlikely to return to your site again. Remember, think of your site as your online shop window, or even a shop in general – if products are strewn all over the place or your customers cannot easily find what they’re looking for, they won’t find it, and they will go elsewhere.
Once problems start, fixing them can become difficult!
But the longer you leave your website a mess, the worse it becomes. The likelihood is if you’ve simply set your updates to automatic, you’re not checking up on it very often either. You’re not backing it up in case of issues and, a couple of months down the line you come back to see that your website is down, the home menu has disappeared, and you have no idea why. Now you’re looking at hiring a developer to sort it out, which is going to be a costly job – both in time and for your business.
Not great. Really. Not when you could have just hired a developer to look after your site in the first instant.
The Advantages of Getting Someone to Do it for You!
Turns out, if you don’t have time to look after your website and give it the love and attention it deserves, you don’t have to turn to automatic WordPress updates. No. In fact, WE can help you!
At Gwe Cambrian Web, we have four Care Plan Packages made specifically to keep your WordPress site protected, updated, and backed up safely. What’s even better? You don’t even need to’ve had your website developed by us to take advantage of them. Nope!
Our most popular is our Booster Package, where we:
- Perform monthly updates to the plugins, theme, and core of your website!
- Secure weekly backups kept offsite of your website.
- Perform security scanning to ensure your website is always kept safe from hackers and viruses!
- Uptime monitoring!
- Free advice on email set-up and support.
- We can restore your website with the latest backup, if required.
- You will receive an automated monthly report on your website’s performance!
So, don’t fall foul of the consequences of leaving your website to fend for itself. You may live to regret it in the long run. But you needn’t panic either if you understandably want to spend your time running your business.
On the internet, it’s dangerous to go alone! Take a care plan!