We often get asked why a WordPress site should be updated to the latest version of WordPress. And when we use the term “WordPress” here we are referring to the three components of a WordPress installation: the core (WordPress itself), plugins (which extend the functionality of the core), and the themes (used to display the content of your website).
To keep it simple, there are five key reasons to keep each component of your WordPress site up to date:
Security – Since WordPress is open source, it is great for users and developers looking to increase and expand functionality. Because it is so popular AND open source, WordPress can be the target of security attacks. When a security vulnerability comes to light in WordPress core or in a major plugin, it can be quickly fixed, and an update released. Theses fixes come in the form of WordPress core, plugin and theme updates.
Performance – Often updates will improve the performance of WordPress itself, or of a plugin or theme.
Bug fixes – Updates typically fix bugs that could be affecting a website.
Compatibility – Keeping the WordPress core and plugins up to date will keep the key components of your website working together as they were designed. Many plugins will get an update to ensure compatibility with a new version of the WordPress core.
Features – Keeping your site up to date also gives you access to new features developed by the WordPress team, plugin developers and theme builders. All these can provide a better experience for you as the maintainer of your website and for visitors to your website.