WordPress Maintenance

Why Keeping WordPress Themes & Plugins Updated is Important

Last updated October 2022

Maintaining a website and maintaining a home are very similar in a lot of ways. Both need a fresh coat of content to keep from looking dated. Both need to be protected against intruders and ensured unwanted guests remain outside. And both require some standard maintenance to keep them operating at their best.

When it comes to caring for and maintaining your website, it’s important to keep themes and plugins updated. If pages make up the structure of your digital house, then themes are the design and plugins are the pipes and wires running through it. Together they create a page that looks and feels like home.

Updating WordPress Themes

Keeping a WordPress theme updated has a few benefits. One of the most important reasons for site owners to update themes is that updates often contain security patches or fixes. This can be especially critical if the website processes payments or other private information. Additionally, site owners and editors benefit from new or enhanced tools and features often found in these releases.

WordPress has made updating themes incredibly simple from inside the Admin panel. Sites based on a theme native to WordPress can update in a few clicks from inside the theme menu. WordPress themes designed and purchased through a third party like Themeforest will need to be first uploaded into the site.

Regardless of the method used to update a theme, it is absolutely critical that the website is completely backed up before updating. Most updates go well. Some do not. Don’t be caught in a bad situation without a backup copy.

Updating WordPress Plugins

It’s also important to keep WordPress plugins updated. Plugins are handy little shortcuts to having cool tools and integrations on websites without having to code them. Plugins can do everything from creating image slideshows and quizzes to decreasing image file size and allowing drag-and-drop editing.

Plugins are easy to update from the Admin panel. Access the list of plugins with available updates, click the update button, and done. This list will also contain information about the compatibility of the plug-in with the installed version of WordPress. If it’s confirmed compatible with the current version, it’s safe to update without worrying about issues.

Plugins that are not verified as compatible may continue to function as intended or may cause issues when updated. If glitches or bugs appear after updating WordPress plugins, it may be necessary to disable and re-enable plugins individually to troubleshoot the issue.

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