Disclaimer: September 19th was International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Know the Ropes
If you’re one of the more than 46 million WordPress.org users, you’re no doubt aware of the fact that it’s a thriving, changing ecosystem that grows and shifts to the needs of its users. The development team does a great job of listening to user feedback and bringing features to light that users WANT. Part and parcel of this process is a continual flow of updates published by WordPress.org, the most recent of which is version 4.3.1. With the previous release of version 3.7 several iterations back, WordPress introduced the “Automatic Update” feature which automatically updates itself to the most current version and keeps your website sailing smoothly.
See also: Branding Your WordPress Site
Keep a Weather Eye
But while WordPress is capable of keeping itself up-to-date, the same can’t be said of the myriad of plugins available to WordPress users. And while most of the 40 thousand plus plugins are above board, some plugin developers lose interest or are unable to maintain their plugin for some reason, and therefore cannot ensure that it will be compatible with the most current version of WordPress. And using an outdated and incompatible plugin can not only cause issues with the most recent version of WordPress, but could also conflict with other plugins and components of your site, leading to even more complex problems, and even having a negative impact on how users are able to interact with your site.
See also: Shadows of the Old Web
Don’t get Brought up Short
The odds are good that you’re already spending several hours each week, if not daily, to update and add content to your site. You may want to also set aside a little time each week to spend on maintaining your WordPress installation. If a plugin update is available, you should update it to ensure its continued compatibility with your site. Depending on your circumstances, you might want to backup your site and database prior to performing the update. You should check with your hosting setup to see if this process may be provided for you – for example, WPEngine hosting packages include the ability to regularly backup your website and database from the admin console. Check your installed plugins to see if any of them are outdated and no longer listed as compatible with your current WordPress version. If you find such a plugin, perhaps it would be smart to try and find a newer, up-to-date one created by a reputable developer to use instead. Keeping your plugins and WordPress core updated will ensure that your site stays first rate and on course!