The Importance of Regular Software Updates: Securing and Optimising Your WordPress Website

Your website is a software product composed of the WordPress ‘core’, your ‘theme’ software, and a collection of plugins. Updates for these software components are released continuously throughout the year, offering:

  • Enhanced security
  • Performance improvements
  • Compatibility and stability enhancements
  • New features

If these updates are not applied regularly, your website may gradually become outdated and vulnerable to stability issues and security breaches.

We automatically update the core security components for you. These are the most crucial parts of your website, akin to your operating system and antivirus/firewall:

  • WordPress core
  • Your Internet Security plugin

The remaining software on your website (plugins and themes) provides enhanced features but may contain security vulnerabilities that authors address with patches and updates. Upgrading these components can introduce errors to your website, ranging from visual glitches to performance and stability problems. For this reason, we need to perform a system test as part of the upgrade and resolve any issues that arise.

These are the components we will upgrade if you choose the software upgrade option on your renewal form:

  • Your theme files
  • All other plugins

Do you need to select the option to upgrade your website?

Your website is highly secure and, in most cases, will continue to function as it does now indefinitely. However, some businesses may prefer to have everything on their website fully up to date. As a general guide:

  • If your website stores customer information – upgrade annually
  • If your website is business-critical – upgrade annually
  • If your brand would be significantly impacted by a security breach on your website – upgrade annually
  • If you want the latest features and capabilities for authoring your site – upgrade annually
  • If you are seeing errors on your site that were not present at launch – upgrade as required
  • Everyone else – we suggest every 3 years

Each year when you renew your website, there is an option on your renewal form to request a software upgrade. If you are on our “Basic Hosting” plan, this is a fixed-priced option. If you are on one of our higher support plans, the cost can be covered by your support credit balance.

If you would like to request a software upgrade at any other time, please contact us directly.