With technology always changing around us, why can’t some things just stay the same? You want me to update my phone? Fine. My computer’s software needs an update before I can use it? Acceptable. My website needs to update some of the plugins that are essential to its functionality? Now hold your horses on that one. Why do I need a website update when it’s just fine the way that it is? Let me tell you.

If You Build It…

Websites are similar to houses in a lot of ways. Your domain is your address. You need to let people know where you live before they can come visit. Your hosting provider supplies the utilities that keep your home going. No one wants to live in a house with no electricity or plumbing. Your HTML builds the framework of the house itself. You need that foundation and those walls to provide protection and structure. Your CSS helps decorate those bare walls. You can paint and hang up pictures to tell your story.

All of those things come together to form one cohesive product in which you can live and your friends and strangers can visit. From this analogy, think about what happens to an abandoned home. It becomes dilapidated as it is taken over by nature itself. The wood rots and the roof caves in, while the pictures fall from their places on the walls. All abandoned and dysfunctional buildings started off similarly. These houses were not built that way, but they instead became that way over time.

Even WordPress websites need updates

A WordPress website is no different from a site made straight from HTML and CSS. WordPress uses those same programming languages to get it to work. The difference between writing all of that hard stuff by hand and WordPress is that WordPress does all of that necessary heavy lifting for you. WordPress is a content management system that is used for much more than blogging, and it powers about 27% of the internet.

Even though much of the code is rewritten, it still needs to be updated.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

The way you can prevent your home from becoming dilapidated is by doing updates. Similarly, even if things may not seem like they are falling apart, you should run updates on your website for a number of reasons.

  1. If a plugin on your WordPress website breaks, ruining the functionality of the site, chances are pretty good that the plugin has not been updated in a while. If an update to said plugin doesn’t restore the exact functionality that you once desired, I can guarantee that there is a similar or better product out there to help you. There are always new advancements that make things better, so you should keep your eyes peeled for better tools. For example, we use Divi for just about all of our websites nowadays, and in the last year alone, this theme has been updated to do more than I ever thought possible.
  2. If your site is hacked, there is a very high likelihood that it is because your site is running on an out-of-date version of WordPress or utilizing out-of-date plugins. With each update, the product gets better. Hackers are always looking for a way to get through those barriers that they are faced with, and with each update, those barriers are strengthened and changed. When running an old version of a site, the hackers know exactly where the weakest points are.
  3. If your website looks exactly the same for years and years, is it really that compelling anymore? Probably not. People have low attention spans, so you need to always capture them with something new and interesting. Sites that are from the more than a decade ago could still be functional, but it is likely that they do not look as modern or nice as they once did. Styles and trends change, and you should at least be aware and open to change.

Overall, updates are necessary to the functionality and longevity of your website, WordPress or not. There are always new and better ways to do things, and we should be open to the idea of change. If you know how to check and perform updates to your site, that is absolutely wonderful. If you’re not quite sure where to start, we are always happy to help. Whether you need one time services or routine updates, we would love to talk to you.

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