WordPress has a reputation for being straight-forward and approachable. And it’s clearly become mainstream: over 74 million websites now run on WordPress. Because of its user-friendly reputation, many business owners think they can just create a WordPress site, launch it to their audience, and then forget it. But the reality is that’s the last thing you want to do.
WordPress is dynamic and constantly improving. Because it is open source, there are hundreds of developers involved in the constantly evolving world of WordPress themes, revisions, updates, plugins and tools. WordPress updates come out frequently, and there have been 98 revisions of WordPress to date. Because WordPress is constantly in transition, you need to make sure your site is up to date with all the changes.
Here are some suggestions for how to keep up.
Schedule time for updates. As soon as new updates come out, you need to upgrade your site to increase security, eliminate any bugs, enhance compatibility with other WordPress components, and take advantage of new features. Make sure your webmaster knows when WordPress updates are coming out, what they include and how they impact your site. We do not recommend waiting to update until several new versions of WordPress have come out. Installing and taking advantage of revisions can be complicated if it’s not done right. It is vital to back up files before a new installation and to watch for compatibility issues with existing plugins and themes. If you run all your updates at once, you are likely to encounter complications, and it can be difficult to figure out which installations caused compatibility issues with your other WordPress components.
Have a plan to keep up with plugins. Plugins are constantly coming to market. There have been approximately 29,000 plugins created for WordPress. The plugins your site was built with 3 years ago may not be the optimal plugins for today. In addition, as plugins are updated they may become bulky and no longer compatible with the latest version of WordPress or your website theme. Your WordPress developer should be able to tell you if you have too many plugins that could be slowing down your site. You should have a plan to monitor new plugins being released as well as to update your current plugins.
Manage theme revisions carefully. Themes can be tricky. Like other WordPress components, themes are frequently updated. If you’ve ever had the experience of updating a theme and suddenly discovering that changes you made to template files have disappeared, you know the kind of trouble that theme updates can cause. Before you install a theme update, you or your webmaster should make sure that the necessary steps have been taken to avoid losing important data.
If you’re finding that all the changes and constantly evolving technology of WordPress are causing problems with your site or taking time away from your business, give us a call and let us worry about it. Our SuperHelp Heros are on top of all the latest changes going on in the industry, and are ready to catch your site up to where it needs to be and make a plan to keep it on track. Just give us a call.