Why updating your WordPress plugins is important
As an open source content management system (CMS), a WordPress Web site gives the consumer access to a world of website enhancing plugins. Tens of thousands of plugins to put it into perspective, each of which need to be updated regularly. But why are there so many updates available? And why should it matter to you?
What is a WordPress plugin?
The wonderful thing about a WordPress site is that it can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. The plugins you choose will direct the level of complexity on your site.
A plugin is essentially code that is added to the backend of your Web site. When “plugged into” the Web site, this new coding adds specific functionality that it didn’t have before. It can be something small and aesthetic in nature, like a plugin that offers a specific visual theme. It can also be something larger and more complicated, like an e-commerce plugin with the ability to turn your Web site into an online store.
Some plugins are purely functional and the benefits they unlock are invisible to the naked eye. These plugins often assist with the backend workings, like search engine optimisation, online security, Web site loading and performance.
The benefits of updating WordPress plugins regularly
With one in every three Web sites on the market powered by WordPress, the market for plugins is huge. Developers are regularly rolling out plugins that contribute to online user experiences and functionality. However, technology is constantly evolving, and in keeping with this, plugins need to adapt as well. Plugins therefore need to offer new features and functionality and fix any bugs that may have been present in a previous version.
This is exactly why applications on your smartphone or laptop request that you update the operating software regularly. The same applies when it comes to updates for your WordPress Web site.
Quantity vs quality
The more plugins, the better your Web site will be, right? This is only true if the plugins are able to function optimally. In the world of the Internet, a beautiful Web site means nothing if the user experiences error messages caused by bugs in the plugin. The quality of your plugins and their status is far more important than the number of plugins you may have installed.
Improved performance and loading speed
Updates ensure that all bugs are fixed and that plugins function optimally. All the functionality and performance of a Web site is dependent on the performance of the various plugins installed. Therefore, the more up to date the plugins, the better your site will perform in general. Pages will load quickly, buttons will function perfectly and images will load clearly.
The online security threat aspect of having a Web site is perhaps one of the most critical reasons why it is important to run WordPress plugin updates. As technology changes, developers become aware of vulnerabilities in their plugins and develop updates that will patch them. By updating your plugins, you can offer an additional protection to your Web site, reduce hacks, spam and malware risks.
Boost in credibility
A Web site that functions optimally is a valuable asset to any company. Maintaining it is essential to securing the company’s online reputation, click conversions and user/consumer confidence.
Improved ranking potential
What does Google love in a Web site? The answer is simple. Google loves the same things humans do. Humans enjoy a pleasant, helpful experience when browsing a Web site. Humans like to feel safe and secure when clicking through Web site pages or when making a purchase online. And humans like it when pages open quickly, images display optimally, and buttons work efficiently. In making sure that your plugins are updated, you will address all of these things, and Google will “love” your Web site for it.
Automatic plugin updates with Domains.co.za’s WordPress Hosting
Running updates is very important, whether you do it manually or automatically. At Domains.co.za, we know many customers simply don’t have the time. Our WordPress Hosting packages therefore offer customers the benefit of our high performance hosting servers coupled with automatic plugin updates. This way you get all the benefits of keeping plugins updated without all the additional admin.
Domains.co.za is a local domains and hosting company that specialises in providing small to medium-sized enterprises with advanced value-added solutions that are easy to use and quick to implement. All our products and services are fully scalable to allow companies to grow and thrive with us at their side.