When web designers talk about “web updates” they can mean two different things. You have updates to add fresh content to your website, which is critical to search engine performance. Then you have updates that address your sites core functioning and that is what we are going to discuss today.

Much like your smartphone, tablet, computer, etc., websites require updates to stay current with the other technologies used to access it. When your WordPress site has updates, they typically deal with bugs or glitches in operations/functions and security updates. When your website needs this type of update, it’s best to work with your web design and development team to ensure compatibility with themes and plugins.

Your website could have available updates for its core, theme, plugins – or a combination. Chances are when a core update is available, the themes and plugins will be close behind. If this sounds like jibberish and you have a WordPress site, you’ll want to contact your host so that these critical functions stay current. This regularly scheduled maintenance is part of our hosting plan, check to see that is part of yours.

Important Tips Before You Install Updates On Your Website

If you are doing updates yourself, it’s important to remember:

1) Wait!

Remember deciding whether or not to call that crush back in the day? It’s kind of like that. Wait it out and check developer forums, read reviews as they related to any update and make sure the update is not causing more headaches and problems than it’s solving.

Also, if it is a core update, you’ll want to hold off until any plugins or themes that you use have had a chance to address the update too. Doing so ensures the rest of your site will be compatible with the new update.

2) Backup!

After some time has passed and you’ve done adequate research to ensure that your update is compatible, backup your website. This way you won’t lose any data if things go awry during the update. When you have a backup, you can easily restore your site to its previous state.

3) Have assistance handy!

We have several clients who actively manage and update their own website. While we may have created the design, they handle their regular updating. Many choose to have us come in to handle the core updates. Others, call us and let us know they’re going in so we can step in if things don’t go according to plan. Then of course, if you host with us, regularly scheduled maintence prevents downtime, increases security, and ensures your website is working as intended.

Whichever way you decide to run your website, make sure your site has the necessary updates at all times.

[Originally published February 23, 2016, updated April 23, 2019]