Theme and Plugin updates! When and how often?

One of the main aspects of maintaining your WordPress website is to ensure that the themes and plugins are updated regularly. There are many reasons in which these updates are essential.  In addition to adding features, updates can mean fixing bugs, improving site reliability, and improving security. So it is recommended to apply all updates at the earliest they are available. However, there are certain points to be kept in mind when determining how often to update the plugins and themes.

General Recommendation

It is usually recommended to update the themes and plugins once a month. Besides keeping your site safe and protected from malware attacks and hackers, this can also help ensure that the themes and plugins are compatible with each other.

Failing to update regularly can make your site vulnerable to potential attacks and incompatibilities.

Check the Plugin’s Changelog

While once a month is the recommended frequency for updating your site’s plugins and themes, it may be required to make even more frequent updates. Sometimes plugins can have critical security updates that need to be applied immediately. You can check for these updates from within the theme or plugin’s changelog.

If you find a critical security update, such as WordPress version updates, then you should implement it right away. Otherwise, it is recommended to wait for a couple of weeks before updating non-critical updates.

Reasons for Waiting to Update

There is an important reason for waiting for a few weeks before applying a normal update. If the update has a bug, it is highly likely to be detected and fixed within the first two weeks of the release.

So when you delay an update by two weeks, it will mean that you will not have to face any issues that may arise due to a bug in the update itself. You will be able to implement an update that is error-free. This means lesser hassles and more time savings.

Test an Update

If you notice an update that should be applied immediately, you can test it first using a staging environment. Many times there are updates with features or bug fixes which need to be installed right away. You can talk to your hosting provider about a staging environment and you should make the most of it – even for small updates.

Once you have tested an update and are certain that it is bug-free, you can go ahead and apply it. Make sure your site is already backed up even if you are running the update as a test.

So, the next time you see the new plugin or theme update sign, you should consider whether you need the update right away. If it is not a critical security update, you should wait for at least a week before any issues are detected and addressed. It is better to learn from the experience of other users than having to troubleshoot your site. I

Don’t feel you are techy enough to update plugins regularly yourself?

Then have a look at our website maintenance packages.

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