Why some WordPress sites are better, faster and more secure than yours

The short answer—because they’re using the latest version of WordPress. And kudos to you if you’re in this group.

If you have a WordPress website and have ever wondered if you should update to the latest version or not, you definitely should. And you should do it as soon as possible too.

Your site will be more secure

WordPress is open source software, meaning the code that makes it work is publicly available to download and read so everyone can see exactly how it all works. This is great for the thousands of developers working together to improve WordPress, but it also means security issues that have been identified and fixed are on show publicly too.

With WordPress powering roughly 20% of websites on the internet today, it doesn’t take much effort for a hackers read about security problem that have been recently fixed and use that info to target out-of-date websites.

There are a bunch of different ways to make your WordPress site more secure, but updating WordPress is one of the easiest and comes with the features and speed boosts.

Better features to manage your site

Who doesn’t like new features?

Most new versions of WordPress will come with a range of improvements that make your life easier when it comes to updating, editing and managing your website. Being able to use these features as soon as they’re released is one of the biggest benefits of choosing an open source content management system like WordPress, so it make sense to do so.

Examples of some recent features that I really like are:

  • drag-and-drop multiple media files to upload them all at once
  • offline saving of posts so you don’t loose your work if your internet connection drops out
  • live previews of embedded media in the post editor so you can see the tweets, YouTube videos, or Instagram images that you’ve included in your post

If you are really lazy with your WordPress updates you can fall into a space where plugins will start being incompatible with your site. This is a bad place to be in because the next time you want to improve your site the job will more likely be a start-over rather than a cheaper incremental improvement.

Your website will be faster

Updates are as much about removing old bits as adding new bits. Old features that are not needed or used anymore. Code that was compatible with now out-of-date technology. Sometimes just stuff the developers thought was cool that turned out not to be.

The benefit of removing that cruft, is faster code. Code that does things the new way rather than the old way. If you’re someone who edits their site often, small performance increases can add up to save you a stack of time. The same is true for your audience or customers. The less time they have to wait for your site to load the happier they will be.

Do your WordPress update and be happy

While I admire people who don’t follow the pack and forge their own way, and there’s merit to the saying “if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it”, these are not a good strategy when it comes to updating your WordPress site. The benefits from being a sheep and following those in front of you are actually pretty sweet.