There is probably three key reasons to keep your WordPress plugins up-to-date:
- Increased security
- Bug fixes
- New features and improvements
By keeping your plugins up-to-date you will receive new features and improvements that the plugin developers think will make your life using the plugin easier and better. You will also receive fixes to bugs and issues you may have been experiencing with the plugin, which again aids in making your experience of the plugin a better one. But perhaps the most important reason to keep your plugins up-to-date is security.
WordPress and WordPress plugins are software just like the operating system on your computer or mobile phone, so it is important to keep WordPress and its plugins up-to-date.
Why update WordPress and WordPress plugins?
Updates to both the WordPress core and WordPress plugins more often than not contain security patches to fix vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers as well as improving the security that is already there against malicious attacks. According to WPBeginner, 83% of hacked WordPress sites is down to the fact that they hadn’t been updated. Whilst it is impossible to 100% prevent a site from being hacked you can make it extremely difficult for hackers to do so.
Whilst you may be thinking, “Ah, that won’t happen to my site as it’s not popular enough, or doesn’t receive enough traffic to warrant someone hacking it,” hackers tend to do what they do to prove that they can do it which can be quite problematic for you and your business. Pagely wrote a blog post back in 2012 talking about the importance of keeping WordPress up-to-date in which they used statistics from their site. It showed that in a 15-day period their site was subject to just under 4 million attacks, around 250,000 a day.
We here at SketchCode Studio take security very seriously. We offer an update service in which we will regularly go into the back-end of your site and make sure that WordPress and plugins are all up-to-date. Every client that we produce a site for, we recommend that they go on this service to reduce the risk of their site getting hacked because if they aren’t on our service and their site gets hacked, it is more costly to the client to get the issued resolved.
Our most recent experience with dealing with a hacked site of one of our clients, was when they phoned us to say they’ve been hacked and needed it fixed. Upon investigation is was quite obvious that they had been hacked as every time you went to their site you would be redirected to a different hardcore pornography site. Not particularly what you want to advertise your business. The first thing we ask when dealing with this situation is have they updated WordPress and the plugins. Generally the answer is no and when we looked they hadn’t for a while. I’m glad to say that client is now on our update service as the issue has been resolved, but this hack could have quite easily been prevented from happening at all.