First, I’d like to say thank you to the team here at WP Realm for allowing me to join and contribute to what has become a very valuable source of WordPress community related news. My name is Scott Basgaard, a WordPress “fanboy” and Support Ninja at WooThemes, and I’m teaming up with Mason James and Andrea Rennick to deliver a weekly column here at WP Realm from the trenches of the support world. We hope to bring you an interesting article and/or story from our experiences helping out others in our daily support routines. With that said, let’s talk about upgrading and staying up to date with WordPress as it’s something I constantly run into.
It’s safe to say one big reason for WordPress support related issues is due to the fact that the user is simply unaware of the importance to stay upgraded up to date.
Not just the core WordPress install, but themes, plugins and additional add-ons/extensions. A well developed product isn’t released and left stagnant to age and die off, but is constantly being taken care, via new features, bug-fixes and security patches, to stay “fresh” and compatible with WordPress as it continues to release new features and functionality, and to keep up with the rapidly-changing internet as well.
When I’m helping out a user with a specific issue, depending on the information provided, my first response is usually along the lines of:
Have you tried disabling ALL of your plugins to see if there is a conflict?
Also, please make sure you are running the latest version of WordPress and [Insert Theme/Plugin Name(s) Here].
At least 75% of the time the issue is usually fixed with these two questions. Either there is a conflict with another plugin which will need to be looked at or upgrading resolves the problem.
So my question is: Why aren’t we upgrading?
While we don’t have auto updates, like with Chrome, upgrading is super simple and literally takes one click. Most of us are well aware when there is an available upgrade for WordPress, themes and plugins, from the WordPress Dashboard. Even most themes/plugins, which aren’t hosted on the official WordPress.org repository, hook into WordPress’ upgrade notification area. Why don’t people upgrade?
- everything is working as it should and there is, or what seems to be, no reason to.
- there is the fear of something breaking.
Both of these are valid reasons, and I usually feel the same way, but I’d argue that you’d be better off finding out a problem with a new release rather than running into bigger issues down the road.
Most importantly, with an increasing security awareness in the WordPress community I would say stay up to date to make sure you are the safest from any security vulnerabilities which may have been patches in the latest versions.
Agree, disagree or have any additional info or feedback you’d like to share? Make sure to let me know below.