WordPress is software used to create a website.  Like other software, there are reasons to update it.  One reason is to get new features from the software developers.  Other reason is to fix issues or bugs in the software.  Finally, there may be security issues that need to be fixed to protect the website.

WordPress has a very easy process to install an update.  In the WordPress dashboard, there is an area where all updates are shown.  The dashboard will show you with a highlight and the number of updates that are available.  This includes updates for WordPress itself but also things you have installed like themes and plugins.  To install an update, the process is to just check a box and then click an update button.  So, it is basically a one-click update.

It is a good idea to make a backup of your WordPress website before updating.  WordPress is both a collection of files but also a database.  Both should be backed up before doing an update.  You don’t have to make a backup.  But, if something goes wrong, you will wish you had.  Backups can be done by your hosting company or with a backup plugin within WordPress.

There are a few automatic updates in WordPress.  Security updates are installed automatically when they are released.  You will get an email when this process happens.  Additionally, if you would rather have WordPress, themes and plugins updated automatically, you can enable this features for all items or just specific ones.  If you change your mind, you can go back to the manual process.

If you would like to learn more about how to update WordPress, check out a companion article on Digital Marketing Extreme.