Updating WordPress Website Themes: What You Need to Know

September 1, 2020

Whether or not you realize it, every website relies on a content management system — or CMS — to deliver content to readers. A CMS is essentially the software platform used to update, modify, and showcase web content. WordPress is just one of the many CMS options your business may have for its website. And while it’s typically seen as a user-friendly system, it serves a number of complex functions.

 

Some business owners want nothing to do with the management of their own site. But if you’re looking to be a bit more hands-on or your prior web designer hasn’t always provided you with the support you need, you may be wondering whether there are tasks you should be doing to ensure your website stays up-to-date. For example: should you update website themes for WordPress? Let’s talk about why themes and other elements should be updated regularly and what you should consider before pressing any buttons.

 

Why Should You Update Website Themes?

 

While you might feel annoyed when you get an update notification on your computer or on your CMS, it’s important to remember that these alerts serve an important purpose. When software has updates available, that means you have an increased ability to protect your data. Unfortunately, cybercriminals will often take advantage of systems that are out-of-date; if you fail to update your computer’s software — or even the CMS of your website — that means you’re making yourself vulnerable to harm.

 

For that reason alone, it makes sense to update website themes. A hacker can more easily infiltrate a server or a website if there are themes and plugins that have not received available updates. But updating your site’s theme can solve more than security concerns. These updates regularly contain bug fixes, which allow your site to run more smoothly on both desktop and mobile.

 

When you update website themes, you’ll also ensure your website will remain compatible with larger WordPress updates and all kinds of WordPress plugins. In addition, you can gain access to new features that can make your web presence even stronger. In the end, that means you’ll provide yourself and your visitors with an improved site experience for the long term by making these updates.

 

Should You Update CMS Themes or Plugins Yourself?

 

There’s probably a fair amount of website work you aren’t able to do on your own. In fact, only 11% of website designers say their clients have the ability to update their own sites once they’re built. However, if your site is built on the WordPress CMS, you’ll have the option to update website themes, update plugins, and make a number of other changes without having to jump through any hoops to gain access.

 

But just because you have the ability to make these changes, should you? It ultimately depends a bit on the specific circumstances of your site. If you’re using a customized theme, you should generally check with your web developer before updating that theme to ensure the custom elements aren’t lost during the update. This can save you time and money in the long run.

 

As far as updating plugins, that’s something you should generally do on a regular basis and can typically handle on your own with a couple of clicks. It’s recommended that you discuss the concept of updating anything to do with your content management system with your web designer before the project is finished. That way, you’ll have a clear idea of how this maintenance should be performed and by whom.

 

Whether you’re determined to DIY or you’re already in the process of seeking out website maintenance help, it’s important that you stay on top of these site updates. For more information on how to keep your website current and protected, please contact us today.

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