Your WordPress website’s version and plugins are managed in the back office of your site. You will get a notification from WordPress regarding new versions and updates, and clickable links to update. However, would it be a good idea for you to click to update as soon as you have been notified? Yes, but you need to follow the correct steps to have a successful update that won’t break your website.
Here are some of the basic things you have to consider and think about before being hasty with updating.
1. Is the WordPress version brand new?
If the latest WordPress version is brand new you might want to hold off for a while. They do a great job of testing and re-testing their releases. Going live always brings up a hiccup or two, it is just the nature of the beast. If you hold off a week or two that will give the WordPress support and development team time to address any bugs. For example, instead of upgrading to WordPress 5.0 maybe you have to wait a while to see if WordPress 5.1 is going to come out. The same rule applies to the plugins.
It is always advised to back up your website before upgrade and updates. So many of the customers we attend to through our support team in Australia have similar issues when they come to us. This usually hinders results and they are always advised to back up their site.
3. Plugin Compatibility
One of the best reasons for waiting to see if a release is stable is that it gives plugin developers a chance to catch up. When you upgrade the WordPress version, there is always the chance your plugins are not compatible yet. If you have a certain plugin that you find indispensable, you might want to monitor it to see if it gets updated to match the WordPress version upgrade. Some plugins may work fine with new WordPress version upgrades anyways, and if you keep an eye on the plugin homepage or forums you will find that out as well.
If you remember these three basic steps or methods, you will have no problem with your WordPress updates. The biggest key is to back up! Years of hard work can be flushed down the toilet if you don’t! Enjoy your WordPress site and may all your updates be smooth and trouble-free!