Why You Need to Keep WordPress Up to Date Thumbnail

This post comes to you from Eric at Narrow Bridge Finance. He is also the author of the amazing eBook The Personal Finance Arsenal, which teaches you how to save time, money, and headache when dealing with your finances.

On the evening of December 12th, I opened my WordPress dashboard to check out my stats for the day and plan out a few posts. I was pleasantly surprised to see that WordPress 3.3 “Sonny” was ready for WordPress sites around the world.

Having been a member of the Yakezie since the early days, I have seen many debates on the merits and risks of being an early adopter. Today, I want to explain to you why waiting to upgrade is probably a bad idea.


The single most important reason to upgrade your WordPress installation as soon as possible is security. While some updates are focused on functionality, nearly all updates contain some security fixes. We have all seen the results of our hosts being hacked. We have discussed security plugins in the forums. You can read all about WordPress security at the WordPress Codex. It is a big deal.

Many of us rely on our blogs for income. Many of us use our websites for our businesses. How would you feel if your site came crashing down tomorrow because of a security hole? How much worse would you feel if you could have installed an update that would have defended your site against that exploit?

Do not gamble with your site. Do the right thing and upgrade to make sure it is secure.


Upgrades have also brought about new functionalities and speed increases. The 3.3 update reduces the heavy code to have expandable menus in the WordPress dashboard and replaces them with a flip out option. You can now get to different menus and options faster than before.

The new upgrade also replaced the “new” WordPress navigation bar with a newer version. It combines some old, familiar functions with a new look and faster access to the most used tools.

Under the hood, WordPress has a lot of code to give you a powerful application. The development teams are always working to make your site run faster and smoother. None of us really know what is going on back there unless you read the development notes for the release. Most of you have probably not heard of JQuery or the updates there. You probably don’t care as long as it works.

Trust the developers of this amazing, free application. They do a lot of testing to make sure everything is perfect when they push out a notification telling you to upgrade. It will work just fine.


This is where most bloggers get scared of updates. They are worried that when they run the installer, something will break. I promise you that if something goes wrong it is not because of WordPress; it is because of a poorly designed plugin.

To ensure your site upgrades smoothly, backup everything first. That includes your installation folders on your host server and all of the database files. It is always good to have a fresh backup just in case.

When you run the upgrade, things will probably work fine. If not, disable plugins one at a time until you find the cause of the issue. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. If you do, you might be able to find something better that does not cause a conflict. Having a fast and secure site is more important than any single plugin.

What Do You Do?

I upgraded all of my WordPress blogs within an hour of the official release, but I know that there are some of you that use release candidate or beta versions and there are others that are a full version behind.

Please share your strategy, successes, and horror stories in the comments.  Have you upgraded yet?

Image by Nikolay Bachiyski.