Have a new project in the pipeline?Proposal Form
10th September, 2023
For companies harnessing the power of WordPress, staying up-to-date with essential maintenance is the linchpin to a secure and smoothly functioning website. In this blog post, we’ll explore the crucial aspects of WordPress maintenance, focusing on three key components: Core Updates, Plugin Updates, and Theme Updates.
We’ll also highlight important considerations, from local testing to database backups, ensuring that when you embark on the path of WordPress updates, you do so confidently and without glitches.
When WordPress releases a new version, it’s not just about shiny new features; it often includes vital security patches and bug fixes. However, before you click that “Update Now” button, consider these key points:
Local Testing: Always perform core updates on a staging or local environment first. This allows you to check for any compatibility issues with your existing plugins and themes before applying the update to your live site.
Database Backups: Before making any changes, back up your website’s database. In case something goes awry during the update, you can restore your site to its previous state.
Plugin and Theme Compatibility: Ensure that your WordPress plugins and theme is compatible with the latest WordPress version. Some older plugins or themes may not work correctly with an updated core.
Server Technology: Verify that your web hosting server is compatible with the new WordPress version. Outdated server technology can lead to performance issues or incompatibilities.
Plugins extend the functionality of your WordPress site, but they can also introduce vulnerabilities if not kept up-to-date. Here’s what to consider:
Selectively Update: Before updating all plugins, research each one. Read change logs to understand what’s changed and whether there are any reported compatibility issues.
Backup and Test: As with core updates, back up your website and test plugin updates in a safe environment. This helps identify conflicts or issues before they affect your live site.
Security: Keep plugins up-to-date. This is your first line of defence against threats. Also ensure that your server, malware scanner, any security plugins etc are also current and up-to-date.
Themes define your site’s appearance, and like plugins, they require careful attention during updates. Notably, Tidy Design takes pride in developing bespoke, hand-crafted themes for our clients. These themes are unique and purpose-built, reflecting your brand’s individuality. We also do our best to avoid using WordPress plugins unless completely necessary. Below are some considerations for WordPress theme updates:
Child Themes: If you’ve customised your theme, consider using a child theme. This way, your customisations won’t be overwritten when you update the parent theme.
Backup and Test: Always back up your site and test theme updates locally. Themes may introduce design or layout changes that need adjustments. At Tidy Design, we go a step further by employing Git for version control. This means that not only can we securely back up your website, but we can also meticulously track changes, ensuring that any adjustments made during theme updates are carefully monitored and managed, preserving the integrity of your site’s design and functionality.
Review New Features: If you are using an “off the shelf” WordPress theme then read through the theme’s update notes to understand any new features or changes. This can help you take advantage of improvements in design or performance.
WordPress maintenance, encompassing core updates, plugin updates, and theme updates, is an essential responsibility for website owners. By following best practices such as local testing, regular backups, and staying informed about compatibility and changes, you can ensure that your WordPress website remains secure and functional. Should you need assistance or encounter challenges during an update, our team at Tidy Design is here to provide expert guidance and support, ensuring your WordPress website continues to thrive.
Thank you for reading this post on WordPress development and maintenance, should you have any questions then please let us know. Also thanks ChatGPT for your suggestions and assistance in mapping out post content.
Until next time, keep it Tidy!