Ok, so everyone is talking about AI, so I decided to see what it had to say about how often we should update WordPress.
How often should I update WordPress?
A brief conversation with ChatGPT
Me: how often should I update my wordpress website? (Yeah I didnt capitalize anything, it was 6:30 am and we don’t speak in that tone that early.)
Our ChatGPT Overlord:
As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you update your WordPress website as soon as updates become available. WordPress releases updates to its core software, themes, and plugins regularly to address security issues, fix bugs, and introduce new features.
Failing to update your WordPress website can leave it vulnerable to security threats, which can compromise your website’s data, content, and functionality. It’s important to stay up-to-date to ensure that your website is running smoothly and securely.
You can also set up automatic updates for WordPress core, themes, and plugins to ensure that your website stays up-to-date without your intervention. However, it’s still a good practice to regularly check your website to make sure everything is working as expected.
Ok it is well written, but I have an issue with the advice, setting up automatic updates, which is a no no for anyone who is running a business website. So let’s see what it had to say about the pitfalls of using auto updates…
Our ChatGPT Overlord:
Enabling automatic updates on your WordPress website can help ensure that your site is always up-to-date and secure. However, there are a few potential problems that you should be aware of:
- Plugin conflicts: Automatic updates can occasionally cause conflicts between different plugins, especially if one plugin is updated before another. These conflicts can cause errors or even break your site.
- Theme compatibility issues: Automatic updates can also lead to compatibility issues between your theme and WordPress core, resulting in errors or layout issues on your site.
- Data loss: There is a slight risk of data loss when updating your WordPress website automatically. While rare, it’s possible for an update to cause data loss or corruption if something goes wrong during the update process.
- Compatibility with custom code: If you have custom code on your website, automatic updates can sometimes cause compatibility issues, which can cause your site to break or display incorrectly.
To avoid these potential problems, you can take a few precautions:
- Backup your website regularly: Make sure you have a backup of your website in case anything goes wrong during the update process.
- Test updates on a staging site: Before updating your live site, test updates on a staging site to ensure compatibility with your plugins, themes, and custom code.
- Stay up-to-date with your plugins and themes: Keep your plugins and themes up-to-date to reduce the risk of conflicts and compatibility issues.
- Disable automatic updates for certain plugins or themes: You can choose to disable automatic updates for certain plugins or themes that you know may cause issues.
This is really great info about why setting up auto updates can be bad for your website. Especially if you are trying to run your business and then you get a phone call saying your website is down. This happens more than people talk about, those auto updates are great for small websites with maybe 3 or 4 plugins and is really more of just a blog.
What I also found interesting are that the ways to avoid potential problems is all a manual process, so you are trading one process in for a much longer one.
With all of this said, it is really good info, but also shows the need for someone on your team that knows how to resolve issues.
I did spend a little more time with the ChatGPT robot asking about Updates, but you will have to read that one in another post.
For those of you out there that needs someone on your team that knows WordPress, we would love to talk to you to see if we are a fit to work together.
I asked ChatGPT about how often we should update WordPress, this is what it said…Summary
• WordPress should be updated as soon as updates become available to ensure that it is running smoothly and securely.
• Automatic updates can cause conflicts between plugins, incompatibility with themes, and even data loss.
• To avoid problems with automatic updates, website owners are advised to back up their site regularly, test updates on a staging site, keep plugins and themes up-to-date, and disable automatic updates for certain plugins or themes.