How Often Should I Update My WordPress Site?
Your website is the digital storefront for your company and is often a customer’s first, and sometimes only, impression of your business so you want to make it a good one. Keeping your WordPress website updated and well maintained is important in making a good impression, and there are lots of different things to consider: you’ll want to keep the site’s backend technology up to date so it’s secure, the style of it refreshed so it doesn’t look outdated, and the content cleaned up so it remains relevant and useful for your users. So that brings up the question, how often should I update these things for my website?
First and foremost, you want to make sure you’re keeping the backend of your site up to date with changing web standards. With WordPress, updates are regularly pushed out for the WordPress core, plugins and themes and need to be completed in the admin panel to keep your website secure and working well. We recommend keeping up with these updates at least once a month, although more often is best, and updating the WordPress core as soon as possible after an update comes out is considered best practice. If you have higher traffic, have been hacked in the past, or have an e-commerce store I would recommend updating more often, like once a week in order keep your site as secure as possible. The updates WordPress puts out are pretty important. They typically patch security holes and update standards so it’s best to complete these all as soon as you can.
The design and style of your site are another important thing to update. This is a tougher one to quantify as the timeline of when to update can be different for each site and company. Every 2 years is often the standard recommendation, although that isn’t always possible for everyone and isn’t always needed. Any time you feel that your site isn’t working for you or that it needs a refresh is a good time to update, even if it’s just a little facelift and isn’t a complete redesign. Some websites have more classic styles and have content that doesn’t really need to change so they won’t need to update as often. I would recommend a style refresh at least once every 1-3 years (which can be as simple as changing out photos/patterns/backgrounds, or changing out fonts or colors) and a complete redesign once every 4-6 years just to keep it fresh. Styles and standards for web design keep changing and your site will likely look outdated if you don’t update in that time.
The content on your site should also be updated in order keep it accurate and pertinent for users and search engines. I would recommend going through your content and doing a spring cleaning at least once a year to see if any updates are needed. All new content isn’t usually necessary but making sure everything is up to date and stated the way you want is a great idea. Publishing blog posts is a great way to have new content coming out regularly, which is great for search engines because they come back more often when they notice new content, and it’s great to do that at least once or twice a month.
Regular updates and maintenance on your site is a great way to ensure your website stays functioning and performing well for you, so your users stay interested and search engines keep coming back to index more. What other tips do you have on regular updates and maintenance that you could add? Let us know in the comments below!
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