Every Content Management System, including Wordpress, must be kept up to date to protect it against hackers. Updating is relatively easy, but sometimes things go wrong because new versions of plugins are not compatible. Plugins sometimes “clash” with other plugins or the new version is not compatible with the PHP version of the server, etc. So always make backups, because when updating / upgrading your website or template can “break” and the fastest solution is often restoring the backup.
Outsource or do it yourself?
The necessary technical maintenance consists of making backups and updates of the CMS and the extensions and plugins. You may be able to take care of the version management yourself after training, but I recommend leaving it to me. I will then send you an email every month to let you know that your website is up to date and ask you to test whether everything still functions well.
Auto-update automatically updates the core CMS or plugins as they become available. This will ensure that security holes and bugs are resolved as soon as possible and the risk of hacking is minimized. Therefore, this function is also recommended. These updates always take place in the live site. The administrator or owner may receive an email about this and the website must be tested as soon as possible. It almost always goes well, but occasionally not. Only in that case please let me know. If something no longer works properly after that update, such as a form, shop or booking system, or if the template “breaks”, then this must of course be resolved, perhaps even the backup must be restored.
By the way, auto-update of the CMS or the PHP version is not possible with every hosting provider. Also, not all plugins and extensions can update automatically. For example, some paid plugins need to be updated manually. Manual periodic updating and checking therefore remains necessary.
Update Wordpress core and plugins
You log in to the backend and go to Updates. There you can update core, plugins, themes and translations.
Some hosting providers have the option to choose managed PHP. If the PHP version is not automatically updated by the hosting provider, this must be done manually.
Update or Upgrade?
Updating takes place within the same version family, so for example: from 3.9.19 to 3.9.20. Migrating / Upgrading is to the next version family. So for example: from 3.9.16 to 4.0. Important: Migrating / Upgrading is much more complicated and therefore it is something to always leave to an expert. Upgrading should be done approximately every 5 years. The lead time for a migration is sometimes several weeks.
In other words, a “small service” is required every month and a “major service” every few years.