On Updating Your Website
The question goes something like this:
Less than 2 months ago, I hired someone to update everything, and you’re telling me they need to be updated again?
On updating WordPress plugins and themes:
Unfortunately, plugins and themes and WordPress are all separate components and are updated on their own schedules.
A good plugin will be updated to correspond with WordPress updates – at minimum! Usually they are updated more frequently with bug fixes, security patches and feature roll-outs.
A good theme will be updated at about the same schedule as plugins – with WordPress updates. EXCEPT if you’re using a secure, and forward thinking, framework, like Genesis by StudioPress. (aff link) In that case, Genesis will roll out the updates seamlessly (& automatically if you click this option – see screenshot).
If Genesis is your framework, you usually do not have to update your child theme at all.
CASE: upgrade available for your Genesis Child Theme
First – read the letter/email that comes with the available upgrade notification.
In most cases, the upgrade is not necessary but provided to you because you’re an existing customer.
Over the last year and continuing through 2015, all Genesis Child Themes are transitioning to a new type of internet language – HTML5. It is easier to develop in this language for all types of screens and devices. So if you want your site to be responsive to all screen sizes, I do recommend upgrading to HTML5.
However, please note that any changes you’ve made to the style of your site through the theme editor or through a developer will be erased forever. So please, please take a backup!
CASE: too many upgrades, too much money!
You do not need to spend ANY money on upgrades as long as two things are in place:
- you have a backup in place for your site & you know how to get it!
- you have a theme & plugins that are NOT edited in a way that will get overwritten (your developer will know this)
If you see buttons like this:
… then you need to upgrade something. Click on the Updates screen.
From here, you can easily select the plugins and themes to update. Of course you would never click those ‘update’ buttons unless you had a backup, right??
BONUS CASE: themes that are no longer used
A very little known cause of security problems are unused themes. If you have themes that you don’t use, including 2013, or 2014. Delete them. All of them. Go ahead. Its empowering!! 🙂