Like any software, WordPress is constantly being improved — more features, better speed, increased security, and so on — as are the themes and plugins. Fortunately, keeping them all up to date is pretty straightforward.
Why should you keep up to date? The number-one reason is security. Having access to new features and a better interface are the next-most important reasons. And finally, if you miss a lot of updates, you have a greater chance of problems because over time, the database structure can change significantly, and trying to make all those changes at one sitting may be impossible (at least with an automated update).
On the other hand, rushing to do the very latest update is not always advisable, either. Despite vigorous testing, software, we all know, can still come to market with minor or even major bugs that should be fixed. It isn't until they're released that these problems may present themselves, so it can be wise to wait a few weeks after a new update, unless, of course, the update is a crucial security fix and your site might be at risk.
WordPress is very clear about the availability of updates. A warning message with a link to perform the update is displayed at the top of every admin screen until the update is completed, as shown in Figure 33-1.
If you're logged in as any role other than Administrator, the message ...