Like any software, WordPress is constantly being improved—more features, more efficient code, increased security, and so on—as are themes and plugins. Not having an up-to-date WordPress installation is a common cause of malfunctions and one of the key reasons sites get hacked. You must keep everything up to date. Fortunately, updating is a simple task. In addition to that, you can maintain your WordPress site to keep it running smoothly in other ways.
Following are two types of updates for WordPress:
- Automatic minor updates, for example, 4.0 to 4.0.1
- Major version manual updates, for example, 3.9 to 4.0
The minor updates are for security and minor functionality fixes, whereas the major version updates have key new features, along with some security fixes. As the name suggests, the automatic updates occur without any need for action on your part.
WordPress is clear about the availability of major updates or minor updates that for various reasons cannot be automatically applied. A warning message with a link to perform the update displays at the top of every admin screen until the update is completed, as shown in Figure 32.1.
If you're logged in as any role other than Administrator, the message tells you to notify your administrator of the update. Also, an Update button appears on the Dashboard if there's an update ...