Is it safe to always update to new WP Version?

by zoro
28 replies
I have this nagging question on my mind everytime I go to update my site to the latest WP Version:

"Will updating to new a WP version affect my Theme and its performance?"

Some Themes I have purchased have only offered update of Themes for a few months to a year. So if they no longer send me an updated Theme to cover any new WP Version will the original Theme still function ok?

Or ... is it better if I didn't update my WP Version at all?

Hoping someone can shed light on this for me.
#safe #update #version
  • Profile picture of the author dconjar
    You should update your WordPress installation. It's incredibly insecure if you don't.

    You may come across theme issues when updating, but you probably won't. It's unlikely.

    I recall a WP update at some point within the past year or two that introduced a new javascript library or something like that. I forget, but I know it caused a jQuery conflict that was tough to unravel.

    In my experience, you're much more likely to experience a plugin conflict than a theme conflict while updating, and both are unlikely. If you get a lot of traffic and want to play it safe, you could create a staging site and update there first, just to make sure nothing goes horribly wrong.

    It's easier to deal with jQuery noconflict issues than hackers, although I suppose both can ruin one's afternoon.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6388967].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Thanks dconjar,
    Yeah, I know that new WP Versions cover potential security issues but I am always concerned that my Theme and Plugins will be affected with new version installs. I hate having to fix things un-necessarily.
    So you think it's unlikely to effect my theme and plugins at all for many months and years, is that correct?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6389076].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dconjar
      Originally Posted by zoro View Post

      So you think it's unlikely to effect my theme and plugins at all for many months and years, is that correct?
      Depends on the theme and the plugins.

      The theme can be as simple as a folder containing an index.php file and a style.css file, and as complicated as the Genesis Framework. The simpler it is, the less likely it is that something breaks.

      A website that just uses a few popular and essential plugins is far less likely to break during an update than a website with several custom plugins.

      Staging environments are easy to set up, but they're not practical if you have many websites to manage.

      To be honest, I have an old abandoned blog that gets around 20,000 visitors/month and is still running WordPress version 1. It's never been hacked, so I've never felt the need to do the manual update.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6389142].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author blogfreakz
    yes it is safe to update your Word Press but don't forget to back up sometimes other themes are not compatible with the recent Wordprsss update so you need to better check them out as well.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6389170].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author eluminousdev
    Hi,
    Yes its safe when we have not customized anything in original setup and just running the WP sites with posts and themes applied. Its became critical when we had done something customization according to our requirement and update the WP version.
    Backup taken in this case helps to recover or modify the things again as per our need.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6389973].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author joliefleur
      Always backup your site+db before you upgrade anything, be it a theme or plugin. It's always better to be safe than sorry. It takes only a couple of minutes to do manual backup. If you're using CPanel/certain backup plugin, you can even automate the process.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6390178].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Earnie Boyd
        Originally Posted by joliefleur View Post

        Always backup your site+db before you upgrade anything, be it a theme or plugin. It's always better to be safe than sorry. It takes only a couple of minutes to do manual backup. If you're using CPanel/certain backup plugin, you can even automate the process.
        Yes, I agree with joliefleur on this point. I would also give the new release a try on my development system first just to have a sanity check before apply a new release to production.
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6391586].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author touheed
          Hi Zoro,
          Yes, it's always SAFE to update to new WP version. But, I think you actually want to know whether updating will make the active theme & plugins incompatible or not? In this case, there's a 50/50 chance that you may have compatibility issue. With updates wordpress also deprecates some functions. Most of the newly developed plugins & themes will not use deprecated functions. For that, you can't use those latest plugins & themes with the old WP versions. I recommend updating to the new versions always. Have a nice time.

          Regards,
          Quazi Touheed
          Signature
          WPAmazonProfits - The Amazing Amazon WordPress Plugin
          WPPasswordResetTool - Simple Tool To Recover Hacked WordPress Sites
          WPeContactForm - Featuring Digital Signature
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6392245].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author dconjar
            Originally Posted by touheed View Post

            But, I think you actually want to know whether updating will make the active theme & plugins incompatible or not? In this case, there's a 50/50 chance that you may have compatibility issue.
            50/50 sounds a bit high. Increasing complexity increases the odds, but I'd imagine that for most users, the odds are quite low.

            Originally Posted by touheed View Post

            With updates wordpress also deprecates some functions. Most of the newly developed plugins & themes will not use deprecated functions. For that, you can't use those latest plugins & themes with the old WP versions.
            The fact that a function is deprecated doesn't mean that it won't work. It probably will work. It's just old and should probably be changed to a newer variation of the function, because it might stop working after a future update.

            And only 65 functions have been deprecated, so the odds of your theme being effected by that are probably very low.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6392357].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author touheed
              Originally Posted by dconjar View Post

              50/50 sounds a bit high. Increasing complexity increases the odds, but I'd imagine that for most users, the odds are quite low.



              The fact that a function is deprecated doesn't mean that it won't work. It probably will work. It's just old and should probably be changed to a newer variation of the function, because it might stop working after a future update.

              And only 65 functions have been deprecated, so the odds of your theme being effected by that are probably very low.

              Yes, 50/50 is quite high. I agree with you. I just wanted to be more cautious as websites are highly sensitive stuff for most of the website owners.

              I didn't said deprecated functions will not work. I just said, most of the newly developed plugins & themes will not use deprecated functions & in case someone doesn't update & uses old wordpress version, then he will not be able to use those themes & plugins. For example if any new plugin/theme uses get_option, then old wordpress version which doesn't familiar with get_option and instead uses get_settings will not work with the plugin/theme. In this sense, 65 deprecated functions are too high. Only a single deprecated function is more than enough to make a plugin/theme unstable. And we should keep in mind that most of the website owners don't have expertise in programming languages. Be well.

              Regards,
              Quazi Touheed
              Signature
              WPAmazonProfits - The Amazing Amazon WordPress Plugin
              WPPasswordResetTool - Simple Tool To Recover Hacked WordPress Sites
              WPeContactForm - Featuring Digital Signature
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6392690].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author dconjar
                Originally Posted by touheed View Post

                Only a single deprecated function is more than enough to make a plugin/theme unstable. And we should keep in mind that most of the website owners don't have expertise in programming languages.
                Good point. Although I think a strong case can be made that website owners should at least have basic knowledge of programming.

                Websites are complex creatures. If a website owner lacks a basic understanding of how to build and grow successful websites, maybe that website owner shouldn't be a website owner. Without a strong grasp of the fundamentals, you're probably going to make some very bad investments at some point.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6392878].message }}
  • Its not safe if you are NOT UPDATING! Updates means the software vulnerabilities are patched. So not point of keep updates out.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6395136].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author clou
    You have to back up your website first before updating to newer version.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6395143].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author zoro
      Originally Posted by clou View Post

      You have to back up your website first before updating to newer version.
      When you say backup website, do you mean backup the database or the files, or both?
      I ask this because I have a plugin that automatically backs up just the files once a week.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6395755].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dan Curtis
    Originally Posted by zoro View Post

    "Will updating to new a WP version affect my Theme and its performance?"


    Or ... is it better if I didn't update my WP Version at all?
    You ask some very good questions.

    For the first question about affecting your theme: Many themes and many plugins will be affected when you update wordpress. Some will have minor problems. Some will not work at all.

    The update may be a minor inconvenience. And it may be your worst nightmare.

    But if you are asking this question at all, it means that you want to avoid this problem. You are not someone who has the time, who has the expertise and who has the inclination to wrestle with programming bugs and things that just won't work anymore, who knows why and where can you get some help to fix it.

    I can tell you for sure, though, when it will go wrong. It will go wrong, and badly, just at the moment that you cannot afford to have your site down for any reason whatsoever.

    You know what I mean: You are updating, but you are holding your breath, because it just has to be right. And...

    ...you get a hard slap to the face. Just an error message and you can't access anything. Have you seen that? Your whole site disappears? You won't like it when you do.

    Now, if you take the advice of the mavens at WordPress you'll just deal with child themes. You may already know about child themes. Child themes do not modify the files of the parent -- in this case the basic word press files -- unlike human children who can and do fundamentally alter their parents.

    So when use a child theme and the WordPress is updated "your modifications are preserved. You can read about it here. For safety and peace of mind that may be the way for you to go.

    For the second question about not updating WordPress, that is not a good choice.

    One of the main reasons that WordPress is updated is that the soft underbelly of the program has been probed and weaknesses have been identified. Sinister entities can then use these weaknesses to ravage your site. You do not want to be ravaged, no?

    Updating your WordPress files is one of the best ways to keep your site secure.

    For the third question, the files that you need to back up are your database files. The database files contain all your content. You can have a fresh WordPress install in three minutes but if you lose all your content you may never regain it.
    Signature

    The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not. Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting. -- Cormac McCarthy

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6395955].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author zoro
      Originally Posted by Dan Curtis View Post

      You ask some very good questions.

      For the first question about affecting your theme: Many themes and many plugins will be affected when you update wordpress. Some will have minor problems. Some will not work at all.

      The update may be a minor inconvenience. And it may be your worst nightmare.

      But if you are asking this question at all, it means that you want to avoid this problem. You are not someone who has the time, who has the expertise and who has the inclination to wrestle with programming bugs and things that just won't work anymore, who knows why and where can you get some help to fix it.
      Thank you for your great advise and insite, it makes a lot of sense.

      But, my other problem is that I currently have over 50 sites. So to do all these backups and child themes will be a real pain in the ..##@? and such a time waster, time I don't have. Is there any way this can be automated?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6399670].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dynamicdreamz
    nice post,quite informative post...
    thanks for share....
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6396008].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jdunhin
    Always check if the plugins are compateble with the new wp version. And don't forget to make that backup!!
    Signature

    We handle all your WordPress Content,Theme and Plugins updates!
    iAdminWP

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6397083].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author BlackIrish
    I've been doing that for over a year, never had a problem.

    If you're unsure, then keep a weekly or monthly backup of your MySQL database, that's pretty much the only thing you need to keep your blog mobile (and perhaps uploaded resources, but they won't get corrupt from an update).
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6397767].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dreamtech
    I dont think its wrong , yes it is safe to update your Word Press but don't forget to back up sometimes other themes are not compatible with the recent Wordprsss update so you need to better check them out as well.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6399766].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author so11
    Hello,

    I think before updating it is always a good idea to check what is the actual update...If there are no critical components than you can skip it and not worry about it. On the other hand, if the fix is about critical security hole than that's another story.

    There are many ways to automate your backups. It really depends on how you are set up right now. (virtual drive, ftp, etc.) Your hosting provider might be offering some good stuff as well...
    Signature
    www.groupesoloviev.com
    We help businesses manage cyber risk and compliance requirements.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6404508].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author zoro
      Originally Posted by so11 View Post

      Hello,

      I think before updating it is always a good idea to check what is the actual update...If there are no critical components than you can skip it and not worry about it. On the other hand, if the fix is about critical security hole than that's another story.

      There are many ways to automate your backups. It really depends on how you are set up right now. (virtual drive, ftp, etc.) Your hosting provider might be offering some good stuff as well...
      Thanks for your input and advice. I know I can do database backup in cPanel but not sure how to set it up to do it automatically?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6404791].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author so11
        Originally Posted by zoro View Post

        Thanks for your input and advice. I know I can do database backup in cPanel but not sure how to set it up to do it automatically?
        This should help :

        Configure Backup

        So11
        Signature
        www.groupesoloviev.com
        We help businesses manage cyber risk and compliance requirements.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6404806].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author zoro
          Originally Posted by so11 View Post

          This should help :

          Configure Backup

          So11
          Thank you, I will check it out.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6405087].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author teguhyuliantos
    Based on my experience for wordpress platform, there are nothing effect for your wordpress site if you not updating regularly. This update version needed if you want to install new plugin or other tools to increase your WP performance.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6404674].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author msu
    Don't forget you could always post a question on the support forum of your theme provider if you're worried.

    But the chances of something going wrong with a theme is really, really low - and if you're using one of the bigger theme companies like Genesis, DIY Themes, Elegant Themes, etc.you can be sure they'd fix any problem pretty quickly.
    Signature
    New to WordPress? Save time with my beginner's guide:
    WordPress Step-by-Step
    (for Kindle & Kindle Apps)

    I'm a top-notch WordPress developer: hire me
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6407958].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JezWebb
    XCloner is a nice WordPress plugin for backing up your site and database. It makes recovery very easy, and also can clone / move your site. Makes it super easy to backup your site prior to upgrading, which is essential in this hacker rife environment!
    Signature

    Web strategist and adventurer. Director of Search Engine Friendly Hosting. ---Fast, affordable, feature packed hosting from £1.97. --- Search Engine Friendly Web Hosting

    [VIDEO] How to set up a WordPress blog in under 10 minutes.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6408940].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Thank you to everyone for your input and suggestions, it's much appreciated.

    I was told by another warrior about a free WP Plugin called - WP-DB-Backup. It will backup all of the database weekly or monthly automatically. Sounds like this could be my answer, what you think?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6410270].message }}

Trending Topics