It’s happening again. That pesky pop-up message telling you to update your software is staring at you, begging for you to make a choice: update or “remind me later”. What do you do? You choose the ever-tempting “remind me later”, but we all know what that means. That’s why we are here to tell you why keeping your software up-to-date is an important consideration, especially when running a website or server. And how it affects usability, security, and compatibility with other software.
First and foremost, updates keep you safe from known security holes. This is especially important when there is a new release available for software you use because most change logs and update notes reveal previously-known exploits that have already been patched. Public knowledge of these exploits leaves your application easy prey for malicious users who are out to exploit these now known issues. Of note are website Content Management Systems (CMSs) such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal simply because of their common use. Not securing these by updating leaves your system open to compromise making your software vulnerable.
Updating your software will frequently provide feature and speed enhancements. For example, recent updates to WordPress have been improved with the addition of contextual searches, user theme management, and even the ability to manage multiple sites from one control panel. And updates to look forward to including improved stability and even MySQL functionality!
When you begin working on a brand new piece of software or are operating on the most updated CMS, you are at the highest functionality available. As more of the software users begin providing feedback and through the continuation of the development of the software, bugs start to appear. This is where updates come into play, to fix the bugs and provide more efficient software.
Maintaining the health of your website is crucial and it’s as simple as pressing “update” next time that pop-up notification is blinking at you.
Professional-grade web hosting service providers continually upgrade their hosting infrastructure, and an outdated CMS or website code may not operate properly with the patches implemented by the host. As such, maintaining the health of your website code is crucial, and one easy step is updating your underlying CMS as soon as updates are made available.