Let’s say you’re a business owner who manages some or all of your website in house. Things are going along pretty well. You’re confident in what you’re doing when you put up new copy or add images to the site. Everything is going along like clockwork as they say.
That’s when it happens. You’re logged into the backend of your WordPress website, and notice a new message on the screen. It looks harmless enough. It says, “WordPress 3.6.1 is available! Please update now.”
The moments that ruin our days often look harmless enough at first glance.
What happens when you click on the “Please update now” link?
You won’t like the answer to that question, I promise you. If your site is set-up simply, with no real customization or a low number of plugins, everything “may” be fine. But if you have any customization at all and lots of plugins, pushing that button may break many of the features on your website. The vast majority of business websites built on the WordPress platform, include many of these popular plugins such as Askimet (which controls spam),Google XML sitemaps (used to talk to Google webmaster) or 404 redirects (in case of broken links).
Think of your business website as an elaborate rooftop garden, full of lovely flowers and comfortable benches. Those flowers and benches are the equivalent of your WordPress plugins. When you hit the “Please Update Now” link, the building that’s underneath your rooftop garden, providing a supportive foundation, is yanked away. The update is a completely different building is pushed in to replace it. The chances of everything lining up perfectly – the supporting building and the elaborate rooftop garden – are moderate at best. In other words, the flowers are going to look off and the benches might be even be wrecked.
When your existing plugins and custom coding aren’t compatible with the new version of WordPress, they stop working. This can take a tremendous toll on your business.
If you’re in online sales, and your shopping cart is out of order, you’re going to lose sales for as long as it takes to get the shopping cart back online.
If your contact form is down, the potential client can’t connect with you. These clients aren’t going to put their searches on hold and wait for your website to come back online. They’re going to go somewhere else.
Avoid Losing Business and Expensive Website Downtime
Updating WordPress is not often a great DIY website maintenance task. You can’t just skip the updates, because they play a vital role in your website security. With that in mind, this is one time when you’ll want to reach out to the pros. It takes some programming know-how to fix what can be broken or to review the plugins compatibility. Save yourself time, stress and lost sales by having your web team handle the job.
The “Please update now!” link makes the process look deceptively simple and easy. Don’t let it fool you!