Do you need a quality website platform that’s easy to use, maintain, and update?
WordPress is the most popular web editing platform available. It’s a one-stop-shop for all of your site hosting and editing needs.
A major aspect of maintaining your website is paying attention to WordPress updates. WordPress releases major and minor updates to improve the usability and security of their website services.
Using these updates will ensure your site is running at its best with the latest features to improve SEO and the user experience.
Are you new to WordPress or received your first update notification? Here’s everything you need to know about WordPress updates.
What Is WordPress?
A unique aspect of WordPress is it allows you to build your website on any hosting platform you prefer.
WordPress is an online program with website templates and tools you’ll need to build your website. Everything within the program is easy to use with advanced options for experienced web designers.
Is budget a factor? WordPress offers a wide selection of templates and editing tools for free.
If you want your website to stand out, you or your web designer can opt for paid versions of WordPress’s editing tools. You’ll gain access to advanced features such as parallax animation and a greater number of customizations.
Inexperienced web owners can use a WordPress editor, editable templates, and a user-friendly interface. These plugins optimize various areas of your website including security, SEO, and much more.
The WordPress 5.7 Update
On March 9th, 2021, WordPress released its latest update, WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza.” This update improved many of the website building features in WordPress. The update added more desirable features and intuitive interfaces based on user feedback
Many of the latest updates contain security patches and upgrades to make your website more secure.
The new WordPress 5.7 update features over 60 different enhancements and new features along with over 120 new bug fixes. A few benefits of this latest WordPress update include easily sending password reset links and full site editing flows.
These are only a few of the many improvements you can find in the new WordPress 5.7 update. While these improvements are great, what benefits do they offer?
Benefits of WordPress Updates
The main benefit of regularly updating your WordPress website is to make it more secure and compatible with current plugins.
Despite the rigorous testing, small bugs and glitches can get through, affecting how well your website works. WordPress websites offer updates with patches and improvements to fix these potential bugs.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits WordPress updates have to offer. Each WordPress update may feature different enhancements to improve the user experience. The following improvements are based on WordPress’s latest 5.7 update.
Make Your Workflow Easier
WordPress made several changes to improve its compatibility with the latest Gutenberg website editor. There are many other available web editors similar to Gutenberg including:
- Beaver Builder
- Visual Composer
Not all web agencies and designers use these website editors. Depending on the scope and needs of the project, the agency or designer may directly code in WordPress or use an editor to allow their clients to edit their sites as needed.
The benefit of improving this compatibly makes editing the site easier. Using Gutenberg and other block editors give users more control of the layout of their site:
- Easily drag and drop blocks their site content
- Access to full-height blocks that match the screen size
- More button options along with preset sizing and vertical layouts
- Ability to customize the layout and size and colours of your icons anywhere on your web page or site
This greater level of control gives you the ability to make your website unique and stand out from the competition.
A Secure Site
A traditional HTTP connection between your browser and a website’s IP address is easily available and viewable by others. There isn’t any encryption to improve security meaning your connection. Hackers and other cybercriminals will have access to your connection and any usernames or passwords you use on the HTTP connection.
HTTPS connections encrypt this connection between your browser and a website to improve security. The encryption prevents others from intercepting and accessing your data.
Website owners will need to purchase an SSL certificate from their web host to ensure and share with users the security of their website. Websites containing sensitive data, such as banking and healthcare sites, use this type of certificate to improve security.
WordPress’s latest update allows for easy migration from HTTP to HTTPS sites. This update best for those who have web hosting that comes with an SSL certificate. If you don’t have an SSL certificate or are unsure, check with your web host to learn more.
New Color Palettes
The older version of WordPress consisted of limited colour schemes that were challenging to change. The newest WordPress update includes a CSS custom properties setup that makes adding and customizing colours in your website easier.
WordPress compresses all colour options into seven main colours. These seven colours have 56 different shades that meet the WCAG 2.0 AA contrast ratio recommendation when placed against black or white.
Navigate to the WordPress default colour scheme to view and access this new and simpler colour palette. The main advantage besides accessibility is designers and developers can choose from a greater selection of light and dark colours.
Lazy loading is a form of on-demand loading designed to improve the performance and loading times of a website. Images and other media will load as the user scrolls through the site. This improves the site’s performance and wastes less time, memory, and bandwidth.
Last year’s WordPress 5.5 update included image lazy loading. This year’s update allows lazy loading for any embeds that use iframes on your site, along with images. If you have a YouTube video on your site, for example, you can add this attribute to your tag: loading=“lazy” to speed your site’s loading times.
The latest WordPress update improves the Robots API is a meta tag. This tag defines how a web page should index and present to users in the search engine’s results. Users now have the control to define this tag and how their page’s preview will look.
The new function called “wp_robots” allows users to edit the robot’s meta tag and add different filters. You don’t need to edit this API if you don’t want to. The robots meta tag will automatically use the largest resolution in search results.
jQuery 3.5.1 Updates
The first migration phase took place in the last WordPress 5.5 update. This recent update is the last phase. WordPress Theme and Plugin developers will need to make sure their product’s code is compatible with the latest jQuery update.
Don’t use jQuery in your WordPress hosted website? You can still benefit as you’ll receive fewer messages and the ones you do receive will be easier to understand.
How to Update Your WordPress Website
WordPress updates are necessary to ensure the accessibility, functionality, and security of your website. Ignoring these updates will lower your site’s computability with WordPress plugins and updated security features. These issues can affect your SEO and make your website appear outdated.
How exactly do you update your WordPress? Follow this easy step-by-step guide to safely update your WordPress.
Backup Your Entire WordPress Site
Major website updates can occasionally cause issues like data loss. The first step is to backup your entire WordPress site before upgrading to the latest updates. Website backups work as a backup plan to prevent permanent data loss when editing your updating your site.
After you’ve backed up your site and stored it locally, deactivate your plugins. The updated WordPress may not be compatible with certain plugins. Deactivating your plugins will minimize plugin-related issues during the update.
The easiest way to update your WordPress is by logging into your WordPress dashboard. Then check for a WordPress update notification.
If there is, select “Please update now” which will take you to an updates page. Click on the “update now” option.
You can also set your WordPress to automatically install major updates.
Minor updates will show a success message when completed along with available theme and plugin updates. Longer updates will show a description of the upgrades. From there, you can upgrade your plugins and themes.
Can’t update through the Admin Dashboard? There are a couple of other methods to update your WordPress, but they require more experience and manual work. You or your web designer can update WordPress by manually updating with FTP or using WP-CLI with SSH account access.
For best results, you should contact your web designer or developer regarding major WordPress updates.
Start Enjoying the Latest WordPress Updates
Who wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to increase their website’s usability, security, and overall experience? Updating your WordPress updates is the easiest way to improve the security and functionality of your WordPress website.
Have more questions about where to host your WordPress website? Let us know! We have the skills and experience to fit and exceed your website hosting needs!