Since TopRank does quite a bit of blog consulting and we’re responsible for the maintenance of several employee blogs as well as most of our client blogs, the importance of keeping blog software updated is very close to home.
Recently there were a number SEO blogs that were defaced due to an exploit though older versions of WordPress. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I bet those bloggers will be sure to keep their versions of WordPress up to date. Below are 6 reasons anyone with a blog should keep up to date:
- Security. Much like web browsers, hackers are always looking for a way in. Keeping up to date on the latest software will help protect you from those that seem to have to much time on their hands.
- Spam. This goes along with security, spammers are always looking for a way to fill your comments with links. Most blog platforms do try and help avoid that and if a spam exploit is known about, it’ll quite possibly be fixed in the next update. If you keep up with updates, hopefully your software will help keep some spam out.
- Bugs. How you or your users interact with your blog is important. Even little bugs that may only effect a small percentage of visitors, can cause your readership to suffer. Worse yet, you probably don’t even know about any users having issues. Saying up to date will help keep the bugs to a bare minimum.
- Features. With each major upgrade usually comes features. It may make it easier to manage your blog or easier to use the blog. Either way, having the ability to use them is a plus.
- Accessibility. With Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari and other browsers continually upgrading and expanding, blog software engineers are working hard to ensure that their software works for everyone. They also have to keep in mind things like PHP5 and other server side software that is also upgrading quite often and everything needs to run smoothly for everyone.
- Plugins. The more complex the plugin, the more likely it’ll have higher blog software requirements. Other plugins have authors that just program for the latest and greatest release and don’t work backwards. Keeping your blog software up to date will help ensure that you can use the most plugins. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your plugins are up-to-date. Plugin update notification is one feature I wish WordPress included or plugin authors included more frequently.
Keeping your blog software up to date will not only make you happier on the admin side, but can also make your users happier. And happiness is what we all strive for right? 😉