Terry and Clarence Low, Bits ‘N’ Bytes: WordPress updating critical for security, performance

Q I keep receiving updates from my WordPress website telling me the latest version is available. Do I have to update it?

A For anyone who owns and operates a WordPress site, the mantra that is constantly hammered into us is “update, update, update.” Why? Simply put, the platform is constantly in a state of flux, with new features and improvements being added on a dizzying schedule.

With WordPress, updating is a critical component of using the program in the most efficient and secure way. There are four main reasons why: security, performance, bug fixes and compatibility. For most of us security is most important. Because WordPress is so big it’s naturally a target for those who want to steal personal data or simply disable sites. Happily though, because it’s an open-source program, vulnerabilities in security are often caught early thanks to many eyes keeping watch. And when a problem in security is detected, there are lots of people ready to deal with the problem quickly with a simple update that patches the leak.

There are other logical reasons to keep things updated all the time. For one, your site will simply perform better. Also, regular updates ensure that any bugs in operating tools are fixed, such as those that allow you to do quick updates. And when it comes to compatibility — which allows plug-ins to work with your platform — regular updates can make sure that everything is getting along properly.

Updating a WordPress site and accompanying plug-ins is relatively painless. Simply visit the “Updates” tab via your Dashboard and do a regular check for what’s available. Many minor plug-ins and themes update automatically, but you should also watch for those updates that require manual cues. Do this by checking the boxes labeled “Update Themes” or “Update Plug-ins,” but be sure to back up your site first and test everything immediately after the update to verify it’s working correctly.

Q I’m want to get the new iPhone 7, but I’m worried about losing everything stored on my old phone. Any advice?

A Have no fear — if you plan on grabbing the new iPhone, your apps, photos, videos, contacts, music, games, health and fitness data and everything else will be safe and sound because, happily, Apple has put in place a couple of ways to easily and safely migrate all your info from an old phone to a new one.

The tried-and-true method is to connect your existing phone to your PC or Mac and launch iTunes. Then click the name of your phone on the left-hand side and under “Summary” select the “Backup Now” feature. Everything will download to your computer, and it only takes a few minutes. However, for certain data saved on your old phone, such as health and wellness activity, you also need to select “Encrypt iPhone Backup.” Then, when you’ve gotten your new iPhone, swipe to the right on the “Hello” screen and follow the directions to the “Apps Data” screen. They simply tap “Restore” from your iTunes backup, connect the new phone to your computer, select the new device and then “Restore Backup.”

The other method uses iCloud, but be sure you have a solid WiFi connection and a full battery. With your old phone connected to the internet, tap on the “Settings” icon, then “iCloud,” then “Backup.” Then tap “Backup Now” and wait until the process finishes. On your new phone you’ll again see the “Hello” screen. Join your WiFe network and follow the setup steps until you get to “Apps Data,” then select “Restore” from iCloud backup, sign into iCloud with your Apple ID and you’re off and running. It may take a while to restore your backup using this method, but be patient and keep an eye on the progress bar.

Terry and Clarence Low are co-founders of Byte Technology, a web design firm serving nonprofits. Their personal technology column appears on alternating Saturdays. Read more news on their blog at www.byte-technology.com/blog. Send questions to tlow@byte-technology.com, or write to Bits ‘N’ Bytes, 400 Camino El Estero, Monterey 93940. Reach the author at tlow@byte-technology.com.

Article source: http://www.montereyherald.com/opinion/20160916/terry-and-clarence-low-bits-n-bytes-wordpress-updating-critical-for-security-performance

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