Another day, another website update

Website updates and maintenance often seem like a never ending task that would be a lot easier to just sweep under the rug. This is especially true when a small team actively maintains 50+ websites, all of which use different systems with different add-ons and different updates!

The past two weeks alone have seen a security update to WordPress core, multiple security updates for Drupal modules, and a bug fix and performance improvement release for Umbraco.

Maintaining websites is something I’ve been continually involved with since starting at Home many years ago, but this has become somewhat of a bigger task as time has gone on, due to the ever-increasing number of websites that we manage.

Admittedly, it’s something that I always saw as a bit of a chore, something that I wanted to get over and done with as quickly as possible so that I could get back on with the “proper” work.

It wasn’t until more recent years that I saw these cumbersome updates in a new light. Far from a chore, they are actually bug fixes and security updates provided by other people which improve and secure your website, with minimal input from you. The amount of time I’ve spent over the years making sure our websites are well maintained is significantly shorter than the amount of time I’ve spent trying to fix the few sites which weren’t well maintained. And ultimately, that means I’ve got more time to spend on the “proper” work.

Of course, there are ways of reducing the amount of time needed make updates on websites too. The automatic update options that are built into WordPress are one such example. By default, WordPress will automatically do minor updates to core and translation files which although mainly consist of security updates, can be configured to do major updates to core too, along with all updates to plugins and themes. However, be careful if you decide to do this on your own website, as sometimes one bug fix can cause another more noticeable one that you weren’t expecting!

Using centralised systems to view and manage updates can also reduce the amount of time needed on updates to WordPress. InfiniteWP and ManageWP are two examples of systems which allow you to connect to multiple sites to manage from a single location. From there, you can update individual websites, or update a single plugin across multiple websites at once, or for the hardened updater, update core, plugins, and themes across all your connected websites in a single click.

I’m a self-confessed completionist (it still annoys me 15 years later that I only got to 99% on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, because I could only get 44 out of 45 on the Rifle Range…), and I look forward to doing updates to clear the list and “complete the game”.

If you want to know more about managing your website updates, tweet us @homeagencyuk or give us a call on 0844 576 8976.