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Why Keeping Your WordPress Theme Up-to-Date is Important-Date

Is your WordPress theme up-to-date?  Do you even know?  If your website is built on the popular blogging platform WordPress, you’re familiar with WordPress and plugin updates, but have you ever thought about your theme updates?

I was talking with one of my blogging friends who I help from time to time with WordPress questions.  She wanted to change the fonts of her headings.  Her theme documentation said Google fonts were available, but she couldn’t find that feature in her dashboard or theme options.

I logged into her site and after poking around at a couple of things, I found the issue.  She hadn’t updated her theme since she purchased it in 2013…not once.  So all of the new features the theme had, she didn’t have because she’d never updated it.  She was missing out on a lot of good stuff!

I told her she not only needed to be on the lookout for WordPress and plugin updates, but also theme updates.   When there is a WordPress update, a lot of times you’ll see updates for your plugins.  Make sure to check your theme too!   When I looked at the changelog of her theme, her theme had been updated 10 times since her website was built.  I asked her had she received any notifications of updates and she said no.  

Guess what?  Turns out she wasn’t getting the notifications because she didn’t own her own theme license!

Oftentimes, when someone has their blog designed and created for them, the Designer says the theme is included in the price.  That sounds great doesn’t it?  Well, it’s not.  Once the Designer purchases a theme license, the rights to use that theme on as many websites as needed is purchased.  That means your Designer gets the updates; you don’t.  Your Designer owns the license to the theme, not you.

So, How Was She Going to Update Her Website?

Luckily, her theme was still available so she made the purchase and setup notifications so when there was an update, she’d be in the know!

How do You Know If You Have The Most Up-to-Date Theme Version?

Here’s how to make sure you keep an updated WordPress theme.  There are various places you can find what theme version you’re currently using.  This can be found in your theme settings or by going to appearance -> themes (some themes show the version on the thumbnail image of the theme or below the theme thumbnail).

  1. If your theme developer offers notifications within your dashboard, sign up for them!
  2. If your theme developer offers email notifications when there is an updated version of your theme, sign up for them!
  3. Go to the website where you purchased your theme to check if there is an update.
  4. Check the theme settings in your dashboard (where the version information resides will depend on your theme).

Don’t Leave Your Blog Vulnerable

As a blogger, you don’t want to leave your blog vulnerable!  It’s imperative you have the latest version of WordPress, your theme, and any plugins you’re using; not doing so leaves your website vulnerable to security issues.  While the tech gods may have blessed you even though you haven’t updated your theme, why leave it to chance?  It’s too important to play around with!

So I ask you, when’s the last time you updated your theme?

See ya later!

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20 Comments… add one
  • Web Design Chorley 10/18/2014, 7:13 AM

    Hey Lynn, thanks for the post… I’ve got a cool tip for your readers too!

    When you’re updating your plugins and Wordpress core, the site displays a boring white screen saying ‘Under Maintenance’. Now this can display for seconds or a number of minutes depending on how your server is set. This doesn’t look great to any site visitors.

    All you need to do is to create a maintenance.php file and add this into your /wp-content/ folder. You can simply add whatever PHP and HTML you like in here πŸ™‚

    Just remember that Wordpress isn’t loaded at this time so don’t add any Wordpress PHP… and hey presto… a cool little fix for all your glamorous readers!

  • I’ve been debating about switching from Blogger to Wordpress for a while now. This is super helpful content in case I do make the switch. I didn’t know you needed to update your theme on WordPress but it makes total sense!

    • Lynn 06/01/2017, 4:29 PM

      Glad you found this post helpful Stephanie! If you have any questions about switching, let me know!

  • Kathy Brown 06/01/2017, 12:20 PM

    Excellent reminder. I honestly don’t remember the last time I updated my thene. I know what I need to do when I get home. Thank you

    • Lynn 06/01/2017, 4:28 PM

      Kathy, make sure to backup before you do any updates, just in case.

  • Candace 06/01/2017, 12:37 PM

    I honestly never even thought about updating my theme. I’ve thought about changing it out completely, but never for updates as I do with normal plugins. Thanks for the tips!

    • Lynn 06/01/2017, 4:08 PM

      My pleasure Candace. Yes, updating your theme is important.

  • Louann Kristy 06/01/2017, 1:01 PM

    Such good information for those who use Wordpress. I actually never thought that you would have to update your theme. Interesting. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • Lynn 06/01/2017, 4:07 PM

      Thanks for commenting, Louann. Yes and unfortunately, it isn’t updated.

  • Shannon Morscheck 06/01/2017, 5:37 PM

    Well shoot, I need to update! I NEVER DO! EEK!

    • Lynn 06/02/2017, 11:59 AM

      Make sure do backup your site before you update, Shannon.

  • Rachel 06/01/2017, 10:22 PM

    Yes! I’m always trying to remember to keep an eye out for the updates that need to be done!

    • Lynn 06/02/2017, 11:59 AM

      Yes, thank goodness for dashboard and email notifications! πŸ™‚

  • Sharon 06/02/2017, 5:20 AM

    Totally agree with this! Updates to the site are so so so important. Thanks for spreading the word!

    • Lynn 06/02/2017, 11:58 AM

      Yes, they are Sharon!

  • McKenna Trahan 06/02/2017, 11:14 AM

    You totally prompted me to check my theme! Thanks for the reminder! πŸ™‚

    • Lynn 06/02/2017, 11:57 AM

      You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife 06/02/2017, 10:27 PM

    Great reminder and tips! I always update whenever the latest version comes out, of WP, my theme, and all plugins.

  • Dia All The Things I Do 06/04/2017, 11:50 AM

    Such great points. I work at a digital marketing company and my boss is always on our dev team about making sure the websites say updated.

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