This week a client presented me with an object lesson in why it is important to keep your WordPress website updated.
Her site was built over three years ago. Up until last week it had a single post in her blog page announcing the new website, never a good sign. Since being built it has only been updated 2-3 times, and the last time well over six months ago. She has been resistant to monthly service but can never remember how to even log in for herself.
After she referred a new client to me I offered to give her a complimentary half hour to update the site and hide the neglected blog page. I was greeted by a website that was on the verge of self-destructing.
Research revealed that her theme is no longer being maintained by the designers and, between that and a few other potentially obsolete plugins, the whole website is on the way to being incompatible with the current version of WordPress. This created a perfect storm where I was unable to even access the Admin panel. I was able to save it by doing some surgery on it at the server level, but this will be a temporary fix. She is looking at some major work that could have been avoided or, at the very least, have been scheduled at a more convenient time. WordPress is constantly changing, requiring themes and plugins to keep in step. Regular maintenance by you or someone else is your best insurance!