Can’t I update the site software myself by clicking the various “update” buttons when I see them?

Yes, But It Could Be Risky

While it would be straightforward to just hit the big “update” button or set up automatic updates, there is a risk that an updated version of the software can cause issues. Similar to how outdated software can cause security issues, new updates can cause instability. There is a careful balance of making sure that you have the newest version of software, but that the software is stable on your site.

Mitigating Risk

While it is important to ensure that your site and its software are up to date it is also important that the newest version of a program does not cause severe problems that lead to broken websites. One of the easiest ways to prevent yourself from being caught with your website down is to make a backup copy of the site before updating, the backup is a copy of your site and all related software at the current version, after updating you can check for issues on your site. Should there be a severe break you can use the backup as a way to restore your site to its previous version.

Identifying The Problem

If you have software consisting of multiple programs, it is important to identify which is causing issues after an update. One of the simplest ways to do this is updating software one at a time. For example, if you have seven plugins on your site, you can update each one, one at a time check for issues between each update.