Since WordPress release 5.5 three important areas were addressed: Speed, Search and Security.
Speed. is said to be addressed through improving loading times of pages and posts thanks to lazy-loaded images.
Search. results are improved by WordPress 5.5. now including an XML sitemap by default so that search engines discover your key pages right from the start.
Security. plugins and themes can now be set to auto-update. While I think that’s really useful, convenient and I am all for automation in principle – it doesn’t take an important aspect into account: System Security.
Any software update of either the WordPress core system, a plugin or theme can go wrong and corrupt an entire website. If left to auto update nobody will be present to oversee the process and catch the site crash. Worst of all: you don’t have a backup from the time right before the crash.
It happens rarely and I ask myself “Can I afford for it to happen even once …?” The answer is NO! Updating without prior backup and monitoring the process is a no go for me.
My recommendation is to do updates manually yourself or better yet let a professional take care of it. I keep your websites updated and monitor its security defences 24/7. Contact me for a quote.
Speaking of backups, a cloud backup solution is ideal and most hosting providers offer a backup solution with their hosting packages. Pay attention to whether storage of backups is in- our outside of your rented storage. Depending on how large your website is and how many backups are stored, you may quickly get to the limits of your hosting plan.
Your WordPress core most likely updates automatically and there isn’t a button to turn it off as there is for plugins for example. WordPress updates are among the most critical and can cause havock withz some themes and may crash your site. I recommend disabling the WordPress core updates so that you can take control and backup your site before the update. Read my article on ‘How to Disable WordPress Core Auto Updates‘.
Some experience based backup solution recommendations: Updraft Plus by UpdraftPlus.Com, DavidAnderson though I wasn’t able to choose my Google Drive destination folder in the free version nor set the time of the backup.
Another great simple yet powerful tool is All-in-One WP Migration by ServMask. You can easily compress your entire website into a single file including its database. Essential when creating WordPress websites locally and then needing to transfer them to an online location. Here is an awesome guide How to Move WordPress from Localhost to Live Server: Beginners Guide – TemplateToaster Blog.