How individual WordPress versions work
In general, there are 2 types of WordPress updates, both of which are very important. Whether to increase the safety of your website by fixing bugs and eliminating security holes, or to release new features.
In regards of WordPress versions, we talk about so-called:
- Major updates
Major updates add new features to WordPress core and improve existing ones. Updating WordPress version to a higher major version was, for example, change from WP 4.9.9 to WordPress 5.0.
All, at the time, new features in WordPress 4.9.9 where replaced by completely new features of WordPress 5.0 (Classic editor was replaced by WordPress block editor).
For major updates, it is necessary to run the update manually in the wp admin.
- Minor updates
Minor updates usually react to potential security issues. Since developers are aware of their importance for smooth functioning of websites, minor updates are run automatically. Thanks to auto-updates, you won’t miss any latest version of WordPress and your site will be 100% secure. Just don’t forget to update WordPress theme you’re using, too.
Why to regularly update WordPress versions
As we have indicated, having the latest version of WordPress is primarily important for security, bug fixes, and for getting new features. Besides that, updates are crucial to ensure WordPress (and WP themes) are compatible with other 3rd party plugins.
Thanks to the Site Health check tool, you’ll learn all technical details about your site and you can do your WordPress version check in a second. So you will know exactly whether you need to update your system or you have WordPress newest version already.
Read more about why is it important to run updates as soon as possible after their release in the article How to update WordPress Theme the easiest way.