Staying current with WordPress and its associated parts is one of the simplest, yet most effective methods, to enhance the management and safety of your WordPress sites. From updating to the newest version of WordPress to downloading recent versions of plugins and themes, regular updates can help you increase productivity as well as security. More importantly, you create an even better experience for those visiting your website.
Let’s take a quick look at what WordPress is, followed by its release cycle and how the development team gets new versions ready for use.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is undoubtedly the simplest and most popular way to create a website or blog. In fact, it’s estimated that over 43.3% of all websites on the web are powered by WordPress. Between its different themes, its huge collection of design patterns, features, and layouts with the intuitive built-in block editor, WordPress is perfect for websites of all sizes.
More specifically, WordPress is an open-source content management system that has been given the GPLv2 license. This allows anyone to use and modify it without cost. In simpler terms, this CMS is a tool that makes it easy to manage aspects of your website – such as its content – without requiring knowledge of programming.
What is WordPress Core?
WordPress core refers to the base files that make up the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). This source code provides all the fundamental features of WordPress, and you obtain this from either WordPress.org or your hosting provider. Modifying this core isn’t necessary, as you can use Plugins and Themes to customize your website to meet your needs.
Pro Tip: We recommend NOT modifying the core files. You don’t want to break something.
WordPress Release Cycle
Research and development allow WordPress to continuously improve its software and capabilities. As technology evolves, so must every other aspect of the digital world. In general, this is why new versions of software are created and released. Some of the things you can expect from WordPress updates include:
- UI/UX Improvements
- New Features
- Increased Security Measures
- Bug Fixes
In order for the WordPress development team to test new versions of WordPress and get ready for a full launch, they use a release cycle. This release cycle allows the development team to create a plan of action and even allows beta users to test and find bugs.
Release Cycle in Action
The WordPress release cycle works in phases. Oftentimes, the development team will run through certain phases multiple times to ensure proper data collection, analysis, and fixes for issues that arise. The release cycle pattern is as follows:
- Phase 1: Planning and securing team leads. A discussion about what features and updates WordPress may benefit from is the first step in preparing a new version of WordPress. This conversation is usually led by a release lead who then assigns focus leads to each feature.
- Phase 2: Development work begins. Once the decision has been made on what to include in the update, development of those features begins. Teams work on their assigned features and chats are regularly held to make sure progress is being made as it should.
- Phase 3: Beta. WordPress then does a pre-release of the software that a large group of users trial under real conditions. Beta users are requested to report any bugs or issues so the development team can focus on patching those bugs.
- Phase 4: Release Candidate. This refers to the final testing stage and begins once the development team is confident that the update is near completion. Basically, the release candidate acts as a final review before the release.
- Phase 5: Launch. The new version is launched and becomes available to all users.
Since Cyberlicious® has its own website, as well as offers website design and development and cloud hosting services for clients, we find it extremely important to follow WordPress updates. Additionally, we test new versions in our own personal staging environment before launching on our clients’ websites. Here, we make sure that the new version:
- Is compatible with current plugins and themes.
- Has no major bugs or issues. For example:
- It does not break our current website in any way.
- Images and blocks/layouts still load and work appropriately,
Once we are confident that the new version of WordPress will not cause any issues, we then switch our website over to it. Last, we roll out the new and improved version to our hosted clients.
Are you Ready to Level Up Your WordPress Site?
Contact us today and we can help get your WordPress website up to speed with zero downtime!