WordPress has recently updated to Version 3.7.1 which is meant to deploy stronger passwords, fixes security risks, and it was an overall improvement on the security of the platform. However users are rejecting to download the update, and they may have good reason. Users who don’t update right away tend to use older plugins that still have a great impact on their website/blog, and they fear that they might be outdated and will no longer work. However most of the plugins should work on the update because there is nothing vital to the plugins that was altered.
3.7.1 says that they changed the following items.
- Images with captions no longer appear broken in the visual editor.
- Allow some sites running on old or poorly configured servers to continue to check for updates from WordPress.org.
- Avoid fatal errors with certain plugins that were incorrectly calling some WordPress functions too early.
- Fix hierarchical sorting in get_pages(), exclusions in wp_list_categories(), and in_category() when called with empty values.
- Fix a warning that may occur in certain setups while performing a search, and a few other notices.
Now none of these items are generally essential to your plugins, and they should not cause any issues with plugins but keep in mind that would be from a recent version such as 3.7 to 3.7.1 what about those that are using version 3.5 of WordPress. This is where the issue lies with WordPress, we have a community where we are dependent on plugins, and we all fear losing that functionality. Now is the fear a waste and if not why might it be good for the sites to stay behind.
Now from a security point of view you should always keep your site updated with the most recent version. Not only is it safer for you, but it is safer for your visitors, and those are the ones that you have to really care for. Now WordPress has come a long way from some small blogging platform to a full CMS and is now the most commonly used CMS in the world. So we have to look at are those old plugins really necessary when the platform might have evolved so much. Whether you choose to update or boils down to what is more important fixing some code issues or your visitors who are the reason your site is as popular as it is.