What is most likely going to happen as you continue your website-making career is that you are going to buy a domain, set up the site, then completely forget about it/ not update it. This used to be the kiss of death because old themes and plugins would almost guarantee the site would crash eventually, and if you didn’t have monitoring on it, you’d eventually find out about it and wonder how long the thing had been down (a super frustrating feeling when what you’re trying to do is BUILD).
Theoretically you could also pay a VA to go through and update all of your plugins and themes every single month, but that’s going to get needlessly expensive and besides, do you really trust your VA with all of that info?
For this reason, I would recommend going into the “Plugins” screen as soon as you have your website set up the way you want it and clicking “enable auto updates” on every plugin. That way, the plugins will update themselves and you won’t have to think about them or worry about them aging and causing a conflict (which might crash the site). Remember, time is money, and the more time you have to spend going back through, finding (or changing) the login info for that site, figuring out whatever problem caused it to crash, fixing that, and cleaning up the mess that the crash/ downtime caused, the more opportunity you have to grow your business.
I would also go through and delete any theme you know you’re never going to use, then click into each theme you have left and put THOSE on auto-update as well.
Is there a chance that allowing the themes and plugins to update themselves will eventually cause a conflict that will crash your site?
Of course. But, I would argue that since most of us have 25 or more sites we are making at one time, you’re probably more likely to forget to update them and risk code rot (and a crash) from that direction.
WordPress is an ever-evolving animal, and if you (or someone on your team) is not going to stay on top of it, a better idea is to take the “auto-enable” risk and just let it stay current.
Case in point: I had a “finished” website from a few years ago that I happened to want to migrate to another hosting plan. When I finally got to the CPanel, I realized that it was still running WordPress 4.2.2. YIKES! I’m surprised that hosting company didn’t just shut down that account for having such old, vulnerable code on it.
Anyhow, that’s my thought of the day. Take it or leave it!