Last week, for the first time, a client’s website got hacked. That picture on the right? That’s me, climbing the roof! Freaking out. AHHHH!!!
It wasn’t a huge “North Korea takes down Sony” kind of hack. Just an annoying little link advertising cheap pharmaceuticals (in French, no less), which suddenly appeared in the site header. Fortunately, I had backups, as I do for all my client sites, and the situation was easily dealt with. But a hack is a hack, and furthermore, since the site was fixed just last week, there have been over 250 unauthorized attempts to access the site’s dashboard. YIKES!
This has been a shocking wake-up call for me. For several months now I have intended to blog about the importance of keeping WordPress updated, with links to instructions on how to do so. Part and parcel of that plan is my intent to offer affordable maintenance programs for my clients, in which I manage this simple but tedious process for you.
So, 2015, here goes New Year’s Resolution #1…
It Is VERY IMPORTANT To Keep Your WordPress Site Updated. Why?
Reason #1: Security
WordPress is a great website development platform, and I love using it. But its success is its downfall, too. WordPress is a huge target for hackers and other malicious online types – being able to hack WordPress means instant access to millions of websites. The WordPress security team works continually and tirelessly to identify and fix security risks and holes. These fixes are released as WordPress updates. A downside to these releases is that it alerts the hacker community to new opportunities for exposure to those that don’t bother to keep their WordPress updated.
If you don’t update your WordPress, you’re leaving known security risks in place, which means that sooner or later your site will probably be hacked. This could have serious impact on your business, resulting in site downtime or embarrassing content being placed on your site, as well as costing you time, effort and money to fix. You may also miss out on potential business, while your site is down or compromised.
Reason #2: Performance
WordPress puts a lot of time and effort into making WordPress faster and more efficient. Keeping your WordPress updated means that your site is performing as well as it can. “Page load times have a direct impact on bounce rates”. HUH??? What that means is that if your website takes too long to load, people will move on. People are very impatient, and mice are so very easy to click… so don’t give them that excuse. Keeping your WordPress current will help your site load as quickly as it can.
Reasons #3 and so on:
Taking advantage of new product features, making website upgrades easier in the future, etc. are also excellent reasons to keep your WordPress updated. But really, Reason #1: Security is the one I want you to focus on.
Upgrading Your WordPress Site
So how do you upgrade your WordPress site? For most of you, it is really not that hard. Here’s somebody’s simple YouTube video below that shows you how. (I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel. Plus, I love this guy’s enthusiasm!).:
Before you get started, please remember these things:
- Back Up First. Your site will have a backup utility installed, I put them on all my sites.
- Upgrade your plugins, too, in addition to your WordPress.
- Don’t upgrade your Theme without checking with me, first. There may be site edits that will be lost if you do so. It’s unlikely, but I still want to check.
Or, Just Get On A Plan with Rainmaker
Would you rather not bother with this? No problem. I’m happy to bear the burden for you. Take a look at my WordPress maintenance plans here. There are a number of options ranging from $49-$599/month, and it’s cheaper if you pay annually. Say the word and I’ll get you signed up. New clients welcome!