One of the services offered as part of our WordPress development is an ongoing maintenance feature – security updates, plugin update and more.
But why does any of it matter?
WordPress is Extremely Popular
WordPress is much like Microsoft, it’s very popular and very secure. However, it is a hot target for hackers. With nearly 20% of the internet running on WordPress, hackers are always read to try to get into your site. Fortunately, over a thousand developers also back WordPress, so any holes that are discovered within the security of the site are fixed almost instantly.
The issue is that you must often update your software in order to take advantage of each fix. Many sites don’t really bother with them. In fact, when a WordPress site is hacked, it is usually due to some outdated software.
Here is a breakdown, which shows the reason, why most sites are hacked:
-83% are WordPress blogs that have not been updated recently
-14% are web hosts that did not properly upgrade (such as GoDaddy)
-3% of hacks are for a completely unrelated reason
Updates Are a Click Away, but Be Careful!
Keeping your WordPress updated has never been easier; however, you should still proceed with some caution. It only takes one click to update your site, yet if something goes wrong, you may end up in a little bit of trouble. It is becoming rare for an upgrade to cause issues, but when it does happen, it can be a great pain. A quick backup will help keep you protected in case anything goes wrong, an important step that many will not take the time to complete. There is a great chart on WPBeginner, which shows a typical WordPress update process, which is almost the same as how we do it. You can view the chart here.
Outdated plugins are sometimes an even bigger issue. Keeping the core WordPress updated is often more important, yet those types of updates only come out every once a month or so. In addition, they’re widely publicized so they aren’t missed. Plugins are constantly being updated so it can be difficult to determine when an update is a crucial security fix, or if it’s just a set of new features being added. We tend to spend a great deal of time researching plugins in order to make sure everything is as good as it can be, yet as a general rule we simply keep all of our plugins updated, as often as possible.
Things Can Break
While updates can cause items on your site to break, a lack of updates can be equally damaging. In the past few weeks, we’ve worked with other companies who had a variety of awkward things happening to their sites. In both cases, updating WordPress and every plug-in to the latest version (after creating a full backup first, of course) made every problem vanish!
Get It Done!
No matter what, it’s very important that you stay on top of your updates. For many of our clients, we will take care of all of the following items for a low, monthly fee:
– We keep your site updated with the latest versions of WordPress, up to date within one business day of a new release.
– We will be keeping all your plugins updated, daily.
– We connect your site with Google Webmaster Tools, so that we are alerted to other issues that may arise. Additionally, we like to use this service to keep a fresh copy of Sitemap in Google’s hand, so that they are aware of every page that is published on the site, (which can easily help with your search engine optimization). If you would like us to keep track of these updates for you, simply let us know and we’ll be more than happy to help. If you’d prefer to do them on your own, there are many great tutorials online to help you make it easy. You can use tools like the WP MayDay to back up your site, and we have multiple WordPress tutorials that you can take advantage of as well.
One way or another, make sure your updates are being taken care of.
WordPress is a great tool. If you keep your updates timely and create engaging content, your site will reach more people every month.