Have you updated your WordPress website lately? If not, you are putting your site at risk for hackers. In fact, 80% of websites that get hacked are not updated on a regular basis. To protect your WordPress website, it just makes sense to update it each and every time you are notified. Updating is fast, simple, and protects all the hard work you have done, not to mention sensitive information, like customer credit card numbers.

Even if you are using other security measures to keep your website safe, and you should be, you still need to update your WordPress Website. Generally speaking, security for your site doesn’t mean you do just one thing and walk away. In fact, security is made up of many components and updating your site is just one of them. While there is no absolute guarantee of 100% security for any site, the more secure you make it, the less likely it will be breached. Hackers will opt to go for a site that is easier to get into and doesn’t contain as many security walls. One of the most important walls you need to put up is managing your WordPress site. To do this, don’t ignore update notifications. These updates are done for a reason and in the end, they make your site less vulnerable to hackers, which should be one of your top priorities when running a WordPress website.

Protect yourself, your reputation, your business, and your customers by paying close attention to your website and taking care of any required updates without delay. Read on to learn more about updating your WordPress website.

Add-ons, Plugins, and Themes for WordPress

When you build a site on WordPress, you can install nifty plugins and add features that make your website engaging, interactive, and just what you need to successfully run your business, blog, or charity. Overall, WordPress is a safe platform on which to run your website. In fact, it is the world’s biggest content management system with over 60 million sites, and it just keeps growing. The team at WordPress work hard to keep their platform secure. However, research has shown that most sites that get hacked do so because of the vulnerabilities of themes, plugins, and add-ons. Trying out new plugins and other features is so much fun when building and updating your website. However, you must pay attention to all updates for plugins and themes or you will be leaving your site vulnerable to hackers from all over the world.

Overall, WordPress is a community with many members who volunteer their time to make WordPress as safe as possible. In fact, you should check out their Bug Bounty Program where rewards are offered to anyone who finds a flaw in BuddyPress, bbPress, or WordPress. This kind of collaboration is one reason WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world.

“But My Website is too Small and Insignificant to be at Risk!”

The size of a website isn’t what catches the attention of a hacker; it’s the ease with which he can get inside. Most big sites have loads of security that hackers won’t even bother trying to get around. But smaller, less managed websites are easy targets because they oftentimes don’t have the same level of security as the bigger sites. Hackers scan millions of sites at a time, regardless of size, to look for any vulnerable plugins or outdated themes. According to reports, 43% of cyber attacks occur within small business websites. In addition, 60% of these attacks result in the business closing down within six months. This calls for vigilance – you must manage your WordPress website in order to NOT be a part of these negative statistics. Also, it’s always best to get rid of any plugins that the developer neglects. They are just easy ways for a hacker to take over your website and ruin your business.

Issues that May Occur When Updating Your WordPress Website

There are some negative issues that can occur when you update your site. These include:

1. A broken website:

While all you have to do to update a theme or plug in point and click, don’t be so fast to do it.

When you built your website, you built it around a plugin or theme that was available at that time. However, the new version may not be the same as the original you used. Developers do their best to make the new themes and plugins compatible with the old ones, but there is no guarantee your website will look and function the same after updating it. What can happen is that your site totally crashes, doesn’t look anything like what it used to look like, or some functions work while others do not.

2. Updates are Getting Expensive:

When you want better service and better products, you have to pay for them. The same goes for your WordPress website. When shopping for a theme or plugin, give it a free trial first to make sure it’s the right fit. If you upgrade to premium to purchase the product, there is a chance there will be no communication that says you need to pay a yearly fee for the license to use the theme or plugin. It’s better to find a product that tells you exactly what you’ll have to pay, when, and why. When it comes time to renew a license that you didn’t even know you had to renew, you will lose all your updates.  In the past, most premium WordPress themes came with lifetime updates, however, the trend is now toward a subscription model.

3. You Might NEVER Get an Update Notification:

By this point, you understand how important it is to update your WordPress website and how easy it is. WordPress checks for updates, notifies the developers and you, and then you take action. It’s best to visit your site daily to check for any updates. On the other hand, there are some premium plugins that never notify you of an update. They are simply lacking this functionality in their product and service. To find out if the developer has made any updates, you’ll have to do research for yourself by staying abreast of the developer’s blog or other sources. This can make the process harder, but it still needs to be done.

4. Sometimes Developers Abandon their Product:

Creating a theme or plugin is fun, but maintaining it can be a challenge for the developer, especially when it comes to their budget. If they don’t have the budget to maintain their product or simply lose interest in it, they may choose to walk away. When this happens, the product will not be updated to fix any vulnerabilities, thus leaving your WordPress website at risk. When this happens, you probably want to get rid of the plug-in or theme and choose a different one to replace it. Otherwise, an outdated plugin or theme will leave holes for hackers to easily crawl through and breach your sensitive data.

Getting Started with WordPress

When you’re building your WordPress website you have the choice of using free or paid themes and plugins. There are also different subscription plans to fit your individual website needs. If you start off with a free theme, that’s great. This gives you a chance to get to know WordPress and play around with creating a website without making a commitment. However, even if you go free for a while, it is still imperative that you update your site when notified to do so. You may think you don’t have anything important for a hacker to gain because your site is brand new or just a blog about growing flowers, but imagine that hacker becoming the master of you site, becoming you, stealing both your identity, your business, your creative expression. It’s just not worth it. So, make it a habit to check your WordPress website on a daily basis. If this sounds like too much, try for every other day or at least once a week. The more you pay attention to the update notifications and take action, the easier this will become a habit and ensure the safety and security of your WordPress website. Managing your site is more than just creating amazing content or selling amazing products, it’s also about security. Happy creating – and staying safe!

Professional WordPress Website Management & Hosting

If you do not have someone regularly managing your website, Search Control offers monthly WordPress website management and hosting for only $99 per month! Our Managed WordPress plan includes weekly website & database backups, as well as monthly updates to plugins, core files and theme files to ensure your site’s security, functionality and longevity. If you are interested in having Search Control regularly manage your WordPress website so you can focus on more important things like running your business, contact us and we’ll get you setup on our monthly website management plan so you can rest easy knowing your website is being managed and maintained properly.

Call Our Office to Discuss Your Website at (480) 378-0246