Keeping Your WordPress Website Safe & Secure

Can you afford to loose your website or have it blacklisted by Google?

All software contains bugs and vulnerabilities. WordPress is no exception. In fact, because of its popularity, many hackers and cyber-criminals specifically target WordPress and take great pleasure in exploiting security vulnerabilities. They create ‘robots’, special computer programs that look for these vulnerabilities and if found, will quickly exploit them. This can result in your WordPress website being hacked, used as a phishing site, injected with viruses and/or Trojans, diverting traffic to illicit sites, hijacking payments, stealing credit card details or even promoting such horrors as illegal pornography, all from your business website!

There is good news though. As the most widely used platform for building business websites, WordPress has a huge developer community, so immediately a vulnerability is discovered in the core WordPress code, a fix is released within hours in the form of an update. Similarly, when discovered that a plugin or theme contains a vulnerability, the developer will usually release an updated version very quickly with a fix.

But updates and fixes don’t install themselves!

What are you doing to keep your website healthy?

WordPress actually makes it relatively easy to update both WordPress itself as well as add-ons such as plugins and themes. It notifies you via the Admin Dashboard when updates are available. It is therefore strongly recommended that you log into your website dashboard regularly, at least once a month, but preferably weekly, to perform any updates that are available. Before applying updates there are a few other factors that should be considered:

Backups

Before carrying out any updates, it is vital that you take a backup of the site, both the files & database! While most updates usually proceed without incident, occasionally upgrading does cause problems. It is therefore vitally important that a current backup is available to allow the site to be restored.

Compatibility

Fixes for bugs or security flaws should be applied immediately. However, it is NOT always a good idea to apply major functionality upgrades as soon as they become available. New functionality often means new bugs and vulnerabilities, so it is best to wait for the first maintenance release after a major upgrade.

To keep your website performing at its very best there are some other maintenance tasks that should be carried out regularly:

  • Optimisation of the database
  • Removal of Spam comments
  • Removal of old post revisions

Doing these things regularly will keep the database performing faster, thereby improving the speed and performance of your WordPress website.

Regular maintenance is absolutely essential to keep your website running smoothly!

If all of this sounds like too much hard work, or you’d rather it just be taken care of by experienced professionals, check out our WordPress Website Maintenance Plans. For a set monthly fee you can relax in the knowledge that your website is being maintained, and in the unlikely case that your website does have a serious issue, it will be promptly restored from a recent backup.