A Wordpress Security Cautionary Tale: Update Your Website

Work doesn’t stop once you’ve bought a house. You have to clean it, change the bulbs and such to keep it in good condition, otherwise, it breaks down and becomes inhabitable.

The same is true when you build a website. The work doesn’t stop once it’s live; you have to maintain it on a regular basis to keep it secure. 

What happens if I don’t update my WordPress software? 

Some website owners ignore notifications from WordPress about a new version to update their site. They think that just because their site is working as it should and nothing looks broken, they don’t have to update it.

WordPress sends these out, including updates for plugins and themes, for a reason. If you don’t, you are bound to run into trouble eventually...

Your site can be infected with malware. 

There are several ways your website can be infected with malware.

  • Un-supported and free templates and plugins from unreliable sources cann have a backdoor or malicious code inserted into it. It is important to only use plugins and themes from reliable developers who are actively supporting them.
  • If you don’t update your theme and plugins regularly,  hackers can use vulnerabilities in the code and scripts to crawl into your site’s database, control panel, or files and add/remove administrators, steal data and infect your site with a virus. This can lead to your site being blacklisted from Google search or ads.
  • We have said this time and again: regularly change your passwords. Malicious bots will keep on trying to get into your site in whatever way possible. They will use different password combinations to get into your site. You are vulnerable to brute-force attacks if your password is weak.

You will miss out on new features and tools. 

Updates allow you access to new features and tools that can help improve user experience and your site’s efficiency.

Outdated plugins can have conflicts with other plugins or WordPress software. 

Sometimes, if a plugin or theme is left out-dated, it can cause compatibility issues and conflicts with the other software of the website, leading to unexpected errors or the website crashing entirely.

Bugs will be hard, if not impossible, to eliminate.

Coding flaws that can cause your site to crash or have unexpected problems will be hard to fix if you don’t update your site to the latest version. Bugs can also cause slow speeds, redirected pages and other performance issues which in turn results in high bounce rates and negatively impacts SEO rankings.

Choose your hosting carefully.

If you are on shared cPanel hosting and one of the sites is not updated, the damage can spread quickly from one site to the rest of the sites on the same server.

This is why we recommend cloud hosting instead. The software is a bit more isolated so it’s harder for infections to spread from one website to another. It is also newer technology and is a faster platform compared to cPanel hosting.

To prevent security issues and other problems, one action you can take right now is to have experts go over your site and get them to update your website’s software. Make sure this is done regularly so your site stays secure all the time.

If you need help maintaining the security of your website, cleaning up a malware infection or just to audit your websites current security, head over to https://tunedwp.com/performance/ or email [email protected] and we’ll keep your website secure.