Just because your WordPress site is up and running doesn’t mean the work is done.
In fact, if you want to ensure your site is as functional, efficient and powerful for many years to come, you need to be performing regular maintenance to your WordPress platform.
Most importantly, you need to keep your software up-to-date. That means downloading and installing the latest versions of WordPress when they’re released, and updating any plug-ins your site uses.
Keeping these areas up-to-date ensures you get:
- The latest and greatest features, including improvements to your site’s performance, functionality and user experience
- Bug fixes, if errors or vulnerabilities have been found
- Compatibility with future software and infrastructure updates
- Protection from security issues
The latter is, by far, the most important one, and the WordPress security team continually working to identify and fix security risks and holes in its system. These fixes are released as WordPress updates, and if you don’t download the update and install it on your site when it’s made public, you – and your customer’s data – could be at risk.
Sadly, most people put updating their WordPress on the back burner. It’s sort of like backing up your computer… you only realize you need it after it’s too late!
Though many years can pass by with no issues or security problems, that doesn’t mean you can push those updates to the back of your mind. The ugly truth is that one day … maybe not today, maybe not next week, but one day – something will happen, and you’ll be wishing you had installed that update.
What an Out-of-date WordPress Site Can Mean for You
To help you understand the severity of the situation, here are just a few issues I’ve seen clients deal with, all because they forgot to update their WordPress version or plug-ins.
Just few weeks ago, a security vulnerability was found in a known and well-reputed plugin named WordPress SEO Local. My client, who had not updated the plugin, was hacked, and a malicious code was added to the plug-in’s code. This code started sending thousands of emails from the client’s website, and as a result, the server came crashing down, and the available disk space was depleted to zero. It took few days to discover the problem, but by then, a whopping 30,000 emails in the server queue.
Another client hosts her website on WP Engine, a self-proclaimed “hassle-free WordPress hosting” provider. Though WP Engine periodically updates its clients’ WordPress versions, it does not, however, upgrade plug-ins. Because of this lack of forethought, the client had her website hacked, malicious software was installed on the site, and visitors were redirected to another URL when landing on her homepage. It was a bad situation to say the least.
I also recently saw a client with a blank WP-admin dashboard, meaning they couldn’t access their site’s back-end, make changes or upload content. I’ve seen this happen before with websites that weren’t updated in long time. In one extreme case, I actually had to rebuild a client’s the entire website from scratch!
The Bottom Line
Though these stories aren’t necessarily going to happen to your site, the fact of the matter is they could. I hope this motivates you to take action today – to update your WordPress version and install those plug-in upgrades if you haven’t already done so.
If you don’t want to deal with this level of maintenance on your own, just call the Spot On team. We can manage your updates and upgrades for you.