In May 2019 WordPress reaches its 15th birthday!
WordPress, which was mostly known as a blogging platform back in its infancy, is now the world’s most popular website Content Management System (CMS). The simple-to-use platform which gave an open source approach to web development has become highly successful. This is mostly due to the rise in small business start-ups and the ability WordPress gives to people to get online fast.
To create a site that really works for you and is completely bespoke you’ll need skills that far outweigh those you need to create a WordPress website. But the simple drag and drop, click and change website CMS has become hugely popular and the majority of the world’s websites are now built on good old WordPress.
But, as Microsoft know all too well, when you’re popular in the digital age, you’re at risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime. WordPress might be a popular choice for businesses… but it’s also the most popular choice for website hackers!
Hacking is one of the biggest threats to the world right now, and the sheer volume of sites listed by Google as unsafe is staggering. Aside from scamming you in your email inbox and trying to take down governments, hackers are keen to take your site offline and either hold you to ransom for a fee, or display their content instead of yours.
You might think that being hacked is going to be a simply ‘turn it on and off again’ approach that fixes the majority of digital faults, but you’d be wrong. When a WordPress site is hacked it’s the files that get affected and infected and those changes are often hard to find and hard to fix.
If your site is hacked your domain authority can be ruined. Companies can be investing lots of time and money in SEO to have all their hard work on Google undone overnight by a hacker. Trying to get your Domain Authority back after a hack takes a long time to fix.
All of this takes time and that time eats into your online shop, portfolio, or sales machines and that costs you money.
Not only that, but getting hacked looks pretty bad on you too. The PR issues you may have with a hacking will go further than a few people temporarily unable to read your blog.
- If your websites got hacked – is it your fault?
- Are you being lapse with security?
- Can you be trusted to work with others?
As we mentioned, WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market. If you were going to try and hack something, you’d look at the numbers game, wouldn’t you? That’s what hackers do. Although Wix and SquareSpace and similar sites do get hacked, WordPress is more likely to be affected as it won the popularity contest with users.
This means that if you’re WordPress user, then you’re more of a target for hackers.
What can I do?
Aside from the simple stuff like making sure your access and logins are secure, the big areas to work on with WordPress is the theme and plugins.
Then best thing about WordPress for many website owners is the ability to not only change the content and style of the site without any coding knowledge, but also the ability to totally re-brand and re-design their sites with Premium Themes and plugins.
These are opensource and generally cheap (or even free) to get and then really simple to add to your site…
… but here lies the problem with WordPress.
Hackers know that you’re not going to be on top of the updates of these and you’re not going to be aware of the security flaws in your plugins. Hackers know that you’re not subscribed to the alerts about updates, the news of new hacks, and they know you’re pausing and ignoring those theme updates when you log in once a month (if that!).
They know this, and they exploit this.
Updating your theme and your plugins is hands-down the best way to avoid the majority of WordPress hacks.
All those themes and plugins are actually just a series of files and coding built by different people. Aside from them slowing down your website speed in many instances, these (often free) files are potentially riddled with security issues for you.
The suppliers of the themes and plugins will regularly update them and it’s down to YOU, not them, to update the version on your site.
Why should you get someone else to do it?
Updating your theme and plugins is fairly simple to do. People might tell you that you don’t need any help here, but there are few a problems with simply logging in and updating them yourself.
The problem with doing your WordPress updates yourself:
- You won’t always be aware of which updates are safe/recommended to do.
- You’ll forget. You’re busy and you won’t always remember.
- You could easily break something. Sometimes a plugin update will break an area of your site.
- You’ll get an internal error message and your site will be stuck offline.
Simply pressing buttons isn’t enough and if it all goes wrong when you do update, which can happen a lot, you’ll need a website expert to help you.
How often should I backup my WordPress and Plugins?
DAILY! Yes, we said EVERY DAY!
That’s why we’re building in daily updates in our WordPress Maintenance Packages, and for good reasons.
Hackers don’t stop! Cybercriminals are constantly trying to hack into everything online and that includes your site, your theme, and your plugins.
With daily back-ups, daily updates, and daily eyes on your site you’ll be FAR less likely to have a problem like Carphone Warehouse did when their out-of-date theme was hacked, exposing customer data including credit card details.
If you get your site and plugins updated plugins daily and get secure daily back-ups in place just in case the worst happens, you’ll have a site that’s protected, updated, and future-proofed, should the hackers get hold of you.
How likely is it you’ll be hacked?
VERY likely. And the chances are rising.
Why risk it? Let us look after it all for you. Find out more here.