Why You MUST Keep Your WordPress CMS Website Updated

At Red Spot Design we design a lot of websites using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) and many people ask why do we use WordPress instead of many of the other content management systems out there.  They main reason is because it is a great overall content management system and it has functionality that fits most of our clients needs as well as being open source it allows us the ability to apply custom programming when needed.

As stated at Business.com in June 2017, WordPress is the best overall CMS:

While it may have started as a blogging platform, WordPress is one of the largest and most widely used CMS platforms today. It’s estimated that nearly 60 percent of websites that use a CMS choose WordPress. By its own estimate, 24 percent of the web operates through WordPress. Major websites that use WordPress include The New Yorker, Best Buy and Xerox.

WordPress is open source, which means that you don’t need to purchase a license to operate it. In addition, open source software is constantly being enhanced by a community of contributors, including web developers, who create plug-ins and themes for the software. This makes it a good choice regardless of whether or not you know how to code or have a web developer or a team of developers. The software can be customized to fit your needs.

The downside to WordPress, or just about ALL open source CMS programs today, is that there are constant updates to the core of the software or to plugins within the CMS.  Just like any other software program such as Microsoft Windows, iPhone IOS, etc there are always bug fixes or security updates that should be applied.

WordPress is a free CMS with many of the plugins being free as well and it is developed by a community of developers, designers and programmers. With each new release, they fix bugs, add new features, improve performance, and enhance existing features to stay up to date with new industry standards.  Doing an update can give you new features or functionality for your site.  However many of our clients and other business sites that are using WordPress really do not need or even care to have all of these new features or functionality so why MUST they still keep their CMS updated with the latest versions. The answer is security, security, security.

The Main Reason that WordPress Websites Get Hacked is Outdated Plugins

Security is the most important reason why you should keep your WordPress website up to date.

WordPress currently powers over 17 million websites. Due to it’s immense popularity, WordPress is a very popular target for hackers, malicious code distributors, data thieves, and wanna be hackers. There are countless numbers of website getting hacked every day and WordPress sites are a big part of that. This means that if you are not using the latest version of WordPress on your website, then you are using software with known security vulnerabilities an your website is at risk of being hacked. Hackers can search for websites running the older version of WordPress, and you may become a victim of a sophisticated attack.

It is not just WordPress itself, the WordPress plugins can also be exploited by hackers as well. You need to make sure that all your WordPress plugins, themes, and the core itself is always up to date and you should make sure you have accessible backups of your site in case your website ever does get hacked.

Here are some services we recommend for off-site backups and security for your WordPress websites.

  • WordFence Security plugin for WordPress.  Here is their latest WordPress Attack Report.
  • ManageWP – Manage updates and do daily backups for as low as $2/month.  And if you are on Godaddy hosting the daily backups are a free add-on.

To help protect your website from hacking always be sure to keep it updated with the latest updates and always be sure you have a good backup of your website in case you ever need to restore it.

 

 

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