I’m not really the kind of person that likes to worry about, or anticipate problems that don’t currently exist. That being said, with as much as you’re putting into your online presence, the last thing you want to have happen is for someone to gain access to your site and start using it for their own needs.
What’s something you can do to help keep your site safe?
Keep Your Site’s Software Up To Date!
Many of you have CMS (content management system) sites. That means you have a way of login in to manage your pages, add photos, create blog posts, update prices and products, etc.
The CMS software that runs your site, whether it’s WordPress, Joomla or any other CMS out there is going to need to be constantly updated.
My site works fine, why do I need to update?
It’s not the same as updating from, for example, Adobe Photoshop CS5 to CS6. The updates aren’t always to give you more and better features.
The primary reasons for updates:
- Security Updates
- Bug Fixes
- and every once in a while you get some cool new features
If you’re not updating, your site is more vulnerable to being hacked
Having old code on your site gives hackers more opportunity to get under the hood of your site. This is what you don’t want.
WordPress Automatic Updates
Luckily, if you’re are using WordPress, when you login to your admin area, you will automatically be notified if there is an update available.
What is even cooler than that is that you can easily update your WordPress software with the click of a button. Nothing to download. No files to upload. It all happens automatically. It usually takes less than a minute.
Plugins and Themes Too!
Don’t forget to keep your plugins and themes up to date as well. Just as with WordPress, when you login to your admin area you will be notified if there are updates available for any of your plugins and/or themes.
Keep those plugins and themes updated as well. You don’t want any of that code to be vulnerable.
Not Using It? Get Rid of It?
Got any plugins or themes installed that you’re not using? Get rid of them! Delete them.
If you’ve your not using certain plugins or themes there’s no reason to keep them around.
If you’re not using them you probably won’t be concerned with keeping them up to date. I mean, why bother, you’re not using them anyway. So rather than worrying about these items, just delete anything you’re not using.
Back It Up
It’s always a good idea to keep a current backup of your site. And if you’re going to do some major updates you might want to make a backup of everything first. Sometimes the new code of something you’re updating might not play so well with some of the existing code on your site. Sometimes you may even see all of your widgets wiped clean! Then you would have to go back through and set it all up again. If you’ve got a pretty complex site this might take you a while.
A note to my clients:
If you’re one of my clients you’re using StudioPress (affiliate link) or custom themes that run on Genesis Framework (affiliate link). This code is pretty bullet proof and you can usually just do all your updates without having to worry about any issues. I also use a very minimal amount of plugins that I know work well with each other to reduce any conflict between plugins. So if you see updates available click away!
Also for most of my clients, I’ve got you set up on Hostgator (affiliate link) for hosting. Hostgator provides you with cPanel. You can login to your cPanel and use Backup Wizard, a simple way to back up all of your site’s files and databases as well as email settings and information.