WordPress is the largest CMS utilized on the Internet, with the last report I read stating that they control 29% of all websites. However what many businesses fail to realize is that WordPress is constantly evolving and as such, the best way to keep your website safe and secure is to keep your website updated.

Given the importance of the Internet it is actually much more important that you may realize to keep things updated and as safe and secure as you can. Let’s imagine the worse thing happens and your website gets hacked and malware placed upon it. This would quickly get picked up by the search engines and your website was be marked as being unsafe. The trouble is however this also applies to your domain name, so any of your emails that use your company domain name are also now marked as unsafe… with many not being delivered. This could and would impact on your businesses bottom line and could potentially cost it thousands of dollars if not more, this is why its important to keep your website as up-to-date and safe as possible.

Your core WordPress installation, your themes, and all plugins need to be updated when new updates come out. Inside your dashboard, you’ll generally receive notice that one of these needs to be updated. Keeping the latest versions of WordPress, all themes, and plugins is essential stuff.

In most cases, WordPress will now update itself automatically to help your website stay safe and secure, unless you set it up not to do that. It’s not advisable to not update immediately, so it’s perfectly fine to set up WordPress to update automatically. It only updates the core WordPress code and won’t harm anything else.

To update the plugins, you’ll need to follow the right procedure to ensure that everything will continue to work.

  1. Back up your site
  2. Ensure your WordPress is updated
  3. Back up your site
  4. Update your theme
  5. Check that everything still works
  6. Back up your site
  7. Update plugins individually
  8. Check that everything still works

Backing Up Your WordPress Website

Backing up your website regularly is something every single business should do, it’s the single most important thing anyone can do to help protect their website and keep it safe and secure. You can backup your website yourself by installing one of a multitude of backup plugins… some of these are pretty sophisticated and will back up your website automatically to a cloud based storage facility.

It’s important to have access to your backups, which is why I don’t recommend simply relying upon a hosting companies backups… because what happens if your hosting company is down, you don’t have access and are at the mercy of your hosting provider. Additionally you could utilize a third party service such as the ones that I offer my own clients that handles all backups, archiving of backups and restoration of selected backups when required.


Updating Your Site

Most WordPress sites now update automatically, but if yours doesn’t back up first, then simply click update in the dashboard. It will do everything automatically. Never stop it while it’s updating, and after the updating is done, check to see if everything is working right. Sometimes an update will break your website, which will often require a rollback until you have solved the problem, hence the need for backing up first.

Updating Your Theme

Your theme will also need to be updated. It’s the same procedure; ensure that your site is backed up and then update the theme by clicking the update button in your dashboard. Let the update continue, then check to see if your site is still working properly.

Updating Your Plugins

Each plugin that you have will eventually have updates. It’s important to update. Inside your dashboard, after backing up the site, tick the box for the plugin that you want to update and then click update. Check your site to ensure everything works. Please note, some commercial plugins do not use the internal dashboard to notify users of updates… so occasionally it is worth checking out their websites for any potential updates.

Keeping WordPress updated and secure is an essential part of having a good website or blog. You don’t want to do all that work and then lose everything by not keeping your site updated, backed up and secure.

I briefly touched upon the backup services I offer my clients, let me expand a little and mention that these are the services incorporated in our standard maintenance package:

  • Daily full website backups utilizing a specialist third-party company, stored offsite and accessible should your website / hosting go down.
  • Daily security scans of all core WordPress files
  • Up-time Monitoring to ensure your website is up and working.
  • WordPress Core updates
  • Plugin Updates
  • Added Security Services including vulnerability scans, firewall, etc.
  • Regular database optimization
  • Other maintenance tasks

Contact me if you are interested in hearing more about how I can help keep you to maintain your WordPress Website

Keeping WordPress Updated and Secure
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