Updating your Website Safely – For most large businesses this will probably be common knowledge but for smaller SME’s who may never have had a website in the past this should be of some help. If your website has been built using a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla or Drupal or any of hundreds more then it is necessary to keep the website up to date. You ( or the company who is looking after your website for you ) should be keeping an eye that any updates released for your plugins or templates are updated regularly. This is because people ( let’s call them hackers) are continuously trying to find ways to break into your website. Some just for laughs, but unfortunately the majority are planning to install spam and malware on your site. While this may be good for them, Google will penalize your website and you will lose most of your rankings. Not very nice to be on page 1 today and page 10 tomorrow because someone else has hacked your site. The best way is to keep your website as up to date as possible – But – it is not simply a matter of just updating the plugins.
The most important thing in this article is to learn to make regular backups of your website. Also don’t keep just one record; if malware has crept into your website and you don’t notice the first time you back up your website you will want to have an older ‘CLEAN’ copy.
Another reason to back up your website BEFORE updating plugins is that sometimes the newer plugin will crash your website. How much simpler it is to reinstall the website with the older plugin than have to try to rebuild your website from scratch.
“If plugins can cause the website to crash why update them? “you ask. As I said above, the newer versions of the plugins are safer and less likely to get your website hacked. As long as you obey the simple rule of making a fresh backup before updating them then you will have no problems.
BTW, if you are paranoid like me you will also keep a couple of spare copies of your website – one on something like Dropbox and another on an external hard drive because things do happen and better safe than sorry.
There are several other tips for making your website more secure and I plan on writing more Info Blogs on them.