Why You Need to Keep Your WordPress Site Updated

by | Feb 13, 2020 | WordPress | 0 comments

The Flexibility of WordPress

Since the introduction of WordPress in 2003, the content management system has gained huge amounts of popularity. With this increase in popularity, WordPress has also became a favorite target of hackers and other malicious actors. The platform is also highly extendable via plugins and themes. While there are enormous benefits to the modular nature of WordPress, vulnerable code can put a target on the back of many WordPress websites.

The Symptoms of WordPress Malware

There are a couple common types of WordPress malware, mainly malicious redirects and backdoors. Once an attack takes advantage of a code vulnerability, they can setup backdoors and a redirect to your visitors to a nefarious website. Backdoors are particularly dangerous because an attacker can place a script and control your website without needing to login. They could also mass send spam email, and cause chaos. Most all of these attacks are automated, since it’s much faster for an attacker to infect multiple websites.

Recently, I had to build a temporary website for a client because their website was hacked under another designer. This is what it looked like when a visitor went to access the website:

Not only would visitors see this phony website, it would also change the description of the site’s search result. This is the what the result looked like after searching for this hacked site:

I can’t say this result gives a business the best look. Your SEO is critical, which is why it’s important to avoid WordPress malware at all costs. When your search result is completely changed, your website can take a huge hit in the search rankings. It’s simply no good if no one can find your website.

The Solution

Keep WordPress, your plugins, and your themes up-to-date. Updating only takes a minute and will save you a lot of heartache. We recommend updating everything at least once a month. We also use the plugin, Wordfence to help scan the website files on installations I take over. Wordfence also lets me know via email if a plugin is out of date. You can also keep your website secure by ensuring you have a strong password. This is critical. An attacker doesn’t need to ‘hack’ your website as long as they have figured out your username and password. Using a password manager is a great way to generate a strong password, while not having to remember it. The key to security is prevention. We don’t trust the files of any compromised WordPress website, because well, it’s compromised. We don’t care how great a malware remover is, it’s very difficult to ensure 100% of infections are removed. If a website is compromised, I recommend rebuilding the site ground-up. It may be costly, but it is necessary with the complexity of infections today. My goal is that you take away this one piece of advice: please keep everything updated on your WordPress website.

If you’re looking for someone to build you a website, please feel free to reach out to us at: https://learn.yorkcs.com/contact-us We also offer maintenance plans with each of our websites so you can have peace of mind that your site is secure.

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