Why WordPress should be kept up to date
WordPress is wonderful tool to enable website designers and developers to set up a CMS website for a client. CMS stands for Content Management System, i.e. the client can manage content themselves.
10 years ago, businesses would pay specialised programmers thousands for a CMS website.
Using WordPress, the web developer can take control of the design, structure and layout but the pages are easily accessible so the client can update in-house.
However WordPress is open source software. This means that every time a version is released hackers can easily download and examine the source code.
That means hackers can set to work finding holes in WordPress core, in plugins or in themes.
Holes allow hackers to jump through and take the site down or make it act oddly.
The longer a WordPress version has been available, the more often it has been tapped into.
WordPress community fights back
Being opensource is also a positive, because the full source code is available to be examined by the WordPress community, which allows vulnerabilities to be found and fixed much more quickly than with traditional software.
That is why there are so many ongoing releases of WordPress.
Hackers find holes, the WordPress community fights back.
WordPress core, plugins and themes should be kept up to date to avoid these vulnerabilities. The more up to date the versions, the less chance a hacker has to break the site.
WordPress is well known for coming under attack, but why? And why then is it so widely used?
WordPress is arguably the most popular CMS website builder; making up 25% of the internet today.
It is fully customisable by website designers, it’s search engine friendly and it has so much functionality; all created on a public network.
It’s popularity means that it is regularly under attack by hackers.
Why would someone want to hack my website?
For fun. To prove something. As an experiment. To learn something.
Hackers are real people developing real programs which look for security holes in out of date WordPress installs.
Not all hackers are malicious. Often “hackers” are reporters of security issues and vulnerabilities. White hat hackers are good news for technology.
However, black hat hackers are not such good news for your WordPress website.
What should you do about it?
I’ve written this post simply to make you aware. I’ve come across a number websites with very out of date versions of WordPress.
The more up to date your WordPress version, plugins and themes, the safer your site will be.
I encourage you to bring your site in line with the most up to date version of WordPress, as well as updating the plugins and theme. All can be done at the same time.
Fully hardened security to help your site fend off attacks.
Use an automatic backup system to enable you to recreate your site quickly and easily if you do come under attack.
Of course a website would never be 100% protected against attacks, but it can be 99%.