Taking care of your website is like taking care of a pet. You need to tend to it regularly, and shouldn’t commit to one unless you are willing to do that. One of the most important requirements of website maintenance is simply updating your site regularly. Keeping your software up to date closes weaknesses and potential security risks that can invite malware and viruses.
Usually, the software works perfectly and is, for the most part, secure when it is first released. Over time, it gets outdated, and hackers get access to the code and look for vulnerabilities and identify weaknesses in the coding. As more time passes, hackers can take advantage of these weaknesses to get access to your website.
If your website uses WordPress, you will see updates periodically being released from your admin panel. These updates are provided to fix security holes as well s bugs. You can see the alert show up on your dashboard when WordPress needs to be updated, and usually, it is as easy as clicking the link and waiting. Like most software updates, this should be done as quickly as possible after the update is released. However, always make a backup of your website before running any updates… just in case.
Plugins and Themes
WordPress themes and plugins also need to be updated. Usually, plugins provide updates periodically to fix up bugs and patch security holes. Running an outdated plugin is one of the easiest ways to expose your website to hackers. These plugins and themes add additional third-party code to your website, and this code is usually easy to find and test for holes. Plugins are often created by amateur programmers and require regular fixes.
Plugins and themes don’t automatically update like your web browser, but you will see a notification in your WordPress dashboard when plugin updates are available. Back up your website, and run the updates as soon as possible. The old, outdated code presents a security threat to your website.
Expired Security Certificates
SSL certificates all have an expiration date. Typically SSL certificates are free; however, your host may require that you purchase one. If you are paying for an SSL Certificate, you will need to renew it with your hosting company or whoever you purchased the certificate from.
Change Your Passwords
This is one of the simplest ways to protect the security of your website. Every few months, change the passwords for all of your users. The more frequently you change these passwords, the less likely you are to wind up with a vulnerable account that gets exploited.
There are many ways for hackers to get ahold of passwords, but if you keep changing them and use strong passwords, then even an exploited account will be secured after the next password change.
Keep It All Backed Up
Keeping a recent backup of your site is one of the best things you can do for your website. Despite how hard you work to keep your site secure, something could always go wrong. As long as you have a recent backup of the website files, database, and media, you don’t need to worry. Make website backups a standard routine for your business.