Website’s used to be done purely with html and php with no way for the customer to edit their content easily, but those methods have gone the way of the dinosaur. These days almost all websites are overlaid onto a CMS (Content Management System). CMS’s are great for allowing customers to be able to edit the content of the website, and write blog articles themselves.

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They are many CMS’s out there but WordPress is by far the best content management system out there. In fact, we at Atomic55 have been using WordPress for all of our websites since it came out, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Being a wordpress developer isn’t an easy task, but if it makes our customer’s lives just a little easier, than it’s worth it in the end.

While WordPress is the best and most popular CMS out there, but that also comes with a price. Due to its popularity it has also become quite popular with hackers trying to gain access and exploit your website. Thankfully there are wordpress web design communities out there that have developed themes and plugins that are updated regularly, to battle these types of exploits, and that is what we are going to discuss in this article.

How do hackers exploit WordPress sites?

Before we get into how you can keep your site secure, let’s quickly talk about how hackers are able to get into your site in the first place.

These hackers are very intelligent when it comes to exploiting someone’s website. They know the inner-workings of wordpress website design, and are able to find the weakness in a website’s file structure or code. Because of this knowledge, if your website is out of date and not using latest plugin or theme version that a wordpress developer has released, the hackers will know which files are weak and the easiest to exploit.

What do I need to update and why?

As mentioned above, you need to make sure your WordPress version, theme, and plugins are up to date as much as possible. If any of these things are left out of date, hackers will know and can easily get into your website.

The wordpress update can happen at any time throughout the year, so keep an eye on that. Plugin updates can vary as developers are either working to improve their plugin, or fix a security hole. Theme updates don’t happen very frequently but it is good to keep an eye on it.

If you don’t have much of an understanding of wordpress website design, and are not comfortable updating these things in fear of breaking something, then I recommend speaking with a wordpress developer, and asking them to update the version or plugins for you. As they may be able to quickly catch something that could have broken in the update.

How do I know if something needs to be updated?

WordPress knows the importance of these updates, and has very clear notifications in the dashboard, notifying you an update is available.

If there is a new WordPress version available you will see this at the top of the screen in the dashboard:

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If there are plugin updates available, go to the “Plugins” page and you will see this next to plugins that require an update:

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It is also recommend that you run a full backup of your website before making any large updates. While updating the site can fix any exploits that may be present, some new versions of WordPress may conflict with old or even new versions of plugins, as well as plugins conflicting with each other, so don’t miss this step.

That basically covers the importance of keeping your wordpress website up to date. If you are looking to do this but are worried about breaking your website, a wordpress developer can take care of this for you and put all your worries to rest. Contact us today for a free quote and keep those pesky hackers away from your website.