Why Should I Update My Website and Plugins?
The main reason that a website and its plugins should be updated is security. WordPress and Joomla are two very popular website Content Management Systems (CMS) and together have a total share of over 16 million websites. What this means is that if a hacker finds an exploit in the code that runs these CMS packages, they essentially find an exploit in 16 million websites all at once.
The good news is that as well as the hackers there is actually a lot more “good people” working at finding these exploits at the same time. This is were the CMS package updates come in. When one of these exploits is found the developers of the CMS package quickly patch the issue and release a new version of the package.
What happens if I don’t update?
When you leave your website on an older version of a CMS or it’s plugin you are leaving your website open to being hacked.
There are numerous different scenarios of what happens when your website is hacked but there are some popular ones:
- Malicious Damage – The hacker will delete your website and usually replace with their own placeholder to say who has hacked it.
- Sending Spam – This means that the hacker is using your website to send emails to people in an attempt to infect their computer with a virus.
- Host a Phishing Site – The hacker will hide another website behind yours which will attempt to steal unsuspecting victims passwords.
All of these attacks will usually cause your hosting account to get suspended. Usually these types of attacks are hard or impossible to recover from, some of which can go undetected for many months in order to infect all of your website backups meaning even restoring a backup will not resolve the issue.
A more light hearted to reason update your website and plugins is “New Features”. CMS package and plugin developers are constantly working to improve the platforms that run your website.
This may include:
- Improved mobile performance
- Improved website speed
- Easier User Interface
- Better User Experience
Can I do the updates myself?
It is more than possible to do the updates yourself, but it is more beneficial to have the updates performed by a professional web developer as there are a number of things that can go wrong with a CMS or plugin update. These issues are usually related to an incompatibility between plugins or between plugins and the theme that your website uses.
So in most cases having a professional perform the updates you can be assured that your website will have the least amount of downtime as possible.