What an eventful week we have had covering all sorts such as WordPress updates and new customers in the office. The latest is a large company moving over their remote desktops to us which was a fantastic contract to land. Today’s blog is more aimed at an older problem that I see daily within the web hosting industry. Website owners who do not keep their WordPress websites up to date, a consequence to which, the SEO of the website takes a toll. After having consulted with an SEO agency, pbn creation, we have spoken to several customers / design agency’s about this and it appears that there are several views as to why companies do not do it. I will discuss the two most popular that we get told.
“If we run the WordPress updates who pays for it to be repaired if it breaks?” and made compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Well, we understand this but you have to weigh up the issues you could have. Before you know it your domain could get hijacked and your server could be advertising things your company or customer definitely does not sell or want to be associated with. You could also have code in there harvesting the details from your users. Now that would be an awkward one to explain when questioned.
We recently had agency whose customers WordPress website must be at least 10 versions out of date. Needless to say the hacker compromised the old code and put a beautiful little hack in the site that activated every two hours if the process was dead or not running. The hack re-spawned itself and run in less than a second to start the chaos. When it ran (which I caught in a split second using the command “top -c”) it generated a file and gave itself 777 privileges because the person who had built the site created it as chmod 777. It then went on to start a DDOS attack at a well known entertainments company. Once it started the attack, it then self deleted the file that actioned it. The site owner had also enabled perl / CGI on their hosting space which is what the hack was. I simply disabled that and the hack stopped running. The fact is though that a great deal of this could be prevented had the user updated their site and installed it correctly.
“The customer doesn’t want to pay for or can afford maintenance on their site”. Well in this case we recommend and suggest a different route for a website. When you buy a car you still need to maintain it. Yearly service, MOT etc. A website is no different. If it is not maintained then it will break. Sometimes not to serious but sometimes can be complete delete and restore from backup.
My recommendation is as long as the site is built correctly, an update shouldn’t break. I accept there will be times you hit a plugin that is not compatible with the latest WordPress or theme update but it has to be done.
If you would like any help or advice on how to run your updates or maintain your WordPress site then please do not hesitate to contact me or visit the link below.
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