Skipping updates is like having an Open sign for hackers.
CRITICAL: Regular Website Updates
Software updates are just one of the many tasks involved in maintaining a website.
Some site owners skip this step because they don’t think they’ll ever be targeted by hackers. Any site, no matter how big or small, is a potential target.
The time spent doing regular updates is far less than trying to clean up after an attack. Whether you do it on your own or hire a website maintenance company to do it for you, always install updates.
While most people think software updates only mean security patches, updates can include a variety of different things. For instance, major browsers might have changed in the past few months. A software update for your site’s theme makes sure your site is compatible with the new changes. Without the update, your site might not load correctly in some environments.
Technology is always changing. Software updates exist to keep up with those changes. Whether it’s taking advantage of new features or simply staying compatible with other online technologies, you have to keep your site up to date or fall behind.
Hackers don’t just get bored and stop trying new strategies. Just because your site was protected from last year’s big virus doesn’t mean you’re immune to all threats. As soon as new threats appear, developers start working on updates to prevent their software from being vulnerable.
They try to get these updates out as quickly as possible and assume site owners are regularly updating their themes, plugins, CMS and other site related software. Developers can’t protect you if you’re not installing the updates they’ve worked so hard on.
If you think you could just clean up the mess if it happened to you, think about it this way. When the malware infection SoakSoak.ru wreaked havoc on WordPress sites in late 2014, Google blacklisted 11,000 infected domains nearly overnight. Putting your site at risk unnecessarily could get you banned from Google along with possibly infecting your site visitors. Basically, your site would be ruined.
All you have to do is keep up with your updates. While it’s not foolproof, you’re limiting your risk of infection drastically. It’s a small task in comparison to having to rebuild your entire reputation with search engines and your visitors.
Many site owners take care of major software updates, such as those to the core CMS. They skip what they believe to be smaller update such as plugins and themes. When the software you’re using was initially installed, it was developed to be compatible with specific versions of other software. For instance, if you’re using WordPress, your installed plugins might be compatible with the current version of WordPress, but not future releases.
All updates are important. Most developers work to create updates to their software so it’s compatible with the latest versions of other major software, such as your CMS and all major Internet browsers. If you perform only the major updates, you could end up with a broken site. It might load, but any plugins and features might be completely useless.
Gain New Features
It’s not all about compatibility and security. Sometimes software updates are just new features that users have been asking for. Maybe you’ve wanted a better way to keep track of post tags. The latest update might include a new tool to better organize tag data.
Most developers don’t roll out updates for every new feature. They wait until they’ve put together several new or improved features and then release the update. This means fewer updates for you to install while still getting all the new features. If you’re not updating regularly, you might never know these new features are available to make your life easier.
Doing regular software updates is no less important than keeping your blog updated. Both are crucial to keeping your site visitors happy and ensuring your site ranks as high as possible in search results. Start now by creating an update schedule. You can even use a website support services company to handle all updates for you so you never forget to install an update again.
No time to handle updates yourself? No problem. Contact FatLab today and get all the software update support you need to keep your site running smoothly.
Image: John Martinez Pavliga