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The importance of updating your WordPress website

Almost half of all websites on the internet today are built using WordPress[1]. This web platform is affordable, easy to update and compatible with a wide range of applications – just three of the reasons that make it so popular.

But popularity comes at a cost. Because cyber-criminals looking to spread malware via website code, stand the greatest chance of success when targeting the largest possible audience – and WordPress offers precisely that.

So, what are the vulnerabilities you face as a WordPress user, why is this a problem and what support can Cyan Marketing offer to help mitigate the risks?

What vulnerabilities do WordPress websites face?

According to WordFence, around 90,000 attacks target WordPress websites every minute[2]. Sadly, a high proportion of new clients who come to us each year have been victims of such attacks. When they do, there are a couple of common reasons why this has happened.

Outdated software, plug-ins and themes. As cybercriminals become more adept, the software, plug-ins and themes used on WordPress become more vulnerable to their methods. Cybercriminals soon find weak areas to gain access where they can plant viruses and take control.

Low Quality Hosting. If your website is hosted on a poorly secured server, it has a greater risk of being targeted. You’re also more likely to experience issues if you rent space on a shared server, as problems that occur with other websites on the server have the potential to affect your website too.

Why should you protect your website?

Your website carries the reputation of your business and is instrumental in helping to convert new prospects into paying customers. So, it is essential that it remains live, secure and functional to your audience.

Most of the information that customers need to know about your business resides on your website so if your website is down, you could be missing out on potential new opportunities. Worse than that, if customers make it to your website but unknowingly click on a malicious file or link, it could seriously damage your reputation and the chance of any future business with them. A secure website not only protects your business but also your visitors.

It’s not just the attacks themselves that cause problems, popular search engines like Google will also punish infected websites with poor search positions[3]. We have also seen paid ad campaigns cancelled by Google at the first sign of a malware infection, and it has often taken these companies weeks to have these campaigns reinstated – long after the infection files have been removed.

But for most businesses, it can be hard to dedicate the time for security maintenance and, more importantly, many businesses simply do not have the technical know-how to perform these updates to plug-ins and themes. That’s where we come in. Cyan Marketing offers several support packages designed to enhance and maintain the security of your website to prevent unwanted attacks and costly downtime. By handing your website maintenance over to us, you can gain valuable peace-of-mind and spend more time focusing on other areas of your business.

Supporting your site’s security

As we’ve seen, the two most vulnerable areas that put WordPress websites at risk are outdated software and low-quality hosting. The three levels of support we offer address both of these issues and more.

Our most basic support is recommended for simple websites that are not business critical. For these websites we provide automated uptime monitoring, nightly backups and quarterly updates of the WordPress system, theme and plug-ins, enabling you to benefit from new security or capability features.

Our two remaining packages provide an increasingly higher level of support for websites that are more complex, bespoke or contain secure areas. Both these packages provide all that our basic level contains but with additional malware monitoring and website customisation.

All our packages include a maximum 24-hour response time and a 9-5pm operational service from Monday to Friday. In addition to this, all our websites are stored on servers dedicated to us and all updates are tested in a staging environment before they’re made live, so we can check everything works correctly first.

To keep you informed of these updates, we record everything we do on our customer portal, including dates that backups were made, any periods of downtime and what software editions have been installed.

Many of our clients already benefit from this service as well as the peace of mind that comes as a result.

Take a proactive approach

To stand the best chance of protecting your website from cyber criminals, we recommend taking the kind of proactive approach provided by our website support packages. A small monthly retainer could help save you time and money, as well as the damage to your reputation that could result if you fall foul of the cybercriminals.

If you’d like to find out more about the website support we offer, call 01268 778555 or email to speak to a member of our team.