Have you ever gone to a website to find the contact form throws errors, photos in the gallery show that little broken photo icon, or it seems to take forever to load every page. The cause of those issues is usually a lack of updates and security checks on that site. Aside from being annoying, it doesn’t elicit much customer trust or confidence in the company that owns the website. Fortunately, Big Rig Xpress includes updating your WordPress website, backups, and security checks in your $199/month website subscription. Let’s talk about why updates and backups are crucial for all websites.
Updates and Website Security
According to Small Business Trends, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Small businesses are more likely not to have a website security team making them easy targets. Why break into Fort Knox when your neighbor keeps their jewelry collection in the backyard shed?
A hacked website can be disastrous with:
Criminal hackers and professional penetration testers are constantly trying to find weaknesses and exploits within the WordPress platform and popular plugins. Once a vulnerability is discovered, plugin makers and the WordPress team quickly update the code to plug the hole. It’s quite a fantastic system that requires the hard work of tons of men and women from many different companies working around the clock to pull off.
Big Rig is one of those companies keeping a close watch on our clients’ websites. Our team discovers new vulnerabilities each month, which are then reported to the appropriate party so they can program a fix into the next update. We also review the latest bug reports for any fixes we can implement before an update comes out.
Another security measure we take at Big Rig is keeping an updated IP block list for known attackers. Attackers are known to bounce their connection through other servers to hide their actual location. Specific servers, predominantly located in certain countries, are known for being the go-to for criminals to use to attack sites. This list of blocked IP addresses is known as a blacklist, and we routinely keep our blacklist up to date to ensure attackers don’t even make it to the front door of your website to try an attack.
Other Reasons to Regularly Update
We’ve heard the phrase, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” It would almost seem like a website that functions one day should function the next if the code hasn’t changed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. As mentioned, updates are necessary for security, so neglecting them puts your site at risk, but that’s not all.
The WordPress platform, which runs many sites on the web, has frequent updates. Most professional plugin developers must update their plugin’s code to play nice with the new version of WordPress. So if you update one without the other, stuff stops working.
Waiting too long to update a site can also cause quite a headache. Frequent updates make small controlled changes in the code incrementally, while skipping five major updates and then pulling the trigger can cause just as much to break as not updating your WordPress website in the first place.
That being said, simply pushing the “update” button and thinking the job is done can lead to issues as well. It’s impossible for companies who make plugins or themes, including us, to anticipate how every other plugin or theme will interact with their code. Simply updating without testing could be asking for bugs. When you have a Big Rig Xpress site, we test each new version of plugins as they roll out to be sure they’re compatible to minimize the chance of bugs and website downtime.
Slow Page Loading
Outdated code typically has a slow response time, resulting in your customers waiting and waiting for your website to load. Unfortunately, stats show that slow sites lose a ton of business because people don’t want to wait.
In addition to keeping your site up to date, Big Rig also implements multiple Cache engines into your site. Websites use a cache system to store information like images and other elements that take time to load into easily retrievable locations, such as your computer. That way, you only have to download these files once.
For example, let’s say your company logo appears on every page of your site. A properly configured engine will store that logo on your computer or smartphone, so as you browse the site, the local file from your device is pulled at lightning speed.
Your website caching engine must be properly set up, though, as the incorrect settings may result in visual updates you make to the site not showing up to visitors who have previously visited your website. Don’t worry about all that sounding complicated. At Big Rig Xpress, we worry about monitoring and setting up the caching engine on your site, so your site always loads as fast as possible for customers.
There are two kinds of people: those who backup and those who have never lost all their data. Murphy’s Law applies to all aspects of life, and even the best cared for and updated sites aren’t 100% immune to crashes and data loss. All files are stored on a physical hard drive inside a physical computer. Like all computers and hard drives, they can break unexpectedly.
A proper backup duplicates all of the files that make up your site and stores them on a separate hard drive so when the unexpected happens, restoring that data is quick and painless.
Big Rig Takes Care Of Updating Your WordPress Website and Backups For You
When you have a managed WordPress site from Big Rig Xpress, all the under the hood maintenance, security scans, plugin updates, and even server maintenance and updates (we own the servers) are included in the monthly subscription.
In addition, we provide every Big Rig client with a Website Care Report monthly which includes updates performed, the number of backups created, analytic information, and the results from daily security scans. So you can worry about running your business while we take care of updating your WordPress website.