If you’ve finally decided to go with a WordPress CMS website, you are now using one of the most flexible website CMS programs. This flexibility means you can finally take control of the content, Forms and all other aspects of your website.
But now, there are a few big questions such as: how do you plan on keeping your WordPress software and plugins up-to-date? Are you planning on making the updates yourself? Does the website developer you work with have a method to make sure your software patches are current?
Since WordPress is a piece of software that lives on a website server, there are various amounts of core WordPress software updates and a multitude of plugin software updates released as they become available throughout the year.
Figuring out a process to keep your WordPress site and plugins secure is now a necessity. As WordPress gains in popularity, so does the number of hackers that target older versions of WordPress and plugins that have known security vulnerabilities.
Luckily, there are ways to keep your website safe. Here are some of my recommendations for the best ways to keep your WordPress website up to date and secure:
Find Quality Website Hosting
Choosing the correct website hosting service is one way you can keep your WordPress software freshly updated.
Going with a managed hosting platform that specializes in WordPress such as Kinsta and WPEngine can help with updating the core WordPress software. WordPress specific platforms like Kinsta and WPEngine are built to load websites as quickly as possible and also makes it easier to integrate WordPress updates as they are released.
Using a quality, WordPress-friendly hosting platform such as the ones suggested above is advantageous as most of these website hosts also offer active and passive protection for your website and can help monitor your software 24/7.
Keeping Up with Software Knowledge
Of course, having a good understanding of the software you use is one of the most important aspects of keeping your site secure. Keeping up with the latest WordPress news and plugin updates is a part of maintaining a good understanding of it as technology changes quickly. Stay informed about the latest news and plugin updates, particularly those related to the ones your site uses. This is especially helpful when it comes to making sound decisions to update or replace your plugins.
Utilizing the latest version of a specific plugin is also important as developers often use this as a red flag. If a creator of a plugin doesn’t update it on a regular basis, this can show there is no support for the plugin or the functionality is outdated.
It’s also always a good idea to do a little market research. Consider looking into similar plugins that might have been newly created to see if you can find a plugin with better functionality or plugins that may work faster. Also, be on the look-out for similar plugins that are updated frequently as this indicates they are created by a developer who has a more proactive approach to their software.
Maintain a Proactive Approach
One recommendation we can’t stress enough is to practice a proactive approach to keeping your WordPress website and plugins safe.
Create an ongoing, scheduled review process for your core WordPress software and associated plugins. This is the best way to stay ahead of any potential hackers, keep plugins working at their best, and make sure everything is running smoothly.
If you don’t create a proactive approach, you’ll simply be reacting to found issues or emergencies as they are discovered. This is not a fail safe strategy if you want to have a quality website. Another disadvantage of not staying proactive is that it creates delays from one update to another. These gaps make it easier to miss updated versions of software, plugin releases, and more.
Combine a proactive approach with quality website hosting and software knowledge to stay on top of any software releases that come out through the year and you will be taking control of decisions that are important to your website’s security and your digital presence.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your knowledge and familiarity with website security or software specifics, we recommend going with an internet marketing agency (like Hall!) that specializes in WordPress. Check and see what these agencies offer for recommended hosting platforms and ask about their process for updating WordPress software. Any true agency will have a proactive service for ongoing CMS software updates and can provide further ways to keep your website secure.