Today's the day most of us find ourselves back in the office after a well-deserved holiday break. Welcome back! For your new year's pleasure, I present a few thoughts on what will be important to think about when it comes to your business' online presence.
I spent a lot of time over the break helping a former client deal with their hacked WordPress website. Resolving the hack required professional help beyond my level of expertise, and in the end, the site is now clean. While we weren't able to discover the root cause of the hack, I discovered many things that were troubling.
- There was no license for the theme used for the site, so there had been no theme updates since 2015.
- The theme came with a number of bundled plugins. These had also not been updated since 2015.
- Many non-theme-related plugins hadn't been updated.
- Backups had not been done on a regular basis.
- Yada yada . . .
My Suggested Resolution For WordPress Site Owners: Make security a priority. Here's an action plan.
- Check to make sure everything's been updated. Themes. Plugins. Verify you have licenses. Many are good for a year. If they're only good for a year, make sure they get renewed.
- Backup your site regularly. I use BackupBuddy, but it doesn't really matter what you use, as long as you back up. By regularly, I mean a full weekly backup of your database and files at a minimum. If you have a site that changes daily, then do a full daily backup. Store your backups on a different server than your website is on if possible.
- Install security software. I use iThemes Security Pro. Wordfence is another one that seems to be good.
- Change your passwords. If you don't know what a strong password is, then you probably don't have one. Get one. WordPress will make one for you. I suggest you use it. Call me if you have questions.
- Stay on top of things. WordPress, themes and plugins are updated regularly. Hacks evolve regularly as well. Vigilance is important.
If you have a WordPress website and you're not sure if it's secure, contact me and I'll be happy to help.
Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous and hack-free 2017!