If you have a WordPress website, then you have logged in and seen that message at the top of the page that says:
You have probably even gone so far as to click on the updates link on your dashboard and saw this message:
Did you sweat bullets or start to get hives at the thought of doing the updates?
I remember the first time I clicked on that update button. Terrified was not even close – I’m sure there was a thought in the back of my head that said I’m going to blow up my website or at the very least break it. But I did it! At the time I was new to WordPress, barely knew what I was doing and fumbling my way around trying to get used to the whole thing.
As time passed I got better and more confident. Until the first time I had to do an update for a client’s website and then all over again, I had those scary thoughts of breaking their website.
This is something I hear all the time from clients and I TOTALLY get it but let me say this. Being scared of it is no reason NOT to do it. I can’t stress enough of how important it is to keep current with all the WordPress updates for WordPress itself, plugins and themes.
Website Security – I love WordPress and I’ve heard a few others do too. With WordPress being such a widely used tool it has become the main focus of hackers and boy do they work hard at it, this has become a foundational piece for all my WordPress packages to defend against these attacks. This foundation must be maintained through regular updates.
Website Functionality – Many updates expand the options of what you can do in WordPress, making it easier to add photos, or edit text etc. Some of the WordPress 3.0 updates were Awesome Pawsome in my book. Custom Menu’s was one of my favorites
Before you make any update at all, whatsoever or forever hold your peace. BACKUP YOUR WEBSITE!
99.9% of the time when you update there are no issues and nothing happens. But when that .1% happens, if you don’t have a recent backup of your site then you are in serious trouble and it will be hard to restore your site without a lot of work.
Here are a couple of options for you.
At the very least… you need to update your WordPress database which is where all your content is stored. Blog posts, pages, images etc. And for that a great free plugin to use is WP DB Backup found here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-db-backup/
With this free plugin you can schedule regular backups of your database and have them emailed to you.
But what about all your theme and design files? Then you will need to either a) login to your hosting control panel and download the files from your hosting server or b) use FTP software like FileZilla to logon to your server remotely and download your files and save them to your desktop.
Premium Option – DIY:
My favorite tool for this process is a plugin called BackupBuddy from iThemes (affiliate link). This premium plugin:
- Can scan your website for malware and let you know of any potential problems
- Schedule regular backups of your full website or just the database and email you the files or even save the file in Dropbox
- Customize the settings of what to back up and when
- Help restore your site if anything should happen or even make it easier (waaaaay easier) to move your site to a new hosting service should the need ever arrive.
For a yearly fee of $80 the peace of mind knowing your site is up-to-date and backed-up on a regular basis is sooooo worth it in my book.
Premium Option – Done for you:
Personally I use BackupBuddy for all my clients’ sites and for all of my own websites. And love what it does. I have worked with and tried other plugins and have not been as pleased with the ease of use or the options.
So if pressing the backup and updates buttons still stresses you out (and really, I do understand!) we can help you with that. Let us remove that stress and take care of the updates and backups for you. We even supply the BackupBuddy plugin at no charge while you are on the monthly backup plan. You can read more about that option here.
Here is my challenge to you, set one of your 2014 resolutions to get your website updated and keep it updated throughout the year. Your website will thank you