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Wenex Web Site Management Program

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Website Updates

Elements to a WordPress website are updated regularly by developers in order to remove any potential vulnerabilities and bring updated functionality and performance to your website. The WordPress environment is very good at notifying users when updates are available. When logging into a WordPress dashboard, site administrators will see three types of updates:

 

  • WordPress Core: The main files powering your website. Minor versions (e.g. WordPress 4.9.7 to WordPress 4.9.8) occur automatically. Major versions (e.g. WordPress 4.9.8 to WordPress 5.0) will require manual updates.
  • Plugins: Installable add-ons that enhance the functionality of a WordPress site beyond its core capability.
  • Themes: Themes drive the appearance and user experience of website. Updates to themes need to be performed judiciously, as they can greatly affect the site’s display.

Even a basic WordPress site can contain a dozen or more plugins. Over the course of a single month, half of these will likely have an update to install, with some plugins requiring multiple updates per month. These updates address added functionality, changing server specifications, security risks, and interoperability with other plugins, themes, and the WordPress core. While it is important to perform these updates promptly, with so many moving parts there is bound to be conflict. Our maintenance practices account for this. We ensure that, in the case of an update causing site issues, we will restore functionality quickly. This may involve removing the offending plugin, auditing the other active plugins, installing a different plugin with similar functionality, rolling back the site to a previous backup point, or a combination of these.

Website Security

Maintaining a consistent update schedule for updates to plugins, themes, and the WordPress core will go a long way toward keeping your website free from malicious attacks. Most authorities on WordPress development (ourselves included) will recommend going one step further and installing a security plugin to perform additional protective functions. We employ a premium security plugin that performs automated weekly scans during off peak hours in order to minimize effects on site performance and user experience. This provides us with action items which we can perform to prevent any malicious activity on the website. Some of these items include:

  • Auditing unfamiliar files or suspicious content
  • Updating security keys (a.k.a. “salts”)
  • Whitelisting/blacklisting IP addresses
  • Indicating server software updates, such as PHP or MySQL versions

Website Backups

Along with the need to keep a website up to date and secure (along with consistent updates to hosting technology) comes the risk that issues will occur, and the site will stop functioning. In order to ensure you don’t lose precious data and uptime, we employ a premium backup plugin that performs regularly scheduled full website backups to an offsite cloud server. These backups are run during off peak hours in order to minimize effects on site performance and user experience. We can ensure the backups are ideally configured for WordPress sites and can even be used to restore the site on an alternate server if necessary.

Many hosting services also have their own backup/restore service. There are potential caveats to consider, including:

  • Running the backups, and/or restoring from the backups may incur an additional fee
  • Restoring a site may require going through a hosting company’s support system
  • The backups may be for an entire server, and not just a single site
  • The backups may only be for site files, and not the database that runs WordPress (or vice versa)