WordPress is one of the preferred content management systems for managed service providers (MSPs). WordPress has a significant amount of templates and the UI is rather simple to use, which makes it the perfect tool to build an MSP website. However, with any content management system, there will be a learning curve. If your MSP website is built within WordPress, you will be responsible for hosting the website, or you can find a dedicated host.
If your MSP website is designed on WordPress, you will need to ensure that the website receives the necessary updates when they are made available, and this includes the WordPress plugins. If you fail to ensure that your WordPress website is receiving the needed updates, your website will become extremely vulnerable to a variety of attacks.
There will be times when you will feel that your WordPress website is always in need of attention. Between WordPress itself, plugins, and themes, there will always be something that needs to be updated.
Why Should WordPress Plugins Be Updated?
WordPress plugins can be compared to mobile applications, but for your WordPress website. WordPress plugins can be installed to add new features and capabilities to your website. WordPress plugins are created by third-party developers. Most third-party developers will make improvements to their plugins by adding new features, improving the quality of the codes, and ensuring they are secure. These changes made by the developers will eventually be released as updates.
Your WordPress plugins should always be up to date to ensure that the changes are quickly applied to your MSP website. The updated plugins will not only improve the security of your WordPress site, but it will also improve your website’s performance.
One of the best ways to improve the security of your WordPress website is to make sure your themes and plugins are always up-to-date. While updated themes and plugins are extremely important, you should not stop there. You should also make sure you remove any plugins that you are not using to minimize the risk of a cybercriminal exploiting the plugins. WordPress websites have experienced a variety of attacks, so we recommend going through your plugins and removing those you are not using.
We recently acquired a company from Colorado, and upon setting up their WordPress website, we uncovered a variety of problems with their website. There were 7 outdated plugins and a popular anti-spam tool was not set up. With the company’s WordPress website being so out-of-date, the company was completely open to hackers, which could have resulted in a major data breach. We restored the website by ensuring the needed plugins were updated and deleting plugins the company did not need.
Updating plugins and themes on your WordPress website can also fix bugs and correct any conflicting issues with multiple plugins. While it can be easy to ignore update notifications or become annoyed because you do not want to go through another update process, there should be some sense of relief that you are using plugins or themes that were developed by someone who takes the time to correct problems, make adjustments, and release updates. When there are available updates to your plugins or themes, this means the third-party developer has done their due diligence and released an update that can positively impact your website.
Improving the Functionality of your Website
While updating your WordPress plugins and themes are great for securing your website and eliminating bugs, updates are also needed to ensure your website can function properly. The teams who are developing the plugins and themes you use for your website put a significant amount of time and effort into their creation. Developers who are dedicated to their work will always release the proper updates whenever an issue with the plugins is discovered.
WordPress comes with a built-in update system. This system will consistently check for updates, and if updates are available, you will receive those notifications. You can also manually check for updates. Before you approve any updates to the plugin, we recommend that you view what changes are going to be made after the update so you will be well-informed on why a new update was made and how it can impact your website’s functionality.
Sometimes a plugin update can produce results that negatively impact your website’s functionality. If this happens, the plugin can be deactivated and you can return to the previous version. As important as the web is for MSP businesses, it is not always a safe place. Cybercriminals are always developing new ways to infect systems, networks, servers. Cybercriminals do not need a specific reason to hack a website. Cybercriminals can hack your website for the simple reason that they know they can do it. With regular updates, you can make sure your MSP website is secure and protected at all times.
Have you found yourself living by the motto: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While living by this motto may have helped you get through some aspects of life, this is not the motto we recommend MSPs use when it comes to their WordPress website. While you may have avoided updates in the past because you felt your website was running just fine without any updates to plugins or themes, it can prove risky if you continue moving forward like this.
You will eventually need to make changes to your website that will require the latest version of a plugin or the latest version of WordPress itself. There are several risks that are out there on the web, and not updating your WordPress can prove costly in the future. If you consistently make updates when they are recommended, you will be less likely to run into any issues in the future.
You might think you do not need to update anything on your website because you have not run into any problems, but your website could be experiencing problems without your knowledge. When you engage with Ulistic as your trusted digital marketing firm, we will ensure that your website is functioning properly at all times by applying the necessary updates and features.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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