What’s Growing On Your Website?

Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Splenetic

Have you checked your website recently to make sure it’s not growing mold?

If you’re running ecommerce or site builder software (or any scripts!) such as WordPress, Zen Cart, osCommerce, Magento, Drupal, CMS Made Easy, SohoLaunch, or anything other than plain HTML pages… you need to make sure that you’re running the latest, up to date version!

Why?  As scripts age, they become vulnerable to:

Hackers: If your script is old, chances are hackers have figured out how to get in, steal info, corrupt your files and even make your website distribute viruses!

Server Compatibility Issues: Server admins regularly upgrade their software to later versions to incorporate bug fixes and security updates.  If you’re running older scripts they may not work well with newer server software and when that happens you may suddenly find your website sending errors!

But if you keep your scripts updated, in addition to security and compatibility, you’ll also benefit from new features and bug fixes the programmers have incorporated into new versions.

For some scripts, updating is simple.  WordPress has changed their upgrade process so it’s much easier in the latest versions and only requires a few mouse clicks from your wp-admin area to upgrade (see, there’s an example of a benefit of staying up to date!).  Don’t forget to update your plugins, too!  Plugins can have vulnerabilities and allow your website to be hacked as well.  Luckily they’re usually one-click updates, too.

For other scripts, you may need to have your website helper or webmaster upgrade for you.  But it’s not a task you want to skip!  Better to spend the extra bit of time or money staying updated than wake up to a website that’s been hacked one morning or no longer works.

Don’t let your website get moldy!

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5 Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Terri Zwierzynski, Michelle Shaeffer. Michelle Shaeffer said: Blog: What's Growing On Your Website? http://bit.ly/cxjSbl #blogboost […]

  2. Really interesting, Michelle, and now I suddenly appreciate having the newest version of WordPress much more than I did before reading your post! I love that I can see that little black circle with a number in the center in my Admin area to alert me to updates.

    I can’t begin to wonder what it would be like to have your website hacked. Ouch. Sounds like a disastrous nightmare.

    Someone found a way to hack into my personal email account last year. I felt totally vulnerable and completely out of control – not to mention nauseated and sick to my stomach.

    I hope your readers will heed your awesome advice and work to keep their websites from getting moldy!
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… Blogging for DollarsMy Profile

    1. I love how WordPress alerts us, makes it much easier to stay on top of the updates.

      And it’s bad… this post was inspired by a friend who’s site got hacked, she asked me to write about the importance of keeping updated and let people know. :(

  3. Updates are really very imp for wordpress otherwise it might be open for hackers.

    Michelle, I really like the “reading time” thing on your blog.

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