If you have a WordPress website, you might not be aware that it needs to be updated on a regular basis.
If you don’t stay on top of this, you put your site at risk of being hacked by some scumbag who wants to cause chaos and pain to you.
While WordPress is an awesome platform to build a website on – for real estate or otherwise – it is more complex than the websites of old (like when I first started building sites back in the 1990s – anyone remember hand coding html?)
Essentially a WordPress site is an installation of code on your webserver that HAS to be regularly updated to minimize hackers breaking in to it.
Much the same as Microsoft gets you to update Windows and your applications every now and then, WordPress also needs to do this.
The longer you put off updating your WordPress installation, the more likely it is that your site will be hacked, and once that happens, all bets are off as to whether your site can be saved.
IF you regularly back up your site, you’ll have a better chance of recovering from a hack, but most website owners I know don’t even do this, so they’ll probably lose everything if it happens to them.
I have had my web server hacked once, some years ago, because I was lazy and used a really simple password. The scumbag who hacked it installed code onto my server that allowed it to start sending spam emails by the 1000s out of my server and I had no idea this had happened until my hosting provider alerted me.
I had no back ups of course, so there was no way to recover any of my sites (I had multiple sites on that account) so they literally had to blow away my entire account (delete ALL files and the account) and set up a fresh new account with new username & login, and I had to then start re-installing WordPress on all my domains from scratch again.
I learned my lesson the hard way that time, so now I use LONG COMPLEX usernames & passwords, and I also have security plugins on all my sites as well as an automated back up system in place.
Since then, none of my sites have ever been hacked.
By the way, just in case you think there’s no chance you’ll get hacked, this very site gets over 50 attempted hacks a WEEK!
And this is not the most visited website on the web by any stretch of the imagination.
If you’re a well known agency or agent who’s had a site active for some years, you probably get a LOT more hack attempts than my site.
So… if you haven’t logged into your WordPress site and done an update, get cracking RIGHT NOW!
Go to the Updates sub-menu (under Dashboard) and follow the instructions to update your WordPress installation AND also all your plugins and theme/s.
As you can see from my Updates page, my installation of WordPress is up to date:
… but I have 5 plugins that currently need to be updated:
And my theme needs to also be updated:
Here’s a short video I shot explaining how to update all your files:
Now, we’re almost finished, but you still need a Security plugin and I recommend you use Wordfence.
And here’s a simple 1 page PDF which explains how to install Wordfence.
Lastly, a backup tool. I actually don’t use this one but it’s easily the most highly rated backup plugin available so I would encourage you to check out UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin.
OK real estate folks. I hope this was of help to you. Let me know below in the comments if you’ve ever had your WordPress site hacked or know someone who did. And how did you go implementing all the above recommendations?
Please share this post with anyone else you know who uses WordPress. You might save them a LOT of grief one day in the near future.