I logged into my WordPress-run website this morning after being gone for 5 days to find 9 updates, 4 of which were ‘critical’. Critical updates are those which fix bugs or security issues and really need to be run immediately.
This isn’t unusual, of course. WordPress and their plugins are constantly updating, which is actually a good thing. Active updates mean improved features and if you apply those updates it means your site is better protected and has the latest functionality.
There is the cost of your time however. Like this morning. As usual I updated all 9 plugins at once and immediately crashed my site. I had to disable the plugins I’d updated manually (see below) and the re-activate them one at a time to figure out which one was causing the error. Wouldn’t you know it, the error disappeared. It took me about 20 minutes to resolve the error and get my site up and running again. Then I did a manual backup to be on the safe side. So 30 minutes out of a busy day.
Of course, I knew exactly what steps to take when the updates failed – so what took me 30 minutes might take you an hour or a whole day.
I also knew that I had a recent backup in case all else failed.
How about you? Can you afford to have your site go down when running updates? (You are running updates, aren’t you?) Do you know what steps to take to get your site up and running quickly? When was your last backup?
If you can’t answer these questions you need to find a service that will do it for you and send you reports. As an example, and a plug for my own business, I do the following for clients who are on my weekly plan (only $25/mo):
- Manual backup of site files and database before running updates.
- Running updates.
- Check site to ensure everything is still up and running.
- 2nd backup when everything appears clear.
- Email to client of all clear.
I also offer a service ($15/mo) that runs constantly on your site and checks for changed files or new files added to your site. This protect against hackers; the quicker we find your site has been hacked, the quicker we can restore it. While this is something you can set up yourself, I read the reports and can tell the difference between a legitimately changed file (i.e. you’ve uploaded a new image or a plugin has updated) and a file that shouldn’t have been changed.
Contact me today about setting up your site for automatic backups/updates and changed files.
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