I’d like to tell you a short story about why it’s important to update your website software on a regular basis. It may seem like an obvious thing to many, but the problem when you’re running a small business is that many of the obvious administration-type tasks fall by the wayside because they’re not fresh in your mind on a very regular basis.
So, let me just share what’s happened with a client of mine over the last six months. In short, this client’s website has been hacked twice. Now, despite our best efforts to fix the website or make it as hack-proof as we possibly can, there’s no such thing as a 100% secure website. I mean, if the CIA can get hacked by some teenager, then what chance do the rest of us stand in terms of being able to create a purely secure web presence? It just doesn’t happen. But, there are steps that you can take to mitigate and lessen the risk of being hacked.
But, firstly, let’s get back to this client. His website has been hacked twice. Now, intrinsically, there’s nothing wrong with his website. It was built using a very widely-known content management system, but the big problem with it is that he hasn’t been keeping the software, the content management software, up-to-date frequently.
It’s just another administration job that he, quite frankly, doesn’t have the technical expertise to do.
Now, the challenge with that is that, whilst he knows he doesn’t have the technical expertise to update his website on a regular basis, he doesn’t want to pay an ongoing fee for someone like our company to update it for him and make sure that the site the site at least will be up-to-date which will tackle the most common risks.
The crazy thing about this situation is that, on both occasions, we’ve had to fix his website because it wasn’t backed up and the combined cost of fixing his website twice is more than it would have cost him for us on a monthly basis to take a look at his website and keep it up-to-date. So, it actually cost him more money to trust that his website’s okay rather than to pay a service which will make sure that his website is as okay as it can possibly be.
I know that sounds crazy, but unfortunately this is the way a lot of people think in business. What I find interesting is that his website is very important to his business. He gets an awful lot of customers through his website, and it’s only when his website goes wrong that he starts to shout, and jump and down, and demand immediate attention. And unfortunately, by this time, that immediate attention tends to cost.
So, what I want to urge you to do is to make sure that you keep your website up-to-date, update your website software regularly. You should be checking your website, if it’s an important part of your business, every week at the very minimum to make sure that all software is up-to-date.
That doesn’t matter what content management system you use, whether that’s Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, or any other of them. Even e-commerce systems like Magenta and OpenCart all need to be kept up-to-date. I would urge you that the cost of keeping it up-to-date far outweighs the cost of having it fixed if something goes wrong. As my client has found, it’s cost him far more than it would have done for him to pay us a regular amount for us to keep it up-to-date on a regular basis for him.
So, hopefully, you won’t fall into this trap of just thinking, well, it’s okay. Because, one of the things that we know from our own bitter experience, it’s only when things go wrong do you realize the value in creating systems to mitigate the risk of things going wrong. And to some extent, it’s an insurance policy. All you’re doing is you’re just making sure that, with the best will, you’re keeping your website in this instance as secure as you possibly can with the tools that are available to you.
Now, with many content management systems you can update your website software yourself. WordPress is a good example. So, there’s nothing to stop you. It won’t cost you anything to update your website, But it’s vital for you to understand why it’s important to update your website software. Don’t think about it, just do it.
And, if you’re too busy to do it, consider hiring somebody to do it for you. Your business, whether you realize it or not, depends on your web presence and there is no getting away from it. If they can’t find it, or they see rubbish because your site’s been hacked, they’ll wonder what kind of business you are.
So, there’s no excuses. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be updating your website software on a very regular basis. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s okay. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’ll never get hacked because there’s only a finite number of hackers and there’s millions of websites. It’s very common and it’s a mistake. So, please update your website software regularly and, if you can’t, pay someone who can.
If your website doesn’t have software then you might want to check out our article on why should use a content management system (CMS). for your website.
Anyway, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please write about them in the comments below. And, if you get stuck or need advice on updating your website software, give us a call on 0116 3552194.