Do you have a Joomla or WordPress site? These platforms are cool because they allow you to update your site more easily than the old fashioned “static html” sites made in Dreamweaver or other HTML builders. But the downside of your “database-driven” website is that in making life easier for you, it makes life easier for hackers too. This is why it’s important to keep your site and extensions updated. (Extensions are plugins or components that add features which don’t come with the default installation.)
I understand – few of us get excited about logging into the back end or our Joomla or WordPress site and updating the extensions. But this step is the one that gives you the biggest edge with hackers.
In WordPress, it’s a bit easier than Joomla to update your plugins, WordPress installation and themes: Just log into the back end (dashboard) of your site and look for the little red circles with numbers in the left column. Click there to perform the updates. I recommend that you backup your site first. Your web host should be able to help you with this. My favorite WordPress and Joomla host is Cloud Access (full disclosure: this link is my affiliate link, which means I make some money when you sign up) because they support both platforms as part of their monthly hosting fee. If you use Cloud Access, here are the steps for backing up your site:
- log into the Cloud Access Control panel
- go to MANAGE > APPLICATIONS > MANAGE BACKUPS
- make a complete backup
- If by chance your updates break the site, you can choose to RESTORE the backup you just made. Then call Cloud Access for help getting your site up to date without breaking it.
In Joomla, the update process depends on the version of Joomla you’re using, but as long as you’re using version 2.5 or beyond, you will see notices as soon as you log into your admin area. Click on the update notices (after backing up your site of course) and update each extension one by one. If you see updates for the Joomla version itself, I recommend contacting your host for support before proceeding. It’s a good idea to “migrate” your Joomla 2.5+ site if you have one, to the latest version which is a bit of a project. Try your host or reply to this email if you would like my fee for this process.
Ideally, check your site every month to see if updates are needed. Be safe out there!