One of the things I find when I’m working with clients is that they fail to remember to update their WordPress Plugins. I try to explain during the whole migrating to WordPress.org process that it’s not as easy as the free platform they were using. Moving to self-hosted WordPress.org means not only do you have to write great content and create visually appealing images but maintain the backend of your website.

This is why I like to mention my Monthly Blog Management service that can help them stay out of trouble with their sites.

Forgetting to Update Your Plugins Can Become an “Oh Shat!” Moment

Case and point: You’re creating a new post and you see the little-circled number next to your “Plugins” in your WordPress Dashboard. Either you don’t know what it means and don’t pursue it further or you do know what it means and just don’t feel it necessary. You continue to work on adding images to your new blog post, editing the content, and eventually publish.

We all know how exciting it can be to publish a new post. Especially if you think it’s a great one! You can wait to start pushing it out to all your social media networks so you hop over to the live post and start clicking those Share buttons!

We all know how exciting it can be to publish a new post. Especially if you think it's a great one!Click To Tweet

Almost instantaneously after you start sharing it, you begin receiving feedback on social media. You get involved with chit-chat over your post and lose all track of time. Don’t Beat Yourself Up! We all do it!

However, several hours later or even the next day, you come back to website to begin responding to comments and find you cannot access your website!

Forgetting to Update Your Plugins Can Become an "Oh Shat!" Moment

You frantically start thinking what could have gone wrong! You quite possibly could even have a meltdown right there in front of your laptop! You cry out for help on social media! You just want someone to tell you “It’s going to be alright!”

You get asked, “Do you have a backup?” Of course, you

Of course, you do don’t! You’ve been too busy writing and sharing content! Who backs up their sites?

You are then asked, “Did you make any changes to your site?” “Have you contacted your web host?” “Do you have a security plugin?”

And then it hits you like a ton of bricks! 

The Plugins!

You failed to update your plugins and now one or several of them have been breached and your site has been taken over by HACKERS!

You may think this is a bit extreme…..

But, I’ve seen it happen. Unfortunately, as a Web Designer, there isn’t much I can help you with except suggest your reach out to your web host and pray that you are using a reputable one like SiteGround {afflink}.

What happens from here can be totally dependent on the hacked, the web host, and anyone else who chooses to try to assist the hacked.

Security Breaches are only One Reason Why We Should Update Our Plugins

There are many other reasons why to include:

  • to fix any quirks or bugs in that version
  • to add additional features and/or functionalities
  • to strengthen Security

You may think it can never happen to you if you don’t update your plugins.

Would you like to bet on that?

Do you Know the Rule about WordPress Plugins?

Yeah, I know. I really don’t like rules but when it comes to the Security and Functionality of my website, I abide by them.

  • Don’t install a plugin if it hasn’t been updated in a year. I sometimes even go by the 8-month mark.
  • Research the DevelopersIf you can’t find a lot about them, chances are you might not want to install that plugin.
  • Ask other Bloggers for recommendations. There are a lot of Bloggers out there that have a great list of Resources available.
  • Don’t install more than what you really need. Too many plugins can bog down your site speed.
  • If you’re not using it, Delete it! I’ve seen many sites with oodles of deactivated plugins. Get rid of them!

Sometimes, Life Happens

One of the things I find when I'm working with clients is that they fail to remember to update their WordPress Plugins. I try to explain during the whole migrating to WordPress.org process that it's not as easy as the free platform they were using. Moving to self-hosted WordPress.org means not only do you have to write great content and create visually appealing images but maintain the backend of your website. This is why I like to mention my Monthly Blog Management service that can help them stay out of trouble with their sites.

I’ve said it many times. Life can happen at any moment and take us away from our passions online.

This happened not too long ago with Andy Bailey. Andy was the creator of a plugin you see on many blogger’s websites, maybe including your own.

CommentLuv

CommentLuv is was a great tool for our blogs. But let me clear this one thing up. CommentLuv is not a WordPress Commenting System. I see this said so many times on Blogs. They talk about Disqus, IntenseDebate, and CommentLuv.

Guess What?

CommentLuv is not a commenting system! CommentLuv works along with the native WordPress.org comment system.

Shew! Felt good to clear up that misconception.

Back to Andy and CommentLuv

Due to no fault of his own, Andy is unable to continue updating and maintaining the CommentLuv WordPress plugin. If you look at the plugin site, the last time it was updated was 10 months ago. We are quickly approaching that one (1) year mark.

Please don’t think I’m trying to deter you from using CommentLuv because I am was an Affiliate and have several purchased licenses.

However, most recently I’ve been hearing and seeing many complaining about the plugin and its functionality. I have personally experienced this myself which led me to seek out Andy directly. Due to my findings, I’ve removed CLuv from my websites. Since removing it, I’ve also found I get fewer Spam comments. Possibly and update needed in the plugin?

So, until someone purchases CommentLuv and continues to maintain it, I would suggest watching it when that 1-year mark rolls around. No matter how reputable Andy is in his work, an updated plugin can surely lead to conflicts in the near future. Not only with Security, but conflicts with other plugins on your website.

That said, how many of you will be heading back to your websites to check your plugins? 😉

In closing

Keeping our websites secure should be our number one priority. If you have blogging friends that are just starting out, please be sure to guide them and inform them about the importance of:

  1. Having a reputable Security Plugin
  2. Updating their plugins when updates roll-out
  3. Don’t install any that haven’t been updated in a year
  4. Not using it, get rid of it
  5. Research, research, research

I would love to hear from you! Have you run into any issues with unupdated plugins? What about those who haven’t been updated in over a year?

 

 

 

P.S. My heart goes out to Andy Bailey in hopes that someday he will be well enough to continue with his passion.