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How often should I be updating website software?

Is updating website software a chore?

Updating Website Software Blog by Gecko MarketingDo you feel the pain of updating website software? Does it make you nervous because you’re afraid that it may break something on your website? Are you concerned that you may not be going about it the right way? When was the last time you worked on updating your website software? Be honest, have you been doing it at all?

The internet is a very fast paced component of everyone’s life. It’s exciting to see new technologies emerge, but it’s also scary when we feel we’re being left behind. One of the reasons it changes so quickly is that there is a constant battle behind the scenes between the software developers and the hacking community. Hackers love to hack into websites for a number of reasons. To do so, they constantly pick away at the programming code that makes up various websites. Eventually they find a way to break in and wreak havoc. On the other side, the software developers are working just as furiously to modernize their code to patch up the vulnerabilities that the hackers have gained access to. It’s a never-ending battle.

This is the reason why every piece of software today has updates released by the developers on a constant basis. Updating website software is so important, that some companies used to release updates one a month, then once a week, but now almost all the software developers are releasing software updates in real time. That means that as soon as they have completed a fix for a known vulnerability, it’s released via the internet. We have seen some software developers releasing updates multiple times per week!

Do I need to install the updates right away, or can I wait?

Updating website software needs to be done immediately! The problem is that there is already a huge amount of time that passes between when the hackers break in, and when the corresponding fix is released by the software developers. This timeframe can easily be six months or more, depending on the circumstances involving the complexities of the hack. If you push off updating website software because you simply feel it’s inconvenient to take care of it on an ongoing basis, you’re prolonging the window of opportunity that your website may be broken into.

As a result, your website software should be checked for updates on a daily basis, and you should be updating website software right away. Of course, sometimes updating website software may break your website, so be sure to make a complete backup of all your files, the databases, and any other components relating to your website and your hosting account in general. This gives you an opportunity to restore the backup in case the software updating caused any problems.

This entire process can be quite time-consuming. However, it’s important to check for updates on a daily basis, and if there are any then you should proceed with putting your website in maintenance mode, backing up your entire hosting account, updating the software, testing the website, making the site live again, and finally retesting the entire website again. Pfew! That’s a crazy amount of work, isn’t it? Now consider that you need to do this every day, or even just once or twice per week!

Updating website software takes a lot of time, and must be done correctly.

If you think it’s all too much work, and that chances are pretty good that nothing bad will happen to you, you may be tempted to push off updating website software. You may even decide to just do it once a month, or even just once a year. Obviously this is going to save you a lot of time, but consider what happens if your website gets hacked. You may have invested thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars into it. If it gets compromised and you have to build it up from scratch, it’s an expensive process to go through. Now also consider that while your website is being rebuilt that it’s offline and you’re not generating any revenue from it. How will your clients perceive you when they hear that your site has been compromised? Will they still feel confident dealing with you? Finally, what if the hackers manage to obtain confidential information from your website such as client records, credit card information, trade secrets or more? Now do you still think it makes sense to take such a risky shortcut and not update your website software as soon as the updates are available?!

I need help updating website software!

By now you may have decided that this is all too much to take on yourself. After all, with all the work required, it can quickly feel like a part-time job! Therefore it’s very beneficial to work together with a website management company, such as ourselves. We use sophisticated website monitoring software to constantly keep track of our clients’ websites. As soon as an update is available, we are informed automatically so that we can begin the update process. We have a number of various software tools at our disposal to automate many of the tasks. This ensures that everything is done quickly, efficiently, and of course properly. Finally, we have the entire process monitored and checked by real people. Of course if something should go wrong with updating website software, we’re right on top of it so that it can be repaired immediately.

All this monitoring, backing up, updating and testing that we do, saves our clients’ hours and hours of work every month. They are very happy to pass on all this tedious work to us so that they don’t have to deal with it. It allows them to invest their time into growing their business and generating revenue. Finally they know that everything is professionally taken care of for them, and if any unforeseen problems should arise, they also know that we’re on top of it and fixing it right away.

If you’re not sure whether you should be updating website software and all the related work yourself, or if you should hire a website management company to do so for you, consider the pros and cons of both scenarios. Often it comes down to whether you would rather spend your time or your money. However you should also think about how a professional company has the proper tools, experience and knowledge. If you’re still not sure, it doesn’t hurt to get some consultation and ask a lot of questions. One averted disaster can be worth an unimaginable amount of saved time and money! Stay safe!

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