Updates to your WordPress site become available all the time, whether these are updates to Core, Themes, or Plugins. Since many updates build off each other, the longer you wait to update, the greater the risk of something going wrong. Smaller incremental updates makes it easier to identify and fix an issue if there is one.
Category: The District Page 4 of 21
At SiteLock, we are extremely passionate about giving back to the communities where we live and work. We are especially dedicated to supporting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs for schools in need, and helping to inspire the next generation of technology innovators and pioneers!
In 2015, SiteLock established the Digital Kids Fund to help support technology-based projects at local schools in Arizona. For every SiteLock product purchased by WordPress customers, SiteLock donates $1 to the fund.
Wait just a minute. A Joomla! event recap on a WordPress blog? Why? The better question is why not? At SiteLock, we’re big fans of all Open Source software and the amazing communities built around them. The Joomla! CMS is no exception. That’s why we sponsored and spoke at JoomlaDayFL this past weekend. It was an amazing event filled with informative sessions and a heavy focus on communicating the benefits and use cases of the software, and the larger community that surrounds it.
This is the second post in our series on managing WordPress updates. Without a good process in place to make sure updates are happening correctly, your site could be at risk of security vulnerabilities and outdated functionality. It’s easy to forget this part in your website business plan: when you go live, all of your themes, plugins, and WordPress core will be up to date running on the latest versions. But updates to everything from security patches to new features are constantly being published, and it’s important to stay on top of them.
It’s a tense moment: after a few months of ignoring that “Update WordPress” notification in your dashboard, you’ve finally decided to push the Update button. Which is it going to be? Success Upgrading WordPress! or… The White Screen of Death? You click UPDATE and hold your breath…
Not going to lie: I still hold my breath when I push that Update button. I’ve been building sites with WordPress for over 6 years now, I’m familiar with all my plugins, and keep informed of every update that happens with my theme. And yet, there’s always that little nagging doubt that something COULD go wrong. How do I REALLY know that this update isn’t going to break something?
This weekend I flew South to the desert and joined SiteLock in their hometown state for WordCamp Phoenix 2018! This camp comes less than 4 months after WCPHX 2017, as they will now be hosting WordCamp in late February instead of in the Fall. And somehow [as someone who has helped organize 2 WordCamps myself, I literally am in awe of this] they still managed to pull off another massive and beautifully orchestrated WordCamp. For those unaware, WordCamp Phoenix is consistently one of the largest WordCamps in the country alongside Miami, and this year boasted over 500 attendees with concurrent talks across 3 tracks during the Friday-Saturday weekend. SiteLock was there in October and we were back again last weekend for another awesome info-packed event!
Since its inception in 2008, SiteLock has been committed to protecting all websites, including those built on WordPress. In 2016 we also made a deeper commitment to the WordPress community as a whole by participating in the WordPress Global Sponsorship Program. Through consistent attendance and speaking engagements at numerous WordCamps across the country over the past two years, we’ve been honored to give back to the community by sharing our knowledge and passion for WordPress and website security. As a testament to our continued commitment, I’m very pleased to announce that our presence in the community continues to grow this year with the addition of the smart and talented Jamie Schmid!
Dawn H. spent 30 plus years working in the IT industry before deciding to make a career change. Having recently lost 120lbs in 14 months, she developed a personal connection with a women’s shapewear brand and decided to purchase the company in November 2016.
As any small business can attest to, a website is central to establishing their brand. It not only acts as the face of the business but is also the primary point of contact for customers and a profitable asset. Ninety percent of all Dawn’s business is conducted online through an e-commerce WordPress site. The site is also optimized for mobile use and provides an easy checkout experience. This makes it essential that her website is running safely and securely at all times.
Not long after purchasing the women’s shapewear brand, Dawn was slated to attend and exhibit at one of their biggest retail trade shows of the year on the West Coast just before the holiday shopping season. Attending this show was vital to driving brand awareness as well as traffic to her website, which would generate sales. About 12 hours before Dawn and her team were supposed to leave for the event, she received an email from Google saying her website had been hacked. Upon doing her own Google search she discovered that listed under her website name, in big red letters, were the words “THIS WEBSITE MAY BE HACKED.” After further investigation, it was determined that her website had most likely been Google blacklisted for several days before Dawn was even aware. Now in panic mode, Dawn immediately contacted her hosting provider who immediately put her in touch with SiteLock.
Solution and Result
Thanks to the SiteLock customer service team which operates 24/7/365, Dawn was able to get in touch with a SiteLock security consultant mere hours before her show. SiteLock quickly diagnosed the problem and explained that her e-commerce website had experienced multiple hacks in the form of email spam, URL’s referencing spam, and malware. These were security issues that, if left unattended, could have put customer data at risk. SiteLock told Dawn not to worry, and assured her that they would have the issues resolved within four to six hours. Although overwhelmed by the unexpected circumstances, Dawn was grateful for the personal attention and quality support she received from the SiteLock team.
“SiteLock took the time to explain to me exactly what was wrong with my website and helped recommend the right security solution to prevent my site from being hacked again.”
Dawn was relieved to wake up the next morning and see that her website was up and running, no longer blacklisted. Unfortunately, the very next day, her site was once again suspended. This time, Dawn’s hosting provider had found additional spam and malware in old backup files and folders that SiteLock did not have initial access to. Dawn immediately contacted SiteLock, who set up a conference call with the hosting company to help resolve the issue. Dawn explained, “I was so impressed because SiteLock worked directly with my hosting provider to ensure all issues were taken care of and that my website was back up and running smoothly before we hung up the call.”
As a small business owner without an IT department, it could have cost Dawn thousands of dollars to get her website back up, not to mention the potential for lost sales. Together, SiteLock and Dawn were able develop the right security solution for her website utilizing SiteLock TrueShield: Enterprise and SiteLock INFINITY. By taking a proactive approach to website security, Dawn has confidence knowing her website is protected and can focus on growing her business.
Since partnering with SiteLock, Dawn is much more aware of how easily hackers can target and successfully penetrate a website. Dawn recounted, “I never really thought this could happen to me. I assumed my hosting provider was securing my website. It was a tough lesson to learn that website security is actually my responsibility, but one that allows me to now educate others so it doesn’t happen to them.”
Today, Dawn has peace of mind that her site is secured with SiteLock, and her business can continue to run smoothly. Dawn especially loves the detailed report she receives that shows her just how many attacks continue to be blocked each week.
She is also amazed at the exceptional customer service SiteLock provides. “Every single day my account manager calls me to provide an update on my site. He just calls and says, “Hi Dawn. I have just started my shift and checked the reports on your site and everything is running smooth.” I mean, how many people do that? Maybe a few. How many do that every day? No one!” Dawn said.
Advice for other Small Business Owners
Dawn also has some advice for other small business owners in hopes of preventing them from having to go through the same ordeal that she did.
“My advice to small businesses is simple and straight forward. You need to create a security plan and be proactive in securing your website. Don’t think it won’t happen to you.”
We offer a suite of comprehensive and affordable website security solutions to ensure that your website stays free of malware. For more SiteLock case studies, visit www.sitelock.com/reviews. You can also read a brutally honest review of SiteLock on WPBuffs.com.
On January 16, 2017 WordPress released version 4.9.2, which included several security updates, as well as bug fixes for all versions after WordPress 3.7. WordPress has reported that a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was found in a group of files used to play Flash videos, which was included with all WordPress versions after 3.7. However, because most browsers no longer require these files to play video content, upgrading to version 4.9.2 removes these files. Due to the nature of XSS vulnerabilities, it is highly recommended that WordPress users update their websites immediately to avoid possible compromise.
WordPress notes the following bug fixes and features in particular:
- Browser issues specific to Mozilla Firefox that prevented saving posts have been corrected.
- Widget settings will be restored when switching themes in the application settings.
SMART PLUS, SiteLock INFINITY, and Patchman users are protected from this security issue, as SMART/PATCH and the Patchman libraries have been updated with secure patches that protect plugins and themes reliant on their current versions. It is still advised that website owners plan full version upgrades as soon as possible to take advantage of the new features and full list of bug fixes in WordPress version 4.9.2.
For more information about how SiteLock can help protect your websites from vulnerabilities and malware, contact us at 855.378.6200. We are available 24/7/365 to help!
After a year of anticipation and planning, SiteLock arrived in Nashville, TN for WordCamp US – ready to ‘beat hackers to the draw!’ We sponsored the event again this year, allowing us to meet many of the 1,702 attendees from all around the world. There were also 1,182 viewers who live-streamed the event, making the total attendee count a whopping 3,584!