What Happens When You Do Not Update Wordpress…

by Robb Sutton

When you do not update your Wordpress blog to the latest version…you get hacked! Like many online visionaries, I have several different websites all running at once. Some time ago, I switched a site that I have had for awhile over to Wordpress from straight .php editing in Adobe Dreamweaver
. With the introduction of more CMS styled themes, it made more sense to use Wordpress due to its simple editing procedure. I transferred all the content and let it rip!

Over the course of time, I let that site sit due to its static content nature. When other…more profitable…projects got in the way, that site went neglected and never got updated to the most recent version of Wordpress. Late last month, the site got hacked and now a page about “killing our babies” and “get out of our country” shows up.

Luckily, I have several backups laying around, so with a lot of work…I should be able to get the site back to its original condition.

There are several lessons to be learned here:

  1. Always update your blog’s content management system. With Wordpress 2.7, this is easier than ever. Go to the Upgrade link found under the Tools tab and let the backend of Wordpress do all the work for you. In previous releases, you had to actually upload the files yourself, and many bloggers aren’t as comfortable with the technical end as you might think. This turned out to be a huge upgrade with 2.7.
  2. Always back up your work! You never know when you are going to need a recent backup. I could be tomorrow so back up everything now! Automate this process as much as you can. WP-DBManager is a great Wordpress plugin that will even email you the backup file of your database, but do not stop there. Download the files from your FTP file system as often as you can to preserve your data.
  3. Keep an eye on your websites. I made the mistake of not checking this particular site for too long. If I would have caught the problem earlier…my life would have been much easier.

Learn from my stupid mistake on this one and take care of what you have. I do not understand hackers and their need to destroy someone else’s hard work. I really hope that one day they have to answer for that, but in the meantime…we need to do what we can to protect our investments.

Photo by Jordan and Lee

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