WordPress Explosion Leading to Problems

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28 May WordPress Explosion Leading to Problems

If you are not familiar with WordPress, it is one of the most widely used Content Management Software (CMS) systems by companies and individuals alike.  The software is used to manage web sites and comes with over 35,000 different plugins that can easily be integrated into the main WordPress software to add functionality to a web site.  While the basic function of WordPress is to manage articles or blog posts or web site content, the plugins can add a lot more functionality that makes a web site more attractive and more interactive with web site visitors.

Examples of plugins include photo galleries, shopping carts, registration systems or contact forms that can email customer information or store it in a database.  You can manage staff or create online directories or even social web sites with the click of a button.   Many plugins are free and extremely easy to integrate which is why WordPress is such a great software foundation for any web site.

What’s Happening with WordPress Today?

WordPress is getting more and more popular, but it’s also getting older.  As the software gets more ingrained in web site development, hackers are taking advantage of security flaws in some of the widely used or older plugins.  The 35,000 plugins that are available have been created by thousands of different programmers all across the world.  The problem is that some plugins are not updated as frequently as the WordPress core software and thus become incompatible with WordPress as well as other plugins.

What we have seen over the past year are issues where numerous plugins on one site are creating conflicts with other plugins or with WordPress itself.  What is a conflict?  A conflict is a negative effect as a result of upgrading a plugin or the core WordPress software.  These include:

  • Not being able to save a setting
  • Images not showing up online
  • The ADD MEDIA button doesn’t work or other formatting issues
  • A portion of the administration area disappearing
  • Other basic options not showing anymore

The worst conflict?  When the entire site just shows white space and nothing shows up.  The hard part about this is that you have to update the core software and plugins or your site will be vulnerable to hacks.  And, if you do all of the updates, you may have conflicts.

What Can You Do About It?

If you rely on your web site like most people, here are some steps you can take

  1. Make sure you have backups.  If you have a hosting company, contact them to see if they are taking backups of your site and how frequently and if they charge for restoring the backup
  2. Find reliable programmers.  If you can, find reliable WordPress programmers who can review the site or download a backup of the site and lean on them to fix issues that may arise
  3. Don’t Use Plugins You Don’t Need.   While the amount of functions are limitless for your site, you need to limit the amount of plugins you install to just the ones you need.  If you are not using a plugin, you need to DELETE the files, not just deactivate the plugin.  Hackers are able to plant malicious code  in folder of deactivated plugins
  4. Set up Security Monitors.  There is a plugin All In One Security that will email you if files are being added to your WordPress web site.  If you are not updating anything and you get a message that files are being added to your site, it could be from hackers.

WordPress is a powerful software that provides a great deal of flexibility.  Thousands of programmers can work with the software and provide even more functionality to help streamline your business.  However, like any good technology, it needs to be updated on a fairly frequent basis or the software might not work.  If you need help with your WordPress site or would like more information, please contact Stark Logic at 888-915-6442.