Did WordPress’s Automatic Update Break Your Site?

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Have you ever opened your email and saw a message like this?

If you haven’t seen this email, then most likely you have something like define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false ); in your wp-config.php file which will disable WordPress’s automatic updates.   If you have seen this email then at least you can be confident that your WordPress Core is up to date but can you be confident that your website is still working properly?

Time To Check On My Website

Once you see that email message the first thing you do (or should do) is open up your website to check on it to make sure everything is working and looking normal.  After clicking through a bunch of pages in detail you find everything seems good.  Great news, you dodged another bullet!  What if everything isn’t working and looking normal?  Error messages at the top of the page, broken layouts, plugins stop functioning correctly and the white screen of death can happen if your theme, plugins and core are not all up to date.  Even if they are you can still have issues depending on your theme and your plugins and how quickly the developers have updated them to be compatible with the new WordPress core.

My WordPress Website Is Broken.  What Should I do?

If you website is broken the first thing you should do is see if your host, developer or YOU have properly setup automatic backup’s of your website’s files and database. What’s that you say?  You do not have any backup’s configured?  That’s a major NO NO.  Now your site could be broken for few days before you figure out what is wrong or find someone else fix the problems.

How Could I Have Avoided This?

The best way to avoid downtime, and issues like these is to have a WordPress Maintenance Plan in place.  These plans will keep your WordPress core, plugin’s and themes up to date.  Automated daily backup’s, security monitoring, security scans and database optimization also come with any of these plans which will keep your website healthy and running smoothly.

 

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Wordpress Maintenance is a Must Have

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Afford to Neglect Your Website

You just paid thousands of dollars for a beautiful new WordPress website.  How do you keep it up and running at peak performance? Changing your oil every 3,ooo miles isn’t just a suggestion from your car company, it’s a requirement if you want your car to work. Website maintenance is no different. For your website and your business, it is necessary to make sure your site stays functional and performing well.  Here are 3 reasons not having your WordPress site up to date is costing you and your business money.

Reason #1 – Getting Hacked

Security is arguably the most important reason why you should keep your WordPress website up to date. WordPress is a popular target for hackers (and wanna be hackers), malicious code distributors, and data thieves.

Getting hacked can result in the following:

  • Your host can turn off your website – Now that your site is turned off none of your customers can access it.  This ultimately will lose your company money and perspective clients.
  • Stolen Data –  Data thieves can steal your clients/customers private and confidential data.
  • Google flags your site as insecure – Google can put the big red screen of death up if they scan your site and find any malicious code.  This can result in customers and future customers not trusting your company and loss of revenue.

Reason #2 – Slower Runtime

If your site takes too long to load, then people leave. No one wants to stick around and wait for your content to show up. WordPress maintenance is often seen as a chore, but it’s extremely important. Most web platforms, without a little extra care, can become slow, error prone and unreliable. Unnecessary files and data can slow your site down. Unwanted content such as comment spam can cause you a world of hurt, consuming valuable resources and impact on your search engine rankings. Security flaws can enable attackers to use your site to commit fraud, spread malware and launch further attacks.

Reason #3 – The Cost of Fixing a Broken Site

By not maintaining your site regularly, you run the risk of having to deal with a bigger issue in the long run.  Again,  think of your website as a car…when you get regular oil changes, your car runs at it’s peak performance. Cars that are taken care of regularly are less likely to breakdown and break the bank. The same goes for your website.   Fixing a broken site is costly.  Once your site has been hacked, or if a Plugin or the WordPress Core breaks your theme (or vice versa) it can take hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get it back to where it was before the issues.

Leave it to the experts

You may or may not feel comfortable updating plugins, themes and core, but it’s not what you do best.  Leave your website care to Graphic Lux.   We will make sure your site is always up-to-date, has daily backup’s and is secure!

Sign Up For Any Of
Our WordPress Care Plans &
Get Your First Month 50% OFF

Limited to the Month of April Only

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.? If you’re new to WordPress or even played around a bit, this is a normal question and usually needs some explanation since the two get confused pretty easily.

Both are great options and the best one for you depends on the plans you have for your site, your skill level and how much time you can spend on maintaining and designing your site.

Do you need a self-hosted or WordPress.com site?

If you looking to create a simple website or just a blog, you probably will not want to want to fuss with regular maintenance or security and won’t want to customize your site too much, then WordPress.com probably is your best option.

If you need full control over your website design, plugins, files and database with the freedom to basically do anything you want  and don’t mind maintaining and securing your site, then WordPress.org can provide the software you need.  You don’t have to worry about maintaining and securing your site if you rather leave this to the experts though.  Graphic Lux has several different WordPress Care Plans to choose from, so you can do what you do best and leave the WordPress maintenance up to our specialists.

If you plan on developing an E-commerce, membership, social media or large business site a self-hosted WordPress site will give you more options and offers more flexibility.

We recommend: WordPress.org

When it comes down to cost, freedoms and limitations, and maintenance and development considerations, WordPress.org wins easily.

It may take more time and effort to set up a WordPress site, but you will have full control over the look and feel of your site. You will be able to use custom themes and customize their look, and also upload custom plugins to add more functionality to your site.

Leave it to the experts

You may or may not feel comfortable updating plugins, themes and core, but it’s not what you do best.  Leave your website care to Graphic Lux.   We will make sure your site is always up-to-date, has daily backup’s and is secure!

 

Sign Up For Any Of
Our WordPress Care Plans &
Get Your First Month 50% OFF

Limited to the Month of March Only

Why Website Maintenance Should Be On Your Mind

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Why Website Maintenance Should Be On Your Mind

The problem for many WordPress websites is that they have been neglected, and out of date.  The WordPress CMS core, plugins, and themes are in need of basic updates/upgrades while security monitoring and daily backup’s should be taking place.  Without these updates/upgrades your WordPress website could be susceptible to malicious attacks/hacks, and slower performance times.

Just like any software, websites require maintenance to keeping the site working properly. Avoiding website maintenance is like not having regular oil changes on your vehicle. You wouldn’t drive your car very long if you didn’t look after its maintenance, would you? Well, the same process is true for your website. Your website should always be live, ready for customers and presenting your business at its finest.

Websites Are Not a “Set and Forget”

If you don’t have website maintenance carried out monthly, you may actually be throwing money out the window. When visitors go to a website and find things wrong with it, they often don’t stick around. Many website owners never check their website to see how it’s functioning. Missed website issues or downtime can lose you potential customers.

The Benefits of Maintenance

Many people don’t realize the benefits of site maintenance:

The website performance, it’s load time, downtime and uptime, is all dependent on the WordPress software and plugin functioning as they should (and on the recent version).

The website growth, it’s fresh content, analytics monitoring and design changes, is all dependent on you having someone making sure all updates to the website are done in a smooth and error-free fashion.

Maintenance Workflow

At Graphic Lux we take great care to first backup the website, and check the website after our updates for any issues. Our software keeps a record of plugins we update so if there is ever an issue we see what plugin version was changed and revert back. Also included in our monthly maintenance report are the performance and security scans. If in the event we ever catch a plugin issue, it becomes a support ticket and we address it before you ever know there’s a problem.

Want to maintain your website yourself?

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Maintaining your site yourself could cost you more than you may think. If you just update from your WordPress admin, you wouldn’t have a record of what was done. If an update to a plugin created an issue a couple weeks later, it would be difficult to know what changed and how you should revert back without restoring a very old backup (and possibly losing content changes, sales orders, contact entries, you name it).

It Costs More to Fix Than to Maintain

Inexperience and neglect can damage the look and functionality of your website. When that happens, you have a choice to make. One, you try and fix it yourself, in which case you may do further damage. Or two, you can then pay the (sometimes hefty) price for someone experienced to fix it. Just like your car, it costs more to fix it than it does to maintain it properly. Regular oil changes help keep your car running properly, regular site maintenance helps keeps your web site running properly.

Call in a Professional

Why not deal with what you know best and let us deal with what we know best? Would you try to fight that court battle without a lawyer? Then why try to maintain your own website if you’re not a web professional? By securing an experienced web professional to update and maintain your site properly you are actually saving potential lost sales and visitors.

If you’re interested in securing a maintenance contract for your web site, please view our WordPress Maintenance Plans to see which one fits your needs.

FIND YOUR WORDPRESS MAINTENANCE PLAN

WordPress 4.5 broke my website!

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Why did WordPress 4.5 break my website?

WordPress’s Core will automatically update your website to the latest WordPress version when the newest version has been tested and deemed safe for release, unless you have preventative measures already in place.  Wordpress 4.5 included many new updates and changes which can all be seen here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Version_4.5

One of the biggest problems we have noticed is not with WordPress’s update but with the WordPress theme that is being used.  Wordpress updated it’s jQuery library and in doing so many websites broke because of the coding changes and their conflicts with the javascript of the theme.

There are other problems we have seen that broke other users websites but for the most part it usually had something to do with the jQuery update.

How can I fix this?

There are a few solutions to fix this issue but you most likely should have a development team to help you.

The best solution would be to update the core to 4.5, then update all the plugins, and update the theme (always make a backup of the files and database before you do this).  Usually if you have all the latest plugin’s and the latest theme files implemented on your site any broken area’s should be corrected.

Another solution would be to replace the new jQuery library with the last version.  This is not the best idea because once another WordPress version is updated on your site it will overwrite the older library.  Use these files here and replace the current folder located here: wp-includes/js/jquery.

How can I prevent this in the future?

The best way to prevent WordPress 4.5 or any newer version from breaking your website in the future is to have one of our WordPress Maintenance & Care Plans.  We not only make sure your website is updated to the newest versions of WordPress, plugins and themes, but we also go in on a daily basis and actively watch your site(s) for security and malicious activity, create daily backup’s, clean up spam, database overhead, monitor website uptime, and more.

You can always set your wp-config file so your site does not automatically update.  You can find more information about how to implement that here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Configuring_Automatic_Background_Updates.  This way you can have time to test the new version and make sure it works with your website before pushing these updates LIVE.

Hacked by Hmei7, Anonghost, or Isis? Let Graphic Lux help.

What or Who is this Hmei7?

Hmei7 is an Indonesian Top Hacker that has created some chaos on WordPress (and Joomla) websites in the past (2012) and fairly recently.   Known for Mass Defacements, Hmei7 has claimed to have defaced more than 5000 websites in under 3 days.  He has hacked many high profile websites including IBM, Microsoft, SIEMENS, AVG, Foxconn. He also defaced thousands of Government websites belong to different countries.

How did Hmei7 hack your WordPress website?

What did Hmei7 do?

It seems that Hmei7 gained access to several database servers and then simply ran simple SQL scripts on the various MySQL databases. He than ran the script against all Post and Page titles and merely replaced existing titles with a script that ‘created’ the popup. WordPress has a title on every Page and Post so it was a simple but very effective hack. Some WordPress sites claim that passwords have been changed for users but again this is simple enough to do via a generic SQL script (no need to panic as WordPress passwords are generally secure enough and are stored as an MD5 hash i.e. others are unlikely to be able to read your password even if they have access to the MySQL database).

So how did Hmei7 get into your Website?

Unfortunately we don’t know exactly how the hacker gained access to the database however we haven’t seen any evidence that WordPress, Themes or Plugins were the entry point for the attack.

And what could you have done to prevent being hacked?

Hosting can play a small role, if you are on shared hosting you will have more chances of getting hacked than on a dedicated server.  Having a WordPress Maintenance team to actively watch and update your WordPress Core, WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugin’s and also proactively running security scans will help you avoid these types of hacks.  Graphic Lux has been proven to be one of the top providers of WordPress Care & WordPress Maintenance plans.

PICK YOUR WORDPRESS CARE PLAN


What or Who is this Anonghost?

Anonghost, lead by Mauritania Attacker, hacker group that hacked thousands of websites including government website, Database leaks, email leaks and Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Account’s hijacking. The hacker who founded the AnonGhost Team group, said the reason behind its attacks was simple:

We are very proud that we are defending Palestine. It’s a duty to try to establish peace for humanity, spreading awareness. As you can see religion doesn’t make us different, or nationality, we are united together.

The “we” their leader is talking about is the group of hackers that makes up Anonghost.  Anonghost is mostly based in 15 different countries across Africa, the Middle East & Europe.

How did Anonghost hack your WordPress website?

Below is an actual YouTube video from Anonghost showing you how they hacked and got access through WordPress’s Remote File Upload Vulnerability.

And what could you have done to prevent being hacked?

Hosting can play a small role, if you are on shared hosting you will have more chances of getting hacked than on a dedicated server.  Having a WordPress Maintenance team to actively watch and update your WordPress Core, WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugin’s and also proactively running security scans will help you avoid these types of hacks.  Graphic Lux has been proven to be one of the top providers of WordPress Care & WordPress Maintenance plans.

PICK YOUR WORDPRESS CARE PLAN


What or Who is this Isis?

ISIS is after you

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning WordPress users to patch vulnerable plugins for the popular content management system before ISIS exploit them to display pro-ISIS messages.

According to the FBI, ISIS sympathizers are targeting WordPress sites and the communication platforms of commercial entities, news organizations, federal/state/local governments, religious institutions, foreign governments, and a number of other domestic and international websites.

How did Isis hack your WordPress website?

Isis exploited vulnerable WordPress Plugins and in addition pro-ISIS sympathizers are creating fake government websites to trick people into handing over the personal identity data which lead them to identity theft.

Whats worst is that these fake sites are appearing at the top of the search engine results.  Prompting their victims to click on the fake sites and sending their sensitive data. The scam sites usually charges a fee to complete the service requested, which encourage the victims to send their more personal data further.
Before a victim realizes it is a scam, the money has already been funneled out of their bank accounts and their personal identities have been compromised, which can be used by attackers for any number of illicit purposes.

And what could you have done to prevent being hacked?

Hosting can play a small role, if you are on shared hosting you will have more chances of getting hacked than on a dedicated server.  Having a WordPress Maintenance team to actively watch and update your WordPress Core, WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugin’s and also proactively running security scans will help you avoid these types of hacks.  Graphic Lux has been proven to be one of the top providers of WordPress Care & WordPress Maintenance plans.

PICK YOUR WORDPRESS CARE PLAN

Ten Ways To Secure Your WordPress Site

As Buffalo, NY’s premiere WordPress security guru’s we thought we may give you a few great ways to keep those pesky hackers out of your site.  Here is a nice infographic that will give you the beginning steps to help secure your WordPress website.

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Of course having a WordPress maintenance plan or what we call a “WordPress Care Plan” will do all these items for you and make sure your site is worry free. Feel free to check out our WordPress Care Plans here!

WordPress Care Plans & Why You Need Them

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Why WordPress Care Plans and what the heck are they?

It’s no secret that in the Web Design industry, most companies are great at working on projects but generally stink at the on-going support of a site. It doesn’t matter how easy the update or request is, the industry is just generally bad at caring for clients in this way.

But why is this? Is the developer or designer entirely to blame? No. It’s also the client’s fault. Clients are generally bad at sending accurate information. They’ll send the contents for a new page over the course of 10 emails that have a sentence like “Oh and also…” When the designer finally posts the content is the client realizes they have typos or further edits. It’s not that these types of changes are hard to fix, they’re just generally annoying and interuptions in the course of a work day.

So then if designers are slow and clients are unclear and inaccurate, what’s the solution? Well I can tell you that billing hourly for a text change doesn’t make designers and clients best of friends. I can also tell you that a client sending 10 emails to explain themselves to the designer also doesn’t lead to friendships.

We found the perfect solution!

WordPress  Care Plans!

Here’s what our Wordpress Care Plans offer and why you need one.