Blogs: Need a Website Superhero to help you update Wordpress?
Date Added: 13/10/2021 @ 11:05am
We all know that superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and these past couple of years have certainly reminded me that everyday heroes are everywhere. Whether it is the supermarket workers stocking shelves, careworkers diligently delivering help and company to their patients, teachers and teaching assistants working day-in-day-out to educate our children all under the most uncertain and difficult of circumstances we will forever be in your debt. Let alone the more obvious hospital workers and delivery drivers.
Real life superheroes may not don a cape, leap buildings in a single bound or wear their pants above their trousers, but it is so important that we acknowledge you. We all owe you so much.
I must admit that my own role as web developer or web designer is not quite so much life and death and I am not exactly putting my life on the line as I work from the comfort of my own home, but I do try my best to help to keep your website and by extension your customers' data safe and secure.
Unfortunately though there are times when websites go offline, errors appear and my customers don't know what to do. Why would you? I don't understand the ins and outs of your business, so why should you be expected to know what that confusing (and often down-right ugly) error message means? That's my job
Help when you need it
What kind of emergencies can I help you with? Well, probably the most worrysome potential problem is a "hack" or "hacking attempt". The word hack for many brings up the image in my mind of one of those films where the Pentagon has been hacked and the terrorists have the codes for the nuclear football... but in most cases it is more akin to a break-in.
That's not to say that a break-in isn't serious, of course. If someone has managed to get access to data or to your website they could have access to private client data, which is about as serious as it gets. Most hacks, though, are by people that just want to prove that they can get in. They will often deface the website to say "hacker woz ere" or display rude or offensive images. The kind of thing most reputable businesses or organisations don't want on their websites.
Others will be more stealthy, installing hidden pages or even sub-sites with the aim of phishing for personal information from unsuspecting victims. These can be spotted quite easily by regularly scanning the website for changed files or malware and a lot of hosting providers will very quickly suspend your website should they find this.
In either case the problem can usually be avoided by keeping the website up to date.
Running those annoying updates
If you use a popular CMS (Content Management System) like Wordpress or Joomla you will not be unfamiliar with the concept of having to run updates. Many of these are automated, but even though they do more often than not run smoothly, it can seem daunting to run them. If it aint broke, don't fix it, right?
Well, unfortunately, because these CMS's are so widely used and are developed by a massive number of developers they are also very vulnerable. Vulnerabilites become well known quickly and that means the would be hackers will also know them too. The up side is that the fixes do also usually come quickly too, hence the updates.
So the first service I offer is simply to run these updates for you - once a month, or once a quarter so as to keep those attack opportunties closed.
The second service I offer is to do back ups. Even if you run the updates every day, it is still possible that a hacker could get in and if they do if you don't have a recent back up, your most recent data is lost. Having a recent back up is therefore essential.
What else is in the ultility belt?
Like Batman, I have no super powers, but I do have a ultility belt which can help. Backing up also means that should you accidentally break something or delete something we can recover it.
It's not just the big CMS's we can back up. I regularly back up the files and databases for bespoke websites.
Some customers just don't have time to deal with updating their website at all - you're far too busy doing your actual job. So I am also available to help to keep the site up to date - to update your blog, your news, the events coming up or to add new staff members.
Websites that are up to date generally perform better in Google (other search engines are also available). So staying up to date is essential for a well performing website.
Ok. So what will it cost me?
It depends on your organisation and your needs.
If you run a e-commerce website then your sales data and possibly your customer details are vulnerable. So we'd recommend backing up at least once a month - weekly if you have a very busy website.
So here are the simplified options:
Back ups only: We'll run a database back up once a month for a year. This costs just £1 a month or £12 a year. This is typically offered to our hosting customers.
Monthly Back ups and plugin/theme updates: This is generally for Joomla or Wordpress customers and we'll run all plugin, theme and core updates and take a full site back up once a month for £25 a month.
Quarterly Back ups and plugin/theme updates: Again, for Wordpress or Joomla customers, we will run all plugin, theme and core updates and take a full site back up once a quarter for £30 a quarter.
Monthly Maintenance: For customers that need more help than just back ups and automated updates, we offer a monthly maintenance contract which covers up to an average of 4 hours work in any given month. For Wordpress or Joomla websites this includes back ups, plugin, theme and core updates. This starts from £50 a month, but can increase if you require more time.
Quarterly Maintenance: Perhaps you feel that as your website doesn't need updating as often, and you don't have that much data to lose, that perhaps once a quarter is a better fit? In that case we'd run all updates and do a back up once a quarter for you, but also give you up to 4 hours a quarter to help you stay up to date, adding new content or just here to support you when you need advice. Our quarterly maintenance starts from £75 a quarter.
Or pay as you go: You don't have to have a contract for me to help you, of course. If you just want one off help, or advice, I'm usually available to help if I can.
Just 'yelp for help'
I have a 3-year old daughter who absolutely loves Paw Patrol. At the end of each episode they proudy tell each person they've rescued "just yelp for help". While I may not have a literal pup-pack or a utility belt, I am here to help.
Whether you've received a suspicious looking email, have a strange error message or just want reassurance that you're not about to delete the entire website, do get in contact.