Why apply WordPress updates and patches?
WordPress, and other popular web platforms are often targeted by hackers, who wish to use the site for phishing scams, to infect website visitors with malware, or other malicious activities. Even unpopular websites can be targeted to be used to send out spam, or otherwise be other malicious purposes.
Why have Rand Marketing apply these software updates on my behalf?
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re using a custom design with WordPress, as well as some extra plugins. This means that there is a higher likelihood that a web developer will need to make adjustments accordingly in order to successfully apply software updates and patches. Rand’s team uses best practices, and either backups up your site before applying patches, or takes the additional step of first deploying updates to a copy of your site before deploying updates to your live website, decreasing the likelihood that your site will have noticeable errors hindering your website visitors.
What will it cost?
Rand cannot predict how often WordPress will put out software updates and patches, nor can we predict what kinds of changes such upgrades will include, or what conflicts the updates will have with your theme, plugins, or custom programming in your website. We can, however provide rough estimates, while hoping, based upon our experiences, that the actual clocked time will be lower:
*Monthly Updates – estimated at 2 hours per month
Bi-Monthly Updates – estimated 5 hours every other month
Quarterly Updates – estimated 8 hours per quarter
Why does it take more production time to apply software updates less often?
Software updates are best applied incrementally. If there is a problem in an incremental software update, it’s typically easier to identify and address. When applying WordPress updates in bulk, such as quarterly, it’s more likely that more debugging time will be needed.
Why does Rand recommend Monthly WordPress updates, especially if they get less money?
First and foremost, it’s better for our customers, whose websites are safer with the latest software patches. Secondly, it’s easier for us to schedule a developer for small blocks of hours, monthly then big blocks of hours quarterly.
How are these hours billed?
Rand Marketing offers blocks of hours, starting as low as 10 hours. These blocks of hours do not expire, and do not auto-renew. When the hours in your retainer are running low, you have the opportunity to refresh your retainer at your discretion. This retainer can be applied to any of Rand’s other hourly services, including any other design, development, and consultations services that Rand offers.
How do I sign up for this service?
Let your salesperson at Rand know that you’d like to setup an initial retainer. Once that’s in place, let your account manager know which plan to engage in (monthly or otherwise).
Once I sign up, can I change plans?
Yes. Your retainer is good for any of Rand’s hourly services, so you can choose to use it toward the WordPress upgrade plan of your choosing. You have no long-term commitment to use your retainer toward a specific WordPress Upgrade Package. Simply email your account manager to switch your schedule, or to pause or stop having Rand upgrade your WordPress site. Any remaining hours in your retainer can be used toward any of Rand’s hourly services, including logo and graphic design, web design and development, and marketing consultation services.
What if my WordPress version is already significantly out-of-date?
Rand’s team can provide a more specific estimate for an initial updating service to get your website software version upgraded to the current release of WordPress. This estimate will differ based upon how far out-of-date your website is and the plugins installed that may need to be upgraded as well, etc. In some cases, if your software is very outdated, we may recommend a rebuild on a fresh copy of WordPress.
Does applying WordPress updates mean that I’m safe from hackers?
It means that you’re much safer, but not totally immune to intrusion. There are bad people out there, and if they decide to work hard enough at it, they will eventually find a way to hack your website. It’s the nature of technology. Rand recommends choosing a host like MediaTemple or WPEngine that offers Malware scanning and cleaning, and/or a security service like Sucuri.net or SiteLock for an extra layer of protection. You should also continue to take normal steps, such as ensuring that your PCs are free of malware and viruses which could help hackers gain access to your website, change your website passwords regularly, and have your host keep offsite backups of your website in case a restore is ever necessary. These kinds of precautions not only help avoid getting hacked, they help to make detection and cleanup faster and easier, and help with hardening against future intrusion of the same type. It is highly recommended that WordPress website owners work with a solution to watch and protect their site.