Hello Tadpoles. Not to scare you, but today’s post is a serious one. It’ll be worth it though, I promise. Frog’s honor. Here we go…
The bad news is, that there are bad people, out there, on the Internet, and you, together with your WordPress blog, have a target on your back. The good news is, that we have good people and good tools to stop them. Or at least, make it so unattractive, that they leave you and your blog, in peace.
I can hear you asking, “Well, if we have the people and the tools, why is this an issue? If we had a vaccine for the common cold, that varmint would be DEAD, yo!”
Well, perhaps, but what if we had the vaccine, but no-one knew how to administer it? “That pill will not fit in his ear, Dame Edna!”… What if we didn’t have the experience, and we weren’t sure what the risks attached to using the vaccine were? “Will I still be able to play the piano if I take the vaccine? We’d be scared, right? Maybe we’d decide that the common cold wasn’t so common, after all. “I mean, we’ve never had a cold, right? It won’t happen to us. Let’s have a cup of tea instead.”
Believe it or not, that’s exactly the kind of reason that folks don’t take advantage of one of our best, and most effective weapons in this fight. The WordPress Update. They don’t know enough, they’re scared they’ll break their blog, or even worse, lose that Pulitzer-winning post that they’ve been working on for 6 weeks. Well tadpoles, George is here to tell you, that Everything is Going To Be OK.
WordPress updates are things of beauty, and joys to behold. They bring insanely complex PHP code that addresses frightening security risks, shuts-down attack vectors, even while graciously adding wonderfully useful and breathtakingly beautiful features. They come with we’ll-take-care-of-you muscles bulging, impossibly large. They are the Seal Team Six of the WordPress blogging world. And yet… they’re so simple to install, it’s almost laughable. They arrive in the form of a handy little yellow update message at the top of your WP dashboard (or you can regularly check for updates by going to Dashboard | Updates in your Admin Panel), and all it takes, is a single click.
Now, all frivolity and super-hero imagery aside, there are a couple of belts -and-braces steps that George would like you to take before clicking that happy little link.
- Back everything up. Files and database, please, tadpoles. I’m certain you’re sick of hearing this mantra, peppered throughout every tip and piece of advice or support we give, but it’s just so worthwhile. If you’re uncertain about how to go about this, of course we have a great tutorial.
- Update all your plugins. Good developers, writing good plugins, will have used the public betas of new WordPress versions, to update and test their plugins. Some plugins may not be compatible with the latest release of WordPress. We suggest you live without them until they are, rather than holding up your core WordPress update.
- De-activate all your plugins. No need to un-install them, just deactivate them, to be sure an incompatible plugin doesn’t hi-jack your upgrade. After everything has updated and you’re admiring your new install, you can reactivate them one by one and test that they’re working correctly.
- Do a Google search. Checking for problems that folks might have encountered, doing the WordPress version update, specifically with the theme you’re using, for example, our most excellent Greyzed theme, a search string like “greyzed wordpress 3.1.4 update problem” would soon reveal any show-stopper issues.
All done? You’re good to go! Click that link, tadpole. You’ll soon be benefiting from increased security and feature enhancements.
If this blog post were any better timed… Well, actually, that just wouldn’t be possible. WordPress have yesterday (29th June), released version 3.1.4, which fixes some really ugly vulnerabilities. It’s highly recommended, and we’ll feel tons better, knowing you’re safe.
That’s it for the serious stuff. Let’s get back to creating wonderful content.
Till next time!
*signature froggy foot-wave*