WordPress is an amazing tool. It forms the backbone of literally tens of millions of websites worldwide due to its pretty easy “plug in and play” format of posting, uploading and editing. In fact, some estimates put WordPress websites at around 30% of all websites out there, which is pretty impressive.
But let’s be honest. It can also be a bit of a pain in the… well, you know.
When updates go rogue
One of the most common gripes about WordPress is that the company and developers behind it take it upon themselves to update the platform at very regular intervals. Now, for the most part, this is fantastic, as the platform adds more security features and integrations.
But occasionally, there are updates that are really just solutions looking for a problem.
And based on our experience, that’s exactly what happened with the latest release, WordPress 4.9.3.
If you post regularly, then the ability to auto-update your site into the future is a great tool. Unfortunately, the WordPress 4.9.3 update laid waste to this ability.
More specifically, the update included a bug that will stop all WordPress sites from auto-updating into the future. The update itself contains a glitch that will cause the website to revert back to 4.9.3 every time it tries to auto-update.
It’s kind of like when you’re playing Monopoly and you draw that card that says “Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200”. Now imagine that every time you tried to move forward, you kept drawing that card and had to loop back to jail without passing “Go”. That’s essentially what’s happening behind the scenes with WordPress websites when they try and update now.
Why does it matter?
As with everything on the internet, the main reason this matters is website security. Auto-updates are one way that developers keep the barbarians outside the gates of your website, by identifying and fortifying these vulnerabilities as they are found, and before they are exploited by hackers.
With a broken update mechanism, WordPress sites that are running a broken version of 4.9.3 are a very attractive target for hackers. Once they find the vulnerability (and they always do) they will exploit any site hosted on WordPress that is exposed to the vulnerability.
Brugel’s on it
Of course, at Brugel, keeping on top of this is part of our job. While most website owners were unaware there was anything untoward going on, we were able to go in and manually edit all of the websites that we host on behalf of our clients and patch up the error.
That means that our client’s websites were updated as soon as they could be.
If you’d like us to take a look at your website and ensure that it’s safe and secure, and to make sure that continues into the future, just get in touch with us today we’d be happy to help! That way, we can look after the website, and you can get on with running your business, blog or organisation!