If your website has ever been hacked then you’re all too familiar with the headache and hassle of the damage it causes. If you haven’t experienced website hacking, consider yourself lucky.
Even though you’ve been advised to update your website you tell yourself, “it’s not in the budget” or “not now, I’ll get to it later”. However, it never gets added as a line item in the budget, and it never ends up being a good time. Unfortunately, that’s a recipe for disaster. It is vital that your website programming is up-to-date in order to significantly reduce the risk of hacking.
Read along as we discuss website programming and the importance of keeping your website software updated regularly.
If you’re wondering what could happen to your website during a hack, there is no simple answer. That’s because hacking looks different depending on the hacker and your websites’ vulnerabilities.
Some examples include defacing the website, phishing, malicious code, or compromising confidential information, such as a clients’ credit card information, email address, or even social security number. Of course, there are numerous other types of hacking, but the ones mentioned are a few of the most common. When any of these tactics occur, it hurts the reputation of the business and instills lack of trust.
Once hacked, Google labels your website as “vulnerable” or “this site may be hacked” messaging appears to alert and inform users. Ultimately, your website is blacklisted on Google’s search results.
Using the latest technology keeps your website safe and earns trust among both website users and search engines. Therefore, it’s crucial that your software (PHP) is utilizing the most up-to-date programming versions. PHP is a programming language that runs on a webserver. Simply put, PHP is the software in which your website is built.
Similar to cell phones needing frequent software updates, websites also need to upgrade on a regular basis. PHP versions have a “shelf life” or a timeframe in which they run at optimal efficiency and security. All PHP versions have a lifecycle of about three years, after which they are no longer supported. When a PHP version reaches end-of-life, it does not get updated anymore, so after that time it becomes more vulnerable to hacking.
It's imperative that you work with a website partner who understands the intricacies of PHP and the various versions. As of this publish date, websites should be built or updated to PHP version 7.4. Those websites still operating in 5.6 or 7.0 should take immediate steps to update.
As mentioned above, the most obvious reason to update programming is security. Newer PHP versions are better at fighting off hackers, and outdated code is no longer supported, therefore vulnerable to hackers.
Also, newer PHP versions have faster speed. On average, sites using PHP 7.3 run significantly quicker than sites using PHP 5.6. Slow websites lead to frustration among users, so take the necessary steps to ensure your website operates more rapidly.
Another benefit of updated programming is having new software features and improvements. A newer PHP version includes modern features, such as error handling, or detecting and resolving application errors.
Don’t wait any longer, now is the time to have your website programming updated to the most recent version of software. You will be glad you did.
WebRevelation has over a decade of experience helping small and medium sized businesses with website security, design and hosting. WebRevelation is here to help you with your website needs. Call us at 817-283-3324 or complete this form for a complimentary consultation.