GoDaddy Experts Rescue WordPress Websites

GoDaddy this week launched WP Premium Support, a new a new support option for small business customers that helps

For many small business owners, there’s no quicker way to create and sustain a rich online presence than to launch a WordPress website. Powerful, yet user-friendly, the open-source content management system has become the go-to platform for millions of websites.

According to the WordPress Foundation, the software powers 60 million websites and more than a quarter (28 percent) of the web. GoDaddy, the domain registration and website hosting vendor that caters to the small business community, is no stranger to WordPress.

“As the largest managed WordPress provider, GoDaddy hosts millions of WordPress sites,” from Alex McClafferty, director of Product at GoDaddy, told Small Business Computing. The company also runs the WordPress Websites service, which provides drag-and-drop visual editing tools that enable non-coders to craft professional-looking WordPress sites.

Of course, no technology is without its quirks. As any experienced web developer can attest, there are just as many pitfalls to a WordPress deployment as there are benefits.

The trouble typically starts when users customize their sites to fit their brand.

“With WP Premium Support, about 30 percent of our support requests are related to plugins and themes,” McClafferty said. “Examples of these issues would be white screen, error messages, missing features, and upload issues that result from incompatible, outdated, deprecated, or corrupted themes and plugins.”

While WordPress is feature-packed in its own right, it really comes alive when users add and configure themes and plugins. It’s this extensibility that enables the software to serve as a foundation for modest blogs, content-rich business sites and everything in between.

So, it’s natural for entrepreneurs to want to change a WordPress site’s look, feel and functionality to suit their needs and those of their customers. What often goes overlooked during this process, however, is site security.

Safer WordPress Sites

GoDaddy’s WP Premium Support can help with that. “Keeping WordPress along with any installed themes and plugins up to date is important for security and performance,” McClafferty said. “Plus, who wouldn’t want any bugs fixed or the latest features?”

WordPress is popular target for cyber-attackers. The June 2017 WordPress Attack Report from WordPress security vendor Wordfence, found that both brute force and complex attacks were up significantly last month in terms of average daily attempts (36 percent and 32 percent, respectively). On average, 7.2 million complex attacks, or attempts to exploit a flaw or vulnerability in WordPress or its components, occurred each day in June.

The most targeted themes last month were mTheme-Unus, ChurcHope and Salutation. In terms of plugins, attackers focused on WP Mobile Detector, WP Symposium and WP E-Commerce Shop Styling. Even if a plugin doesn’t appear near the top of Wordfence’s rankings, it doesn’t mean users are out of the woods.

“We took a look at the plugin with the biggest jump in the ranking, dzs-zoomsounds [ZoomSounds plugin], to see what is behind the increase,” wrote Dan Moen, chief marketing officer at Wordfence, in a blog post. “The attacks are all malicious file upload attempts, trying to exploit a vulnerability that was disclosed over two years ago,” and nearly all originated from a single IP address in Russia, he noted.

In addition to squashing bugs and improving security, GoDaddy’s WordPress experts can help customers improve seed, increase site traffic and reduce bounce rates. WP Premium Support from GoDaddy is available now in all English-speaking markets. The company plans to roll out the service to other markets next year.

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