Why You Should Update WordPress

 WordPress update warning

I bet you’ve seen this warning at the top of your WordPress dashboard before. It’s easy to ignore, but there are several really important reasons NOT to ignore it. WordPress, just like any other software on your computer, needs to be updated regularly. Unlike most software and programs though, WordPress is open source. Many many people are working feverishly to improve and fix old problems with WordPress, which means that updated versions are released pretty frequently.

Updating WordPress is very important, and really only takes a couple of quick steps. Don’t ignore the update warnings! WordPress will typically release updates for these reasons:

  • To improve features. New features that are released often help make WordPress easier to use. If you wait to update two or three versions of WordPress at a time it could cause problems with your site.
  • Safety reasons. WordPress updates may contain new security features that help prevent hackers and other bad-doers from breaking into your website and inserting malicious code or malware. Not only can this kind of activity harm your site, but it can also cause your site to lose its position in search engine results.
  • Bug fixes. New updates can fix bugs that you’re experiencing in your site. If something isn’t working correctly, you may just need to update WordPress.

Plugin Updates are Important Too

Plugins update

Updating your plugins is just as imperative as updating WordPress… and you should update the plugins BEFORE you update WordPress to prevent your plugins from breaking. Plugins that are outdated are super vulnerable to security attacks. To update your plugins:

  1. Navigate to the Plugins panel and click Update Available
  2. Update your plugins in bulk or individually with the Update Now link underneath each plugin

Old Software is Extremely Vulnerable

When a new WordPress or plugin update is released it comes with a bug fix report. Hackers can find the weaknesses of old WordPress versions just by looking at these reports. They target outdated sites by viewing the page source for a particular website to see what version of WordPress they are running. The simplest way to avoid being targeted is to keep everything updated.

Images courtesy of http://www.mayecreate.com/2013/04/why-you-should-update-wordpress/

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It’s March Madness At ASO!

money_back_guaranteeAh, March. A time for college basketball, budding trees, and green beer. It also happens to be a great time to save on a dedicated server at ASO.

Until the end of March, you can save as much as 25% on your first invoice on any dedicated plan- the more months you sign up for up front, the more you save!

Use these coupon codes to get your discount when purchasing:

Get 10% off a 1 month plan: “HOOPS10″   
Get 15% off a 3 month plan: “BASKET15″  
Get 20% off a 6 month plan: “BALL20″ 
Get 25% off an annual plan: “WIN25″ 

Offer good for new accounts or upgrades only.
Check out our dedicated plans here and sign up today!

Sale ends Monday, March 31.

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Simplified Pricing for Domains

We’ve revamped our domain pricing structure to make things simpler, and to make our pricing more consistent across the board. These new changes impact all new domain registrations and renewals upon the standard renewal time.

The prices of domains fluctuate from year to year as the domain registrars raise their fees. We keep our prices as low as possible and make sure our support is top-notch so that we can provide the best and most comprehensive service to you, our customers. Check out our updated pricing:

$15 per year – .com, .net, .org, .info., .biz, .name
$18 per year – .nl
$20 per year – .mobi, .tel, .asia, .ca, .de, .in, .eu, .us, .be, .es
$25 per year – .ca, .dk, .fr, .com.co, .pl
$26 per 2 years – .co.uk, .me.uk, .org.uk
$30 per year – .at, .ch, .li, .me, .ws
$35 per year – .co, .com.au, .org.au, .net.au
$40 per year – .cc
$45 per year – .tv
$50 per year – .mx

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Slashdotted With A VPS: One Ninja’s Story

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Curious about how powerful our Cloud VPS plans are?
Check out this true story from ASO Senior Tech Ninja Ryan Flowers:

It is generally the wish of any blogger that they be successful. Success can be measured in many ways, but generally any event that produces genuine traffic to your blog is a good one. However, if you get too successful, you could run the risk of your blog’s host being unable to handle the traffic, and subsequently going offline.

I personally run a small technology blog where you can read my own experiences and meanderings in the technology world. I have had my blog featured a few times at Slashdot.org. Perhaps you’ve heard of the “Slashdot effect” or “being “Slashdotted”. Many a site has been knocked offline due to the huge influx of traffic overwhelming their host.

When my blog was featured at Slashdot.org previously, it was hosted at Google’s blogger (*.blogspot.com) service, and I didn’t worry about or care about traffic. Now that I’m back in the business of web hosting as a Senior Tech Ninja here at A Small Orange, I decided to migrate the site to a domain name and WordPress, hosted on my ASO VPS of course.

From my previous experience, I can tell you that having a site featured at Slashdot is good for about 30,000 page views within a day or so, with another few thousand over the next few days and tapering off over many days. Since I’ve moved my site, the big question in my mind was “Can my site and VPS handle the load?” I tried to head it off at the pass by installing Nginx on my server a few days before I submitted my next blog post to Slashdot, hoping it would be featured.

The first submit was lost in the noise (such things happen at 1am) but when I submitted it during peak hours, the blog post was picked up and featured on the front page! The load on the server rose slightly, and then after an hour or so it ran out of memory and rebooted, mostly due to the fact that I was running Minecraft server (with a LOT of RAM allocated to it) at the same time. I could easily run it still if I reduced the amount of memory it used, but that was a low priority.

One of my cohorts with experience in server optimization (our very own Matt Harris) suggested installing W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress, so I did. The load on the server stayed around .03 to .05. It’s served about 1000 page view per hour without so much as breaking a sweat. There are many tricks we can use to increase the load capacity even further, making it possible to handle an onslaught of traffic of larger magnitude.

Why am I writing about this? It’s simple: The VPS offerings at A Small Orange work. They can handle a lot of traffic and load, more than some of us probably realize. It was awesome to see it first hand, so I thought I’d share my experience, not just as an ASO employee, but as a satisfied customer.

Check out our Cloud VPS plans here.  

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Thanks, Review Signal!

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We were quite flattered to see that we were voted Best Managed VPS Provider and Best Shared Web Host by Review Signal, a web hosting review site that grades hosting providers based on collected social media data. Check out how it works here.

Check out our Cloud VPS plans here.
Learn what we’re all about right here.

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