Hacked Site Repair Fees Are Part of a Website’s Cost

Hacked WebsitesIt’s been a couple of years since I first posted this idea. Since then hacked sites have added new concerns.

I had a friend refer a client to me with a hacked WordPress site.  The developer had done the due diligence on preparing the website for public viewing.  Security measures were in place.  There were no flagrant errors on the part of the developer.  Nevertheless, the site got hacked and had to be repaired.

What I found curious was the client’s attitude toward paying for the repair.  The client’s expectation was that the website would run forever, all for the price she paid when she had it developed.

This is an unrealistic expectation.  It’s analogous to saying “My car should run forever because I always put gas in it.”  No, cars wear out.  So do websites.

Here’s a list of constant maintenance that you should expect to pay for to avoid a hacked WordPress Site:

  1. Website hosting.  A good web host performs a remarkably long list of daily checks and updates to keep the hosting servers running.  They are subject to mechanical failures, hacking attacks, over loads and human error.
  2. A good web hosting service has redundancy throughout the system.  They should be able to offer a week old backup, in addition to a daily backup.  If they do not offer that, then you should be paying your website developer a fee to back up your site, or pay one of the monthly backup services.
  3. Website hosting companies, such as Liquidweb, update the hosting operating systems so that new features are available to your site and security holes are closed, once they are discovered. They run anti-virus and malware checks on your website because all websites are subject to getting hacked.
  4. You don’t get all that for only a few dollars a month. Annual website hosting fees are generally over  $200/year.  Most are in the $50 to $100 per month range for added services like security scans, plug-in and theme updates and mintor repairs.
  5. Theme updates – Most websites present their information in an organized way using themes.  Themes make websites pretty, as well as functional.  Themes assume an underlying programming framework.  When the underlying framework gets updated for security reasons or to add more functionality, some themes break.  When that happens, your website developer can usually repair the damage.  Since they don’t work for free, you should expect to pay for the update.
  6. Browser updates– Even the cheapest among us buys a new computer every now and then.  Companies like Microsoft update their browsers and when they do, they purposefully leave behind the users of outdated technology.  Often their updates set in motion a need for a website update to keep your site working for most users as they expect it to.  You can neglect these updates, but one day when all your website viewers are gone, the reason will likely be they got tired of fighting your old web page.
  7. Audience tracking – If you don’t care how many people use your site, then one has to wonder why you even have one.  Since you probably do care, you need to be using some form of analytic to track where visitors come from, how long they stay and what your site could do to keep them there longer.

This blog is approaching article length, so for now, your task for the day is to review with your website person what you are getting for what you are paying and seeing if it makes sense.