February 14, 2016 trevor

WordPress, the good, the bad and the beautiful

WordPress recently announced it is now the platform of choice for 25% of ALL the websites online. We have been using WordPress almost exclusively for around 5 years now and remain committed to this decision. The only exception is for our enterprise level clients or those seeking a bespoke, high-end web solution. Even some of our Enterprise level builds are still done in WordPress depending on the application and user-experience required. Given this overwhelming market share, it is no wonder that WordPress now has a massive target on its back in terms of DDOS and annoying security attacks. We suffered a major hack last year which caused some problems for a few clients and cost us 2-3 days of work to resolve. The hack came as the result of an out-dated plugin that we hadn’t been quick enough to update. This opened a crack in our security which was exploited by some Albanians (bloody Albanians). This was the first time a hack had actually penetrated our security and caused issues for our clients. As you could imagine, I didn’t take it well. My response was to immediately clean EVERY website on our server, update the security plugins we were using to more expensive and better versions (we now choose Wordfence), update every clients website and add 2 stage login for admins. You may have noticed you are now required to tick the little box to prove you are a human when you login to your website. Despite the massive cost to Topcatt of this endeavour, the result has been zero successful attacks since. We also passed none of the cost of this operation onto any client (something we know our competitors do).

WordPress also knows it is more vulnerable to hacks and malicious acts by ‘cyber-terrorists’ and now conducts far more regular updates to its core framework. It seems like there’s a new WordPress version every month now. Of course, every single plugin then has to update to meet the new framework changes. In turn, we then have to run updates to all our websites to ensure we plug any leaks. This is probably the reason why managed hosting fees have experienced a significant increase. ALL our clients have managed hosting. We have dedicated servers based in Auckland to host our clients web assets and will never consider un-managed hosting services as it simply isn’t up to our standards. Unfortunately, this means Topcatt is now doing something we have never done before. We are forced to increase our hosting fees.

  • For standard websites, hosting fees will now be $450 per year (+GST).
  • For eCommerce websites or custom solutions your hosting is now $650 per annum (+GST)
  • For Enterprise clients and bespoke solutions, we will discuss any increase directly with you.

In return for the increased charges, we will run monthly (or as required) updates to all security, framework and associated plugins, as well as perform security risk assessments using our very expensive software and notify you of any suspicious activity. This is a whole new level of website security and managed hosting and we are certain that the increase still provides incredible value. Please feel free to contact me directly on 0224 867 228 if you wish to discuss these changes. Thank you for your ongoing business.

Regards,

Trevor

CEO Topcatt.

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