I spend a lot of time on seo forums, business forums, newsgroups, etc. and often see small business owners ask very simple questions about their websites like how to change images, update prices, change text, etc.
Whenever anyone mentions updating, FTP details, hosting etc. a lot of these business owners haven’t a clue what any of this means.
A lot of them probably had a website built a few years ago, but have absolutely no idea of how hosting or web development works, this may have been OK when they first had their sites built, but now, as we are getting more reliant on the web, the importance of being able to control their websites is becoming more apparent.
The latest WordPress hack is a perfect example, over the past 2 or 3 years more people are using WordPress to design actual websites rather than blogs, they don’t really need a technichal knowledge so it means anyone working from their bedroom can set themselves up as a website desiner and knock out perfectly acceptable websites, hand them over to the client, take their payment then forget about them.
Jump forward a couple of years and we have thousands of outdated WordPress sites out their with owners who haven’t got a clue how to update them, even if they know they need to, they don’t have web developers they can turn to as you don’t need to be a web developer to use WordPress!!
There are now literally thousand of so called website designers out there knocking out sites daily in WordPress, Joomla and other Content Management Systems. Small business owners initially get things cheaper, don’t need web developers and the problem gets worse and worse.
Does the business owner know all the content is held on a MySQL database? (Chances are 80% of them don’t even know what one is) Do they realise that if the database gets corrupted everything is gone, have they a clue how to do back-ups, or do they think if anything goes wrong they will go back to so called website designer who set it up a couple of years ago and think he can simply reload it?
Chances are the original designer is the website design industries version ogf a script kiddie
Now I’ve nothing against WordPress, I love it and use it myself on at least half a dozen sites, but small business owners really do need to be informed about the ticking time bomb it is if they don’t have their sites built properly in the first place, don’t do regular off-site back ups, don’t keep it regularly updated and most importantly don’t have someone within the business who has at least a basic understanding of web development (or have a reliable source to do things for them)