I'll be upgrading my server today, so if everything disappears for a while, you'll know why. I always get really really nervous about upgrading, despite the fact that I'm diligent about backups. And actually, this time, I've hired an expert to do the upgrade for me, so hopefully it will be quick and painless. Still, there's always the chance that applications will no longer work with the new version of whatever is being upgraded, and that's enough to make me sweat.
Why am I upgrading? So I can upgrade again. You see, I want to upgrade an application, but it requires a certain version (or higher) of another application. So, first I have to upgrade that...then I can upgrade the other. It really irritates me to have to always stay on top of this upgrade and that upgrade and the other upgrade...constantly. But it's the only way to ensure that security is up to date. This wouldn't be too bad if I only had one site to worry about. But with my "I have an idea" nature, I could never have less than at least 20 sites going at one time. Some are more important than others, but all of them require attention to security, because if one is breached, then perhaps all of them will be breached.
So let's say I have 3 blogs. First I have to make sure I keep up to date with PHP and MySQL, so that I can then keep up to date with the latest WordPress updates. Upgrading PHP and MySQL is a one-time event (with each upgrade), but then I have to turn around and upgrade WordPress three times (once for each blog). And then, let's say I have a site that is running a forum script. That also needs to stay up to date. What if I have 5 sites, each with their own forum script? And 2 sites with social media type scripts? See my point? It becomes this massive overload of scripts that need to be stay up to date, and which depend upon other scripts or applications that also need to stay up to date.
And all of this happens mainly because of security issues. If it weren't for security holes that needed to be patched, I could safely choose to never upgrade. After all, if it ain't broke, why fix it? But in this day and age of constant hack attacks, security has to be dealt with far too often. Will it ever end? Will we ever live in a techno-world where security is guaranteed, and malicious hacking is a thing of the past? Is anyone working towards this goal? I mean, REALLY working towards it?
I like being a webmaster and SEO. I don't like being an admin. I don't want to have to spend my time bothering with upgrades. I don't ever want to wake up to find my site has been hacked (and yes, I have had that happen in the last year for one of my sites). I want to spend my days doing what I do best.
People are always looking to create that one BIG THING that will make them rich. Here's an idea. Create the perfect secure server. Forget the apps. Make the server itself so secure that no matter how badly coded the app is, a hacker can never get to it. That will make you rich, and will make so many people happy. I'd be one of those happy people.