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Web Hosting - Guide for Using Open Source Packages
This page is intended to help you make informed decisions about using open source applications, such as WordPress, Drupal, etc. as part of your site(s).
Division of Responsibilities
The Web Hosting service can accommodate many open source applications. We maintain nightly backups of site files (using BuckyBackup) and databases for disaster recovery purposes.
Application Owner(s) Responsibilities:
- Development of the application and its content.
- Maintenance and security updates of the application (Wordpress, Drupal, etc.). See: Web Hosting - Wordpress Development
- Updates to any other third party plugins/modules
- If you require assistance with application maintenance, experienced DoIT developers are available for hire. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
- For those considering custom WordPress, we highly recommend the free central campus service called WiscWeb where all core and plugin updates are handled for you and you just need to focus on creating and managing your content.
Before Choosing an Application:
- Review the application's documentation.
- Practice using the software on your test site. The application may have specific system requirements that must be met in order for it to function. If you do not have a test site, email email@example.com to request a trial account.
- Upgrade the application and any plugins/modules.
It is critical to perform a cursory check of the upgrade process for two reasons:
- To make sure you can upgrade without an outage and prevent any loss of production data.
- To verify the process works on Web Hosting server(s).
Maintaining Instance Security
Ensure your open source application is secure by following these simple rules:
- Subscribe to security notices from your application's developer.
- Turn on automatic updates when available.
- Rename the administrator login when possible and use complex passwords.
- Restrict access to administrative spaces using a firewall and/or an additional login.
- Only install plugins/modules from trusted sources and keep them up to date.
- Always use your test environment first! With open source applications, it's particularly important that you use your test site to try out changes before you put them into production. Errors introduced into the production environment can cause your entire site to be unavailable until the problem is identified and fixed.