Security Tips for WordPress
WordPress security is important, but it’s often overlooked. But, with Google reporting that 15 million sites have been hacked in some form in the last year alone it’s something you need to start taking seriously. It’s easy to assume that your site is secure and hacking won’t happen to you.
But, wouldn’t you rather secure your site now, instead of having to deal with the costs that come with a website breach?
Luckily, WordPress makes this easy. At its core, it’s very secure and the WordPress team regularly releases updates to secure their framework. But, that’s not enough to keep your site secure.
Below we look at a few ways you can keep your site secure and minimize your risk of it being hacked and having your data compromised.
1. Regularly Update Themes and Plugins
It’s important to keep your existing themes and plugins updated. Most WordPress plugins and theme developers are reactive, which means they patch their plugins and themes only after security vulnerabilities have been found.
So, if it’s been a while since you’ve last updated your WordPress core, your themes, and your plugins, then make sure you do it soon. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your site hacked by a known loophole.
Some plugins and themes will update automatically, but it’s always a good idea to login to your WordPress dashboard to check for updates on a regular basis.
2. Fortify Your Login Page
Are you still using “admin” as your login name? If so, then it’s time to change things up. Your admin username and password is the first line of defense for the backend of your website.
You should spend time creating a strong username and password. If you want to create a strong and memorable password, you can try some of these suggestions. The most commonly used access point into your site is via a stolen password.
You can even use a plugin like Login Lockdown to help lock down your login page, and lock out users who have a certain number of failed login attempts.
3. Only Download Themes and Plugins from Known Sources
When you download plugins and themes for your site it’s important to only install them from reputable sources. For paid plugins and themes this means places like Themeforest, Elegant Themes, StudioPress, WPMU Dev and similar sites.
It’s also a good idea to minimize the number of active plugins you’re currently using on your site. The more plugins you’re using, the greater your chances of your site being hacked. Plus, some plugins might have smaller development teams that might not be able to patch their plugins for vulnerabilities as rapidly as larger organizations.
4. Consider Using a WordPress Security Plugin
There are a variety of security plugins you can install that will help to prevent attacks and beef up your security measures. Most security plugins can offer your site some of the following benefits:
- Daily scans to check your site for any risky behavior
- File level monitoring to check for any malware insertion
- .htaccess file protection
- WordPress database backups and security monitoring
- Login page lockdown and security protection
5. Always Backup Your Site
Backups will be your first defense against any attack on your website. In case something bad does happen, you can quickly restore your site to its previous state.
There are a ton of backups plugins available, like VaultPress and BackupBuddy. In some cases, your current host might even be keeping regular backups of all your site’s files. But, it’s important that you save your backup files to a secure offsite location, just in case.
The frequency you backup your site depends upon how often you update your site. If you regularly publish new content every single day, then a daily backup is recommended. But, if your site stays relatively the same, then you can get away with a monthly backup.
6. Use a Secure Hosting Environment
You can do everything possible to secure your WordPress site on your end, but none of that will matter if your hosting environment isn’t secure. A reputable hosting company will take extra measures to ensure your site is secure.
However, shared hosting environments aren’t always the most secure option. If security is a priority, then it might be worth upgrading to a dedicated hosting package. Most dedicated hosts can offer stricter security practices, plus, your site won’t be sharing server resources with hundreds of other websites.
Maintaining a high level of WordPress security is all about being proactive. By implementing the above security tips for WordPress you’ll be on your way towards a safe and protected site.