You likely chose to use WordPress as your web platform because of its economy, flexibility, and ease of use, and it’s probably working for you very well on all of those counts. WordPress accounts for almost 30% of all the world’s websites, and its ubiquitous nature makes its adoption, configuration, and maintenance easy enough for just about anybody to manage.
Your WordPress site’s security, however, should always be of great concern, as there are many issues that could arise if certain measures aren’t taken. Google blacklists more than 20K websites every single week for malware alone, so keeping your website safe and secure is worth more than just preventing a nuisance – it could save your business.
WordPress security is commonly referred to as ‘hardening’, and to be most effective, it should be undertaken as a continuous process of managing and mitigating risk. The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and so should your response to it. That said, there are some basic actions you can take right away to make your WordPress site more secure.
WordPress Security Tip #1: Use a CDN
A CDN, or content delivery network, consists of a network of servers across the globe, each of which stores your site’s static data. Each time a user browses your site, your content will be delivered to their device by the server closest to them, minimizing latency. You can also enjoy the thumbs-up from Google, who in part uses a page-load speed algorithm for its rankings. A CDN will also help to stabilize and secure your site, as even if your hosting company were to fail, your site would still be available via the CDN, as it is replicated throughout their global server network. Many CDNs also offer extra security features as well, helping to prevent DDoS attacks, securing your data and protecting your customer transactions.
WordPress Security Tip #2: Keep your WordPress site version updated
Once you’ve got your site up and running, it is important to keep it updated to the latest version. WordPress and its network of developers are constantly patching potential vulnerabilities to prevent the latest security risks from affecting you, but they’re not going to work if you don’t have them installed. If you receive a notification that a new version is available, ensure that the updates are performed in a timely manner. This will avoid any potential security breaches and prevent malicious hackers from gaining access to your site for DDoS, to install ransomware, or for any other reason.
WordPress Security Tip #3: Keep your plugins updated
WordPress is an open-source platform and boasts thousands upon thousands of developers all over the world who are constantly creating new plugins to enhance your site’s functionality, appearance, user experience, and performance. Keeping these plugins up to date is as important as keeping the site version up to date, as it helps to maintain the integrity and stability of your site.
**If you have WordPress plugins or themes that you are not using, delete them completely.
Unused plugins can create a vulnerability that hackers can leverage to gain access to your site. It’s not enough to simply disable them, either – make sure you delete them entirely. Lastly, be sure that the themes and plugins you are installing are coming from a reputable developer, either from the WordPress site directly, or from respected sources such as Themeforest.
WordPress Security Tip #4: Install WordPress Firewall
The All In One WordPress Security Firewall is a free, stable and very easy to implement security plugin for your WordPress site. It constantly checks for vulnerabilities and implements the most up-to- date security protocols in response. It has three levels of security rules that can be applied to it – basic, intermediate and advanced – that can be activated, and it runs without impacting your site’s performance. Some of its features include user login and registration security, file system security, blacklisting, and more.
WordPress Security Tip #5: Use SSL
SSL, or secure socket layer, protects our personal and payment data from falling into the wrong hands. Essentially, it provides security between the website and the end user by encrypting data in transit. When you do business with a website, the server will connect to its SSL certificate, and if it matches up (like a key in a lock), the connection is made. In an effort to make the internet more secure overall, Google prioritizes sites that use SSL, and the WordPress plugin is free, so there is really no reason not to.
Greenlight ITC: Melbourne and Sydney’s WordPress Security Gurus
The security of your website is a key factor in ensuring your business continuity. If you are using the WordPress platform for your website and would like to speak to one of our technicians about how you can make your site more secure, call today and let’s get started.
If you enjoyed this article, we recommend that you also read How to improve your WordPress security.