wordpress security best practices

Wordpress security tips

5 tips for improving the security of your WordPress site

5 tips for improving the security of your WordPress site 1440 960 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

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.

Be vigilant

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.

How to Improve WordPress Security

How to Improve WordPress Security 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

wordpress-securityAs the most popular content management system, WordPress is also subject to a higher number of security risks than other content management systems. These security risks have the potential to your website and your entire business at risk. With sensitive data such as banking information or employee records, it’s important that those managing your WordPress site take care to protect this information from nefarious sources. Thankfully, it isn’t all doom and gloom – there are things that you can do to protect your WordPress site, reputation, and your business. Here are a few tips on keeping your WordPress website secure:

A secure web host

Ensuring that your web host has a good security plan is the first and one of the most important steps in keeping your website secure. Website hosts are the most frequent way that WordPress sites are hacked, with an estimated 41% of WordPress websites being compromised due to web host security issues. This is because the web host is often the first in line to be attacked as hackers try to access up to thousands of accounts that may be located on each server. Therefore, it is of course important to ensure that your website host has a high level of security to protect your business in case of attack. Questions such as how your host handles security breaches and what methods they use to scan for security vulnerabilities should be asked of your web host before making a final decision.

Update regularly

Regularly updating your WordPress site and plugins is important to keep your WordPress secure. Hackers are always looking for weaknesses in WordPress code and plugins in order to find ways into your site. Therefore, WordPress and companies that offer plugins must be constantly correcting any weaknesses found in order to stay ahead of these hackers. By updating your WordPress site and plugins regularly, you are ensuring that you are keeping up to date on the latest security fixes available.

Smart WordPress settings

Certain WordPress settings can also go a long way in keeping your site safe. Here are a couple common ones that go a long way in keeping your WordPress secure:

  • Strong passwords – Do not use common passwords or passwords that can easily be guessed. Weak passwords are a major reason why websites get hacked, with 8% of WordPress websites being compromised due to weak passwords. Popular names, phrases, or simply having a “123” password will leave your website wide open to hackers. Instead, use a mix of numbers, letters, and other characters that will make it more difficult for hackers to easily crack your passcode.
  • Remove admin user – Removing your site’s default administrator account is an important change to make when securing your WordPress site. Having a unique log in account name adds an extra layer of protection to WordPress since hackers also have to figure out your login name. When setting up your WordPress site, make sure that you create a new administrative account for yourself with a unique login name and delete your old admin account.

Backup regularly

Regularly backing up your files is also critical in keeping your WordPress site secure. Since it’s basically impossible to guarantee safety, it is important that in the event that your website or data is compromised and anything is corrupted or has to be removed, that you can restore your website to a recent state. You can choose to back up your site manually and/or use plugins that will allow for automatic backups.

Great WordPress security plugins

In addition to your host having security programs, it’s important that you have your own security software for your site. There are lots of security plugins that will cover security for the different ways that hackers may attack your site. Some of the types of security plugins that you’ll need include:

  • Login Limiter – This type of plugin will limit the number of login attempts that can be made, stopping hackers from trying login names and passwords until they find the right combination.
  • Security scans – These plugins find vulnerabilities in your site and offer tips on how to fix them.
  • Antivirus – These plugins will protect your site from viruses, trojans, and other malware, either stopping them from entering or removing them if found.

The best WordPress security plan involves using a number of approaches in order to reduce the risk of being compromised. By following the suggestions above and adopting a holistic approach to website security, then you can rest assured in the knowledge that your site is as secure as possible.