When it comes to WordPress, security is a very important topic. After all, you don’t want to sully your digital reputation because of some hacker. Security is an important concern for search engines. Because of the role, it plays in making or breaking your SERP rankings; website owners need to focus on security.
If you want to secure your website but don’t have the time to read a long-form article, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll be talking about WordPress security, why it’s important, and what you can do to protect your site from malicious hackers and crackers.
Why Website Security Matters
Having your site hacked causes a chain reaction that can negatively affect your revenues, reputation, customers, and search engine rankings.
But it doesn’t stop there. Once hackers or bots gain access to your website, they can steal confidential information about you and your customers to either sell it online or use it for their own heinous ends. Worst case scenario? You might find yourself paying them money.
Coupled with Google’s blacklists and the problems website owners have to face with security, it should be pretty clear why securing your site is so important. It’s like how traditional businesses employ security personnel to protect their business. It’s their responsibility to keep it safe, so they take these measures.
On the internet, you can virtually protect your business using some of the methods we will be discussing below. We hope by the end of this article, you will gain a primer that might make you dive deeper into the world of WordPress security.
Updating the WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins
Your default WordPress installation will be regularly updated and maintained. While the minor updates are installed automatically, you have to install the major ones manually.
Apart from the installation, you can boost the functionality of your installation with the help of plugins and themes. Similar to the WordPress installation, both of these are software products that need to be monitored and updated to the latest versions released by their developers to ensure maximum security.
Strengthening Your Usernames, Passwords, and Limiting User Permissions
The most common method hackers use to access your site is to use several combinations of your ID and passwords. The most infamous combination and one that many users still use on their site is the username “admin” and the word “password” as a password.
Experts have recommended time and time again to use strong passwords and usernames so that hackers cannot get access to your site.
When it comes to strong passwords, don’t just limit the changes to your WordPress installation. Instead, it would help if you focused on strengthening the passwords of your FTP, hosting, email, and database accounts.
You can create a strong password using Secure Password Generator. If you can’t remember them, it’s always best to use a password manager like Passbolt, DashLane, or LastPass.
Additionally, you should also edit your user roles and limit your users’ permissions to their own specific jobs. This helps ensure that a hacker compromises no user or, worse, decides to edit the WordPress core.
Backing Up Your WordPress For Disaster Recovery
After changing your default passwords to stronger ones, it’s time you go about creating backups for your WordPress site. Because let’s face it, nothing is 100% secure. Your website can get hacked even when you’ve applied the most efficient security defenses for it.
To avoid losing your data in the event your site does get hacked, you should create a backup for your website. If your site gets hacked, you can recover it with the latest backup you’ve performed.
WordPress provides you with backup capabilities using plugins like VaultPress, BackWPup, and UpdraftPlus.
The Role of WordPress Hosting
The hosting provider you select plays a detrimental role in ensuring security for your WordPress site. With shared hosting services like Bluehost, security is an urgent concern, but it’s not the case for other similar services.
To ensure that your hosting service provides top of the line services in security, here are some things you need to analyze:
- Do they provide constant monitoring and security?
- Do they have tools to monitor and protect against DDOS attacks?
- Is their server software updated?
- Do they provide their own backup services (apart from yours) to prevent data loss in the event of a major breach?
Shared hosting is a good option for beginners, but if you wish to scale with security, it is recommended that you consider a managed WordPress hosting. It provides a more secure platform, but it also ensures a myriad of other services, including automatic backups, updates, and WordPress management. If you’re looking for a managed WordPress hosting service, then look no further than WPEngine and Pantheon.
Limiting Login Attempts for Users
WordPress core comes with one major flaw: it allows users to log in as many times as possible. You can manually stop that functionality with the help of a plugin, but if left unchecked, it can give hackers sufficient room to access your site without repercussions.
To fix this issue, you can use a plugin like Login Lockdown or Limit Login Attempts that enable you to set a cap on the number of logins allowed per IP address. If the person trying to log in to the site is not malicious, he/she will generally type the username and ID in a few tries (between 3 or 4). You can set the limit to however long attempts, but generally, three is the lucky number.
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Wrapping Things Up
In the introduction, we talked about this article being a primer to the world of WordPress security. We hope it has proven to be as such. The world of cybersecurity is an interesting place, and there are plenty of WordPress security concerns to look out for. All in all, these WordPress security considerations allow you to better understand how the web works and how you can protect yourself from malicious individuals or groups that exploit vulnerabilities.