I’m very excited to share that next week, Better WP Security, the uber-popular security plugin developed by Chris Wiegman, will be getting a big, highly-anticipated update.
One reason I’m so excited about this next update is because I found Better WP Security because I needed help locking down my own personal site. So I’m a fan and user of BWPS just like you and know how it’s helped me personally (and want to continue doing that for others).
Over the years, we’ve seen increased attacks in the WordPress community and have sought to help our community by providing resources and tips, like this post last year.
Security isn’t going away. It’s only heating up as more and more people seek to exploit WP.
And we want to be part of the solution.
With that, I wanted to let you know about some things changing (and not changing) with Better WP Security (BWPS), soon to be iThemes Security.
FOUR THINGS CHANGING
1. THE NAME IS CHANGING
This is the biggest reason for this early announcement.
With the new rollout, we’re changing the name from Better WP Security to iThemes Security to better reflect its role and future in the iThemes family. We hired Chris full-time in December 2013 to focus solely on making BWPS ( iThemes Security) better for you.
One important note about the name change, you’ll notice next week …
Because of the way the WordPress.org plugin repository system is set up, changing the name of the plugin will cause it to show an error (as shown below) and deactivate the upgraded plugin.
The error will look like this after you’ve upgraded the plugin.
But it has a very simple and easy fix:
Simply reactivate the “iThemes Security” plugin in your WP Dashboard after upgrading.
After upgrading, all you’ll have to do is simply “Activate” the new version titled “iThemes Security” plugin in your Dashboard after upgrade and you’re good to go. Your settings and setup will be saved.
We tried hard to find ways to work around this particular issue with changing the name, but unfortunately reactivation after updating the plugin is what has to be done to receive the new version.
With this post, we’re trying to get the word out as broadly as possible to let the community know this is coming and what to do in advance. We’d appreciate your help in spreading the word, too, by sharing this post.
2. IT’S GETTING NEW FEATURES
Here are some of the new features you’ll see in the next version of BWPS (iThemes Security):
- The jQuery scanner will tell you if your theme has an outdated and vulnerable version of jQuery
- A new option to disable PHP execution in the uploads folder
- The ability to prevent usernames from being discovered by forcing a unique nick name that is different from the username and by hiding the author archives with users who do not have a post)
- Voluntary data collection via Google Analytics to help us make iThemes Security even better
- The ability to add multiple reporting email addresses for backups and notifications
- Streamlined settings for easier configuration
- Full integration with BackupBuddy
- A complete rewrite of existing features for faster, better, more secure sites.
3. IT’S GETTING REVAMPED CODE
For all practical purposes, iThemes Security is more than just an upgrade, it’s a new plugin. Every single feature has been re-imagined and recreated for both a better user experience and a more secure site.
Again, Chris’ first priority since December 2013 at iThemes has been to completely rework this plugin from the ground up.
4. NEW PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT OPTIONS AVAILABLE
iThemes has been building, releasing and supporting commercial (and free) GPL plugins and themes to the WordPress community since 2008.
We are an established company with an awesome team of developers, designers and support techs committed to making your life awesome by building great solutions for you.
As such, support for iThemes Security will now come exclusively through iThemes. We will be releasing those plans and packages with the new release next week.
We are also working with highly-knowledgeable partners to provide hack repair and professional setup solution as well for the community.
3 KEY THINGS NOT CHANGING
I know there will be many questions about the future of Better WP Security. And I want to share answers to the key ones we know you’ll be asking.
1. IT’S STAYING FREE
The base plugin will still (and always) be free on the WordPress.org repo.
We do have Pro only (i.e. paid) features in the works already to monetize and help sustain the continued maintenance of this awesome plugin into the future.
But we have no plans to discontinue the features you now see in BWPS and only hope to continue to enhance and improve them to work better for you.
Our intention all along was to give BWPS a future. Hiring Chris full-time to keep the project going is our commitment to its future.
2. IT WILL STILL BE ACTIVELY MAINTAINED
The base plugin will still be professionally maintained. Again, our commitment is to keep this awesome plugin maintained and active for as long as it’s useful and used by the WordPress community.
This is Chris’ chief role in our company — to maintain BWPS (iThemes Security).
In fact, prior to joining iThemes, Chris was maintaining Better WP Security part-time. Now it will be maintained FULL-TIME by him and our team.
3. IT WILL KEEP GETTING BETTER
We have plans to grow the base plugin as well. We have a number of free features already on our roadmap that we’ll be sharing, like improving notifications.
Chris and our entire team is excited about seeing where this plugin heads into the future as we help the WordPress community secure their sites.
More Upgrading Info for Current/Existing Better WP Security to iThemes Security
Most settings from Better WP Security will transfer to iThemes Security except for the Hide Backend Setting. You’ll need to reset your Hide Backend Setting due to a new implementation of the feature. In addition, you’ll still want to review your settings after the update as there are new options you will be able to use.
As always, if you have other questions, or have further comments, please make a comment below (or hit our contact form), and we’ll help clarify anything we can.
30+ Ways to Secure Your WP Site:
A Walk-Through of the New iThemes Security Plugin
Free Webinar – Thursday, March 27 @ 11am CDT
In this webinar, Chris Wiegman, lead developer for iThemes Security (formerly known as Better WP Security) will give you a walk-through of how to lock down your WordPress site with this newly revamped plugin. REGISTER NOW
Founder of iThemes.com