WordPress powers over 25% of the entire internet and can fall victim to cyber attack. Fortunately, there are WordPress security tips to help you secure your WordPress website.
Why is WordPress Security Important?
Online security, in general, is an important practice that helps protect personal and business information. Hackers have multiple methods of attack in their arsenal and it is important you have an understanding of the possible threats your website can face. Fortunately, there are WordPress security best practices you can start implementing to reduce your vulnerability.
3 Ways Hackers Attack WordPress Websites
- Exploiting Unsecured Servers – Choose a reputable hosting provider optimized for running WordPress.
- Vulnerabilities in Abandoned Plugins and Themes – Keep plugins and themes updated and delete anything you aren’t using.
- Brute Force Attacks – Create strong usernames and passwords and limit login attempts to prevent a successful attack.
Most online attacks aren’t personal. Some occur simply because they can. nevertheless, it is inconvenient and sometimes detrimental to a business. The following WordPress security tips help prevent these unpleasant events.
5 WordPress Security Tips
The following WordPress security tips provide ways to secure your site and prevent hackers from successfully attacking your site.
1. Use a reputable WordPress hosting provider.
If you use a vulnerable hosting platform, hackers can use it against you and gain entry to your WordPress website.
Don’t settle for subpar hosting. Find one that provides good security, support and speed. If you are unsatisfied with your current hosting, know it is okay to switch. It’s fairly easy to move your WordPress site to a new host (especially if you use a WordPress backup plugin like BackupBuddy!)
You should feel confident in the security your hosting offers. Check out our recommendations and more tips on choosing the best WordPress host for your needs.
2. Keep your WordPress website updated.
Install WordPress core updates and updates to any plugins and themes available.
WordPress core updates provide faster loading times, features, bug fixes and better security. Keep your theme updated and delete any you aren’t using. Abandoned or outdated themes offer a place for hackers to install a backdoor.
While plugins are extremely useful, choose wisely. Delete any plugins not in use and try to not install plugins that haven’t been updated in the past year.
Just because a plugin is deactivated doesn’t mean it’s not a threat. You need to delete the plugin entirely.
Updates offer new features and bug fixes. It’s all to your benefit to update your WordPress website.
If you run or manage multiple WordPress websites, check out iThemes Sync to help you keep those sites up to date fast and easily, from ONE place.
3. Use strong passwords.
You’re asking to have your site hacked with a weak password.
Using good WordPress password security is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself against attacks.
Brute force attacks are still a common method hackers use to gain unauthorized entry to a site, so limit login attempts. Most brute force attacks are automated, so limiting login attempts severely limits the power of automated brute force attacks.
Do not use admin as your user name. Every hacker worth their salt knows WordPress assigns “admin” as a new user’s user name.
Use two-factor authentication whenever it is offered. This may add a few seconds to your day, but a secure site is worth it.
Don’t use the same password in multiple places. Yes, remembering different passwords for different sites is tough, but a hacked site is worse. In this case I recommend using a secure password management tool like LastPass.
4. Backup your WordPress website and rest easy.
Backup your site with a WordPress backup plugin. This is a wise preventative measure to take in case disaster strikes. Backing up your database isn’t enough. That will save your content, but you’ll still have to rebuild your entire site, including theme tweaks and plugin settings. And if your backup isn’t automatic, you’ll forget about it.
In some unfortunate cases, some updates may break your site, but if you have a backup, you can just revert back to the state in which you site was working last.
Even worse than a faulty update is a successful cyber attack. Imagine you wake up one morning only to find your site covered in explicit ads or images. All your hard work spoiled. However, if you have a recent backup of your site, you can revert back to the last working version and begin to search for the hole in your security.
Of all the WordPress security tips, this one could really save your bacon.
5. Install a WordPress security plugin.
Installing a WordPress security plugin such as iThemes Security is another way to secure your WordPress site. Using a plugin can help provide security measures that might otherwise be difficult to accomplish on your own, especially if you’re not comfortable editing code on your site.
iThemes Security allows you to run a WordPress security check to help you know the security status of your site. This feature also activates all the recommended WordPress security settings so you don’t have to manually configure everything yourself.
For more WordPress security tips, check on this post on hot to harden WordPress.
Good WordPress Security is About Minimizing Risk
Life happens and, unfortunately, it’s not always pleasant. While these WordPress security tips can significantly decrease the chances of a successful attack, there is always that small chance you will fall victim to a cyber attack.
Good security is about minimizing risk. If anybody tries to sell you a 100% secure solution, they’re scamming you. Follow these WordPress security tips in order to minimize security risks.
For more WordPress security tips read our ebook WordPress Security, a Pocket Guide.
Saylor writes blog posts and designs/develops various projects for iThemes. Saylor loves gardening and is currently at war with all squirrels (if anyone has tips on how to get rid of squirrels, she’s all ears). If she’s not traveling or hanging out in OKC, there’s a good chance she’s in southwest Oklahoma doing manual labor, including roofing, or as her father likes to call it – “building character.”