Protect Your Investment: How to Keep Your WordPress Website Safe
Your WordPress website is a major investment when it comes to your business. Not only is your financial investment at risk, but also the time and effort you’ve put into building your site, writing content, and keeping it relevant can all be lost if your site isn’t secure. That is why it’s important to take the time necessary to protect your investment and learn the best practices when it comes to website security.\ Visitors from all over the world may land on your site, and if it isn’t secure, you run the risk of exposing data collected on your website or contracting a malicious virus known as malware which could break your website and take you offline completely and indefinitely! If malware is detected on your website, you could even get blacklisted by search engines like Google which will hurt your SEO rankings. 1. Choose Wisely When Selecting Your Hosting Provider When selecting your hosting company, there are several things you’ll want to consider, cost being only one of them. You can purchase hosting services from a few dollars a month to a few hundred dollars a month or even thousands depending on your needs. There are so many options for hosting providers, but I promise, all hosts are not created equal. Although budget is important, I definitely don’t recommend going with the cheapest host you can find. In the end, cheap can become very expensive very quickly. Beyond finding a service that fits your budget, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a company that will provide the level of service and security you need based on the size of your site, the amount of traffic you anticipate, and your own level of technical expertise. A good host will offer site backups in case something happens to your site, security monitoring to keep track of software vulnerabilities, and SSL certificates to keep your data safe. Definitely spend some time comparing hosting providers and choose a provider that will work hard to keep your site safe and give you peace of mind! It’s one less thing you want to be worried about as a business owner. 2. Keep Your WordPress Version Updated Always remember that every WordPress update is necessary. The changes that the developers do are usually additional features that upgrade security. Updating your WordPress with the latest version will protect your site against hackers. Moreover, updating your plug-ins and premium themes are also essential. Minor updates are usually downloaded automatically. On the other hand, major updates should be downloaded manually from your WordPress admin dashboard. Be sure to backup your site before performing any updates, just in case there is a piece of software that is not compatible with the newest version. 3. Use A WordPress Security Plugin Installing a WordPress security plugin, like WordFence or Securi is highly beneficial as it provides additional protection by regularly scanning your website for malware. Daily scanning of your site is necessary because attacks happen fast and hackers come without warning! Just like there are many hosts, there are many security plugins. Some offer additional features such as the ability to block bots from accessing your site, monitor the integrity of your files, and secure your login process. Again, you’ll want to spend some time comparing plugins. There are actually some free plugins, though not the best on the market, I definitely recommend something over nothing. A good security plugin will not only defend your site against hackers, but will also prevent future attacks, remove malware, clean your website, and even add a firewall. However, if you choose not to use these third party plugins and want to manually secure your WordPress website, here are a few tips:
- Always update your WordPress software, your plugins, and themes.
- Apply the principle of least privilege, by giving admin privileges to those users who execute major tasks like installing themes, editing settings, and updating plugins.
- Change the default admin username.
- It is highly recommended for high-level users to use strong passwords.
- Always backup your website
- Use plugins and themes that are essential. Delete the unused ones to make your site more secure.
- To enhance your WordPress security, force users to log in using the secure SSL protocol. But it is only applicable if you have an SSL certificate.