Ensuring WordPress Security: Tips and Tricks
WordPress truly reigns supreme as the most popular website building platform utilized by most web developers on the internet today. As of 2021, it is estimated that this platform powers over 40% of all websites worldwide. However, its popularity also makes it an easy target for hackers looking to exploit weaknesses in WordPress sites. Being an open-source platform, it can easily be modified and customized by anyone which in turn makes it prone to security risks. Therefore, the number one priority for website owners is to secure their WordPress platform.
1. Use Strong Login Credentials
The first step towards securing a WordPress site is to use strong login credentials. The WordPress login page is typically the first area hackers target as they employ brute-force attacks by guessing your password. For strong login details, you should generate a unique password containing a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Moreover, you should avoid using simple passwords like “123456” or common words such as “password.”
You can also utilize a two-factor authentication (2FA) method, which provides an additional layer of security to your login process. It requires that you enter a unique code generated by an app on your mobile device in addition to your username and password.
2. Keep WordPress Software and Plugins Up-To-Date
Another critical step in securing your site is by keeping your WordPress software and plugins updated. Security updates ordinarily contain critical patches that can fix vulnerabilities. Leaving your WordPress site un-updated opens it to attacks from hackers. Therefore, it is essential to constantly check your WordPress dashboard for any update notifications and upgrade all plugins to their latest versions. You should also ensure that the plugins you install have been updated within the last six months to avoid compatibility issues and security flaws.
3. Use Secure Web Hosting
The security of your WordPress site also depends on the web host provider you use. Your chosen web host provides the server and security infrastructure that run your website. Hence, it would help if you looked out for a web host provider that prioritizes security protocols as much as you do.
You have two basic options to choose from, shared hosting or dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting is generally considered more secure because you have more control over your server’s security environment. On the other hand, shared hosting is also secure provided your web host maintains a secure infrastructure. Ensure that your web hosting provider employs an up-to-date security infrastructure and regularly updates it to tackle evolving threats.
4. Install Security Plugins
Installation of security plugins is one of the most effective ways to secure WordPress sites. They provide an additional layer of protection against malicious attacks from hackers. These plugins harden your website’s security by employing various security measures such as malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, and firewall protection.
The security plugins come with a range of features that improve your website security. Examples of reputable security plugins include iThemes Security, Wordfence Security, and Sucuri Security. They offer comprehensive monitoring, reporting, and alerting services, so you can quickly detect any suspicious activity on your website.
5. Use SSL Encryption
SSL encryption is a crucial security feature that protects sensitive information transmitted between your website and visitors’ browsers. It encrypts web traffic, making it difficult for hackers to decipher any information transmitted over your site.
In other words, having SSL encryption on your site shows your visitors that your site is safe to browse on. You can achieve this by installing an SSL certificate on your website, which you can get from your web host or SSL certificate providers.
6. Regularly Backup Your Website
Regularly backing up your website is another critical step in securing your WordPress site. Backups act as an insurance policy against website hacks or crashes. In case of an attack or website failure, you can always restore your website to the previous backup.
WordPress provides an in-built backup utility, but it is also advisable to use third-party backup plugins to ensure that your data is backed up off-site. Backing up your site anywhere from weekly to daily, will depend on the website’s traffic and activity levels.
Securing your WordPress site is a continuous process that requires attention and effort. It may seem challenging at first, but prioritizing your website’s security can save you from losing money and stress in the long run. Update your software continually, use strong login credentials, ensure your web host prioritizes security, and always backup your site. Implementing the above measures can help you make your site more secure, protecting it from malicious attacks, and giving your visitors peace of mind about their privacy and data security.