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How to Keep Your WordPress Website Secure
WordPress is becoming more and more popular due to its ease of use, capabilities, price point, and flexibility. It's our CMS of choice and can be scalable for any size business.
One of the common questions or concerns is how to keep your WordPress website secure from hackers and spammers.
Update Your WordPress Website, Themes and Plugins Frequently
One of the reasons websites fall victim to hacks and spammers is the lack of updating. Updates to the WordPress core and plugins are there for functional reasons, but more importantly they happen for security reasons. Regardless of the CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, proprietary CMS systems, etc.), hackers will find ways to exploit when they can. Updates are released to patch those holes. Without updating, your site is significantly more vulnerable. This is the first and most important step in keeping your site secure.
Limit Plugins to Only Necessary Ones
People love adding plugins to their WordPress sites because it is a quick and cost effective way to enhance the functionality or appearance. I agree, plugins are cool but going crazy with plugin installs is making your site more vulnerable. Essentially it is giving 3rd parties back end access to your site. Here are a few tips when looking for plugins:
- Is the functionality something you absolutely need and does the functionality already exist on your site?
- How many people are using the plugin and how is it rated? The more people install a plugin and the more reviews it has, the better. That means it's more reputable and will likely be supported indefinitely. That means the developer of the plugin will continue to provide updates and security patches.
- Deactivate and delete plugins you aren't using.
Do Security Scans
I know I said be careful of the plugins you install, but there are some great security plugins out there that will help you maintain security. WordFence, Sucuri, Bulletproof and iThemes are some of the more reputable and functional security plugins.
Choose the Right WordPress Hosting Provider
There are hundreds of WordPress hosting providers out there that you can choose from, but that doesn't mean they are all created equal. Some of the better hosts are focused around WordPress hosting and have created their solutions from the ground up based on that premise. That means not only will your WordPress site be more secure, but it will also function better and be faster.
We recommend SiteGround. They perform server side security scans, back up your site regularly, have great customer support and are very dedicated to having great WordPress hosting solutions. They will also allow you to set up a limit to log in attempts when setting up your site to protect against "brute-force" attacks by hackers.
(Disclaimer: This is our opinion and we cannot guarantee your experience with any third party provider.)
Username and Password Security
Your usernames and passwords should be secure. Do not use 'Admin' or 'Administrator' for your usernames. These are obvious and will make you more vulnerable. Also be over cautious when choosing your passwords. If it seems weak, it probably is. Use letters, uppercase and lowercase, numbers, non-alphanumeric characters, they should be at least 8 characters long and shouldn't be obvious (like your username, nickname, etc.).
This is important for any website as any website is vulnerable. A backup will help you recover from any unfortunate incident you may have.
WordPress Is Safe
Keeping your WordPress site secure requires some efforts from you and your development team ... but it is a safe website solution. ANY website and/or CMS (content management system) is vulnerable to hackers and spammers, not just WordPress. The important attitudes to maintain security are awareness and proactiveness -- only then will you have a wonderful WordPress experience!
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