Security Tips for WordPress
You’ve worked hard to create your WordPress website and likely spent a ton of time and effort maintaining it. Your site may even be vital to your livelihood — you need those sweet dollar, dollar bills to keep your business afloat.
WordPress is an excellent, secure platform out of the box, but there’s more you can (and should!) do to keep your site safe from creepsters with malicious intent. Many of these security enhancements are easy to implement and can be performed manually in mere minutes.
WordPress security is important, but it’s often overlooked. But, with “Three more Malicious Backdoored plugins with More than 89,000 Active Installs found in WordPress Repository” news you need to start taking seriously. It’s easy to assume that your site is secure and hacking won’t happen to you.
But, wouldn’t you rather secure your site now, instead of having to deal with the costs that come with a website breach?
Luckily, WordPress makes this easy. At its core, it’s very secure and the WordPress team regularly releases updates to secure their framework. But, that’s not enough to keep your site secure.
Below we look at a few ways you can keep your site secure and minimize your risk of it being hacked and having your data compromised.
1. Use a Quality Host
You can think of your web host as your website’s street on the Internet — it’s the place where your site ‘lives’.
Like a good school district matters to your kid’s future (so they say; I turned out fine), the quality of your website’s home base counts in a lot of big ways.
A solid host can impact how well your site performs, how reliable it is, how large it can grow, and even how highly it ranks in search engines. The best hosts offer lots of useful features, excellent support, and a service tailored to your chosen platform.
As you’ve probably already guessed, your web host can also have a significant impact on your site’s security. There are a number of security benefits to choosing a solid hosting service, including:
- A quality host will update its service, software, and tools constantly, to respond to the latest threats and eliminate potential security breaches.
- Web hosts often offer various targeted security features, such as SSL/TLS certificates and DDoS protection. You should also get access to a Web Application Firewall (WAF), which will help monitor and block serious threats to your site.
- Your web host will most likely provide a way to back up your site (in some cases even carrying it out for you), so if you’re hacked you can easily revert to a stable previous version.
- If your host offers reliable, 24/7 support, you’ll always have someone to help you out if you do run into a security-related issue.
This list should give you a good starting point to work from when looking for a host for your new site, or even if you’re thinking about changing hosts. You’ll want to find one that offers all of the features and functionality you’ll need, plus has a reputation for reliability and excellent performance.
Our recommendation: TNPHost, the premier WordPress hosting service.
TNPHOST includes a pre-installed SSL/TSL certificate and provides a dedicated WAF designed with rules built to protect WordPress sites and block hacking attempts. You’ll also get automated backups, 24/7 support from WordPress experts at no additional cost.
With TNPHOST, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your site is protected. Our hosting service even takes care of many of the following security-enhancing steps for you — although we still encourage you to read on to learn what extra measures you can take.
After all, safety first, kids!
2. Regularly Update Themes and Plugins
It’s important to keep your existing themes and plugins updated. Most WordPress plugins and theme developers are reactive, which means they patch their plugins and themes only after security vulnerabilities have been found.
So, if it’s been a while since you’ve last updated your WordPress core, your themes, and your plugins, then make sure you do it soon. Otherwise, you run the risk of having your site hacked by a known loophole.
Some plugins and themes will update automatically, but it’s always a good idea to login to your WordPress dashboard to check for updates on a regular basis.
3. Fortify Your Login Page
Are you still using “admin” as your login name? If so, then it’s time to change things up. Your admin username and password is the first line of defense for the backend of your website.
You should spend time creating a strong username and password. If you want to create a strong and memorable password. The most commonly used access point into your site is via a stolen password.
You can even use a plugin like Login Lockdown to help lock down your login page, and lock out users who have a certain number of failed login attempts.
4. Only Download Themes and Plugins from Known Sources
When you download plugins and themes for your site it’s important to only install them from reputable sources. For paid plugins and themes this means places like Themeforest, Elegant Themes, StudioPress, WPMU Dev and similar sites.
It’s also a good idea to minimize the number of active plugins you’re currently using on your site. The more plugins you’re using, the greater your chances of your site being hacked. Plus, some plugins might have smaller development teams that might not be able to patch their plugins for vulnerabilities as rapidly as larger organizations.
5. Consider Using a WordPress Security Plugin
There are a variety of security plugins you can install that will help to prevent attacks and beef up your security measures. Most security plugins can offer your site some of the following benefits:
- Daily scans to check your site for any risky behavior
- File level monitoring to check for any malware insertion
- .htaccess file protection
- WordPress database backups and security monitoring
- Login page lockdown and security protection
6. Always Backup Your Site
Backups will be your first defense against any attack on your website. In case something bad does happen, you can quickly restore your site to its previous state.
There are a ton of backups plugins available, like VaultPress and BackupBuddy. In some cases, your current host might even be keeping regular backups of all your site’s files. But, it’s important that you save your backup files to a secure offsite location, just in case.
The frequency you backup your site depends upon how often you update your site. If you regularly publish new content every single day, then a daily backup is recommended. But, if your site stays relatively the same, then you can get away with a monthly backup.
7. Use a Secure Hosting Environment
You can do everything possible to secure your WordPress site on your end, but none of that will matter if your hosting environment isn’t secure. A reputable hosting company will take extra measures to ensure your site is secure.
However, shared hosting environments aren’t always the most secure option. If security is a priority, then it might be worth upgrading to a dedicated hosting package. Most dedicated hosts can offer stricter security practices, plus, your site won’t be sharing server resources with hundreds of other websites.
Maintaining a high level of WordPress security is all about being proactive. By implementing the above security tips for WordPress you’ll be on your way towards a safe and protected site.