Everyone knows that keeping your WordPress website secure should be a top priority. But 9 times out of 10 it isn’t. There are numerous ways to improve your WordPress website’s security, and many of them are quick and easy to set up. Maybe it’s time to give your website security some attention.
In this article, we will look at the importance of website security and what can go wrong if you ignore it. We will then discuss actionable tasks that you can implement, security plugins you can use, and the importance of backing up your WordPress website.
The Importance of Security
Security is an extremely important issue for all website owners. Malicious software, often installed on a website by hackers who have found weaknesses and vulnerabilities, can spread viruses and bugs. These can cause untold damage to your site and computer, greatly affecting your business.
Security breaches can slow down your site and create a negative user experience. This can damage the reputation of your brand, and ultimately lose you visitors, sales, and customers. And it can get much worse than that. Malware can steal customer information, personal and financial data, and destroy your site. This can result in a long-term revenue loss, as well as costing you in time, effort, and emotional well-being.
Implementing security measures should be a top priority for all website administrators. So what can you do to improve your WordPress website’s security and keep it safe and secure?
Has Your Site Already been Compromised?
Many people’s sites have already been compromised and they don’t even know it has happened. A great way to make sure your site is safe is to use a security checker.
WordPress Security Scan is an online security scanner that will test your site for vulnerabilities. The basic scan is free, but for an advanced service, you will need to upgrade to one of their membership plans. Checks are run on your application security, WordPress security, hosting environment, and your web server. This will give you a clear insight into your site’s security and make you aware of any breaches. Sucuri also offers a free Site Check that will scan for Malware, errors and software updates.
Always Update Your Site
It sounds simple but one of the easiest ways to improve your site’s security is to make sure you keep it updated. Updated versions of WordPress, themes, and plugins, help fix and avoid potential security breach points.
Use the Newest Version of WordPress
Each time a new version of WordPress is released, the security is improved and vulnerabilities fixed. The newest version is the safest, so update as soon as it becomes available.
Best Practice for Themes and Plugins
By keeping your theme and plugins updated, your site is less likely to experience malicious activity. Theme and plugin update notifications frequently appear on your dashboard. If you’re someone who ignores these then it is time to change your ways.
Where possible, always keep the number of plugins you use on your site to a minimum. The fewer plugins, the less potential problems. Always install plugins from a reputable source and don’t download premium plugins for free, from unauthorized sources. Removing unused themes and plugins can help improve the speed and security of your site as well.
Secure Your Login Page
Your login page can be extremely vulnerable to malicious attacks if not properly secured. To improve your WordPress website’s security, always use an obscure username. Admin or your own name is not a safe choice. Your password should also contain a random assortment of letters, numbers, and special characters. Changing your password every 90 days is highly recommended.
Start Using LastPass
LastPass remembers all your usernames and passwords and keeps them secure, so you don’t have to. It can generate strong passwords for you, saving you time thinking them up yourself. It also enables you to set up two-factor authorization, giving your account details that extra defense.
Use Login Lockdown
Login Lockdown is a free WordPress plugin that limits the number of attempts that can be made to log in. If more than a certain number of login attempts, from the same IP range, are made within a specific amount of time then the plugin blocks all further tries from that range. This helps prevent brute force password discovery and gives your site another layer of safety.
Install a WordPress Security Plugin
One of the most important ways to improve your WordPress website’s security is to install a security plugin. There are plenty to choose from so let’s have a look at a couple of the best.
All in One Security and Firewall
All in One Security and Firewall is a free and easy to use WordPress plugin that will keep your site safe and secure. It reduces the risk of attacks by implementing the latest WordPress security practices and techniques.
The plugin enforces user account, log in and registration security. It has firewall functionality, a security scanner and protects against brute force attacks, amongst many other features. It also uses a grading system, displaying how well your site is protected based on the security features you have activated. A popular and capable plugin, All in One Security and Firewall is a great choice if you are looking for a free plugin to help protect your site.
Sucuri Security is a powerful premium solution that can clean up a hacked site as well as offer ongoing protection. Advanced features are provided, including continuous scans for malware and hacks, malware removal and cleanup, website application firewall and lots more. Sucuri Security also provides 24/7 online support, so whatever the security incident, a professional response team is on hand to help.
This solution isn’t cheap, with its basic package starting at $199.99 a year. However, this proactive and reactive approach to website security will keep your site safe, as well as give you peace of mind. So arguably worth the money. However, there’s also a popular free Sucuri plugin available from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory.
Setup Antivirus Protection for Your Computer
If your computer is compromised, then hackers could be able access your WordPress site, or find your login details from saved browser passwords. Therefore antivirus protection for your computer is a must.
Norton Antivirus Security software protects your computer from malware, spyware, viruses and lots more. Once installed it runs regular automatic scans, so you can go online with confidence. Most importantly, it means that your WordPress website can’t be corrupted via your computer.
However many security strategies you may have implemented, nothing is 100% reliable. If security is breached and you lose your site and its data and content, then a backup will save you time, money, and even possibly your business and reputation.
VaultPress is a powerful tool that offers advanced backup and security for WordPress sites. This feature rich service provides daily backups and malware scanning, amongst many other things. Most importantly, it offers automatic restores, so if your site is hacked, then it can quickly and easily be recovered.
If you need any help be sure to read our guide covering how to backup your WordPress webiste.
Final Thoughts to Improve Your WordPress Website’s Security
As well as all of the advice above, using a reputable hosting service is always important. Although relatively expensive, WP Engine is a secure WordPress focused hosting company that provides proactive security to keep your website safe. Migrating your WordPress website to a new web host is probably eaiser than you think.
With a top rate web hosting service, and the plugins, tips and tricks from this article implemented, your site will stand a better chance than most at staying safe.
What safety advice do you have to secure a WordPress website? Please share in the comments below.