WordPress, being open source software and one of the most popular choice of tool for developing website among millions of web publisher is not 100% safe. Although, there is an active group of developers involved in auditing and releasing the updates regularly, it is prone to exploits and attacks from hackers. Everyday 10,000+ websites are blocked for malware and 50,000 websites are blocked for phishing by Google. Thankfully, there are certain steps that one can follow to keep website secure and safe from attackers.
In this article, we’ll discuss 10 most crucial steps on keeping your WordPress website safe & secure. This article will ensure that you follow best practices out there to keep you safe from malicious attacks.
Why you need WordPress security?
If you want to establish your business seriously and want to promote new reliable clients and customers, secure website is a key. You might want to gather some data of your potential customers, like email and phone numbers for expanding your business. None would like to compromise their personal info at any cost. Here are some of the key reason you might want to secure your WordPress site.
Protect your personal information
No data is 100% safe when you connect your business online. Your business is exposed to the whole world and there are certain data & information that you might want to keep safe from outside. These information might be critical to the growth or existence of your business itself. You might want to secure your website to prevent your business secret from being exposed.
Improves Customer Relationship
Gaining trust from the customer is a key to success of every business. Without customer there is no financial aid and with financial aid there is no business to keep. One of the main factor for customers to look away from your website might be a lack of promise to keep their data safe. Providing them a sense of security is vital to keep your business afloat.
Google loves secure website
Google has some sophisticated mechanisms to check your site’s security level. Google hates the site which is insecure and prone to exploitation and vice versa. If you want to rank at the top of the every search engines including Google itself, you might want to secure your website as much as possible.
How to keep your website secure?
Let’s discuss on how to keep WordPress websites secure on point-by-point basis.
1. Use secure WordPress hosting
One of the most common primary mistakes you might make is by choosing a cheap hosting service. A cheaper service might be tempting for you especially if you are a little tight on the budget or have a biased thought on utilizing that extra budget for other business investments. But this might hurt the business on long run. Cheaper hosting are mostly unreliable and untrustworthy. They might not have a dedicated support incase you run into some issues. On the other hand a good hosting provider provides a faster and more reliable services. They might also provide a regular backup service, which is yet another very critical service to have.
WordPress is an open source software that uses PHP programming language as a base. Updates for the PHP is frequently released addressing the bugs, and implementing new features within the language. Using an updated PHP in website is crucial in keeping your site safe and secure. Try enquiring host provider regarding the PHP versions and updating it in your website.
Secure Login username Password
Easy to guess username & password is one of the main reason for the brute force attack. According to WP Smackdown 8% of WordPress websites are hacked due to weak password. It’s surprising to see uses of passwords like “12345” or “password” in their site. Although, It might be easier to remember these passwords, it is generally a ticking time bomb to be blasted in near future that might affect your business badly.
It is highly recommended to use unique username and strong passwords which is at least 7 characters long, and includes alpha-numeric characters with some special character in-between. For example “W0rdPre$s09” might be a better than using “wordpress” for your website. Also it is not recommended to use common username and password amongst many different platform.
Install more security plugins
There are some very popular plugins that can work as an additional layer for keeping your website extra safe and secure. These plugin comes with tons of option to protect your website. Some best of security plugins can regularly scan your website and alert you about the threat, vulnerability, or corrupted files. You can routinely create the backup for your website. Here are some of the most popular security plugins that you might want to use for your website.
HTTPS is a secure extension of HTTP. Websites that install and configure an SSL/TLS certificate can use the HTTPS protocol to establish a secure connection with the server. The goal of SSL/TLS is to make it safe and secure to transmit sensitive information including personal data, payment or login information.
Change Database prefix
By Default the WordPress Database Table is prefixed with ‘wp_’. It is highly recommended to change this default prefix used by the WordPress because all the login details are saved in database which makes the database table very popular target for the hackers. You can change the default prefix for the database while setting up the WordPress website.
Use a secure WordPress Theme
Using a poorly developed WordPress Theme is another major reason behind unsecure website. It is always recommended to use regularly updated secure WordPress theme for the website.
Limit login attempts
Limiting login attempts for your website can be a smart way to save yourself from brute-force attacks. Most websites are very vulnerable to brute force attacks. Even some websites prevented with secure login passwords are too not safe from brute force attacks. Limiting login attempts will surely make sure these attacks are minimized.
Change default WordPress Login URL
WordPress uses the “/wp-admin” slug to access the admin dashboard. This is a common practice and everyone with general knowledge about WordPress can easily figure out this login URL. A potential exploiter or hacker can make use of this to exploit your website.
Regularly backup your website
Regularly backing up the website is highly recommended. Backup is a way to restore your website incase you might run into some website crashes. These crashes might happen not only due to external exploiters and hackers, some server crashes might can also cause you trouble with the website crashes. Routinely backup will save you tons of cost and time.
Being an open source software like every other, WordPress too is vulnerable to some security exploits and hackers. There is no technology that is 100% safe and secure. The safety measures that are guaranteed to protect the website today might be obsolete in the future. But one can always follow certain guidelines and protocols to keep the site near 100% secure. Prevention is always better than cure. So implementing these preventive measures earlier on can make a great difference in keeping your website safe and can help you save a great deal of time and money in the future.