WordPress is one THE most popular content management system out there. With the benefit of being absolutely free, extremely powerful, and extensible, it’s no surprise that about a quarter percent of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. Its popularity makes it a prime attraction to hackers and evil doers. Keeping WordPress up-to-date will go along way of deterring dangers from befalling your website.
If your business relies on WordPress, then you need to do whatever it takes to ensure your website is secured and stays secured. In a nutshell, every WordPress website depends a number of key plugins, developed and maintained by varied skilled developers. As a WordPress theme developer, I spend a lot of time vetting every single plugin I consider before actually installing it. Things like feedback, update frequency, and the developer’s diligence to responding to support questions.
After installing your selected plugins, now comes your responsibility to keep them all updated. More often than not, plugins require security fixes, patches, and urgent bug updates reacting to new emerging dangers online.
As technology evolves, and functionality becomes deprecated, plugin developers have to stay out in front with new code. Avoiding to promptly update your set of plugins on your WordPress website will expose your site to many vulnerabilities, most critical of which is are gaps for hackers to swoop in.
In addition to plugins, it’s arguably even more imperative to keep the WordPress CMS up-to-date. WordPress very regularly releases updates such as bug fixes, new feature additions, and plugins of course have to stay in tow.
Simply keeping both the plugins and WordPress updated doesn’t mean all will be well with your website. More often than not, these updates can negate any special features you may be running on your theme. Therefore using a WordPress theme built by a professional will go a long way to keeping your website running smoothly.
One of my must-have WordPress plugins is Jetpack. It’s built and maintained by professionals at Automattic, so you can rest assured they’ve got your back when it comes to helping you protect your website. Along with features to help enhance and speed up your WordPress website, they offer a two step authentication option which goes a long way to helping you lock down your site.
Backup, Backup, and Backup
Even if you may have been doing all your homework and maintained security as best as you can on your website, your WordPress website may still become comprised. Whether it be a user accidentally checking off the wrong setting, hardware failure from the hosting provider, or a persistent hacker getting through, trouble always finds its way in. This is why maintaining a constant backup of your website is absolutely critical. A backup system should be applied to your site, not only backing everything up daily, but also weekly, and monthly, to multiple remote locations.
Sometimes realizing your website has become comprised may not be so clear for days or weeks. Therefore you may have backups of the website with malicious bugs already in place. Therefore it’s important to have backups that go far back than just a handful of days.
The Do’s and Don’ts of WordPress Installation
All of these measures I have outlined are just the tip of the iceberg. When installing a WordPress website, you should never use “admin” as the username, ever. You should change the database’s prefix. You should enforce strong passwords for all users, no matter their role. Don’t make all the users administrators, limit users access to only things they’re responsible for. Limit access to the WordPress login page, but adjusting the .htaccess file. Choose a reputable hosting company to serve your website. And yet there’s so much more.
It may sound daunting, all the various tasks you should be doing to maintain a healthy WordPress website, but considering your website represents your brand, business, or yourself, all the trouble is worth it. A healthy website reputation goes a long way to sustain your success on the web.