Are you concerned about your WordPress website security and unsure about the necessary steps to take? Look no further, this blog is here to help!
Have you heard that WordPress is used by more than 455 million websites and over a million WordPress theme is available on the internet? This indicates that the web hosting behemoth controls an amazing 35% of the global market share for websites. Each and every month, WordPress is used by at least 400 million people all over the world. As a result of this, it should be clear why there is a rising demand for you to make your WordPress site as resistant to cyberattacks as is humanly possible.
Nonetheless, despite the fact that it is not one of the top 50 SaaS firms, WordPress is one of the most widely used content management systems in the world. But, if the content is susceptible to cyberattacks, what good is it to use a CMS that is considered to be excellent?
In point of fact, 90% of all stolen content management system websites in 2018 were powered by WordPress. On the other hand, just 2% of the data leaks were caused by a vulnerability in the basic security of WordPress. In other words, users were the ones responsible for exposing their websites to a variety of risks, most commonly through the use of insecure plugins.
It is probable that the very last thing you want is for your website to be found amidst the turmoil of a cyberattack if it is powered by WordPress, and this would be the absolute worst-case scenario. Due to the ever-increasing dangers that may be found on the internet today, ensuring your website’s safety should be one of your top priorities when developing it.
To assist you in maintaining the safety of your WordPress website, we have developed a list of the seven most effective tactics and best practices. Continue reading to find out how to keep your website and its data secure.
7 Tips to Help You Maintain WordPress Website Security
To get things started, I’ll provide you with some shortcuts (pardon the pun) that you may implement on your WordPress website in order to make it more secure.
1. Choose a WordPress Host that Offers Security
One of the most important things to think about when it comes to risk management for your project is selecting a trustworthy WordPress host. Because the WordPress host you choose plays such an important part in the overall protection of your website, you simply cannot afford to choose any old hosting service. You need to go with the option that offers multiple layers of security at the server level.
You shouldn’t be in a hurry to choose a host for your WordPress site. Rather, take your time looking into the various possibilities. It goes without saying that you should steer clear of hosting services that are suspiciously inexpensive.
In the end, the fact that they are selling their services at prices that are relatively cheaper than average is almost always an indication of concealed problems. If you are not very knowledgeable about technology, you should probably avoid the temptation to host your WordPress sites on a personal virtual private server (VPS). Finding a host that is capable of successfully addressing security events is the superior alternative. This would be a web host service that you can put your faith in.
You can feel certain that your website will be protected in every possible way if you use the services of a reputable hosting provider and sign up for their plans. You can also investigate the numerous tiers of recurring remote support that all these hosting providers make available to their customers.
Generally speaking, the ideal WordPress host is one that conducts virus scans on a daily basis and provides help around the clock. Check to see if the potential WordPress host you’re considering uses an automatic distributor to remain on top of their customers’ calls; this is one of the most common ways that 24-hour support providers handle their customers’ calls.
2. Ensure that your version of PHP is always up to date.
Your WordPress website will not function properly without the Hypertext Preprocessor, also known as PHP. On the server for your website, you should always utilize the most recent version.
As a general rule, each new release of PHP receives full support for around two years until being replaced by a newer version. Throughout the time span of two years, the developer may become aware of various vulnerabilities in the software that may require periodic fixes and patches.
PHP 7.4 is currently the most up-to-date version of the PHP programming language. Despite this, PHP.net continues to offer support for versions 7.2 and 7.3. In those other words, WordPress users who are still operating PHP versions 7.1 or lower are at a greater risk of being targeted by cybercriminals (Also Read: PHP 101).
According to the statistics provided by WordPress, an astonishing 32 percent of its customers are operating their websites using an outmoded version of PHP. It is terrifying to consider the variety of vulnerabilities in cybersecurity that they consistently expose their websites to. While it is true that business owners and website owners need some time to test the compatibility of their code with new versions of PHP, this is not an acceptable justification for running a website without the appropriate security support.
There is more to consider than just the layout template when developing a responsive website. Using an old version of PHP can have a negative influence, both on the performance and the efficiency of your website, in addition to the security risk it poses. Using the most recent release of PHP on your WordPress website is always the wisest course of action to take. Social platforms have positive as a service (CPaaS) solutions that make it simpler to ask for the assistance you require from service providers when you are unsure of what steps to take in a certain situation.
3. Ensure the safety of your passwords
You might be surprised to learn how many individuals don’t bother to set secure passwords, despite the fact that this piece of advice might come across as patronizing and a little bit like a broken record.
As according to SplashData, the number “123456” was the most commonly used password throughout the entirety of 2018. If that information did not surprise you, the following item on the list was, wait for it, the word “password.”
Using such passwords makes WordPress sites an easy target for hackers, which is something you probably already know without the help of a web expert. Because of this, mobile device management, often known as MDM, is an essential component of most projects. It indicates that you will have a device and team that are only devoted to helping you safeguard your device.
You can contact digital customer support for assistance in choosing a safe password for your site if you are having trouble doing it on your own. If you’re curious what digital customer service is, it’s a system that, rather than using a VoIP phone system, provides answers to your questions using various digital platforms. Some examples of these platforms are text messages, chat messaging, and social networking.
Anyone who is attempting to safeguard a digital system should follow the best practice of using a password that is both unique and difficult to guess on average. Although a strong password is a great strategy to protect your WordPress site from intrusion, many users complain that they end up forgetting it after making it too complicated.
You can store the password to your WordPress account in a database that is encrypted on your personal computer, or you can use a password manager that is accessible online. There are various options available to you. This ensures that your passwords in the cloud storage are protected.
No matter whatever option you go with, you need to make sure that the password you use for your WordPress website is both secure and, most importantly, distinct.
4. Ensure that your WordPress website has two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is an additional layer of internet security that required people to authenticate their identity through the use of not one but two distinct methods of authentication. The majority of the time, this will consist of either a code that is texted to the person’s device or emailed to their address or a confidential personal inquiry.
Increasing the level of protection on your WordPress website by implementing a procedure known as two-factor authentication is an efficient approach to do it. It is also helpful for tasks like sharing encrypted files with one another. The very greatest feature is that you get to pick the two authentication modules that you put into use.
A lot of people decide to utilize the Google Authenticator app, which will deliver a one-of-a-kind code to their phone in the form of a text message. The application will, without a doubt, make certain that you are the only person who can get such SMS sent to them.
5. Only install plugins that are safe
Installing plugins that provide users with assistance in enhancing their online activities and distinguishing themselves from the crowd is one of the leading design trends for WordPress websites. Nonetheless, this liberty may at times represent a security risk in and of itself.
According to Wordfence, insecure plugins were responsible for approximately 60 percent of the data breaches that occurred among WordPress users in 2016. Hence, as you can see, operating your site with a plugin whose level of security has not been certified may put your website in jeopardy. As a result, it is in your best interest to install plugins on your website that are both secure and reliable.
If you want to make sure that this is the case, you may start by checking in the “popular” or “featured” category on the WordPress site or getting it directly from the developer. Both of these options are good places to look. Always make careful to read the tiny print to confirm that they have concrete policies about security.
Some plugins even give users access to built-in malware scanners, firewalls, and automated database backups. There is no doubt that this is a very good sign to keep an eye out for. Even after you have installed plugins that are known to be secure, you must always keep them updated. If you do not download the most recent bug fixes, security updates, and version upgrades, you could be putting your plugins in danger and opening a conduit for cybercriminals.
6. Set the maximum number of times a user is allowed to try to log in.
There is no limit number of times that you are allowed to attempt to log in to your WordPress account when it is set up by default. If you are unable to remember your password, you will not be locked out of the website and can continue to try to access it. Even while you might think that this is a benefit if you have a history of forgetting passwords, it actually puts your WordPress sites in danger.
You need to understand that cybercriminals are also aware of this vulnerability, and they take advantage of it. In most cases, they start by compiling a list of common usernames and passwords, and then they add any user data that they have stolen or bought. After that, they go to websites powered by WordPress and employ bots to try hundreds of different login and password combos in a span of less than an hour. There are instances when it is successful and other times when it is not. A forceful assault is the name given to this method of computer hacking.
But, if you restrict the number of times a user can attempt to log in to your site, you can significantly reduce the likelihood that your website will become the target of malicious cyberattacks. If you put your max try limit to three, for example, once that number has been reached, the website will prevent access to that person (or bot) for a certain amount of time.
7. Use SSL to encrypt the data on your website
Last but not least, installing a secure socket layer is among the most effective measures you can do to safeguard your WordPress website (SSL). When you install an SSL certificate on your website, all of the data transfers that take place between your server and the site’s visitors will be encrypted. Also, it will change your website’s protocol from HTTP to HTTPS. An SSL is an absolute must if your organization intends to enhance its approaches to e-commerce.
You see, hackers are able to employ something called a man-in-the-middle attack on HTTP websites, which allows them to examine the data that users to your website transfer to the server. This can lead to data breaches and other consequences of cyberattacks. A website that uses HTTPS encrypts all of its site traffic and data, making it impossible for anybody else to view it.
Happily, the procedure for getting an SSL certificate may be described as being rather basic. It only requires that you buy it from a Certificate Authority and then install it on your WordPress website to complete the process.
Then you will need to adjust your website address such that it displays the prefix HTTPS. Certificate Authorities are capable of helping you with the purchasing and ultimate installation of the program by utilizing the appropriate cloud-based call center software. It is imperative that you acquire an SSL certificate as soon as possible if your website does not already have one.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.