WordPress has become a favorite amongst website builders and bloggers over the years. WordPress’ platform is pretty easy to use, has plenty of features usable by both novice and professional creators, and provides an enjoyable experience for the end user. As with all things internet-based, security is an issue you do not want to ignore.
Online hackers or those attempting data theft will target unsecured sites in the attempts to access the information they deem useful such as credit card information or details about your subscribers or customers that they can use to steal people’s identities. Protecting your customers’ information is part of your responsibility as a goods or service provider and is a key aspect of providing stellar customer service. Hackers want to gain entry as quickly as possible so using good preventative measures can be a deterrent all on its own.
Securing WordPress to protect against threats should be the main focus rather than focusing on trying to stop an attack in progress. The following steps will help you to secure your WordPress website or blog and keep your data, and that of your customers, safe.
Use a Reliable Host
Many hackers gain entry to your site directly through its hosting platform. Choose a platform which has a good reputation for security, is optimized for WordPress, and offers a firewall for WordPress sites. Your host should be running scans for malware and intrusive files and should provide account isolation if it is a shared host type.
Make sure you keep WordPress updated. Each release will contain security patches and fixes for issues which have been discovered and corrected since the last update. Automatic updates only apply smaller patches and will not apply large updates unless you have added the following code to wp-config.php.
1# Enable all core updates, including minor and major:
2 define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true );
This will make it possible for WordPress to automatically apply all updates instead of requiring manual updates. This can have its downfalls as failure to update plugins frequently can cause your site to malfunction if this code has been activated.
Make sure any plugins you use on your site are legitimate, are updated regularly for security fixes, and are well coded. This also applies to themes. Poorly coded themes from unknown sources can increase your site’s vulnerability to attackers and some have been known to be created with malicious code. If you are concerned that your theme may allow hackers in, simply use the free themes provided by WordPress or stick to their premium content providers.
WordPress Security Plugins
All In One WordPress Security plugin checks for vulnerabilities and provides various levels of firewall protection. This allows you to set controls to lower levels if the level of protection causes your site to malfunction and will not slow down your site. This plugin was developed by professionals and has multiple layers of protection and functionality and updates frequently. https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-security-and-firewall/
BulletProof Security Feature protects against hundreds of thousands of attack types much like the All In One WordPress Security plugin. This particular plugin has an easy-to-use setup wizard making it great for those who are not particularly technically inclined and has a one-click method of applying changes instead of multiple separate options. https://wordpress.org/plugins/bulletproof-security/
Wordfence Security is another great plugin and it begins its security protection by looking for a current infection and performs deep level scans to compare your sites code with the official WordPress code, themes, and plugins. Wordfence comes in both free and premium versions, both of which will not slow down your website. https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/
While this is by no means a fully comprehensive guide to all things WordPress security, it includes many of the key ways with which you can protect your WordPress website or blog from hackers and data theft. If you have any doubts about your level of security, it is always better to be safe than sorry and check with a professional to be sure that your site remains a safe place to visit.