secure-wordpress

The Essentials of A Secure WordPress Site

For mostly obvious reasons, security is a prominent factor in building, running, and growing a website. Security concerns often come up with a WordPress site, since it is indeed a popular platform that has many use cases and powerful features that come with it. Let’s look into the essentials of a secure WordPress site, and how it can improve the safety and wellbeing of our sites.

How Do Hackers Get Into Secure WordPress Sites?

Before addressing how we prevent hackers from getting in, we need to discover how they intrude in the first place.

  • Hosting issues and viruses. Most likely the most common of them all, a virus that enters the host’s servers and networks. This will eventually lead to your site getting infected from the very technology that is running your site. Choose your hosting provider wisely by preferably choosing a trusted WordPress supported hosting provider.
  • Plugins with vulnerabilities and security holes. WordPress plugins are a very common factor in getting your site intruded and keeping your site open to further vulnerabilities elsewhere.
  • Themes with vulnerabilities and security holes. Not nearly as common as the other security holes, yet still existent, are the themes you choose as the basis of your front-end design and layout of your site.
  • Security problems from management issues. With internet users and web creators being more aware of security issues, this is becoming an almost nonexistent issue. Management issues that lead to these security problems include creating weak passwords and using ill-chosen site scripts.

Now we know how the bad people are getting in, so how do we stop them? We take necessary steps and precautions to raise the security on our sites.

Keep Plugins and Themes Updated

With plugins and themes high on the list, we need to choose which plugins and themes we use wisely. Plugins give us the extra functionality we need to grow our business, however, when choosing a plugin make sure to only use plugins that are regularly updated, and that are decently popular. Without a user base, the developers of plugins will many times neglect important security additions and patches.

Just as important, themes control your front-end experience for your users, yet it’s just as much a back-end component of your site. Theme code hooks into WordPress for functioning as a WordPress theme, as of which that code can be neglected to maintain high-security standards. For many, updating themes don’t seem as important than updating plugins, so they fail to ever update it. Instead, remember that those updates may contain security patches important for keeping your site secure. It’s also a good rule of thumb to choose your themes wisely, take a look at a post I wrote on one of my favorite set of themes.

Always Update WordPress

Falling under personal management mistakes, failing to update WordPress at its core is a mistake many make. Get in the habit of updating your WordPress installation the week of a release of a new version.

In addition to keeping WordPress safely updated, remember to never install any plugins or themes in which you’re not aware of who developed it, and creating strong passwords as well as usernames.

Follow me on Twitter, and send me a tweet! I’d love to hear of any security “lessons learned” stories or tips you may have!  

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