According to their own statistics, WordPress is used as the backbone for 30% of all websites today. It’s no surprise that so many people choose WordPress when building a website. The software offers functionality and customization at an affordable price with options for all different types of users.
However, the size of the WordPress community makes the software a prime target for hackers online. Plus, the increasing number of themes and plugins available could introduce various new vulnerabilities for people to exploit.
This is not meant to be a scare piece. In fact, quite the opposite. WordPress is an amazing tool that can take your blog or business to the next level. Following some simple recommendations to improve your WordPress security can help you enjoy the power of WordPress without opening yourself up to online threats.
Ready to ensure your WordPress security is up to the test? Here are some solutions you can start putting into place today.
1. Choose a Secure Username and Password
This may seem like an obvious solution but it is often overlooked by many users. One major example of this is using “Admin” as a username. By using a default-style username, hackers already know half of the information needed to gain access to your WordPress website.
Try creating unique usernames and avoid using names for authors or contributors that may appear on your site. This simple username practice can save you a lot of grief down the road.
In addition, making a secure password can thwart a lot of attempts to breach your WordPress security. There are a number of methods to ensure you have a secure password. Most importantly, don’t reuse passwords on multiple sites, don’t use common phrases, and make passwords as long as possible.
2. Only Use Trusted Plugins and Follow Updates
One of the biggest threats to WordPress security is third-party plugins or themes that are not offered by WordPress. There are tens of thousands of plugins available from WordPress and even more are available from third-party sources like GitHub and Code Canyon.
It would be alarmist to say that people should avoid third party-plugins. Even plugins available from the WordPress repository could pose a threat. You should always read reviews and ratings for a plugin before choosing to install it on your website.
In addition, you need to ensure that the plugins you use are being updated. Automatic updates can protect you from old vulnerabilities that have been patched. If plugins are no longer offering updates, then you may want to consider looking for a similar plugin with better support to help with WordPress security.
3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication for Login
A strong username and password are great, but they still can’t protect against some forms of data theft. Even if a hacker is able to get your login and password, two-factor authentication can stop them in their tracks and alert about attempts to circumvent your WordPress security.
There are a number of plugins available from the WordPress repository that enables two-factor authentication using the most popular methods available including Google Authenticator, SMS, and email.
Of course, two-factor authentication is only as secure as the second method used to verify your login. You should also enable two-factor authentication on other services that allow it including your email account.
4. Remove Unused Themes and Plugins
If you have been using WordPress for some time, then you may have installed themes or plugins that are no longer in use because you have found other services that you prefer.
Just like updating existing plugins in a timely manner is important, so is removing unused themes. Best practice for protecting your WordPress security is to remove any themes and plugins that you are not using as soon as you stop using them.
This helps remove the clutter of unused plugins that can build up over time and eliminates additional areas where hackers could find vulnerabilities. Only keep the plugins you are actually using. If it’s not in use, then you should uninstall it immediately.
5. Backup Your WordPress Site Regularly
When all else fails, you can count on a recent backup to save the day. This is true for your own personal computer, your smartphone, as well as your WordPress site. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there may be a security breach or loss of data unrelated to any security issue.
The easiest way to get back up and running is to reinstall your WordPress site from a backup. There are a number of services and plugins that help you back up your WordPress site. Research the options and find the one right for you.
Always Stay Vigilant to Ensure WordPress Security
Keeping your site safe and secure is an ongoing job. Use these best practices to help protect your WordPress security and always stay on top of the latest news and updates.
The more effort you put into WordPress security, the fewer opportunity hackers have to destroy your business and your hard work.