Creating a website that attracts visitors and keeps them coming back requires a significant investment of time and possibly money. However, the last thing you want is for your site to be compromised or hacked. Therefore, ensuring your site’s security should be a top priority during development and afterwards. Fortunately, WordPress makes it relatively easy to secure your site with simple steps and reliable plugins that provide advanced security features. Here are five vital tips for tightening up your WordPress site’s security.
1. Back Up Your Site Regularly
No matter what you do to protect your site, there is always a chance that something could go wrong. Therefore, it is vital to keep your site backed up so that if disaster strikes, you have a way to recover. It is also highly recommended to back up your site before making any major changes. Check with your hosting provider to see if they create backups for you. If not, consider installing a suitable security plugin like UpdraftPlus for its ease of use and reliability. Put your site backups on a regular schedule and store them somewhere secure.
2. Keep WordPress’ Core, Themes, and Plugins Updated
WordPress is a prime target for hackers given its popularity, and new security threats appear often. Fortunately, WordPress takes these threats seriously by releasing and automatically installing frequent security updates. It is important to make sure that every part of your site is up to date. Major WordPress updates will require manual intervention, since they often make significant changes – and the same goes for any installed plugins and themes.
3. Select a ‘Strong’ Username and Password
When creating a username and password to log into an important service, you’ll want to select hard-to-guess credentials. The same principle holds true for your WordPress website. If a person (or bot) can access your account, they’ll have free reign with regard to your site and its data. It’s also tempting to stick with the default admin username, but we strongly recommend against it. Instead, go with a username that’s hard to predict or use an email address instead. As for your password, use WordPress’ built-in password generator – it will provide you with something both random and secure.
4. Limit Third-Party Access to Your Website
Limiting access is vital when you have many different users accessing your site. However, it plays a role even if you’re the only one running the show, since it applies to plugin access as well. Only give users the permissions they need, and only give plugins and themes access to your site when you really need them. Remove user access for those who no longer need it, and delete themes and plugins when you’ve stopped using them. Configure your folder and file permissions carefully.
5. Install a Comprehensive Security Plugin
There are comprehensive options available that will provide most of your site’s security needs. They can be real time-savers, and if you choose one that’s well-supported it will be regularly updated to handle new threats and concerns. Look for one with excellent user ratings and positive reviews, check out how frequently it’s updated, and consider how much support the developer provides. Wordfence Security is arguably the most popular WordPress security plugin, offering basic security options, a firewall, and other blocking features. It also enables two-factor authentication, as well as regular scanning and monitoring of your site, data, and traffic.
In conclusion, shoring up your security is crucial for creating a WordPress website. The more thought and effort you put into your site’s security, the less likely you are to encounter a disaster. Taking a few basic steps now to protect your site will provide well-deserved peace of mind later on. If you have any questions about how to keep your WordPress site safe, let us know in the comments section below!