There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how to protect your blog or website as a WordPress user. Keeping your site secure is not always straightforward, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Security is not one size fits all; different risks require different solutions. If you use WordPress for your business website, keeping your site secure is essential. Hackers love WordPress sites because they are so common – if you don’t follow the recommendations in this post. But don’t let that scare you; staying secure with WordPress is simple if you follow this security checklist and keep track of the various measures we will discuss in this post.
Always Use Strong Passwords
The most basic security measure is to use strong passwords. Unfortunately, WordPress users often use weak passwords because they do not know any better. You should always use strong passwords and never reuse passwords across multiple accounts. If you do not know how to create strong passwords, there are many helpful guides online. You can also use a password manager like LastPass or Zoho Vault to help you create and store strong passwords for every account you have. Password managers are a great option if you are managing many accounts. Strong passwords can protect your site against brute-force attacks. Brute force attacks occur when bots try to guess your login information. Strong passwords make it difficult for bots to guess the login information, reducing the risk of a successful brute-force attack.
Update WordPress and Plugins Frequently
Keeping your WordPress installation up to date is an essential part of WordPress security. WordPress releases security updates regularly. You should always keep WordPress up to date to avoid being on an outdated version. In addition, make sure you are using the latest versions of any plugins on your site. The easiest way to stay up to date is to set up automatic updates. This ensures you will never forget to update your installation. If you use WordPress.com, you can set up automatic updates. If you use WordPress.org, you can use a plug-in like Automatic Updates for WordPress to automate the process. You can also manually update WordPress and plugins. Make sure to do this at least once a month. If you do enable automatic updates be aware that if the theme or plugin breaks your site you won’t know which update caused the problem. That is why we recommend updating plugins and themes individually.
Find and Replace WordPress Code with Care
You can make small changes to WordPress’s code to customize your site. However, you should use extreme caution when making code changes to your site. You could accidentally add malicious code to your installation. While you should avoid making changes directly to your WordPress installation, sometimes you may want to replace an old function. WordPress ships with many functions that can be used to change how your site operates. If you need to replace an old function, be careful to find the correct code and to replace it with code that works. Avoid making changes directly to your WordPress installation because you could break your site by removing something that is essential to the functionality of WordPress. We recommend using a child theme to add custom code. Again, please be aware when you copy and paste code from the internet that you are not in fact using malicious code.
Don’t Install too Many Plugins
WordPress is a powerful content management system because of its plugin architecture. You can extend WordPress by installing plugins. Plugins are a bit like apps you install on your phone. Plugins are one of the most powerful features of WordPress, but it also leads to many users installing too many. You should only install the plugins you need to manage your site. Installing too many plugins can also slow down your site. If you install a plugin and then decide that you don’t need it, delete it. Many people just deactivate unneeded plugins and this leads to problems.
SSL Certificate and WordPress HTTPS Setup
A SSL certificate secures your website from virtual eavesdroppers. It helps keep your site’s visitors safe from third parties. This is crucial for all websites and in particularly ecommerce sites and any other type of site where sensitive information is shared. To get the most out of your WordPress site, you should set up SSL. This can be difficult to set up and maintain, though. In fact, Google state that all websites should have an SSL certificate installed and I am surprised at how many sites don’t do this.
The heart of every WordPress installation is the database. WordPress uses MySQL data to store information about your site. You can use this information to add and change content, access analytics, and more. This means your database is critical to the operation of your site. To protect your database, you need to protect your WordPress installation. You should regularly review database logs to ensure nothing suspicious is happening. You can use a plugin like Security Audit Log to review your database activity.
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. It powers millions of business websites and is one of the most flexible ways to create a blog or website online. However, it is also one of the most vulnerable pieces of software in existence, if you abandon it. Any website that uses WordPress, WordPress.com or WordPress.org, is at risk of being hacked. That’s why it’s so important to follow the WordPress security checklist so you can protect your site and keep your visitors safe.