7 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Website
Your website is a major component of your business’s success. It’s often the first impression customers will get from your company. That’s why web security is something you can’t risk overlooking. If your website isn’t secure, people can use it for any number of malicious, criminal activities, such as phishing, fraud, or simple mischief. Worst of all, if your website gets hacked and used for malicious purposes, you can be liable for any damage caused. So, to protect yourself and your customers, I’m going to share a few ways you can secure your WordPress site.
1. Use a Strong Password
Don’t you hate having to remember a random string of characters, numbers and symbols? Well, good news, you don’t have to. In fact, it’s easier for a bot to guess a password with random characters than a password with a string of words. Consider using a string of several words as a password for your website. Like this:
Except don’t use that one because now everyone knows it! When coming up with passwords, avoid things like the names of family members, important dates, or things related to you, or your business. These are easier to guess and make your site less secure. A longer password is better; they take longer to crack by brute force, giving you more time to catch hacking attempts. We also recommend you avoid using the same password twice. It may seem frustrating to have to use different passwords for your personal websites, but the benefit outweighs the risk. It’s better to protect your site from a deliberate attack by a hacker than risk compromising all your data.
2. Keep WordPress & Plugins Updated
Cyber security is a war of attrition. There’s no such thing as a truly secure machine if it’s connected to the Internet. Given enough time, someone will find a way in eventually. You can’t make hacking impossible, but you can make the process take so much time that it’s not worth the effort, and give security experts the time they need to catch and lock out hacking attempts. That’s why it’s so important to keep your site updated. Each WordPress update corrects discovered vulnerabilities, or adds new security protocols that force hackers to start over. The good news is updating WordPress is easy. You can log in to your site, go to your Updates screen inside the WordPress dashboard, and click “Update.” It’s easy and fast. After the update finishes, your site will return you to your dashboard. Sometimes a plugin or theme in your site may not be compatible with the most recent update, so it’s always good to make backups before and after you update your WordPress. Hackers attack plugins more often than WordPress. Plugins are usually independently developed, so they may lack the security expertise of WordPress. The developer might also stop supporting the plugin, meaning hackers will eventually find ways to crack it. It’s best to use as few plugins as possible. As a bonus, less plugins means less data for your server to keep track of, so your site will run faster!
3. Use a Strong Username
Think of your username as a second password. It’s a piece of a two-part key needed to access your page. Having a strong username is just as important as having a strong password. You want to avoid having a username that’s easy to guess. Your name, or the name of your domain (without .com) is always a bad choice. They’re often the second things a hacker will think of when trying to access your site. The first thing they’ll think of is the default username, which for most sites is Admin. WordPress now offers the option to set your own username when setting up your site. Even so, many people still make the mistake of selecting Admin as their username. Never do this. A final security precaution: log all failed login attempts and keep a list of the top most common user names people attempt to use to get into your system. This will give you an idea of what hackers are thinking you would use and therefore what is best to avoid.
4. Change Login URL
Movies try to make hacking look intense and complicated. They talk about elaborate tools, techniques, and special programs that help the experts crack system protections. In reality, you wouldn’t believe how much hacking relies on guesswork. The more difficult you can make it, the better your security is. If you REALLY want to throw most hackers for a loop, then a good idea is to change your login URL. If your username and password are keys, then your login URL is the lock. Anyone who has any experience with WordPress knows that the default user login URL is www.YourSiteName.com/WP-Admin. If your average hacker wants to try and access your site, they’ll punch that in. You can change that, though. It can either be done manually, or with a plugin. Having a personalized login URL will add an extra layer of protection against the casual hacking attempts that account for most cyber attacks. It’s not a guarantee, and you still need other security measures, but it’s a useful extra trick to throw people off.
5. Hire a Professional
Obviously, the best way to secure your website is to hire a professional. Sure, you can learn to do everything yourself, but you’ve got a business to run. Do you really want to spend all that extra time learning all the ins and outs of security needed to keep your site one step ahead of the people who want to attack it? No, of course not. You’d rather get experts who can do this in their sleep. That’s where we come in. From setting up the basic security features, to managing WordPress and plugin updates, this is what we do. We also provide you with regular back-ups in case your website needs to be restored. And that’s just our basic package! We have multiple plans available to give you even more security. We have a variety of maintenance plans you can choose from. Find a plan that suits your budget and gives you the features you need to protect yourself. We’ll handle the rest. Then you can devote your time to doing the things that make you money!
Ready To Get Started?
Cyber security is one of the biggest issues we face in the modern world. So much of our business is conducted online that we cannot afford to let ourselves be vulnerable. We have to take every precaution we can if we want to avoid hacking. But security is tough if you aren’t a professional. That’s why we’re offering our maintenance plans. We’ll save you the hassle and the headache, leaving you to focus on what you do best. If you’re ready to get a more secure website today, then get in touch with us. With the right plan, we’ll set you up with everything you need.