I was recently meeting with a client and they asked “how secure is WordPress?”, and to their surprise, I probably got a bit more technical than they may have expected.
Being married to a tech guy, having worked in a technology company, and having a lot of friends in the industry I know a thing or two about the tech world. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve also been using WordPress since 2011.
When it comes to your digital home on the internet, it is so important to take the right precautionary measures to ensure you’re securing your property. Keeping your site safe and secure is crucial in having an online presence, because the last thing you want, is to be driving traffic to a site that is down or has been hacked.
I’ve been there when the dreaded phone call comes in at 2 or 3 AM because the site went down due to malicious activity. Needless to say, there was a lot of scrambling in the wee hours of the night to get the site back up and running.
You may be thinking, “it’s the middle of the night, who could possibly be looking at my site at this time?!” But, regardless of the time, it is so important to keep your site up and running, because being down is bad for business – especially if you have visitors from different parts of the country or world looking at your site.
No matter the size of your company, and how many people are actually visiting your site in the middle of the night, I’ve got 4 ways to keep your WordPress site safe and secure.
USE A QUALITY HOSTING COMPANY
This is so important when it comes to your site. I personally use and love Bluehost! I’ve never had a security issue with them (and now, I need to go knock on wood!), and they even have great customer service. Because I know how important it is, I also pay for their backup service. In the event that something does happen, I want to make sure I can restore my digital home quickly and get up and running in no time.
There have been a few times that I’ve had to call Bluehost for support for one of my websites or a client’s’ site and they have always been amazing to work with – regardless of the issue.
This is the foundation of your site, having a good hosting company is important not only for creating a beautiful site but making sure it is secure.
RUN MONTHLY MAINTENANCE UPDATES
Just like running a business, or keeping up with your own home, it is important to do the housekeeping items, like picking up your clothes and making your bed.
For your online home, this is going to look a little different, but the same concept. Each month, you should check for any updates that need to be made to your WordPress plugins or to WordPress itself.
If you continue to operate on an outdated version of WordPress or a plugin your digital home becomes more susceptible to vulnerabilities. This is often times how bad guys hack WordPress sites. It’s not that WordPress isn’t safe, but rather a lack of oversight in maintaining their digital home.
DELETE OLD PLUGINS
Similar to maintaining your plugins to avoid vulnerabilities, it is important to deactivate and delete any older plugins you are no longer using. If you’re not using it and decide it isn’t necessary to have the most up-to-date version of the plugin it becomes an access point for the bad guys.
Simply go through once a month, or a least once a quarter, to clean up any unnecessary plugins from your site.
This will help keep your site secure and as up-to-date as possible.
KEEP TRACK OF USERS
Just like deleting old plugins that no longer serve a purpose to your site, you should eliminate any user accounts that are no longer relevant.
Like any business, people and roles may come and go, or collaborations may end, but we keep their user profile on our WordPress account. The user profile ends up sitting there collecting dust, and is another potential way someone can hack your site.
To keep your site secure, actively remove users that are no longer serving a purpose to your site on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Photo by Sweet Memories Photography
These are just a few basic tips on how to maintain a secure WordPress site. There are a number of ways to increase your security but these are some easy steps you can easily implement to ensure you are protecting your digital home.
A few others are to have two-factor authentication for logging on to your site, creating strong passwords that are more than 10 characters long and include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, as well as using different passwords for your hosting account and your WordPress account.
Have questions about securing your digital home? Let me know in the comments below!
*This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I only share brands and products that I use and truly love!