Don’t Get Hacked! 5 WordPress Security Best Practices for 2021

Don’t Get Hacked! 5 WordPress Security Best Practices for 2021

Did you know that there are over 75 million WordPress sites that are up and running? It’s true: the popular content management platform and site builder extends over much of the internet. Because of the number of users, many WordPress sites are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. That’s a risk that some people and companies cannot afford to take. But how can you secure your website? Continue reading to learn about the five best WordPress security practices in 2021.

By implementing these key strategies, you can trust that your WordPress site is safe.

1. Choose a Good Host

This may seem like a no-brainer, but selecting a trustworthy host is crucial. The host is the service that stores a website. It is also what makes a website accessible to users.

Not all host providers are created equal. Some suffer from frequent cyber attacks, while others often have downed servers. Sometimes, site speeds can be an issue too.

Take your time to research secure WordPress hosting providers. In this case, cheaper isn’t always better. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg, but be sure your provider is reputable.

2. Two-Factor WordPress Security

Two-factor security is available on many platforms and devices. This method typically means adding both an email and a phone number to an account to keep it secure. It can also refer to adding security questions or codes.

This adds security because it makes it harder to gain access to your WordPress website. Rather than only having to bypass one login, cybercriminals must face two. Two-factor authentication can even be challenging enough to deter hackers.

3. Update and Backup Regularly

Many people forget the importance of updating and backing up websites. This leaves them and their sites vulnerable. But how can something so simple be so beneficial?

Well, older websites are often targets for attacks. Not to mention, regular updates help protect sites from security threats. Having an up-to-date backup of a site is useful in case something happens to the live website.

Consider a WordPress Security and Update service to take care of these tasks for you.

4. Enable Safe Plugins

When using WordPress, it is paramount that users remember the platform is open-source. This means it is publicly accessible. Anyone can edit and share the design, which is where the problem lies.

Some bad outcomes can affect plugins. Any developer can upload a plugin, so some may contain viruses. It’s also possible to find and exploit weaknesses within plugins, so keep them updated!

5. Keep Passwords Safe

It might seem obvious, but it’s still important nonetheless. Passwords exist to keep your accounts safe. So, keep your passwords strong and secure!

Don’t choose a password that is common or easy to guess. Instead, choose a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Passphrases, or strings of words, are a safe choice too.

Always Stay Vigilant

Even after you implement these WordPress security practices, you should continue to stay on top of it. Continue watching for the best ways to keep your site free of any WordPress security issues.

For more information, check out our blog. We offer more ways to keep your WordPress site secure, as well as other tech and marketing resources.

Why you should update WordPress and plugins

WordPress is an open-source platform developed by a community of developers. With each new release, they fix bugs, add new features, improve performance and enhance existing features.  If you do not update your WordPress site (and plugins), you are risking your website security and missing out on new features and improvements.  If your website falls victim to a malicious attack, your entire site can get infected and you can lose everything.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.

1. Security

Security is probably, without a doubt, the most important reason to keep your WordPress website updated.

WordPress currently powers about 25% of all websites in the world!  Due to this overwhelming popularity, it’s a popular target for hackers, malicious code distributors, data thieves and people up to no good.

Since WordPress is open source, anyone can study the source code to make improvements, unfortunately evil-doers can also find its weaknesses and exploit them.

Similarly, plugins can also be studied and exploited, or even authored for the very purpose of gaining access to your site and data.

Our WordPress security service scans a vulnerability database for your plugins to alert you of any known issues.

2. New Features

WordPress releases updates on a regular basis, their major updates usually have new features and some changes to the software.  When WordPress 4.0 came out, plugin installation was improved, 4.1 introduced inline image editing, and so forth.

If you search for help online, the help forum contributors usually assume you are using the latest version, so help guides may not match with what you are seeing on your outdated version.

3. More Speed, Scotty!

Developers are constantly looking to make things more efficient and fast, WordPress developers are no different.  With every release of WordPress you can usually expect to have it be running faster and more efficient than before.  They are constantly trying to give more warp speed, captain!

Improved page speed isn’t just something cool, it’s functional as well.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking is dependent on page speed, if you have a slow site your rankings can be affected.

4. Bug Fixes

Despite programmers’ best efforts, sometimes bugs find a way to slip through the cracks.  This is why there are smaller updates from WordPress known as minor releases, there are the ones with x.x.x, such as 4.9.5 which fixed 28 bugs.

If you are having issues, one piece advice you will often get first is to update WordPress and all plugins to the latest version as that may resolve your issue.

5. Compatibility, or IN-compatibility

Some plugin developers, the better ones, coordinate their own updates with the major releases of WordPress to ensure they are taking advantage of the new features, or to ensure their plugins are still compatible.

When this does not happen, updating your WordPress to the latest version could “break” your existing plugins.  With our Safe Update feature, we are able to recover from a broken site or incompatibility be rolling your site back to a previous backup, taken minutes before the update!

 

Take a look at our WordPress security and update service to learn how we can help you keep your site updated.