Why is WordPress popular?
WordPress has established itself as the most popular content management system globally for the last ten years. 70% of website owners use a content management system (CMS) for their website due to ease, time and cost-benefit, while 65% of content management system (CMS) websites use WordPress. The White House, Coca-Cola, and The Wall Street Journal are among the major brand websites worldwide using WordPress. Therefore, these facts and statistics demonstrate why is WordPress popular.
Why Is Security Important for Your WordPress?
WordPress is your lifesaver if you’re looking for a flexible, customizable, and, most importantly, secure website builder.
The WordPress team’s primary goals are to ensure that your WordPress sites are safer and regularly release automatic updates that will help improve your website’s security.
However, you should note that not everything online is 100% secure, and sometimes even the most secure platforms can face data leaks, hacks, and attacks. As a result, additional measures are required to ensure that your WordPress website is as secure as possible.
If hackers manage to infiltrate your website, various issues can arise. For example, hackers can install the malware in your website code or steal sensitive information about you, your business, and your users.
WordPress powers more than 45% of all websites. However, WordPress is a significant target for hackers looking to infiltrate websites.
Therefore, you must be ready to invest as much time and effort as possible to secure your website from hackers while investing yourself in the design and content phases.
Is WordPress Insecure?
The answer is no. Considering the platform’s reusability and that anyone can create code to run on WordPress, security vulnerabilities happen. Whenever WordPress has an issue with its security, its team takes quick action and releases updates consistently compared to other major open source content management systems.
If a plugin or theme ends up with a security vulnerability, we’re at the mercy of the software author to release a patch as early as possible. For those horrible security bugs, the WordPress team automatically takes control and automatically forces updates out to everyone to prevent mass infiltration.
For now, let’s pay attention to how we can prevent our websites from getting hacked.
How to secure your WordPress?
1. Keep Your WordPress Plugins and Themes Updated
You must regularly update WordPress plugins and themes to the latest version, or hackers can quickly gain access to your WordPress due to vulnerabilities of plugins or themes.
If there is a severe vulnerability in your plugin or theme, hackers can completely control your WordPress site and databases and gain access to the WordPress hosting server. Therefore, you must update all plugins and themes you used in your WordPress application before hackers exploit your WordPress site.
WordPress updates introduce new functionality and patch necessary security holes, making it extremely hard for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s essential to keep your WordPress installation updated and keep your plugins and themes updated.
2. Backup Regularly
If your WordPress site is in jeopardy due to a hacker, the hacker can remove all the code from the server and deface your site or encrypt all your data and code or edit some files to sneak a backdoor into your server. After identifying the website in jeopardy, you need a backup to restore the website to the previous one.
The easiest way to backup your website is with a plugin like BackupBuddy, WordPress Backup to DropBox or VaultPress. BackupBuddy and VaultPress are paid solutions which instantly backup your whole website and allow you to restore it conveniently.
3. Enable HTTPS
Suppose the hackers are in the same network as a victim user using a WordPress manager or other account. In that case, they will be able to discover all the communication between the user and the webserver and collect the WordPress admin credentials. To prevent this from happening, you need to use HTTPS instead of HTTP for all your WordPress server connections with all your WordPress users.
HTTPS will effectively encrypt any data that travels between the website and the user, ensuring that a third party cannot access it. Therefore, enabling HTTPS is essential for your website’s security.
Installing an SSL certificate and running your website on HTTPS is one of the best ways you can secure your WordPress website.
To implement HTTPS, you will need an SSL certificate that tells web browsers that your website is secure and encrypted with any data. However, your web hosting provider will usually include an SSL certificate in your hosting package.
Once you have the SSL certificate, it is easy to implement HTTPS. HTTPS was previously necessary for websites that handle only sensitive data, but it is now an essential security step for websites.
4. Choose a strong password
Using simple passwords like 123456 or 12345678 for your WordPress admin will quickly ensure that hackers can get admin access to the WordPress account. Therefore, it’s best if your password is at least eight characters long. You should include lowercase and uppercase letters mixed with numbers and special symbols.
If you want a password generator to create a stronger password and if you’re afraid you won’t be able to remember it, opting for a password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, or Keepass is a wiser option.
5. Enable two-factor authentication
A hacker can use a social engineering technique, man-in-the-middle attack or brute force attack to gain your WordPress admin user credentials for the future. You must always enable two-factor authentication for extra security to your WordPress site. Two-factor verification requires two kinds of authentication methods for you to log into your WordPress account.
This means you’ll need a username, password and a one-time passcode sent to your phone to log in to your site. You can use several plugins here, including Authy Two Factor Authentication, Google Authenticator, and Duo Two-Factor Authentication.
Hackers may try different ways, from malware injection to DDoS attacks and social engineering. WordPress sites are common targets for hackers due to the CMS’s popularity.
Therefore, WordPress website owners must know how to secure their sites. To recap what we have explored in this article on securing your WordPress, here are five essential tips you must keep in mind:
- Keep Your WordPress Plugins and themes updated
- Backup Regularly
- Enable HTTPS
- Choose a strong password
- Enable two-factor authentication.
Remember that securing your WordPress site is not a one-time thing. You need to reassess it and measure it continuously. There is always a risk when using WordPress, so we recommend you do a Penetration Test twice every year to understand how you could secure your WordPress as much as possible.
Therefore, we hope that this article helps you understand the essential tips of WordPress security measures and how to implement them effectively and successfully.