If your website is powered by WordPress (and honestly, why wouldn’t it be?), then there are some important security considerations you have to take in order to make sure your website is hack-proof.
The first is hosting. You know then cliche, “you get what you pay for”. Well, that especially applies to website hosting companies. You can’t expect to pay $4/month and have a robust, secure hosting environment for your website. Your site may be secure, but if it’s a shared hosting account and someone else’s website isn’t secure well then you’re in trouble.
The second thing to avoid is ignoring Plugin and other software update notices. Plugins and Themes get updates for a reason, and more often than not that reason is someone found an exploit and the updated version is patching that risk. If you don’t update to the latest version, then your website is at greater risk of being hacked.
The third is using the default username and/or passwords that come installed with WordPress. If there’s a user ID on your site called “admin”, you should delete it. And if that “admin” username is actually an Administrator you should delete it IMMEDIATELY. Create a new Administrator account with a different username. And make sure any other usernames have only the privileges that are needed. Any user ID on your website should have strong passwords.
Fourth is making sure any installed Plugin is downloaded from trusted, reliable sources. Sources such as the official Plugin repository from WordPress, or Plugin marketplaces like Codecanyon. Do yourself a favor and avoid getting plugins from sites you’re not familiar with or shares from friends. Your site is only as strong as it’s weakest plugin.
The fifth thing to keep in mind for a healthy website is to not have Plugins installed that are not being used. This also applies for user accounts that are not used or needed. Both are a potential security risk. Installed but not activated Plugins are essentially a collection of PHP files that could be hacked. Not using them? Delete them. Unused user names? If they’re there, there’s a potential for them to be compromised. Delete them.
What would you do if your site got hacked or crashed? Are you regularly backing it up somehow somewhere? This is the sixth thing you should be doing to protect your website. There are several reliable website backup Plugins available, so do yourself a favor and get one up and running today. The probability of you ever needing a backup is low, but hey that’s not what insurance is for, right?
When you first had WordPress installed, you generated fresh SALT keys in your wp-config.php file, right? Did the previous sentence not make any sense to you? If not, ask your web developer if it’s handled. This, along with other built-in security measures WordPress comes with out-of-the-box, is the seventh thing you need to pay attention to. People always say WordPress is too easily hacked, and the code base is insecure. Not true. WordPress is secure, but it’s not always implemented properly.
Lastly, you should install a security plugin to keep track of things like visitor logs, brute-force attacks, and other security related issues. Installing one like Better WP Security will actually take care of a lot of the things mentioned in this article. Even so, you need to take a little time each week or month to review the logs and settings to make sure things are up-to-date and nothing looks out of place. Be diligent with your website and you should always be safe from hackers.