There are several things you can do to make sure your website is secure. In this post, I talk about 5 simple ways to boost your Wordpress website security.
One of the scariest things you can experience with your website is finding out that it was hacked. Whether you can’t log in anymore, or all your data was deleted, or a virus was installed and is doing some weird activity. This could turn your day upside down and make you feel violated and helpless. You’ve worked so hard on everything but now your site is compromised. In order to spare yourself the heartache, you can follow these 5 simple steps to increase your Wordpress website security.
1. Use a Good Web Host
You might think it’s a good idea to use a cheaper host because you’ll be saving on some expenses. But in this case, cheaper isn’t better because a cheaper host might mean that their security isn’t top-notch. There are a lot of risks of buying cheap and low-quality hosting and dealing with bad hosting companies. If the web host’s data isn’t secure then your website isn’t going to be secure too since your hosting it with them. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a good web host that implements good security measures to their data and servers, even if that means paying a little extra.
I personally use BlueHost. Their security is great, they’re very reliable, they have good support, and everything is nice and easy to use. I also recommend SiteGround since they provide good security measures with their hosting plans as well.
2. Use Secure Passwords and Usernames
It’s very important that you use unique and strong passwords for each website and account you have. Don’t reuse passwords for multiple sites because that would make it easier to get access to them all when the password is compromised. A strong password is one that has at least 8 characters and contains uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. If you want to generate strong passwords, I recommend using LastPass. It creates secure passwords that you can use for your accounts and you don’t have to worry about forgetting or losing them because they’ll all be safely secured in your LastPass account. It’s really so cool and a game-changer when it comes to passwords!
You should also use secure usernames and by that, I mean any unique username that isn’t “admin”. The reason for that is because it’s super easy to guess since it’s a default username for a Wordpress website. So, almost all potential attacks are actually failed login attempts trying to get into your site using the username “admin”!
3. Install Updates
Always update your plugins and themes when an update is available because these updates usually have security enhancements and patch vulnerabilities that viruses and hackers take advantage of to attack your website. Those security enhancements and vulnerabilities are often the main reason for the update. So, it’s important to get those improvements as soon as you can.
4. Perform Backups Regularly
If something were to happen to your site, you don’t want to lose all your data. For that reason, it’s important to regularly backup your site, either through your host, plugins, or manually. Whichever way you do it, make sure that your regular backups are actually working so you can use them when necessary because sometimes the backup doesn’t execute properly and saves a damaged zip file. With those backups, you’d be able to regain control over your website and get a recent version of your site up and running in no time.
Some good Wordpress backup plugins are iThemes Security, UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin, BackUpWordPress, and VaultPress.
5. Install a Security Plugin
It’s also a good idea to have a good security plugin installed on your site that helps protect it against hacks, malware, and more. I use Wordfence which acts as a firewall and malware scan for your website and keeps it safe. You can also check out CloudFlare which protects your website from all manners of attacks, while simultaneously optimizing its performance and speed.
In summary: In order to improve your Wordpress website security, pick a trustworthy host with secure servers, use a strong password and unique username, always update your plugins and themes, keep your website regularly backed up, and make sure you have a security plugin installed. If you do all of this, hackers (especially the amateur ones) will be stopped at the gate.
Has your WordPress site ever been hacked? How did you manage to reclaim your website and clean it up? I’d love to know your story in the comments below.