3 Ways to Protect your WordPress website

11 Mar 2019 / Freeparking Team


Working online can present you with numerous opportunities – but it can also carry a few risks. This is especially true when it comes to website security. With so many potential threats out there, it’s important to ensure that your site is always properly protected.

Fortunately, achieving a fully-secured site is simpler than you might expect – especially when you take advantage of the right WordPress plugins. This will enable you to provide a top-notch service for your visitors, and keep their personal information safe.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the key ways you can secure your site. We'll also introduce some tools that can help you perform those tasks. Let’s get to it!

Why it’s Vital to Secure your WordPress website

WordPress is theworld’s most popular Content Management System (CMS). It’s also one of the most secure. The base service will keep your site fairly well protected, but no platform can ever be 100% safe. That’s why it’s vital to take your site’s security into your own hands.

Failing to protect your website properly could lead to compromised user (or customer) information, the installation of malware, and the loss of your audience's trust.Experienced attackerscan even take down your site completely – leaving you to pick up the pieces.

Hacking attempts are on the riseeach year, and various bugs and errors can also lead to serious security breaches. Maintaining a high level of security is the best way to protect your site, while also building its credibility with users and search engines alike.

3 Key Ways to Protect your WordPress website

Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to keep your WordPress website locked up tight. Let’s look at three of the most important.

1. Purchase an SSL Certificate

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificatesare used by more and more websites these days – particularly those that regularly process payments. This kind of site can be easily identified, as its URLs will have an https prefix (rather than just http). In addition, browsers will often include an icon to show that the website is secured:

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SSL certificates enable your site’s data to be transmitted over a more secure connection, so it’s much harder for anyone to intercept and copy (or otherwise interfere with). This keeps your users’ information much safer, which is particularly important for e-commerce sites. 

In fact, studies have shown that84% of website visitorswould abandon a purchase if they thought their data was going to be sent over an unsecured connection. This means that adding an SSL certificate to your site can play a vital role in securing conversions.

Your hosting provider may include SSL certificates with its plans – but if not, they’re readily available for purchase elsewhere. You can even obtain one for free fromLet’s Encrypt. Just keep in mind that this will be a basic certificate – you may require something strongerif you operate a large business.

2. Select Your Plugins and Themes Carefully

One of the greatest things about WordPress is the widespread availability of useful add-ons. These can be used to personalise your site’s appearance, alter the way its base functionality works, and even add new features. However, it’s important to research theplugins and themesyou choose carefully.

The majority of WordPress themes and plugins are completely safe. However, some are created by inexperienced developers who use poor coding practices. This often makes it easy for hackers to infiltrate your site. There’s even the possibility of encountering an add-on that was created specifically for malicious purposes.

Before installing anything new on your site, therefore, you’ll want to thoroughly check its user ratings and reviews. This will give you a good indication of whether other people have generally had a good experience. You should also check to see how recently the plugin or theme has been updated. If it’s gone untouched for longer than six months, it may no longer be secure:

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Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you find your plugins and themes through reputable sources. Of course, usingWordPress’ own directories is the most advisable option. However, some third-party sources are also trustworthy – such as ThemeForest and CodeCanyon, as well as certain developer websites.

3. Change Your Passwords Frequently

Although it’s something we’re all guilty of forgetting, changing your passwords is a vital part of securing your website. Your password acts as your first line of defence against potential security breaches, so it’s important to update it regularly.

A good rule of thumb is to change your password every 90 days, and to make sure all the other users on your site do the same. You can set up reminders to make sure the job gets done. It’s also important to make sure the passwords you create are strong. Although it’s tempting to use something that’s easy to remember, like “password123”, this is unlikely to offer much protection. 

Instead, you’ll want to use longer passwords that contain numbers and other symbols. By going to your user account in WordPress, you can randomly generate a strong password:

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Using this feature is a great way to ensure that your password is very hard for hackers and bots to guess.

Conclusion

A website security breach is difficult to come back from. You may lose your audience’s trust, along with some of its revenue. For that reason, it’s important to ensure that you have the correct security precautions in place. 

Let’s recap three of the best ways you can protect your WordPress site:

  1. Obtain an SSL certificate.
  2. Carefully vet the plugins and themes you install.
  3. Create strong passwords and update them regularly. 

Do you have any further questions about your WordPress website’s security? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pixelcreatures

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