Top 7 WordPress security best practices
WordPress is often used by people who are not aces in web development. It is great that even not tech savvy persons can build their presence on the Internet in several clicks. However, to maintain your WordPress website security and speed you need to learn several things to avoid.
So, here are top 7 points you need to consider:
Leaving WordPress Admin Password Default Value Is a Huge Risk
It’s not a secret that some people leave default login credentials which are pre-filled during WordPress installation (admin/pass). Sometimes people just think that they’re going to check how WordPress looks like and how to work with it so they don’t think too much about creating a secure wordpress admin password. However, eventually, you can become serious about building your online presence but still ignore the lack of WP security. Moreover, WordPress password change suggests going to PHPMyAdmin and editing your database which is not a piece of cake for a not tech-savvy person.
I’ve conducted an experiment. I installed a WordPress to a live domain and left the default credentials. It took a couple of days for some Turkish hacker to deface my website. They’re using scanning bots which try to access your website admin with default credentials and losing your home page is a matter of time.
Always use strong passwords – they should be long enough and contain letters, digits and special symbols. Use online password generators or browser plugins to create a good password.
Don’t forget that even a strong password should be changed from time to time. A suggested period for regular WordPress password reset is once per 3 months. These simple rules are a must to protect your WordPress website security.
Completing WordPress Security Updates in Time
There are two sides of this issue.
Obviously, WordPress automatic updates contain necessary functional and security enhancements which remove possible vulnerabilities and other weak sides of WP. Updating your WordPress installation is a must if you value your blog and care about its security.
However, there is a downside. WordPress themes and sometimes plugins often are updated not as fast as WordPress itself. As a result, you can find your website offline because the theme you purchased is not compatible with the recent WP update. Sure, the vast majority of theme developers eventually publish updates but it may take some time. At the same time, switching to another theme temporary is not the best and simplest option. Due to these reasons, some people even turn off automatic updates in WordPress.
Well, I definitely do not recommend ignoring WP updates. Keeping your website secure is a must in the modern Internet which is full of online hazards. It would be wise to investigate the theme developer’s website before building your WordPress blog design based on the theme. Check how often the developer publishes the updates and read feedbacks about the preferred theme online. This will help you find a nice theme and keep your website secure.
Creating Automatic WordPress Backups
The vast majority of hosting providers have automatic backup system these days. In most cases, they create a full backup of your control panel and store one copy of it which is overwritten with the new copy every 3-7 days. Some people tend to rely on a hosting provider only and that may turn out to be a mistake.
The truth is a hosting provider is actually not responsible for your backups. Their automatic backup system is a nice bonus to their services and the only person who is responsible for your backups is you. Moreover, the frequency of WordPress automatic backups creation can spoil everything – you can be on your vacation when something happens to your website and just because you didn’t notice the issue, the automatic backup system will store the corrupted version of your beloved blog. So, there will be nothing useful to restore.
I recommend that you create backups on your own. There are many WordPress backup plugin options these days such as BackUpWordpress, BackWPup, Backupbuddy and so on. These plugins for WordPress automatic backups let you schedule backups creation of your WP files and database. Keep in mind that the process of backup generation usually requires significant server resources so it is better to schedule the backups not during business time.
I think that Backupbuddy is the best WordPress backups plugin for today.
Avoid Installing and Activating Too Many Plugins
The popularity and flexibility of WordPress are a ground for the existence of numerous plugins for it. There can be dozens of plugins for one function which may differ by the range of features and design (e.g. the aforementioned backup plugins). Pretty often, people start installing and activating numerous plugins to test them and find the best one. Sure many people keep those plugins active even when they find the one great plugin.
The more active plugins you have, the more resources your WordPress is using. As a result, your WP may hit resource usage limits and become slower.
Another issue is that plugins from not very trusted developers may contain vulnerabilities and lead to MySQL injections and so on.
So, it is strongly recommended to keep only the necessary plugins. Also, check feedbacks to make sure you can trust this plugin developer.
WordPress Security Plugins Best Practices
There are lots of WP security plugins. The vast majority of those plugins are paid and some of them have a limited free version.
So far the best free wordpress security plugin is definitely All in One WordPress Security and Firewall though it may require some advanced web development skills to use its full power.
If you’re ready to pay for your WordPRess security plugin then it makes sense to consider paid versions of Sucuri Security and Jetpack.
Take Advantage of WordPress 2FA
Two-factor authentication is a must nowadays because it doesn’t allow hackers to get into your Dashboard even if they somehow know your password.
There are many 2FA plugins for WordPress such as Google Authenticator or Rublon so don’t forget to take advantage of those.
Ignoring WordPress optimization
Your website has to be not only secure but fast to succeed. In its default configuration, WordPress is not a cheetah so you need to work on speeding it up. Use caching plugins, CDN and other measures described in this article and your WordPress will load fast even being loaded with images and posts.
Keep your website safe and fast!