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Development WordPress

The Importance of WordPress Security

Stanley Walton
26 / 06 / 2024
1 people found this helpful

Making sure that your WordPress website is secure is crucial when it comes to the protection of sensitive information and the integrity of your brand. As cyber threats become more common, it is becoming a matter of great importance to ensure that your defences are iron-clad.

This article will cover the WordPress security basics, from best practices for logins and passwords, to the importance of regular monitoring. It will also highlight how This is Fever can help you to make your WordPress website as secure as possible.

What are the basics of security on WordPress?

Hosting, Passwords & Logins

One way to increase your WordPress site’s security is to make sure that your hosting provider is one that prioritises security and offers features such as SSL certificates, firewalls and regular backups.

Additionally, it is important to utilise complex passwords for all accounts, especially those with admin abilities, and this can be supported by the implementation of two-factor authentication (2FA), adding an extra layer of security. Another layer would be the use of plugins like Limit Login Attempts Reloaded in order to limit the number of login attempts, therefore reducing the risk of brute-force attacks.

You can also whitelist IP addresses using .htaccess or firewall settings, allowing you to restrict access to the admin area. Avoiding using the default “admin” username for your administrator accounts is also recommended, as is changing the default login URL to something unique by using plugins such as WPS Hide Login. This will make it harder for attackers to find the login page.

Updates & Backups

Ensuring that you keep WordPress updated to the latest version will help you to maintain your site’s security as updates often incorporate security patches. The same advice goes for your themes and plugins, as you need to make sure that they include the latest security fixes.

You should also schedule regular backups of your site, and keep these backups stored securely offsite. This can be done using plugins such as UpdraftPlus or Jetpack.

Securing & Monitoring

You can secure your wp-config.php file by moving it to a non-web-accessible directory. This is considered good practice as this file contains sensitive information like database credentials and authentication keys, and moving it adds an extra layer of protection. You can also restrict file permissions in order to prevent access that you haven’t authorised.

It is also good practice to make sure that your site uses HTTPS by installing an SSL certificate, in order to protect your data as it is transferred between your server and your users.

Another recommendation is to install security plugins such as Wordfence or Sucuri Security. These plugins provide features such as malware scanning, firewall protection and real-time monitoring. It is important to perform periodic security checks to identify, and then address, potential threats to your site’s security.

Educating Users

Make sure to educate all users about the best practices when it comes to security, like how to choose strong passwords or how to recognise phishing attempts. You can always refer to the official WordPress documentation for guides on how to keep your site secure. It is also a good idea to stay updated with the latest news and trends around security, in order to make sure that you don’t miss any important changes, updates or recommendations.

What are the risks of not keeping my WordPress website secure?

Keeping your WordPress website secure is essential to protect your users’ data, maintain the function and reputation of your site, and prevent financial loss and legal non-compliance. There are a range of repercussions associated with neglecting proper security of your website, and here are some of the key risks that your site could be subject to if security is not effectively maintained:

  • Data Breaches: Without adequate security, your users’ data, payment details and personal information are at risk of being stolen by hackers, potentially leading to cases of identity theft and fraud. A security breach can be seen as a violation of GDPR, and you might end up having legal action taken against you or having to pay fines.
  • Malware Infections: If your site is not secure then it could become infected with malware. This could then spread over to the computers of the people visiting your website, cause performance issues on your site, and even result in your site being blacklisted by search engines and security devices.
  • Loss of Control: If attackers make it into your site, then they could deface it, displaying content that is unwanted or offensive. This can harm your brand and deter visitors. They could also lock you out of your site and use it for malicious activities like phishing, distributing spam, or launching other attacks.
  • Downtime & SEO Damage: Incidents related to security can cause your website to go offline. This would disrupt your services and cause users to become frustrated. Not only can security issues cause users to change their opinions of you, but search engines may too. If your site is flagged as unsafe then it could be moved lower in search engine rankings or be removed from results entirely.

What are the benefits of WordPress for website security?

Regular Updates & Backups

WordPress is frequently producing updates that take into account vulnerabilities and provide security patches, and these updates can be set to be applied automatically, ensuring the protection of your site. Themes and plugins are also regularly updated in order to make sure that security loopholes are closed. You can use various plugins to set up automatic backups. These mean that if anything does happen to your site, you will always have a recent copy of its data.

Plugins & Integrations

As mentioned earlier, there are various plugins that offer features such as firewall protection, malware scanning, and real-time monitoring. These WordPress plugins are easy to use, and many include guided setups and have dashboards for monitoring and managing the security of your website.

WordPress makes it straightforward to integrate with third-party security tools and services, in order to provide greater protection for your website. These include cloud-based firewalls and content delivery systems (CDNs) like Cloudflare. Additionally, it is easier to integrate SSL certificates, meaning that your site uses HTTPS to encrypt data when transferring it between you server and your users.

Support & Customisable Settings

The community of WordPress users is large and active, with many people contributing to its security. With this community, vulnerabilities are quickly identified, as are solutions. There is extensive documentation and community forums that provide valuable support and resources for improving the security of your site.

Using WordPress, you are able to define specific roles for different users, which makes sure that only people with correct authorisation have access to the more sensitive parts of your website. File permissions can be easily managed in order to grant and restrict access to critical files and directories as necessary.

Security-focused Development & Practices

The core development of WordPress follows along with strict coding practices and security patches. This ensures that they minimise vulnerabilities. Additionally, the core code is audited on a regular basis by security experts, in order to confirm its integrity. As well as this, WordPress actively promotes best practices for security, focusing on topics like strong password enforcement, the limiting of login attempts, and implementing two-factor authentication.

How can This is Fever help ensure the security of my WordPress website?

At This is Fever, we pride ourselves on our WordPress expertise, and that doesn’t just go for how fast or user friendly we make our bespoke sites – it extends to the care we put into keeping the sites we make secure. Here are a few of the ways that we ensure the security of the sites we make:

  • Website Development: We provide robust website development services, with the inclusion of secure coding practices. From the ground up, we build security into your website as we go.
  • Website Maintenance: Our hosting and maintenance services will ensure that your site is kept up to date with all the latest security updates.
  • Website Audit: We offer comprehensive website audits that identify potential vulnerabilities in your site’s security, in order to then recommend improvements. This approach allows us to remain ahead of any risks that could be exploited, stopping attackers before they get the chance to act.

If you have any questions about security, WordPress, or any of our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

By Stanley, Marketing Assistant

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