Security? On your website? You probably haven’t thought of that yet. Because what is the chance that your website will be hacked? Until it happens… The security of your WordPress website is indeed important and actually not that difficult. I’ll give you some useful tips to make sure your private information never ends up in the wrong hands.
Why is security important?
You’ll probably think that hackers only target popular, high-traffic websites. But nothing is less true. It is precisely websites with few visitors that are often the target. Hackers look for security holes and they can often be found on smaller sites. They then hack it to be able to send spam through the associated server.
It’s important to stay ahead of this. Because once your website has been hacked and spam has been sent from your server, it can happen that search engines like Google put the IP address of your server on a blacklist. In addition, your emails that you send from this server can end up in the spam of the recipient.
How can you avoid all this? By occasionally performing a WordPress security scan and properly securing your website.
General WordPress Security
Most hacks happen in the same ways: due to hosting platform issues, plugin or theme issues, or weak passwords. I’ll go through all three briefly so that you can provide good security in every area. Because in this case prevention is so much better than the cure.
The quality of your web hosting will largely determine the security of your WordPress website. When looking for a new hosting platform, it is best to pay attention to the precautions that the parties take against hackers. For example, pay attention to the following:
- Is a WordPress security scan or WordPress malware scan used?
- Do they use a firewall?
- Is the server optimized for WordPress websites?
- Are the latest versions of MySQL and PHP supported?
- Is the hosting provider proactive in preventing security vulnerabilities?
- Are backups made automatically and regularly?
- Has the server ever been hacked?
Username and Password
When installing WordPress, it is best to immediately change the default username of the administrator. This is usually set as ‘admin’. It makes it easier for hackers to penetrate your website. Now they just need to find out your password.
But that’s no excuse for setting a weak password. A strong password consists of letters, numbers, special characters, and capital letters. I also recommend that you change this password regularly.
Plugins and themes on your website
I recommend that you don’t just install any plugin or theme. This can be harmful to the security of your WordPress website. You can easily check how many times the plugin or theme has been downloaded and what rating they get. Of course, it is also important that they are often updated.
Get your plugins and themes from the WordPress directory. This way you are a bit surer that you have a safe version, since these are checked by WordPress itself.
Using Secure Plugins? View my favorites here!
A few extras
An extra step that you can also take is adding a two-step authentication. You will receive an extra code for this, in addition to your standard login details, which will be sent via SMS. It’s an extra secure way to make sure that only you can log in.
Also make sure the login link, the default /wp-admin, is changed to another link. You can do this in most security plugins, but also via the ‘Change wp-admin login’ plugin.
Another tip is to hide the version number of your website. Every WordPress update has its weaknesses, but if a hacker doesn’t know which version you have, it will also be much harder to know what weaknesses there are.
Plugins to secure your WordPress website
What would WordPress be without plugins? Of course, there are some plugins to protect your website even more. Here are my favorites.
The Wordfence Security plugin scans your website for errors and shows you in a clear way which extra measures you can take to make your website even more secure. It is a very user-friendly and well-arranged plugin.
The Bulletproof Security plugin ensures a secure login and it keeps a record of who visited your website. In addition, the plugin prevents hackers from adding malicious scripts to your page through a firewall.
Last but not least, there is also the iThemes Security plugin. It promotes the security of your WordPress website in various ways and makes regular backups. You can, among other things, adjust user IDs, the URL of your dashboard and hide error messages.
As you can read, there are a lot of ways to secure your WordPress website against hackers. I know it’s something you may be putting off, but I still recommend you act on this as soon as possible. Once your website is hacked, it takes a lot more time and effort to get it back!
Do you still have questions about security or about your website? Don’t hesitate to contact me!