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13 September 2016

13 Quick Preventive Ways to Ensure a Secured WordPress Website

13 Quick Preventive Ways to Ensure a Secured WordPress Website
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By Manmeet Anand

ensure a secured wordpress website

“Prevention is always better than cure”

How true are these words for a WordPress website! Every day you would hear a new story about a WordPress website being hacked which is sure to shake you up if you own one yourself. The best way to combat this fear is by ensuring that your website is secure through proper measures.

Here are a few preventive ways that would ensure your WordPress website doesn’t fall prey to any malicious activities! And if nothing seems to work out, hiring a WordPress developer is never a bad idea.

1) Get the updated version of your WordPress

The best way to keep your website safe is by using the latest version of the platform which can support the plugins. We all are guilty of avoiding the core updates of WordPress on the belief that they might somehow break some of our plugins in terms of functionalities as a few of them might not be compatible with the recent versions of WordPress, which in fact is wrong.

You have to understand that if you have the latest updates for your site then it becomes better equipped against malicious actions such as hacking. This is why, even if you detect a few broken plugins initially, subsequent updates both from the plugins and the WordPress would repair them.

2) Know the latest WordPress security threat

If you are a WordPress website owner, then you have to be vigilant at all times for the new threats that might pop up from time to time. For instance, it has been observed that during the WordPress updates, the site is at its most vulnerable state.

Just like other websites, every update that comes to the site brings along the fixes for previous security issues. But the problem is most hackers use the previous threats as a dry run and prepare more improved threats which they send with the new versions. So keep your eyes open and make sure to take steps to prevent them from wreaking havoc on your website.

3) Keep your plugins, themes and scripts updated at all times

Truth be told, WordPress plugins are much more vulnerable to malicious activities than the WordPress core files. Sloppy coding used in the development of WordPress plugins worsens the situation, which is why huge stress is given on hiring good and capable WordPress developers.

It is, for this reason, you will find that there are certain updates which come regularly from official sources for these plugin issues. Remember, these updates should only come from the official websites and not from third parties.

Moreover, removal of unused plugins is always a good idea as it gets rid of needless files which might make the website vulnerable. The same thing can also be said for the themes and scripts as well. Keep your scripts and website theme updated with modifications coming from official sources to ensure smooth working.

4) Getting a secured hosting server

Getting a secured hosting server is undoubtedly the best way to keep the hack attacks at bay. Most of these websites are known to have threat monitoring teams which are responsible for keeping an eye on the latest security threats.

They are well equipped to tackle any such threat by simply making the necessary changes on their firewall coding. A record 41% of WordPress websites were hacked due to server breaches in 2013 which actually made people think about the importance of a secured server. Therefore, if you want to protect your website then it is time to get the right and secured hosting server.

5) Shuffling the WordPress login and admin name

You have seen your banks and other online service providers asking you to change your password and username time and again, which is something that must be done for your WordPress administration as well.

If you make the mistake of keeping the default initials for a long time, then you are in for a big trouble. This is why changing the default initials is strongly advised and they should be done during the actual WordPress installation process.

Moreover, hiding the admin name will make it difficult for hackers (proving good for you!) which might allow you to recuperate against an initial attack.

6) Strong password combination

One thing that is going to protect your website is the right password combination but sadly not many people tend to pay heed to it. People are known to use passwords as easy to guess like 123456 which truly make the job of the hackers all the easier.

This is why we would suggest you to use a proper password combination which must include alpha-numeric letters along with special characters. Moreover, reuse of password is a strict no-no as they can be as dangerous as a weak password combination.

In addition, if you have a tendency of sending your passwords over plain text then think again, as it is the best way to get hold of your password without you even knowing it.

7) The right WordPress security plugin

As we turn to the technical side of the security issues, nothing speaks of protection louder than the perfect security plugin. Here you have to be careful about getting the right security plugins so that they can identify security threats and neutralize them as soon as they detect any potential concern.

Here, you can use an SSL which will encrypt your communication and keep it out of the reach of the hackers. With some small and careful coding, you can keep your WordPress website safe at all times.

8) The important Google search console

The best way to protect your website is by using Google Search Console. Search engines like Google are designed to provide only clean results, which is why they tend to alert you if there are any malicious files in your systems.

Although, this would be a bad news for you as it also tells you that your site has already been compromised, but keeping abreast of the situation is still better than not knowing at all.

9) Securing the WordPress database

As the name suggests, the database is the one-stop destination for all information on the website including its history and one of the favorite places for hackers of all shapes and sizes. The first thing we would advise here is to use separate databases for different websites and also avoid access to a single user.

If you would manage a single database for all your websites, chances are high that if the concerned database managing all the websites is compromised, all your connected websites will be crippled at once. However, if you manage an individual database for all your websites separately, if by any chance, database gets hacked, only one website is at stake and not all.

Changing the name of the database is also a pretty clever way to throw off the hackers. Moreover, allowing access to databases should be restricted to give an extra layer of security to it.

10) Website backup is necessary

It is true that you take all the necessary steps to protect your websites but they can still be compromised which is why creating a backup would be wise. Hence, you should get your WordPress backup plan sorted out beforehand to avoid unfortunate surprises.

Remember, keeping a backup does not only protect the important data from hacks but they are equally useful if there is a technical glitch or other such accidents. So preparing a backup plan from the onset would be the best way to go about securing your WordPress website.

11) Securing WordPress with professional proficiency

It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself (if you know what you are doing) or hire the best WordPress developer, securing your WordPress website and that too with true professionalism is important.

The best way to do so is simply by putting in measures like limited login attempts which are a common deterrent for hackers. Moreover, it is highly recommended to be on a safer side by making use of Two-Factor Authentication.

12) Correct file permissions

As we know that there are particular file permissions for directories and files but not changing them for your website is a cardinal sin. Therefore, changing file permissions accordingly should be your top most priority to avoid security breaches.

13) Getting a firewall

In simple terms, firewalls are like security professionals who look after the security status of the website round the clock. So, installing and updating them regularly is the need of the hour.

For WordPress websites, you would need to install a Web Application Firewall. All you want to do here is ask your host service provider for its availability, and get it installed and let the Firewall do its magic.

Over the years, WordPress has established itself as a suitable and rather a useful platform for different blogs and websites. However, because of its popularity, it also becomes susceptible to a number of different threats like hacking.

This is why having a set of precautionary measures would be a good idea in order to keep your website and data protected at all times. If you find that securing your website is not your cup of tea, it is better that you hire WordPress developers, rather than repenting at the end.

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