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As a business owner, you realize the value of security and why it’s important to properly your office, retail stores, or any other business facilities. All too often, business owners forget that it’s equally as important to secure their website and internet presence with the same amount of vigilance that they apply to their physical security.
40% of the web has been built using a content management system called WordPress, and if you’re a small business owner, there’s a good chance you’re using WordPress too. WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world, it’s a fantastic tool to grow your business on, and it can be a very secure platform in the right environment. The problem we see is that many people who have a WordPress website do not understand how to properly secure their WordPress website.
And with WordPress, a little bit of security know-how goes a long way.
We’ll cover everything from good website security hygiene, to routine security practices, and show you how to use a WordPress plugin to secure your website.
Require Secure Passwords For All WordPress Users
There’s no reason why you aren’t enforcing strong passwords for all users.
Don’t let a weak password be the reason your website gets hacked. This is a no-brainer and a must for securing all WordPress websites.
Only Grant WordPress Administrative Access to People Who Need It
Before you give anyone access, you should do your due diligence and make sure you can trust them. Make a new login for every person who needs admin access to your website.
Usually, you need an admin account for your company, maybe you’ve created an account for your marketing team, or an independent contractor you’ve hired, or maybe the person who created a plug-in needs temporary access to debug an issue. If you have an e-commerce website, it’s even more important to be vigilant about who has access to the shop admin.
When you’re done working with somebody, it’s good practice to change their password and to downgrade their account access to a subscriber. If you have no intentions of working with the provider again, you might even just delete their admin account.
Here is a video that shows you how to create a new admin account or how to change a password to an existing admin account.
It should be part of your routine practice to visit your website every few months or more frequently if called for, to audit your existing users and what access they have to your website.
It’s easy to forget to change a password or to downgrade somebody’s access when you’re done working with them, but it is a necessary step to ensure your website stays secure. even if you trust the people you’ve granted access to, you don’t know how well they store their passwords, or who has access to their emails or their systems.
Use a Modern Web Host That Understands WordPress and Enforce Smart Security Practices
Your website can only be as strong and hardy as the web host you build it on. Don’t get lured into the promise of free or extremely cheap hosting. You don’t have to spend a lot of web hosting, but it’s important to work with web hosts that are well received by the web design and development community.
What are the best security plugins for WordPress?
Not everyone agrees that a security plugin is a necessary part of securing your WordPress website, but we don’t see the harm in using one as an additional layer of protection. We recommend using iTheme Security or Wordfence for adding extra security options to your WordPress website.
These security plugins make your website harder to attack, allow you to hide parts of your code, and even allow you to prevent access to the WordPress admin area.
Implement a Firewall Layer to Your Hosting and Website Configuration
A low-cost firewall alternative would be to go with Cloudflare’s free firewall. there are a few advanced settings in Cloudflare that you can apply which will make it even harder for people to attack your WordPress website via the login page.
Only Install Trustworthy Plugins and Themes
One of the problems with WordPress is that there are so many plugins and themes available, and it’s tempting to install a plugin anytime you want to add a new feature. It’s important to research any plugins you’re installing onto your website to make sure they aren’t going to create a security risk or a performance issue.
Avoid using any nulled themes or nulled WordPress plugins. Stolen or pirated plugins oftentimes contain malware, are not up to date, and sometimes can include malicious scripts, like crypto-miners. or SEO link-spam injections.
Secure your website with Two-factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) will add an extra layer of security to your WordPress website so even if someone has your username and password, they will still struggle to log into the website. You can use Wordfence or iTheme Security for this feature, or a separate 2FA WordPress plugin. You can use either SMS-based two-factor authentication or use an App that generates a unique code like Google Authentication.
Keep WordPress, Your Plugins, and Theme Up to Date
WordPress is software, just like your computer or phone’s operating system. And just like your device, WordPress gets software updates from time to time. WordPress updates can sometimes include security updates, patches for bugs, or fixing other vulnerabilities with the plugin or theme.
Keeping your WordPress system up to date only requires a few minutes each month and can save you from going through the hassle of malware cleanup.
Don’t Let Your Guard Down: No Website is Every Truly 100% Secure
Even by completing the steps above, your website could still be the target of an attack but it will be much harder for the attacker to succeed. The goal of today’s post was to share with you just how easy WordPress security can be if taken seriously and if you put a little bit of effort in. The information presented in this post today will make your website more secure than a majority of WordPress websites on the internet, and therefore less of a target from automated attacks.
If you’re looking for the advice of a professional WordPress security expert, take a look at our WordPress security page and let us know if you have any questions about the services we offer and how we can help you have a more secure website for your business.