6 easy ways to keep your WordPress website secure

According to statistics, on average nearly 30,000 websites are successfully hacked every day. Now, I’m sure you will agree that is a very alarming stat, but to add to this, the websites that are usually compromised are legitimate small business websites.

Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, more and more businesses have struggled to stay afloat, whilst others have had to adapt to selling or products and services online or by simply becoming an online-exclusive brand. With the e-commerce sector also reaching record figures over the last 12 months, more start-up businesses have been created and there are now more websites than ever.

Now, the purpose of this blog isn’t to try and sell you something. It’s to raise awareness of how easily hackers can actually crack your website if you don’t identity the problems. Join us as your local Knusford web design agency will run through 6 easy ways on to keep your WordPress website secure.

1. Ignoring WordPress updates make your website vulnerable

Did you know vulnerable WordPress plugins are the most common backdoor for hacker breaches, with 52% of security issues related to vulnerable plugins?

What makes WordPress so appealing to both web developers and non-technical users at a CMS platform is that there are so many WordPress plugins out there. With over 58,000 WordPress plugins to choose, these plugins are usually created by third-party developers or businesses so you will likely find something for every need.

Both WordPress themes and plugins are updated for a reason; the latest update usually includes additional security enhancements and bug fixes. If you leave your website on outdates themes, plugins or even WordPress versions, you’re leaving your website exposed to attack.

TIP – Keep on top of updating WordPress plugin and themes and only download plugins you trust or research before you download.

2. Make sure you have a valid HTTPS / SSL Certificate

Okay, so what is an SSL Certificate? Well an SSL Certificate encrypts data that is used when a user needs to provide sensitive information such as banking information or your address when placing an order.

Without SSL, both your visitors and customers are at higher risk of having their personal data stolen. Without any SSL Certificate, your website is at risk of data phishing, scams and data breaches. You can easily identify if a website is SSL secure by simply spotting the padlock icon at the start of the address bar. Search Engines such as Google can provide a detailed warning which will alert the user that they are entering the website at their own risk.

TIP – Make sure you install an SSL Certificate, or at least ask your web developer to do it for you. This is essential if you have an e-commerce store and sell products online.

3. Use stronger usernames and password dummy!

It might sound super obvious but one of the best ways to toughen up your WordPress security is to simply use stronger usernames and password. As a matter of fact, weak passwords account for 8% of successful hacking attempts. Check out SplashData’s 2018 annual list of the most popular passwords stolen with “123456” and “password” the most common, seriously!

TIP – Look to include at least one number and a special character in your password

4. Enable two-step authentication

If changing your username and password still isn’t enough, the two-step authentication is an easy way to add further security which is 100% effective!

Incase you don’t know how it works, two-step authentication involves a two-step process in which you not only need your password to login, you also require a second method which is usually a code! Once set-up, the second step is usually a text (SMS), phone-call or a time-based one time password (TOTP) so why is this process bullet proof? Well hackers will need both your password and your mobile phone in order to login to your website.

5. Create scheduled daily or weekly backups

Speaking as a Knutsford web design agency, we can honestly say we have multiple systems which create daily backups of our client websites, just in case the worst happens.

All good web hosting and web agencies should provide you with daily, weekly or even bi-weekly backups to add extra security and peace of mind just incase anything does go wrong. If your website does happen to get hacked, having historic backups will go along way in helping to revive your website.

TIP – Always ask your hosting or web design agency how often your website is backed up.

6. Install a WordPress security plugin

Finally, there are WordPress security plugins out there which provide great solutions to help better protect your WordPress site. Whilst some do provide free versions, some will require a yearly subscription. Just remember to keep updating your security plugin and do your homework before you decide to install one.

It’s not just WordPress websites…

Incase you think other website platforms may be less vulnerable or better protected, all websites on the internet are targeted by hacking attempts.

The reason why WordPress is more commonly targeted is because it’s WordPress is the most popular website CMS builder. It powers nearly 40% of the internet which means hundreds of millions of websites across of the globe. Because of its immense popularity, hackers will try and target WordPress websites because if they manage to exploit a plugin, it will automatically target every website which uses that plugin.

Have you experienced a WordPress attack or looking to make your website more secure? As a Knutsford web design agency, we offer monthly care packages which are designed to help keep your website protected.

For more information, or for a no-obligation quote, simply get in touch.