Someone asked me recently to explain the most important things about WordPress security in as few words as possible.
And that got me thinking, you know, if you’re new to website design or running an online business, the amount of ‘expert’ advice on website security from all over social media and YouTube in 2023 must be overwhelming. It’s like trying to take a sip from a fire hose.
My goal here is to help you wade through all that noise and simplify the process of securing a WordPress website. Navigating WordPress security can be as simple as making a sandwich!
First, let’s tackle Entry-Level WordPress Security: The 80% Solution
Are you feeling a bit swamped by all the ‘expert advice’ about securing your WordPress website? Let me cut through the clutter and break it down for you with a fun analogy:
Think of website security like a sandwich. Your top slice of bread? That’s your backups. The tasty fillings in the middle are your updates. And that sturdy slice holding everything up from the bottom? That’s your monitors, like Wordfence, Google Search Console, and others.
I know, it’s a simplistic view. But this sandwich model sums up 80% of my advice for newbie website owners.
Your first step to “Entry Level WordPress Security” involves setting up your backup system. Next, you’ll need a strategy for managing those all-important WordPress-related updates. And to finish off your security sandwich, you’ll need to roll out some monitoring systems.
Now, let’s move from Entry Level to General and Advanced Level WordPress Security: The Remaining 20%
Through my years spent cleaning and securing hacked websites, I’ve observed that the majority of WordPress website hacking incidents stem from either outdated WordPress scripts or lax WordPress Administrator user management.
While ensuring you have regular backups, a well-oiled update management system, and reliable website monitoring in place are the most effective ways to safeguard your WordPress website, there are a few more general and advanced level security measures to consider. And I’ve listed them below, in order of priority.
Just a word of caution though: Don’t rush into general and advanced security measures without first nailing down your entry-level security. Trust me, skipping ahead before you’ve got your basics sorted is a bit like building a castle on sand.
Entry Level WordPress Security (Let’s Recap)
- Back up your site regularly: Frequent backups can aid in restoring your site if compromised.
- Update your WordPress plugins regularly: Updates often contain security patches that shield your site from known vulnerabilities.
- Utilize security plugins and website monitoring: Numerous WordPress plugins can help secure your site. These plugins can limit login attempts, scan for malware, and more.
General Level WordPress Security
- Restrict the number of plugins: Each plugin introduces potential vulnerabilities to your site. By minimizing the number of plugins you use, you can decrease the potential entry points for a would-be hacker.
- Limit the number of WordPress administrator accounts: WordPress Administrator accounts can edit and delete files or content within your hosting account. Reducing administrator account access can help minimize unnecessary entry points.
- Download plugins from trusted sources: Only download plugins from trusted sources that provide regular updates and support for their plugins.
- Delete unused plugins: If you’re not using a plugin, it’s best to remove it. Even inactive plugins can offer a pathway for hackers to access your site.
Advanced Level WordPress Security
- Implement two-factor authentication: This provides an additional layer of security to your WordPress site.
- Use a content delivery network like Cloudflare or an additional web application firewall (WAF) in front of your web hosting server to further filter bad traffic. This can offer additional protection against various types of attacks, such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), SQL injection, and cross-site scripting (XSS).
- Restrict login access by IP address: Limiting dashboard access by IP address can significantly reduce the chances of potential hackers gaining access to your account.
Navigating WordPress security is as simple as making a sandwich! Start with regular backups, updates, and monitoring – your security bread. Be mindful of plugins and admin accounts, and always use trusted sources. Level up with two-factor authentication, a content delivery network, or IP-restricted login access. Don’t forget the secret sauce – regular site monitoring, strong password policies, and security plugins. For an extra kick, add website firewalls and malware protection. Take it step by step, and enjoy a more stress-free website management experience!
Q: What is stress-free WordPress security?
A: Stress-free WordPress security refers to the implementation of simple proactive measures and best practices that most greatly protect your WordPress site from potential threats and vulnerabilities. By taking proactive steps to secure your WordPress site, you can minimize the risk of your WordPress website being compromised.
Q: How and why are WordPress websites so often compromised?
A: WordPress websites are frequently compromised due to common security vulnerabilities such as outdated plugins and themes, weak passwords, and a lack of regular updates.
Q: How can I implement strong password policies for my WordPress site?
A: You can implement strong password policies for your WordPress site by using unique and complex passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, you can enhance your website’s security by enabling two-factor authentication. Using password managers such as 1Password, Dashlane, Keeper, or LastPass is also highly recommended.
Q: What are some recommended WordPress security plugins?
A: Some recommended WordPress security plugins include Wordfence, and iThemes Security. These plugins offer features such as malware scanning, firewall protection, and login security enhancements to help strengthen the security of your WordPress site.
Q: Why is regular site monitoring important for WordPress security?
A: Regular site monitoring is important for early detection of potential security threats or suspicious activity. By monitoring your site, you can identify and address security issues promptly, minimizing the impact on your website and ensuring the overall security of your WordPress site.
Q: How can I implement website backup solutions for my WordPress site?
A: Implementing website backup solutions involves regularly backing up your WordPress site’s files and database. There are plugins available, such as UpdraftPlus and BackupBuddy, that can automate the backup process and store your backups securely either locally or to a cloud based backup service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
Q: How does a website firewall protect my WordPress site?
A: A website firewall acts as pass-through barrier between your WordPress site and potential threats. It monitors incoming traffic, filters out malicious requests, and blocks suspicious activity, helping to reduce hacking attempts, DDoS attacks, and other malicious activities from reaching your site.
Your WordPress Security Recommendations?
Do you have recommendations for improving WordPress security? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well.
Hello, I’m Jim Walker, The Hack Repair Guy. With a website security and web hosting career spanning over two decades, I’ve made it my mission to help businesses and individuals protect their website’s reputations. My expertise lies in restoring hacked websites and protecting them against future threats.
I offer a comprehensive suite of services, ranging from website hosting and cleanup, to management and protection strategies. Additionally, I provide educational resources to help you understand the nuances of online security. Through my hands-on approach, I have enabled thousands of my clients to recover from cyber-attacks on their websites and successfully rebuild their online reputations.
As The Hack Repair Guy, you can count on me to protect your website against hackers.
If you have any questions about website hosting or security,
don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help!