Why Website Security Is Important
While WordPress websites are generally quite secure, there is still a lot that can be done to further strengthen the security of your website.
Not only could a hacked website seriously harm your revenue and reputation, but hackers could steal your passwords, install malicious software, or even hold your website for ransom in order for you to regain access to it.
In fact, in March of 2016, Google reported that over 50 million website users had been warned about websites they visited that may contain malware or that they could steal their information.
This is not meant to scare you, but just like protecting a physical business building, it’s important that you know how to protect your business website as well.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- The importance of regular updates
- Why it’s critical to use strong passwords
- How crucial it is to keep off-site backups
- The importance of automatic file scans
- How to prevent attacks with Firewalls
- Why SSL Certificates are so important
#1) Regular Updates
WordPress is an open source software with thousands of themes and plugins available. Updates are often released by contributors and third-party developers, which are important updates that you need to initiate manually.
These WordPress updates are crucial for the security and stability of your website as they often patch bugs or fix bad coding. If your WordPress themes, plugins, or core WordPress files are not updated, it can create a security vulnerability for hackers to find their way into your website or hosting server.
#2) Use Strong Passwords
The most common way hackers attempt to get into your WordPress website is through stolen passwords. So one of the easiest ways to secure your website is to use strong, unique passwords, not just for WordPress, but also for your web server’s FTP accounts, databases, emails, etc.
The #1 reason people don’t use strong passwords is because they’re hard to remember. Fortunately, you don’t need to remember your passwords if you use a password manager like LastPass. It’s encrypted, easy to use, and best of all it’s free!
#3) Install a Backup Solution
Remember, nothing is 100% secure. If government websites can be hacked then so can yours, but your best line of defense is a backed-up website so you can quickly restore your website if something goes wrong.
The most important thing you need to know when it comes to backups is that you must regularly save full-site backups to a remote location, preferably using a cloud service like Amazon, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
Fortunately, there are plugins available to help you backup your entire website with just a few clicks, but it’s critical that you or your web developer link your backup plugin to a remote location of your choice.
#4) Scan Your Website Files for Malware
The next thing we need to do is setup a monitoring system to keep track of everything that happens on your website, including file monitoring, failed login attempts, malware scanning, etc.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it yourself as this can all be done with plugins like Sucuri or Wordfence. Once installed, these plugins give you dozens of security options and configurations to best match your needs.
#5) Enable a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
The easiest way to protect your website and have confidence in your WordPress security is to use a web application firewall (WAF). The firewall blocks all malicious traffic before it even reaches your website.
The best part about Sucuri’s firewall is that it also comes with a malware cleanup and blacklist removal guarantee. That means if your website gets hacked while under their watch, they guarantee to fix your website and remove all hacks, backdoors, and malware.
This is an amazing warranty because repairing hacked websites is not only extremely difficult (take it from personal experience) but it can also be very expensive. Security experts normally charge $250 per hour. Whereas you can get the entire Sucuri security stack for only $199 to cover your website an entire year.
#6) Security Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate
Google recently rolled out an update in the Google Chrome web browser that is now marking websites as “Not Secure” if they do not have an SSL Certificate installed. On the flip side, websites that do have SSL are marked “secure” next to your domain name.
This matters to you for a two primary reasons…
First, being marked as “not secure” is a big red flag to your customers that your website is not secure, which may prevent them from signing-up to buy your products or services.
But more importantly, Google also announced that they will be prioritizing their search engine results to display secure websites above non-secure sites.
That means, to avoid getting knocked-down in the search engines and losing visitors, it’s now more important than ever to have an SSL certificate on your website.
#7) Advanced Security Features
Of course, your web developer should be familiar with more advanced security features as well. In fact, with some extra coding, an experienced developer should be able to install these additional security features on your website:
- Disable file editing from within the WordPress dashboard
- Update ‘Admin’ username to a more secure username
- Disable PHP file execution in certain WordPress directories
- Limit login attempts and lock-out users for too many attempts
- Change the WordPress database prefix
- Password protect your WordPress admin and login pages
- Disable directory index and browsing
- Automatically log-out idle users in WordPress
- Add security questions to WordPress login screen
- And much more!
Hire a Professional
If you have any questions or need help implementing the security features mentioned above then it may be time to enlist the help of a professional website developer.
It could be one of the best investments you’ll make to have an expert help secure your website.
If you’ve found this information helpful, or if you’d like to implement the security features mentioned above, I’d love to work with you!
However, there’s only one of me and I can only work with a handful of clients at a time. So if you’re interested in working together, act now!
To get started, call or email Josiah Jones: