How to keep my WordPress Website safe
Posted on: July 9, 2015 | Author: Ronnen Moses
Over 74 million websites are built using WordPress
WordPress, originally designed as a Blogging Engine, is now one of the most widely used Open-source CMS Web Design frameworks on the Internet today, selected for it’s ease of use, Search Engine Friendly code, flexibility and scalability. It’s no surprise over 74 million websites are built using WordPress, accounting for nearly 20% of all websites online today. It’s wide usage also brings benefits such as a huge third-party plugin community, offering solutions to extend the functionality of a website in any required way. With such a wide usage however, many are understandably hesitant to use it as their selected website framework as CMS platforms like WordPress can often be the target of individuals with malicious intent, such as Malware and code injections that can infect websites with spammy redirects and Phishing scams.
How can I ensure my WordPress website is safe?
Even though WordPress websites are arguably a target, they are still the preferred framework of countless Web Design agencies for the many benefits. It is however important to secure your business website to protect it against threat. With the right precautions in place initially, most website owners can happily forget about potential threats altogether and never see sign of anything malicious. Considering these simple points below when developing your new website will ensure you minimise potential for stress later on:
Professional Website Design Company
When designing a new website for your business, it’s vital to select an established Web Design Company with experienced developers. A lot of websites may look the same on the surface, but a quick glance “under the hood” can reveal clumsy and amateur coding techniques designed simply to get the job done quickly. This can often lead to bloated and slow web design that effects the performance of a website and issues of cross-browser compatibility, meaning the website displays elements incorrectly for different viewers. Performance aside, most unfortunate website owners won’t know their web developers have coded their business website usilising bad practices until it’s too late, with security issues leaving the website exposed to potential threats.
Inexperienced WordPress Web Designers also often code website pages in a way which makes updating the core CMS files difficult. This results in timely and costly measures involved in keeping a website running the latest version of WordPress and securing it from new vulnerabilities recently discovered (see more below: Regular Updates of the WordPress Core).
Secure Website Hosting
Another crucial consideration is where to host your new business website. Web Hosting plans range in price, but as with most things, you get what you pay for… In terms of security though, it’s important to choose a Web Host that implements tight Firewall and security protocols on the server to protect your website against potential hackers and threats targeting CMS code files, like virus threats and Code injections that insert spam re-directions, illegal Phishing Scams, or other malicious Malware. With the right Server security procedures and firewall settings, most malicious attempts can be stopped dead in their tracks before they even get anywhere near your website.
Read our related article 4 Tips for selecting a Web Hosting company to see other important things to consider when choosing a company to host your business website.
Regular Updates of the WordPress Core
As vulnerabilities in CMS framework code are identified, they are repaired by the developers and can be applied to individual websites by way of a patch. A patch typically includes newer versions of individual files, updated to protect against new vulnerabilities that were discovered. Applying the latest patch to your website on a regular basis is as easy as “a few clicks” and can even be automated in recent versions of WordPress.
While a newer version might seem unnecessary when everything is already working fine, and update notifications annoyingly appear all too often, updating is crucial from a website security standpoint. As long as your website has been coded in the right manner, updating these core files should not effect anything visibly on the website, or overwrite any designs on your website pages.
If you leave your website running outdated versions of CMS software your website becomes more prone to attack, as code can have gaping holes left open which malicious parties develop ways to exploit. This can happen even if your web hosting company has very effective protection against unwanted intruders and both regularly updating your CMS and hosting on a secure server work hand-in-hand/.
Malware Scanning, Monitoring and cleanups
To further protect against the threat of Malware breaches it’s also worthwhile looking at a website Malware monitoring service, like Sucuri. Sucuri can automatically scan your website on a regular basis to monitor it for malicious files. It also monitors if your website is on any unwanted blacklists and issues email alerts. Should your website ever get hit with malicious code, the team at Sucuri will then clean infected files for you and get your website back up and running quickly. Click here for more information.
Regular backups of your Website
No matter how secure your website is from possible threat, having a reliable backup system in place is also a no-brainer. There are many tried and proven, cost-effective solutions to website backups available.
Selecting a backup solution for your Business website
Onsite backup plugins can be cheap, but as they are installed on the same hosting space as the main website, they can fail easily, often with no warning. A dedicated, off-site backup solution is a far more effective and reliable method and company’s like CodeGuard offer daily backup plans for WordPress websites from only $5 (USD) per month. We find this plan suitable for most, single-website businesses and will backup all of your website files and database every day. You will also be notified if a backup ever fails and can download several months worth of archived copies of previous backups should you ever need to restore old files.
Click on the Codeguard banner below for more plan, pricing and more information. Quikclicks can also setup a new backup plan for you and ensure it is running correctly. Please contact us if you would like more information about this service.
Posted in: Blog
About the Author: Ronnen has been helping small businesses grow online since 2004.