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How to Maximize your WordPress Site’s Security

April 30, 2016 WordPress Help
WordPress is the driving force behind more than a fourth of all existing websites in 2016. And it’s no wonder why – it has the largest community to answer your questions, it offers infinite plugins, and it can start you off at no cost. But as much as we all love WordPress, its reputation as an insecure platform is well known. Because of its popularity and size, hackers tend to look at it as a prime target. Most of the time, less-experienced website owners that haven’t done anything to build their security are the victims. Which is why so many defensive techniques have been introduced to the public that can be used by even the smallest website owner. This is a quick guide on how to get your website to the safest possible place.
  • Back Up Your Website/Blog

We always recommend beginning with a backup to save your website files on a separate location. This way, a catastrophic occurrence can be turned into a simple headache. Using the export tool in WordPress is a quick method of doing this but of course if you don’t do it on a regular basis it will not save your most recent files. If you feel like you need it to be backed up at all times, you can use an auto-backup plugin. Here’s a quick list of those out there now:
  • BackUpWordPress – Free and follows the schedule you enter.
  • WordPress Backup to Dropbox – Built for those who want to make sure their data ends up in Dropbox.
  • Backup Buddy – A paid plugin that restores not only your basic files but also your images, formatting, and posts. It’s the most inclusive backup plugin we’ve seen.
  • Choose a Good Host

Studies have revealed that 41% of WordPress hacks are because of vulnerabilities in the hosting server. When a host is vulnerable, so is the website. Make sure you know your hosting provider offers malware protection and reliable servers to handle any traffic overload. Below is our promise to our customers. Our anti-malware offer to customers
  • Thoroughly Examine All Potential Software

Almost one third of all hacking attempts are due to malicious software installations. The market for WordPress themes, plugins, and mods is astronomically large, and often people install these additions to their WordPress site without a second thought. Begin checking the products with reviews from other users. If there are very few reviews, it’s most likely best to find an alternative or pass altogether on that download. We find that premium and paid software downloads are almost always a safer bet than free market offers. Also, steer clear of a premium product if it is being offered for free as its likely a corrupted version of the original.
  • Use Complex Passwords

About 10% of all WordPress hacks are still due to weak passwords. Here’s a few tips to keeping your password un-crackable.
  • Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts
  • Use letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Don’t use any character more than twice in succession
  • Don’t use default log-ins like admin
  • Update Your Software to the Newest Version Regularly

New ways of breaking into public software are being discovered every day, and updates are built to prevent this from happening. All too often we see WordPress websites with update notifications that business owners don’t deem important, so they simply ignore it, which in turn leads to a hacked site. This is especially important for those on the WordPress platform. Older versions of WordPress are incredibly less secure. This is because forums and public places have already brought the vulnerabilities to light, making them all the more exploitable. And remember to make sure to regularly go through all the additional software that has been introduced to your site and check its update status.
  • Use the Right Security Plugins

Apart from all the manual actions we’ve mentioned, there are always third party helping hands you can look towards. Here are a few we’ve checked out and approved:
  • Login Lockdown– This plugin limits log in attempts from the same IP to a number of your choosing, thus removing the threat of password guessing.
  • SiteLock– This plugin uses its database of malware knowledge to scan your site regularly for any abnormalities and remove them automatically if they do appear.
  • iThemes Security– This is a diverse plugin that can be used for many different security functions. It is upgradable to be more powerful.
  We’ve seen businesses with poor hosting and security measures lose out on weeks/months of website leads and income while they work on eradicating the intruder. Make sure you don’t fall victim to this trap and spend some time getting security in order with the above tips.  
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