The safety of your WordPress website isn’t simply ensuring that you have a strong password that is frequently changed. You must also do a couple of extra steps to protect the information that your website hold and to ensure that your whole team has protection when signing in.
However, there are a couple of myths in terms of what is considered safe WordPress practices and what is considered simply a myth. Today, we will take a look at how to refresh your knowledge of WordPress security and how to discover the value of WordPress backups.
Understanding the Common Problems
It’s important to know that WordPress in and of itself is pretty safe. The problem lies in the websites that host themselves on WordPress. In that, they bring visitors, and those visitors can be good nature or can have an ulterior motive of hacking and shutting down your website.
Additionally, the websites themselves that don’t have strong security are also vulnerable. WordPress is a blogging powerhouse, and with almost a quarter of all blogs on the whole world wide web hosting on WordPress, you are bound to have individuals from all walks of life visiting a WordPress website. Lastly, programmers and plugin developers create plugins for websites that, on one end can enhance your site, but can be poorly developed and managed on another end.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s all the users fault. There are many ways of being a smart WordPress user. We will outline the three main ways below: updating and backing up, making use of authorship roles, and lastly protecting all aspects of the blogging workspace.
Remind Yourself To Update and Backup
Waiting until you get that Yellow notifier at the top of your WordPress Dashboard is an average way of knowing when you need to update. However, this only shows you when there’s a new WordPress version available. You must still ensure that your plugins are all up to date as well. Additionally, there may be some plugins that can be replaced, removed, or added on when the time warrants it. This is why you should take the initiative and remind yourself periodically (3-4 times a year) to do a master cleanse of your WordPress.
This includes ensuring that all aspects of your WordPress is updated, and to also ensure that your themes, plugins, and other largely forgotten aspects of your blog is up to date as well. One last point on updates. You may feel that updating just isn’t necessary. There may be some who would even say, “if the update worked well last week, why wouldn’t it work now”.
For many reasons: first off, WordPress updates are meant to not only fix bugs, they are also meant to outrun the possibility to having hackers who feed on older versions of WordPress as easy targets due to how they aren’t largely focused on by WordPress, and also because they were given enough time to master the version and its inner workings. Two worded advice: Update Often!
Then, you have the case of backups. This is your second line of defense. Unlike most things in life, instead of backups being preventative, they are meant to help you out when the worse happens. A backup ensures that when anything from a system crash or hack to a site migration occurs, you’ll have your stuff packed to go.
Roles and Capabilities is a feature in WordPress that allows you to set certain team members on your blog with a name and a limit on what they can and cannot do in terms of posting on WordPress. The capabilities range from Super Admin (complete control of the website) to Subscriber (an individual who can only read content). In between, you have roles for being able to edit content (editors and administrators), and individuals who can publish themselves as well (authors), and lastly those who can send in content to be reviewed but must have an author to publish it for them.
Why are roles and capabilities a great line in WordPress security? Sorry to tell you, but it’s a line in security against internal threats. Yes, your sweet little blogging team might turn on you. Okay, that was a little extreme, but really roles and capabilities is a great way of ensuring that you have greater autonomy over what files are uploaded to what post, who publishes what, and ensuring that content is in tip top and acceptable shape before being published.
Lastly, having roles will protect you in the case of a system hack. A hacker will have a lesser chance of hacking into an administrator account if you have one admin and a majority are subscribers. They will be a great deterrence from having your content compromised as well.
Security: Outside the Box (web host and computer)
Finally, all of your security can’t be vested in WordPress. While the development team there is amazing and can pounce on a threat the minute it is discovered, there are times with other outer forces can be a threat for your blog as well. Let’s look at the web host for example. Like a hard drive, a web host is where you’ll not only have a domain for, but also where you content is vested in.
When a web host, especially a free low quality one, has a threat, blogs using that domain have a greater chance of having their content at risk. This is why it is worthwhile to pay a bit extra and invest in strong web hosting rather than a blog design with all the bells and whistles.
If you have a secure website with great content in the beginning, through smart marketing, you’ll grow an audience large enough where the website will essentially allow you to pay for better designing and features.
Also, ensure that your website in general is safe and away from any malware. If you have a computer virus, not only will your contents on your computer will be at risk, but your blog could be hacked into as well. Thinking outside of the box of blog security will allow you to fill any gaps you may have allowed hackers to find their way into.
In what ways are you ensuring the security of your WordPress website? Let us know in the comments below, we would be glad to hear.