Security, WordPress

The Do’s and Don’ts of WordPress Security


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WordPress security do's and don'ts for beginners black and gray text above black and white image of mobile device with wordpress website
Don’t let the idea of WordPress security intimidate you. You can take a few simple preventative measures to reduce the risk of compromising your WordPress site. Here are some initial do’s and don’ts of WordPress security basics to get started:

DON’T Assume Your WordPress Site Is Already Secure

While WordPress is a relatively secure CMS, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for you to do. Cyber attacks are growing in frequency and sophistication every year. You can’t rely on WordPress developers to do all the work for you. Reduce your risk and protect your WordPress website by being proactive with a few security measures like SSL, backups, and more.

DO Install SSL or Let’s Encrypt Certificates

Installing an SSL certificate on your domain is easy and you can do it for free. SSL or secure socket layer certificates protect the connection between your WordPress site and its visitors. You can buy inexpensive SSL certificates or add Let’s Encrypt certificates to your domains for free. pair makes it easy to access and install SSL and Let’s Encrypt certs to your site. You can do it right from the dashboard of your pair WP hosting account.

DON’T Use the Same Password for Everything

This should be a no-brainer at this point, but many still struggle to keep track of all their passwords. Juggling the login credentials for all of your accounts is overwhelming, but it’s essential for security. Find an organizational system or a tool that works for you and create different passwords for everything. You should make your WordPress password extra secure with a mixture of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. A secure password is a simple preventative step to fortify the first barrier between your content and hackers.

DO Configure Backups for Your Website

In the event that your website is compromised, you can recover it with backups. A backup refers to an archival file that has a copy of your original website data. You should create backups for your website so you can restore it quickly if any of your data is lost. There are many reasons you could lose your site data like a cyber attack, a server failure, or even faulty code implemented without testing it on a staging site first. While it may seem unlikely that your WordPress site data will get lost, it’s essential to have backup files just in case.

pair already has emergency data recovery backups in place and updated regularly for our customers. We also make it easy for customers to configure their own backups. If you decide to host with pair and use our tools and resources to create your own WordPress backups, we will help you restore your site using the files you created. This allows you to get your website back up and running faster.

DON’T Give Admin Access to Users You Don’t Trust

Only give users you trust admin access to your WordPress site. You can give users different admin roles with varying permissions to limit their activity. Setting admin roles will give users access to the areas and tools they need without allowing free range. Too many users with complete control of your WordPress site increases security risk.

You can also require your users to reset their passwords regularly. For example, you can adjust your WordPress settings so that every 90 days, everyone’s passwords are automatically reset forcing them to create new ones.

DO Keep Your WordPress Site, Themes, and Plugins Updated

WordPress updates frequently with new security patches to fix vulnerabilities in previous versions. You should keep track of when new updates are released so you can implement them and protect your site.

You should also test new WordPress or plugin versions on a staging site before implementing them. This will help you avoid any conflict between the new versions and your website content.

pair automatically tests and implements updates for your WordPress website and pre-installed plugins like WordFence. With pair, you only have to keep track of updating themes and plugins that don’t come with your pair WP hosting account.

DON’T Install Unreliable Themes or Plugins

While you should protect your WordPress site from outside threats, you should also protect it from yourself. Don’t get caught up in all of the free plugins and themes you find. Some free themes have malicious intent and could compromise your site if you download them. They may have hidden malware, viruses, or generate web spam. Watch out for unreliable sources and try to stick to the WordPress directory when looking for free tools you can trust.

If you find that you have several unused plugins or themes on your WordPress account, you should delete them. It’s easy to accumulate plugins and forget to update them. Even if you originally downloaded the themes or plugins from reliable source, they can easily be compromised if they’re not kept up-to-date. If you haven’t used a plugin or a theme in awhile, consider deleting it so you don’t have to remember to update it regularly.

DO Find a Reliable Web Host

A bad host could compromise the security of your site so find a host that you trust. A good web host will offer solutions optimized for your WordPress site to improve speed, performance, and security. Look for a host that provides additional security features like backups or security plugins for WordPress.

pair Networks offers optimized hosting for WordPress that includes:

  • Automatic core updates
  • Configurable backups
  • WordFence security plugin
  • Free Let’s Encrypt certificates
  • Staging environment

A staging environment will improve the security of your WordPress site by allowing you to test changes before implementing them. Everyone makes mistakes and this is a simple way to protect your website from yourself.

 

Are you ready to start your WordPress website? At pair, we can help you launch a fast and secure WordPress site in no time. Check out our optimized WP hosting plans to get started!

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