Pro Tips To Help You Secure Your WordPress Website

There’s a common misconception that WordPress websites are “easy” to hack or that they fall victim to hacks more than other content management systems (CMS).

A quick Google search will reveal a barrage of information about WordPress hacks, but not all of it is accurate. In reality, WordPress isn’t easier to hack than other CMSs.

That said, WordPress websites make up a whopping 455 million of total sites, an approximate 30% market share. As expected, WordPress sites are often targeted simply because there are so many.

If you’re reading this, you most likely have a WordPress site (or are planning one), and you’d like to make sure it doesn’t fall victim to an attack. Take the first steps to better security and review our tips for securing your WordPress website in 2022 and beyond.

Choose a reliable hosting service

If you’re new to website creation and management, you may not know that WordPress is a CMS that helps you build websites. Besides choosing WordPress as your site builder, you will also need a web hosting provider. These are the companies that enable people and businesses to run live websites.

As with any service provider, some web hosting companies are better than others. This can be for a variety of reasons or within specific fields. Because websites are targeted by malicious threat actors, choosing a provider with exceptional security credentials is important, especially if you run an e-commerce site.

Pick your passwords carefully

As a site owner or administrator, your password habits need to be on point. Did you know that around 70 percent of the world’s most common passwords can be cracked in under a second? Scary stuff, right?

If you’re using a common, short, or previously compromised password for your WordPress website, you could be putting your site, and its users at risk. And, if you retain any sort of account information on your customers and fail to meet basic security standards, you could fall foul of data protection regulations. Passwords should be long (use a minimum of 12 characters), complex, and unique.

Make sure your core WordPress software is up to date

In 2017, security software provider Sucuri published its Hacked Website report. The company found that 39.3 percent of hacked WordPress websites were running outdated core software.

Software updates address known security issues and vulnerabilities, among other things. So leaving your website running outdated core software is the digital equivalent of leaving your house keys in the front door when you go out.

At the time of writing (May 2022), official WordPress statistics reveal that 4.7 percent of WordPress sites have left their keys in the door and are still using Version 4.9.

If you’re unsure whether you’re WordPress core software is up to date, log in to your WordPress account as an admin, then head to Dashboard > Updates. From there, you can see a timestamp indicating when your site last checked for available updates.

Note that WordPress looks for updates automatically, but you can use the “Check Again” button to manually confirm update availability.

Struggling with the technical aspect of your website maintenance? You should reach out to the customer service team sooner rather than later.

Ensure your themes and plug-ins are also updated

Your core software isn’t the only element that needs to be monitored. One reason why people choose WordPress is the dazzling array of themes and third-party plug-ins available. All of which help you create the site of your dreams, but all these themes and extensions can represent a security hazard if they are left outdated.

According to a 2016 survey from Wordfence, over 60 percent of hacked website owners who knew how the hacker gained access put it down to a plug-in or theme vulnerability.

We love open-source software at WP Tech Support. The bustling community of WordPress users, developers, and software engineers all contribute to the myriad options available to WordPress site owners and ensure that these options keep coming.

However, we also recognize that open-source can mean inherent security issues, so we recommend that you check your themes and plug-ins are up to date. If the original developer is no longer provides patches, it’s time to replace these elements with supported ones.

Get ongoing support if you are not tech-savvy

Not all of us are tech masterminds, and that’s perfectly okay. One of the beauties of the modern digital realm is that anyone, even complete newbies, can dip their toes into the world wide web and create top-tier websites with the help of WordPress and other user-friendly tools.

Someone could start the next dot com boom, become a master of dropshipping, or make millions launching the latest must-have product to certain markets without having to understand a single line of HTML code. All these situations are well within the realms of possibility.

Some would even go so far as to say that the internet is the greatest social equalizer the world has ever seen.

There is a caveat, though: as a website owner, the onus is on you to protect your customers’ sensitive data. Any issues with your site (and there are always small issues that arise with any website) need to be dealt with quickly and properly.

You can’t become the next drop shipping magnate if you can’t guarantee secure online payments, after all. If you are not particularly tech-savvy, but you are full of great business ideas and you know you can make an impact online, seek specialized support for your website.

Time is money, and with dedicated support handling all of your WordPress site’s technical elements, you can get back to what you do best: spending your time building your business.

WP Tech Support is on hand to help you ensure your WordPress site is secure, responsive, and running as it should. View our range of plans and services here or reach out for a chat.

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