In our WordPress website design series, we are taking a detailed look at how using WordPress can benefit big businesses. Our last article explained why WordPress is the ideal platform for building enterprise websites. An economical choice for any business, WordPress keeps costs down while delivering impressive functionality. Websites are easily customised with thousands of plugins and themes, there are in-built SEO features, and it is fully optimised for mobile. One of the most important aspects we covered was WordPress security. Building a new website on a platform you aren’t familiar with is a huge undertaking and maintaining website security is paramount.
In this article, we delve deeper into how WordPress keeps your websites secure. Our insider tips can help you tighten up security on your WordPress website. As always, if you’re looking for assistance from WordPress website experts, send the KIJO team a message and we can work through it with you.
Why You Need to Know About WordPress Security
Cybersecurity has become a key focus for business owners and it is important to understand how your digital operations are protected. According to the latest statistics, a cyber attack takes place every 39 seconds. The impact of a successful cyber attack can devastate big businesses. There can be significant damage to your public reputation, not to mention immediate financial and data loss. You will also have to divert valuable staff resources to manage the response and implement your recovery strategy. Considering these risks, it most definitely pays to keep up to date with the latest WordPress security features.
Customers have come to expect excellent data security, especially from eCommerce businesses. A data breach can be hugely detrimental to your brand reputation. It’s not just humans who prefer tight security: search engines favour it too. A secure site is easier for a search engine to crawl and index. In terms of search engine optimisation, maintaining strong website security is one of the easiest ways to improve your rankings.
Incredibly Secure Core Software
The core software on which WordPress is built is remarkably secure. Their world-class team of security experts works non-stop to keep it that way. They release updates which guard against new-found threats and patch up any weaknesses in WordPress’s core code. WordPress security analysts respond to the changing cyberattack landscape with unrivalled speed and agility. It’s one of the key strengths of WordPress’s core software; few platforms provide security updates so quickly and easily.
What You Can Do to Improve WordPress Security
It’s easy to blame the platform when things go wrong. However, more often than not, security issues are down to the user. Weak passwords and overdue software updates can dramatically undermine overall website security. Consistently following best practice makes for the soundest WordPress security. It’s also essential for keeping customer data secure and maintaining search engine rankings. Here’s how to keep your site protected.
The Golden Rule: Always Install Updates
Staying on top of WordPress security updates couldn’t be easier, as your website Dashboard will always notify you when there is one available. The WordPress team works hard to maintain the strongest security protocols. However, your website will only benefit from this if you keep on top of software updates. This is the first and easiest step to maintaining WordPress security. The security team do a world-class job of frequently updating the core code. In 2019 alone, they released 4 software security updates, all vital for keeping your customer and business data safe.
Often, these smaller security updates will install automatically. You can make sure of this by configuring your WordPress account to always allow these updates. Alternatively, if you’re keen to know exactly what is changing, you can manually approve them all instead. Either way, it is essential to keep on top of things. 44% of successful attacks on WordPress websites are because of outdated core software. Do your business a simple favour and always install those updates!
Bigger updates always require manual installation. This is because with larger software changes, there is a greater chance of compatibility problems arising. Afterwards, you will need to check everything is working as usual and ensure your plugins and themes are also up to date.
Secure Servers come from Reliable Hosts
When building a new website with WordPress, keep security in mind from the outset. Being picky with where you host your website is another way to strengthen your WordPress security. A good hosting platform should provide stable server software and reliable backup and restore options.
A common misconception is that a great host will do all the security legwork for you, but this isn’t the case. It is important to remember that hosting services are concerned with the security of their own infrastructure. Their priority is maintaining the integrity of their servers. It is still down to you to keep your website software, plugins and themes secure.
Only Download Trusted Plugins
Plugins truly open up the potential of WordPress. There is a plugin to serve almost every purpose. There are even plugins to improve your website security. However, there are some caveats to consider before you hit download. Plugins are produced by third parties. Therefore, WordPress cannot guarantee their security. A plugin that offers excellent customisable display options may cause havoc for your website security. Even if you have updated all of the core software, a dodgy plugin could undermine it all. Therefore, it is essential to only download reputable, legitimate plugins, and keep them up to date.
It’s easy to spot a good plugin. If they have excellent reviews, thousands of downloads, and are compatible with the latest version of WordPress, they should be reliable. As ever, the adage of quality, not quantity applies here. While the number of plugins you can utilise on a WordPress website is unlimited, stick to the best ones for optimum site security. The WordPress plugin repository is a great place to source your plugins. Plugins available here have to undergo security testing before they are featured, so you know they can be trusted.
The Best WordPress Security Plugins
Pick the right security plugins and it could protect your site from brute force attacks, malware, and much more. With security such a prominent issue for businesses, it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of security plugins available.
While we could write a whole series on the best plugins for security , in this article, we will outline just a couple of the most popular options. They offer excellent security features and are trusted by thousands of users.
The leading plugin for WordPress security is Sucuri. With free and paid plans available, the premium option is most definitely the best choice for business customers because of its advanced firewall protection. Sucuri’s website is full of detailed resources on how to make the most of the plugin and provides excellent support.
Another option is WordFence, which also provides free and premium services. The software is trusted for its excellent malware scanner. WordFence also delivers a fast security breach notification service, with instructions on how to fix the issue.
Backing up your website data is also best practice. The most popular backup plugin, used on more than 2 million websites, is UpdraftPlus. You can schedule backups and automatically upload them to multiple cloud storage providers. Backups can be restored easily straight from your WordPress control panel.
The Sleekest Themes Need the Smartest Security
The best-looking theme in the world is not worth downloading if it will risk your entire website’s security. Just as plugins can undermine your WordPress security, so too can themes. As they are also produced by third parties, their security isn’t guaranteed. To ensure the theme you choose meets WordPress’s stringent coding standards, only download those available in the WordPress theme directory. There are more than 7,700 themes available, so you shouldn’t have to compromise on looks to keep your site secure.
WordPress Security: Secure Enough for Big Business
The three key tools to maintain solid WordPress security are: keeping software updated, only downloading trusted extensions, and opting for the best security plugins. Keep on top of all three and hackers will have a much harder job trying to get into your website.
While the steps above dramatically help to mitigate the risks, even the most secure websites aren’t immune to cyber attacks. If the worst should happen, backup plugins will be able to restore your data. Set up automated backups or manually back up your data at regular intervals to give yourself the best chance of getting back online quickly.
The excellent thing about WordPress security is that it is all within your control. You can choose your security plugins and decide where to allocate your funds. WordPress makes your website highly agile and adaptable. If you’re looking for more expert help from people with years of experience dealing with the technical WordPress security, the KIJO team is here to help. Drop us a message and we will get back to you in no time.