Securing Your WordPress Blog

Securing Your WordPress Blog
WordPress has taken the world by storm. Since its inception, WordPress has had a phenomenal growth rate, with over 65 million downloads. It even powers over 16% of Alexa’s “Top 1 Million” websites. If you are not familiar with WordPress, you should be. It’s an open-source blogging software that allows easy customization through its template and plugin system.

Small business owners and bloggers have almost a love affair with WordPress. Its easy-to-use CMS, or content management system, makes updating changes on the fly a cake walk. The simplicity of its functions allows even noobs a fair chance at launching a great looking site, with a lot of unique features.

Of course, securing your WordPress install has to be on your radar. In fact, anyone with a website has to have these concerns, but WordPress in particular has its own set of rules to follow. Most “hacked” blogs end up this way because the site owner got lazy. Updates happen for a reason and if you’re not keeping your site up-to-date you’re waving the “come get me” flag. Seriously. There are a whole host of tools that are developed exclusively for sniffing out site vulnerabilities online.

Follow these simple WordPress security tips and you should stay out of trouble:

Update! Update! Update! I just mentioned this, but it deserves to be first in line as it tends to be the main reason a WordPress blog gets compromised. In the dashboard of your WordPress install you will receive a notification when either the WordPress software, plugins, or your theme version needs updated. When you get these notifications you need to act on it. For the most part, it’s just a matter of pressing a button. However, you’ll want to backup your files before updating WordPress itself. You should also backup your theme before updating as well (if you’ve done customizations).

Change up your password. Are you really using your birthday? Or a zip code? A simple password is a risky situation. A strong password should be over 8 characters and use a combination of letters, numbers, special characters, and caps. Choose wisely: avoid a password that can be easily guessed. Keep it random and change it every few months.

Backup! Backup! Backup! It’s easy to put off backing up your WordPress install when you have other “more important” things to do. We tend to all have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Those are actions that hackers know and understand – and capitalize on. Establishing a backup routine, and sticking to it religiously, have to part of your tasks as a site owner. Think of the hard work and time that goes into crafting your content and creating that perfect post.

Tip – Keep multiple copies of your backup in case of file corruption or loss. Keep a copy on your server, on a physical hard drive (or your computer), and backup your files to Google Drive. Redundancy is a key component to keeping your data safe.

Get reliable WordPress hosting. This is one of the most important (and difficult) choices for a new site owner. WordPress requires PHP and MySQL, so most free web hosting solutions won’t cut it. Besides, if a problem arises you’ll want a human to talk to, and someone that can get it fixed quickly. Reliable WordPress hosting doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. You can view our web hosting solutions for WordPress and forums here.

Be careful with plugins. WordPress is so much cooler with plugins. You don’t have to be a code monkey to add a new feature to your website. That’s part of what makes WordPress rock! It’s also how nefarious evil-doers package their warez to infect your website. Be careful what WordPress plugins you install and stick to known developers. Check reviews and ratings and do a quick Google search before installing. The WordPress Directory (free)  and CodeCanyon (not free) has everything you can think of – and probably a few more.

Pay attention. If you run a WordPress blog or website you need to pay attention to industry news. This way you’ll know the latest threat before become a victim. Yahoo recently learned the hard way. If you want some more expert tips on how to protect your blog this will help you.

Do you have any tips? Have you ever been hacked? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. […] for hackers. Security is important for any website. A managed WordPress hosting provider will secure your WordPress blog and routinely backup your WordPress files and SQL […]

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