5 Simple Steps to Securing Your WordPress Website

5 Simple Steps to Securing Your WordPress Website

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7 min read

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Ibe Princewill

Every day, hackers, which are typically bots rather than humans, are constantly scanning the web looking for an easy website to target.

When they find a WordPress site with unreliable hosting, a weak password, an outdated version of WordPress, or themes and plugins with security issues, they know they’ve found their right target.

Now, are you doing everything you can to protect your WordPress site?

Here are 5 Simple Steps to Securing Your WordPress Website in this blog post.

I will start with the first and most important one which is:

Choose a Reputable Hosting Provider

A secure website starts with a quality web host, but if you’re a DIY type of person or you’re on a tight budget, you might opt for a shared hosting plan.

Now, while some popular hosts provide a reliable shared platform, you can’t control any unexpected security issues on the host end.

Many people may ask a question like: “Can I have a virus from a shared host?” The answer is yes; your website can get infected with a virus when using a shared hosting package.

If one of those websites that you share a webserver host with experiences a security breach or virus infection, this problem may spread to other websites hosted on the same server if proper security measures are not put in place by the hosting provider.

If something goes wrong on the shared hosting platform, then you have to bear the cost or partake of the problem, which you should have in mind before using one.

In a shared hosting environment, outdated software in a hosting account is, generally speaking, the most frequent cause of malware.

The most typical example is a theme or plugin that is part of a third-party PHP script, such as WordPress, which has security flaws.

Installing and updating plugins from the WordPress admin section and reputable plugins author is the best approach to prevent this.

On the other hand, Managed WordPress Hosting takes care of the day-to-day site maintenance and upkeep.

A Managed WordPress Hosting package is a form of hosting solution that gives your WordPress site access to the most effective technologies to ensure that it is both quick and secure.

Backups, security audits, WordPress updates, and many other hosting-related tasks are handled by the hosting provider.

Managed WordPress hosting takes care of the day-to-day site maintenance and upkeep.

Servers are protected, backups are scheduled and plugins are pre-screened and security updates are performed automatically.

A managed host essentially wants customers to focus on their business while the hosting provider handles the technical matters.

Avoid Weak Password

Most people are notorious for choosing weak passwords. If you fall under this category, you should change your password and make sure it’s strong.

Try using a password that is long and is made up of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. A strong password should not contain your personal information.

An example is: “Technology&Webdevelopemt$14Glvs*

Also by default, WordPress creates a login user called admin.  I think it’s time to update that too to a better name.

It could be practically anything, not your name, a nickname, an email, just something unique.

However, make sure you still set your user role to “administrator” though.

You can also use two-factor authentication, so when you log into your account, you’ll be asked to verify your identity through your smart device or your email address, and without that authorization, you or the intruder will be locked out.

 Carry Out Scheduled Backups

Backups, which are simply copies of your WordPress website stored in a secure location, are crucial for recovering your site after a hacking attempt or rolling back changes if an update goes wrong.

Many backup solutions offer multiple storage locations, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud providers.

This means you can keep multiple copies of your backups well away from your main server so they can get you back online quickly, if necessary.

A quick piece of advice is to avoid keeping backups on your hosting server as it could eat up or exhaust your available disk usage. Even if you use unlimited disk usage on your hosting plan, it is a wise idea to store your website backups in an external storage location away from your server.

Some backup plugins which you can try out include:

  • Jetpack Backups
  • UpdraftPlus (choose an external storage option for your backup) 
  • Duplicator
  • BackupBuddy

Keep WordPress Theme and Plugin Updates

You’ll want to make sure you keep your WordPress theme and plugins updated.

If you’re currently using a plugin or theme that is outdated and shows a WordPress update screen, hackers could take advantage of any security exploits.

The latest versions of WordPress automatically perform minor security updates while leaving you to install the major ones manually.

If you encounter any automatic update issue, you can use your already saved backup files as discussed above to restore your website or plugin to its previous version.

Plus, you’ll need to keep some of your themes and plugins up to date on your own instead of relying on auto-updates, which might break your site if a plugin or theme is not compactable.

Malware or malicious software is not new to websites, but it makes its mark on user sites every day.

While some plugins include a malware scanner, there are also dedicated services you can turn to.

Use SSL Encryption.

Do you know that SSL encrypts your users’ data as it moves between their browsers and your servers?

This means hackers can’t intercept and steal important information from your website.

It’s becoming crucial and, in some cases, a legal requirement to integrate SSL on your website if you handle a lot of sensitive customer data such as bank and credit card details.

There are a few steps to getting SSL.

The first step is to obtain an SSL certificate, and the second is to install it on your website.

 Getting a certificate is simple nowadays, and once you have it, you’ll need to install it on your site and you are good to go.

So, depending on where you purchase a certificate, it might be installed automatically or you might be given instructions on how to do it. Then you’ll need to set your site up to use SSL.

If you need assistance with that, then we can help you out at So Cheap Agency.

You can also use an easy-to-use plugin such as Really Simple SSL to do this last part.

Installing Really Simple SSL Plugin

Let me walk you through how to install and set up Really Simple SSL.

Visit your WordPress dashboard and then mouse over plugins and go to add new.

Add New Plugin
Installing a plugin

In the search field, go ahead and type “Really Simple SSL”.

When the results show, find Really Simple SSL and click install now.

Install Really Simple SSL
Installing Really Simple SSL

When it installs, go ahead and click activate.

Activate Really Simple SSL
Activating Really Simple SSL

Once that’s done, it should take you back to your plug-in screen, but you’ll have a message at the top saying it’s almost ready to migrate to SSL with a couple of buttons.

Click “Go ahead and click activate SSL”.

Congratulations! You are good to go and you don’t have to pay for an SSL certificate with this method.

No messing with your HD access and coding it manually or going through your links. It should take care of it all for you.

There are a couple of other things you can modify on Really Simple SSL, like enabling the 301 HD access redirect to make sure that all traffic goes to your SSL version site and other mixed content setups.

Piece of advice, you shouldn’t modify any settings if you don’t know what you are doing.

Conclusion

Even if you take all precautions possible to ensure your security, awful things can still occur.

You’re off to a good start when it comes to protecting your WordPress website if you have faith in your hosting company and your login information.

With the aforementioned 5 easy steps, I can say that you are ready to go!


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