WordPress has become the most popular Content Management System (CMS) for blog content hosting worldwide. It powers almost 30% of the websites currently hosted on the Internet.
With its massive user base and community, security has been the top concern for WordPress users. It’s mostly the case for new WordPress users to this platform. Hackers are always eager to find a way to break into WordPress sites, and thus security has become a leading issue. Lack of knowledge and tips to secure your site is the main reason for getting yourself hacked.
Although some issues might come from WordPress itself, most of the reason behind the hacked WordPress website is users’ unawareness of WordPress security. I have also been through this because my first WordPress website was hacked within a month of hosting.
You should note that WordPress vulnerability doesn’t just come from its core but also from the themes and plugins we use. From a recent report, it was found that most of the vulnerabilities in WordPress come from:
- 52% are from WordPress plugins
- 37% are from core WordPress
- 11% are from WordPress themes
Here are some of the points I extracted which will make you concerned about your WordPress website security.
You will avoid losing a lot of money and save time.
Most of the time, generating revenue from your website is why people start blogging. Instead of earning money, if you lose some, there’s no point in running your website instead of making money. If you don’t concern yourself about WordPress security, that will happen to you. A hacked website will redirect your visitors to a malicious link, which will make your visitors lose trust in you. Likewise, reclaiming a hacked website will also cost you money. You will also have to invest a couple of hours in recycling your hacked website.
Resources / Information to hack websites is easily found on the Internet.
If someone wants to hack your WordPress website, it’s straightforward to haven’t concerned yourself about your website security. One can easily find tons of techniques to hack your website just by Googling the term “How to Hack WordPress Website,” “WordPress SQL Injection,” “Brute force WordPress Website,” etc. This will provide all the necessary resources and video tutorials to hack a WordPress website if they seriously want to.
Hackers don’t always target big websites; they target small/new websites.
In my experience, I have found that most hackers don’t attack websites that are considered “High Profiles.” Only a few top-class hackers go for big websites like Facebook, Amazon, etc., to steal credit card information and other valuable information. Most of the time, hackers who are in their learning phase / new to hacking are the ones hacking your website. They choose your website randomly and hack it just for fun. With low security, most latest WordPress users become victims of these hackers.
Hackers mostly target standardized platforms.
Most hackers don’t hack to steal the information on your website. They want to test their hacking skill and knowledge on the website built using “Standardized Platform,” branded as secure by the companies. The most commonly targeted websites are built using WordPress as it’s at the peak of Content Management Systems (i.e., WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.). While these platforms have helped to renovate the Internet by making attractive and dynamic websites, they have also made it easier to hack and exploit site owners who are ignorant of security.
Embarrassing content and website downtime cause harm.
Having your website down for an hour causes a serious impact on your business and results in integrity loss. A hacked website causes more trouble than you have imagined. It results in the loss of confidential data like client details and credit card information. Hackers also take your website down and place embarrassing content on your website or redirect your visitors toward the malicious site. This will affect your website’s rank in search engine results as search engines remove such malicious and inappropriate sites from their listings.
How to make your WordPress website secure?
You might have some hindsight on what will happen if your website gets hacked or what happens if you aren’t conscious of your website’s security. In my experience, I have found that the following tips will surely help to secure your WordPress website.
• Use Security Plugins:
I found Security Ninja the most useful of all the security plugins I have used. Installing this plugin is like having your security tester for your website. By installing this plugin, you won’t have a second thought about WordPress security and will relax about building your website. You can quickly start with a free version of Security Ninja.
This plugin checks your website with 50+ tests to find possible bugs and errors and notify you for free. This plugin is also lightweight, unlike other security plugins, which results in your website’s constant load time. Here are some of the tests that Security Ninja performs are:
- Brute force attacks to check password strength of user accounts
- 0-day exploits tests
- File permission & debug and auto-update tests
- Checks if the server is vulnerable to Shellshock bugs #6271 and #7169
- Checks your PHP and MySQL versions
- Checks your plugins & themes compatibility and if they are up to date
- Reviews the Strength of your WordPress database passwords
- Checks if the expose_php PHP directive is turned off
• Use a strong password:
Don’t use passwords that hackers can easily guess. Your WordPress admin password must be strong and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers.
• Update your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins regularly:
WordPress, themes, and plugin developers provide regular updates, including patches for security issues in the code. Updating to the latest version protects you from hackers who exploit these vulnerabilities.
• Backup your website regularly:
You should regularly back up your WordPress website. With regular backups of your website, you can easily revert your website to the previous condition in case of any problem.
Just follow security protocols and don’t neglect basic security measures. So as long as you keep security in mind, you will be safe.