WordPress is one of the most comprehensive content management systems today. In 2014, there were over 74 million websites running on WordPress. At its core, WordPress CMS is stable and secure but the fact that WordPress is so popular makes it a target for hackers. Having a good security strategy can prevents attacks from even the worst script kiddies, spammers, trolls, trackers and hackers of all kind. Securing your website is a critical part of developing it. You also need strong security to gain trust and confidence from your visitors as well as boost your website search ranking.
I’ve found the best way to keep on top of things is to do a security audit once a month so make sure your site is airtight. I mean, what are Sundays for right? During the audit you will need to ensure that your user accounts have stong passwords and follow some general safety rules. The version of WordPress you installed is usually displayed in your header. You can opt to hide this information from hackers that can use this information to exploit your site.
Regular security scans are important to detect malware and other pending virus issues. One thing that you need to do to keep your site locked up tight is obtain an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). A couple other crucial things you need to do is backup your site and protect your data from being exploit. These are only a handful of security measure you can take to make sure your WordPress website is not an easy target.
There are many things tips and tricks that you can learn to make your site more secure. Some security measures can be managed within the WordPress admin dashboard, while others can be done in the code. If you want to take things a bit further, there are many helpful plugins for WordPress to help you manage your security measures. Below are a few plugins that make your life much easier when it comes to securing your WordPress website.
Security Ninja Bundle
Security Ninja develops some reliable and efficient products for WordPress. I like the Security Ninja Bundle because you get a whole lot of helpful security plugins in one pack. There’s just about everything you need to run a tight ship in this pack. The full pack comes with Security Ninja, Login Ninja, Core Scanner, Scheduled Scanner, Events Logger and Malware Scanner. Security Ninja and Login Ninja come with this pack, the rest are add-ons, which means you’ll have to purchase and install them after you install Security Ninja.
Security Ninja performs over 30 different security test to help prevent future attacks, check for vulnerabilities in the code. Each test has a corresponding button that provides more in depth information on the test. It’s a pretty useful tool to analyze your site to manage any holes or attacks on your site. Following are the rest of the plugins in this bundle.
Login Ninja – Use it to protect against bots and spam with a captcha test. You can automatically ban IPs that attack and protect against brute-force logins.
Core Scanner – Scan your core files with a single click. Core Scanner is great for identifying files that have issues and removing holes that can be exploited. Fix problems with updates and view the source for a closer inspection. This scanner quicklly identifies unused, missing and useless files as well.
Scheduled Scanner – This add-on makes things easier by generating email reports. Use it to get email notifications detailing attacks, backup activity or any other type of scan. It’s compatible with Core Scanner and easy to set up.
Events Logger – Monitor and track events on your site. Get a detailed report of every event that happens on your WordPress website. This is a great tool for security measures as well as user behavior. Event’s logger lets you track over 50 events with great detail. Use this tool to monitor anything that happens on your site. This is a very comprehensive tool that you can do a lot with.
Malware Scanner – Scan all your themes, plugins and content for malware with a simple click. There are over 20 test performed on each file.Download & learn More
Brief on Backing Up
One of the first things you need to do when coming up with your security plan is backing up your system. There are a lot of security plugins to choose from that help you manage your backup. Backing up your site regularly and automating that process is imperative for a comprehensive security plan. Sometimes it’s the only way to restore your site to working order after an attack. There are many free and premium plugins that ensure that your files are safe no matter what happens.
WordPress Backup & Clone Master
A plugin to automate your backup is WordPress Backup & Clone Master. This plugin is reliable and has been a bestseller on the CodeCanyon for quite a while. This premium plugin is designed to help you restore, clone or migrate your data. You can easily schedule secure backups or perform them on an as needed basis. It’s ideal to back up your system daily, and this plugin makes it easy. Maybe those long lost Sundays can turn back into fun days by automating your security measures.
- WordPress Backup & Clone Master is an all-purpose solution for:
- Storing files to a remote FTP server
- Uploading backups to the cloud
- Restore backups with a click
- Create new databases from plugin
- Schedule backups to be sent to your email
- Migrate to a new host
- Clone subdirectories
*Note. Be careful if you are using this plugin to clone large sites with thousands of pages because you may exceed the memory load for the plugin. There are also several other issues we had with this one. Nevertheless it’s still a good starting point for cloning and backing up your site.Download & learn More
Swift Security Bundle – Hide WordPress, Firewall, Code Scanner
Last year hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites were hacked. Most of them were hacked because they were using insecure plugins or themes. A small percentage of sites that were hacked was due to weak passwords. Swift security is another all-purpose security bundle designed to lock up your WordPress site. Swift has some features to enhance safety for clientele, login authentication and data/document integrity.
Hide Sensitive Info – Hider your WordPress meta information. Hackers can view your sites source code and see what version of WordPress you are running. This can make their job a lot easier. You can hide the fact that you are using the WordPress platform in your code.
Put up a Firewall – The fire wall is secure and filters out malicious attempts to breach your site thtough SQL, XSS and file uploads. Get automatic emails that send you security logs and blocked IPs. You also can use this firewall to protect against password theft and common HTTP server attacks.
Clientele Security – If you are running a proprietary website with custom user types, you will want to instill confidence and security in your customers. One way you can do that is with a secure clientele portal. This is important for directory sites or any time you have clients with special permissions. Create a dashboard for them to securely monitor and manage project status, documents or communication.Download & learn More
Security for Your Site
You can manually do all the things that these plugins manage. If you decided to use plugins you will be making your life much easier, particularly if you are managing more than one site. The plugins mentioned above should be a great starting point for your security endeavors. Make sure to research others that may work for you, and consult a security expert any chance you get. It’s always wise to either become an expert yourself, or find one to help your site stay secure. For now experiment with these plugins and let us know if you have any favorite security plugins for your WordPress site.