WordPress websites get hacked on a daily basis.
In most cases, your WordPress website doesn’t get hacked because someone guessed your password. It gets hacked because one of your plugins is out-of-date.
An attacker exploits your out-of-date plugin’s weak security. Using the plugin, they can gain access to your website.
Hacks like this can easily be prevented by updating your plugins on a regular basis. This is just one example of how regular WordPress maintenance can significantly improve your website security.
Today, we’re explaining more tips, tricks, and strategies you can use to maintain your WordPress website and maximize your security.
Start with a Good Web Host
Bad security and cheap hosting often go hand-in-hand. Cheap hosts have more downtime. They also often have weaker security. Yes, you can pay as little as $5 per month for hosting and have a legitimate, working website – but you could be sacrificing a significant amount of security.
Start with a good, reputable web host. You might pay more – but you could save enormous headaches down the road. How much is your personal security worth?
Install a Backup Plugin
One of the great parts about WordPress is that it’s easy to back up your entire website and database on a regular basis.
The two best options for this are:
One backs up your WordPress database, while the other backs up your entire WordPress system. Both plugins are easy-to-use. You install the plugins, set them up, then schedule backups or perform them on-demand.
Delete Spam Comments
WordPress deletes spam comments on a monthly basis. Try deleting your spam comments weekly to keep your site clean. This might seem pointless: but there’s a good reason for it: spam comments often contain links to malware that’s specifically designed to infiltrate WordPress. When you remove those comments, you reduce your chances of accidentally clicking on one of those links.
At the very least, deleting spam comments makes your site safer and more enjoyable for users.
Update your Plugins
Every time you log into WordPress, you’ll see the plugins category on the left hand side of the page. If that category has a number beside it, then it means you have plugins that require updates. Update plugins as frequently as possible – the sooner you update them, the better.
Clean Up your Plugins and Remove Old, Unwanted Plugins
Plugins are the biggest security flaw in WordPress. Hacks can often be traced back to outdated plugins. Unfortunately, some hacks are traced back to legitimate plugins that were compromised by a third party.
In any case, you should take a careful look through your currently-installed plugins. When installing new plugins – or updating old ones – pick plugins that meet the following requirements:
- Was it made by a reputable developer?
- Does it have a large number of active installs?
- Was it recently updated? Is it listed as compatible with your current version of WordPress?
If you’re no longer using a plugin in WordPress, then remove it. It’s one more security flaw gone. Besides, you can always install the plugin at a later date.
Apply the Above Rules to Themes
Themes, like plugins, introduce security risks into WordPress. You probably switch themes less frequently than plugins. Still, make sure you keep your theme up-to-date. Update your theme as soon as an update becomes available, and only install themes from reputable developers and reputable sources.
Above all, avoid searching for free premium WordPress themes online. The type of websites that host free premium themes (most of which are illegally pirated) are filled with security flaws. You might install a beautiful theme – only to realize that it has an enormous back door that will be used by hackers in the future.
Scan your Website for Malware or Blacklist Status
One useful online tool called Sucuri will scan your website for malware, check its blacklist status, and make sure you’re using the current version of WordPress.
Check Your Website with Google
You can do a similar check with Google: plug your website into Google using the code: “site:yourwebsite.com” (without the quotation marks).
Google will reveal all indexed pages from your website. Scan through this list and look at the description of each page. If a page has been compromised, the meta information will feature weird text, foreign text, or other text indicating a security problem.
Overwhelmed? Consider Hiring a Professional Website Maintenance Company
Website maintenance isn’t always easy. It’s time-consuming. It can also be frustrating – especially if you’re not an experienced web developer.
That’s why many businesses have made the smart choice of hiring a professional website maintenance company.
At Renew Marketing, our website maintenance packages start at just $100. Some of the services bundled into a website maintenance package include:
- Monthly malware scans
- WordPress updates
- Professional website oversight and maintenance
- 1 hour of monthly content updates
- Uptime monitoring
- Security monitoring
- Added security features
- Weekly backups, monthly full-site backups
If you find yourself overwhelmed by website maintenance tasks, then your website probably isn’t up-to-date. In that case, website maintenance may be a smart investment. You pay a little extra money per month – but it could be the difference between getting hacked and keeping your website secure.
Browse Renew Marketing’s website maintenance packages here. We can put together a custom quote built to address your unique website maintenance needs.