12 WordPress Maintenance and Security Tips for 2017
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Because of its user-friendliness and functionality, WordPress is now the most popular website platform in the world. Believe it or not, 500 new WordPress sites are created everyday. However, due to it’s popularity, it’s especially vulnerable to attacks by hackers. In fact, the FBI has actually issued warnings to site owners to make sure their sites are protected & maintained since a lot of terrorist attacks are now cyber attacks. Don’t let your site become one of the 37,000 sites hacked everyday. Read on for 12 of the easiest WordPress maintenance and security tips for 2017.
Why WordPress Maintenance and Security Is Important
While you may not think that someone would have any interest in taking down a site like yours, it actually happens more often than you’d expect. In fact, a few businesses reached out over the past year after their sites were either taken down by malware or hacked. In one case, the company’s site had to be completely rebuilt, and another had to be offline for several weeks while it was being repaired. Not only was it expensive for the businesses to have their sites fixed, they also lost out on potential customers and revenue.
Had the sites been properly maintained and secured this would not have happened. Even if the business owners did experience these problems, the sites wouldn’t have been down near as long costing them customers and revenue.
So what can you do to keep this from happening to you and your business? Read on for RDD’s WordPress Maintenance and Security Tips for 2017 and start the year off worry-free!
12 WordPress Maintenance and Security Tips for 2017
1. Run the latest WordPress Version.
The fine folks at WordPress are serious about making this platform the best it can be, so they frequently update its core version. Sometimes, it’s just a few tweaks that most of us won’t notice, but other times, it’s a big change that dramatically improves security. So make sure you’re running the latest version on your site to keep it running smoothly and problem-free.
2. Choose Plugins Carefully.
Love using plugins to expand what your website can do? (We do, too!) But choose carefully – not all plugins are created equal. Before installing a plugin, make sure it’s compatible with your version of WordPress, check out user reviews, and find out if the developers offer support if you run into problems.
3. Update Plugins.
Speaking of plugins, make sure you’re keeping them up to date. You can easily see which plugins need updated on the dashboard of your WordPress site. Just click ‘update’ and you’re done! One caveat though, make sure the updated plugins don’t interfere with any of your other software by reading the plugin documentation.
4. Deactivate and Delete Old Plugins.
Remember all those plugins you installed a long time ago, but are no longer using? Turns out they’re a security risk. So turn them off and delete them to keep your site. Bonus: Doing this will also free up space and help make your site faster!
5. Update Your WordPress Theme.
In addition to keeping your core WordPress software updated, you also need to keep your theme up-to-date. According to Mark Jaquith, one of the core WordPress developers, “The themes of today are pretty much like plugins in terms of what they can do.” This means they’re much more than just the way your site looks to your visitors.
6. Change Your Username.
One of the easiest ways to secure your site is by changing the default ‘Admin’ username. When someone’s trying to hack your site, that’s often the first username they try. Make sure your username is something unique and not easily figured by one of the bad guys.
7. Change Your Password.
And speaking of easy ways to secure your WordPress site: Update your password regularly. Make sure it’s super secure. Best practices include using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider creating a ‘passphrase’ to make it even more secure.
8. Log Out of WordPress Sessions Remotely.
In the event that you access your site from a public computer, or (heaven forbid!) lose your phone or laptop, you can make sure you’re logged out of any open sessions remotely. To do this, go to your profile and click on the ‘Log Out of Everywhere Else’ button.
9. Deactivate Old Users.
Have a former employee who still has a user profile? Maybe someone who helped develop your site but you’re no longer working with? Keep your site safe and secure by deleting their account so they cannot access your site.
10. Keep Spam Away.
Getting bunches of spam comments on your blog posts? Not only is this super annoying, it’s also dangerous to your site’s security. Spam comments often include links to dangerous sites and malicious software that can harm your visitors and your site. Keep them at bay with a good antispam plugin. Two of our favorites are Akismet and Antispam Bee.
11. Install A Layer of Security.
The old adage that ‘An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure’ is true! And there’s no such thing as ‘too much’ security. New threats to your site emerge continually and hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. Unfortunately, even the most diligent efforts can still fall short. Consider adding an extra layer of protection with a plugin to further enhance your website’s security and increase your peace of mind.
12. Back Up Your Site.
Have you ever been working on a document only to have your computer crash before you have a chance to save? How do you minimize the risk of losing all your hard work? Yep – by saving your work frequently. The same concept applies to your website. Taking frequent backups of your site will save you loads of time and money in the unfortunate event that hackers are able to get into your website or it gets infected with a virus or malware. And luckily, there are several ways you can do this, either by using specific plugins or directly through your cPanel.
For additional information on how to secure your website check out this article: https://www.cloudliving.com/wordpress-security/
Your website is crucial to your business. Not only does it bring you customers, it also builds your credibility and reputation. But sites are not ‘fix it and forget it.’ They need to be cared for to keep them humming along and marketing your business. So, if you’re not already regularly maintaining and securing your website, now is the perfect time to start! Follow our 12 WordPress Maintenance and Security Tips for 2017 and you’ll be headed in the right direction.
Don’t feel ready to tackle your security on your own? Rather spend your time focusing on your business? No problem! RDD has several care plans available that’ll keep your site in tip-top shape. Find out more here.
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