Is WordPress Secure Enough for Serious Blogs?
Security has always been a major topic for the state of WordPress. It is clearly seen that the WordPress community as a whole has steadily moved towards proactive measures. By maintain security updates more often and pushing forward security practices, it is clear that WordPress is doing its best. But, is it sufficient? This has been a question for the majority of bloggers out there.
Today, above 30% of all websites are made with WordPress (a staggering amount indeed). More and more individuals are adopting WordPress and the number keeps on growing. The more it grows, the harder it is to ensure each website with the maximum level of protection.
Whatever the Content Management System (CMS) is being used, no one can guarantee absolute 100% website security. WordPress being at the pinnacle of them, it is obvious that it is most prone of attacks. There’s no denying that it has its fair share of security flaws.
Basically, any large CMS is going to intermittently contain bugs that lead to security loopholes. WordPress has an open source system for themes and plugins development, so the majority of those holes occur due to faulty themes and external used services rather than the core itself.
- 41% of WordPress hacks took place due to a vulnerability on the hosting platform rather than the core CMS itself
- 29% of security hacks were due to cheap/canned themes
- 8% of hacks were due to the use of weak passwords
So, the Question “Is WordPress secure?” comes down to the practices that you use. There are many things you must make certain so that you won’t be prone to security hacks. Those include:
This may seem like a basic major but it is one of the most important ones. Many have fallen victim due to their negligence in choosing strong passwords for their admin logins and such. So, make sure you use a formidable one.
Only use trusted Themes
This is a problem for quite many bloggers out there. Many of the users don’t know that themes can contain malicious code if we get that from an illegal source. There are a lot of individuals that fall into these scams and end up losing it all. So, make sure you have blog themes from legit and trusted websites only.
WordPress itself provides security updates from time to time. It is a must that we update the core version to the latest one. There have been many instances of people failing to do so. Not only that, all the themes and plugins that you use must be at their latest version. As, the WordPress team and themes/plugin development team work on strengthening their services, it is important not to miss those updates.
Rename login URL
The default login route for admin in the WordPress is wp-login.php and wp-admin. It is very important to change it cause, everyone knows this route. That is why you are prone to Brute Force attacks. In many cases simple Brute Force attacks have can break a website.
You can change it by using WPS Hide Login plugin and changing the default route to a custom one. That way you can avoid such attacks.
Using Security plugins
There are many trusted and useful plugins out there that will benefit any WordPress site. Many security plugin development teams work their best to create an ultimate product for defense. Though there are many to choose from, I found this one to be very effective;
Security Ninja is one of the most interesting security plugins. It runs 50+ security tests on your site and lets you know that loopholes that it extracts. Not only that it will notice preventive measures so that those loopholes can be fixed quite easily. And all of those for free.
This feature is very handy because we are not aware of the security state of our website. This will let us know clearly that what exploit will harm the website. That security test includes a range of complex tests to light ones that are missed quite often by other plugins. This plugin is also lightweight unlike other security plugins, which results in constant load time of your website.
Out of lists of security test, some of them 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 the Shellshock bug #6271 and #7169
- Checks your PHP and MySQL versions
- Checks you plugins & themes compatibility and if they are up to date
- Checks the Strength of your WordPress database passwords
- Checks if expose_php PHP directive is turned off
Though, most of the features are found on the free version. But, if you want to extend their services then there is also Security Ninja PRO version too. That covers Core Scanner, Malware Scanner, Auto Fixer, Cloud Firewall, Event logger and Database Optimizer. This is a wide range of features and quite useful ones.
Backup your site
Backing up contents of your site is very important because you won’t know when things might turn out too bad. This is a highly recommended practice as it will ensure a successful prelaunch in the time of need. There are many plugins like UpdraftPlus and BackupBuddy that will help you with the backup of your website.
Thus, the answer to the question about WordPress Security lies in your hands. It is determined if you follow proper security practices or not. If you follow the above instructions then you will surely be safe.