Saturday, 3 November 2012

How to secure your WordPress site (Basics)

| Saturday, November 03, 2012 | |

Check Your System's Requirements

Every software program comes with system requirements. You must be certain your computer has the available minimum resources needed to install the WordPress software program or update. If you try to install any software program and do not have the minimum systems requirements available, you increase the vulnerability of your site and system. If you are unsure about the compatibility of your system with the software requirements, check with your hosting company. You can also go online to the WordPress site and find out what minimum requirements apply to your chosen core program. Then, search your computer hard drive to find out what is available.

Update Your WordPress Core Software

When using any software, you will get regular notices about newly released updates. It is too easy to brush these aside. To keep your WordPress site as secure as possible, you must download the current updates. You need to know that about 70% of malware cases are due to using outdated software. Updates protect software by fixing security compromises, offering some new functionality features and/or replacing an outdated released software version. Not only does this protect your computer from potential harm, but it helps your site's visitors experience a safe and harmless experience.

ALSO SEE: Try WordPress (self-hosted) for free
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WordPress developers continually work on improving WordPress products. They make it as easy as possible to keep your site updated. Many WordPress software programs come with a one-click automatic update feature in WordPress. The update is quick, painless and very user-friendly. Look in your WordPress admin panel for it.

Update Your Plugins

WordPress has a number of beneficial plugins available to make both the site owner's and visitors experience more useful and enjoyable. Before deciding upon one, improve your site's security by reading a variety of reviews about the plugin and the developer. When keeping your WordPress site secure, you must remember to regularly update your plugins. As with any software program, plugins are continually updated to reduce risks of security vulnerabilities, incompatibilities and improve user experiences.

If you have inactive plugins uploaded to your WordPress site, eliminate them from your server. You not only need to disable them in your WordPress admin area, you must eliminate them completely from your server. Many users do not realize that even though they have disabled plugins from their WordPress site, vulnerable script still exists on the server. This makes inactive plugins perfect breeding grounds for hackers to gain access to your site. Go into your WordPress admin section, click on plugins and investigate which plugins you have on your site. Click on the Installed Plugins. Determine which one you currently use, and make certain you are using the current version. Also, determine which plugins are inactive, and delete them from your site. Go into your plugins sidebar, on your WordPress admin portion, and notice how each plugin is listed individually. Each plugin will allow you to edit, activate, delete, update, or deactivate. The process to eliminate, or delete, is a one-click process.

A few plug-ins worth checking out:

Update Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides any WordPress owner with a way to optimize their site to bring in viewers, increase sales and provide a lead generation target market list. Since Google continually upgrades versions of all products and services they develop, you need to be certain you have only the most recently developed versions on your site. Go into your plugin area, and make certain the most current version is available. If not, WordPress allows you to view information about the current version before actually downloading it to your site. You will be provided a link to the actual plugin site, to make the process easy and convenient.

Check Your Theme

Themes, the same as plugins, go through a separate testing process from your WordPress core software. Make certain you read reviews about themes before deciding upon one. Due to this, you must be certain you are using the current versions. Check to be sure your theme is current and that it has most recent updates installed on your server.

Also, you need to check that your site does not have a variety of unused or inactive themes installed. When you were deciding upon a theme, you may have downloaded various themes to your server to see what it looks like and how it could benefit your site. You must go through your WordPress admin area and clean out your inactive or unused themes. Delete them from your server.

Sometimes when themes are determined to contain security vulnerabilities, WordPress developers will put a notice out to the public in an attempt to protect everyone. This offers hackers the perfect opportunity to go to WordPress sites and exploit the vulnerability before owners have a chance to protect their site and/or system. Vulnerabilities allow hackers to redirect websites, engage in SEO spam and/or infect files throughout sites with nonsense comments. Protect yourself by updating your theme as soon as a new version becomes available.

Use Excellent Encryption

It goes without saying that making your site as difficult for hackers to get into increases your security. In addition to having a secure password that is difficult for hackers to figure out, you must make certain your hosting company's server regularly updates and keeps their servers secure.

Keep your encryption software updated to protect your site. Regularly change your password. Use a combination of characters including upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Developing a 10-character password assures you of a high-level protection against hackers. Protecting yourself against brute force attacks is crucial for the success of your WordPress site, for both you and your user. It is not a hassle, but an investment.

Perform regular scans

Regularly performing malware, anti-virus and security scans of your WordPress site increases your site's security. Remove the bugs from your site. Investing in a good software program to provide piece of mind.
Author's Bio: Jamie Cody is a writer for centernetworks and often writes about technology and reviews on various products and services like hosting such as MidPhase. He writes for fun, as a hobby and for his dayjob.
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