WordPress security issues

Learn why you should keep your WordPress website secure by avoiding vulnerabilities and keeping it up to date.

Why does WordPress have security issues?

WordPress is a wonderful tool to set up an affordable CMS website. CMS stands for Content Management System, meaning the client can manage content.

It is arguably the most popular CMS website builder, making up 25% of the internet today. Why? Because it has so much functionality and is created on a public network. It is free, and a WordPress website designer can customise it. If used correctly, it is also search engine friendly.

Using WordPress, the web developer can control design, structure, and layout, and pages are easily accessible so the client can update them in-house. All of that is free only because it is open-source software.

Open-source software is available to everyone worldwide. Every time a version is released, it’s easily accessible—anyone can examine the source code. Curious hackers find holes that allow them to take a site down, make it act oddly, send a message or host illicit content.

The longer a WordPress version has been available, the more often and easily it is tapped into.

Why WordPress should be kept up to date, with hardened security

Why would someone want to hack my website?

People, known as hackers, hack into your website for fun, to prove a point, as an experiment, to learn something, to get a message across or, more seriously, to steal money and data. Hackers develop programs that look for security holes in out-of-date WordPress installations.

Not all hackers are malicious. Often, “hackers” are reporters of security issues and vulnerabilities. White-hat hackers are good news for technology. However, black-hat hackers are not good news for your WordPress website.

Issues and vulnerabilities

Open-source software is a positive thing—the source code is also available for examination from the WordPress community. Issues and vulnerabilities are found and fixed much quicker than with traditional software.

That is why there are so many ongoing WordPress releases. Hackers find holes; the WordPress community fights back.

Is WordPress safe?

Generally, WordPress core, themes, and plugins are safe when they are up-to-date. However, you should stay vigilant and take extra steps to secure a website.

WordPress security updates

To lessen the chance of a hack, WordPress core, WordPress plugins, and themes must be kept up-to-date. The more up-to-date the version, the less chance a hacker has.

I encourage any WordPress website owner to keep the WordPress install up to date. Use trusted plugins and themes that are checked for security and keep these up to date.

Before updating back up the database, just in case there are conflicts. A website can be completely restored from a database backup.

Steps to secure WordPress

  • Use obscure admin names.
  • Enforce strong passwords and change them regularly.
  • Hide the back end.
  • Install an SSL certificate to ensure secure user and browser communication.
  • Change database table prefix.

Hardening WordPress

Website owners fend off many attacks by installing a WordPress security plugin like:

These take the necessary steps to keep the site secure and attack-free.

Backup WordPress

Use an automatic backup system so that you can quickly and easily reinstate the website if it is attacked.

Of course, a website is never 100% protected against attacks, but it can be 99%. I offer regular WordPress updates and maintenance to keep websites secure.

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