Cost of Hosting a Website in WordPress
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, powering over 64% of the websites on the internet. It’s free and open source, which makes it extremely appealing to anyone looking to build a website. However, that openness also makes it extremely vulnerable to hackers and third-party attacks. In fact, since WordPress is so widely used, it’s one of the most targeted CMS platforms out there. That’s because hackers want your data — like who’s registered as a user, how many sites have permission to post to the blog, etc. — to steal and sell on the black market. It’s a potential security threat that might not be worth the convenience of using WordPress.
What’s more, because WordPress is so flexible and powerful, it can be tricky to know where to start when it comes to properly securing your website. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of top tips on how to secure WordPress so you can run a worry-free content creation machine. We’ll cover everything from installing and properly configuring backups to monitoring for intruders and hacking attempts. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your WordPress site secure and away from unwelcome guests.
Backup Your Site
We all know the importance of regularly backing up our important data and files. Without a backup, we could lose everything if our hard drive crashes or becomes corrupted by a virus. To truly understand the importance of regular backups, let’s assume that you have a WordPress site that’s been very successfully hacked. Imagine the upset you’d feel if all of a sudden you lost access to your blog, the content you’ve worked hard to create, and all the comments left by readers. Backups can help prevent this kind of stress by providing a safe place to restore your content and settings if they get damaged or corrupted in some way. That way, you can get back up and running again without too much hassle.
There are several different ways to backup a WordPress site. The most common approach is to use a standalone software package like Backula 4 or Sentry 2.0 to create a full image or duplicate of your website. This way, you’ll have a copy of your entire website, including all the content, settings, and theme, on a different server somewhere else (like an external hard drive, for example). If anything bad happens to your primary server, you can restore the image to it and be back up and running in no time. It’s important to note that in this case, you don’t need to contact your web host to have them restore your server. They’ll automatically do it when you tell them the backup is ready.
Secure Your Site With A Hosting Agreement
One of the simplest ways to secure a WordPress site is to use a hosting agreement that automatically sets everything up for you. A hosting agreement is a contract between you and the company that provides you with web space in which to store your website. The contract usually covers a certain amount of monthly bandwidth, the quantity and quality of backups, as well as the server’s operating system and configuration. Some agreements also include a free domain name and tools to generate blog posts and set up email accounts.
A hosting agreement can be a very effective security tool for your WordPress site because it forces you to follow a set of guidelines that help keep everyone else out. The most important of these guidelines is maintaining a secure operating system and regularly backing up your data.
For example, if you install WordPress on a Linux-based OS (like Ubuntu or Debian), you’ll need to make sure that all your applications and plugins are up to date with the latest stable releases. This ensures that your website is always running the most recent versions and that you’re not susceptible to any vulnerabilities that may exist in older versions. Plus, you’ll need to make sure that your web host is actively supporting that operating system so you can get the best performance from your server. If you use an older operating system or version of Linux, you may also want to consider upgrading its version to avoid any compatibility issues when WordPress tries to contact a third-party resource (like a database server or the Google Maps API).
Keeping your operating system and all your software up to date is not always easy, especially with all the automatic updates that come out all the time. That’s why having a properly configured backup is essential — it allows you to recover your content and settings in case something goes wrong.
Use Strong Passwords
While many web hosts will help you create unique passwords for your email account and other online services you’ve joined, they won’t always do the same for your WordPress username and password. This is because those are the details that will be used to access your site content and settings, which is why you should always choose unique and strong passwords for those details. When choosing strong passwords, make sure to follow the guidelines set out by the computer science department at U of T — use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols to create a memorable string of characters that isn’t easily guessed. In addition to being unique, your passwords should also hold some complexity — make sure that you’re not using simple rules like ‘password’ or ‘admin’ for all your usernames and passwords. If you want to use the same password for multiple services, make sure to choose a different one for each service.
In order to keep your website secure, you’ll also need to make sure that your email accounts are protected by a security key. A security key is a code that’s entered in to or alongside your email account that’ll allow you to access that account from any device or website. In most cases, this code is generated by an application or piece of software that you download and install on your phone or computer. Once you’ve installed the application, you can enter the code on any website or email program to verify your identity. It’s a great way to ensure that you’re always logged in to your email account and that your information is never stolen by hackers or third-parties.
Monitor Your Site Daily For Unwanted Activities
Keeping an eye on your website daily means constantly monitoring it for any signs of trouble or unwanted activity. For example, if you notice that your site is receiving a large number of hits from a certain country or territory, or if your site suddenly starts getting a lot of traffic from a single source, it might be a sign that someone is trying to abuse you or hack into your website.
In order to stop this kind of thing from happening, you’ll need to install a security plugin on your site. A security plugin is basically a small piece of software that monitors and analyzes your website’s activity, looking for signs of trouble or an attempted intrusion. Some of the more popular security plugins are WordPress Security, Cloudflare, and Sentry 2.0.
When a security plugin detects unwanted activity, it’ll typically send an email to you with all the details — the IP (internet protocol) address of the attacker, for example. In the event of a large-scale cyberattack, large corporations and national governments will often hire ‘white hat’ hackers to investigate and remediate any security issues they may encounter. If you’re able to hire a reliable and experienced security company to perform a penetration test on your site, they’ll most likely uncover several security holes that need to be filled. In this case, you’ll need to decide whether or not to upgrade your site’s software and hardware — it really depends on what’s wrong with the current configuration and what needs to be fixed. You don’t want to choose this route without knowing exactly what’s wrong so you can determine the best solution to the issue — it’s often not a simple matter of plugging a few holes and calling it a day.
When it comes to choosing a web host for your WordPress site, make sure to go with one that meets all of your needs and that has 24/7 customer support available via phone or email. In addition, make sure that your web host offers sufficient resources for your site (like CPU (central processing unit) speed and storage) so you can create and manage your content efficiently. Finally, be sure to look for a host that has a good reputation and is known for providing secure and reliable services to its customers — ultimately, you’ll be responsible for keeping your website secure, so it’s vital that you choose a reliable and stable web host to do that.