Keeping Your WordPress Site Up-to-Date and Secure
The thought of keeping your site up-to-date usually brings a roll of the eyes and the dread of having to back-up your site or update something that could potentially change or disrupt your existing design. However, any software is a target for hackers, and therefore defending your site and keeping it current is simply a must.
Security is the main reason as to why you need to update your site. It’s not just WordPress itself that is at risk, plugins can also be victims of vulnerable attacks. New features are also a benefit of updating WordPress as the software is continually being updated. Updating your version of WordPress can increase speed as each release comes with performance updates to make the installation run faster. Since speed is a huge factor within the SEO industry, it’s important to keep this current.
Update your Plugins
You will be able to update your plugins within the ‘Plugins’ area of your dashboard. There may be some paid plugins, depending on whether they were installed on the initial build of the site, although you can purchase individual licence keys as well as activate automatic updates. If you have any plugins which you are not using, deactivate them as they can create backdoors for hackers if they are not being kept up-to-date. Remember to always conduct a back-up before the updating process.
Often, plugin updates can have features within the site that are not compatible with your WordPress. This is why one of the most important things to do before updating your site is to make a back-up first, just in case something happens during the change or afterwards. You can install a FREE back-up plugin that will cover this, as well as restore old versions: https://wordpress.org/plugins/backup-with-restore/
With WordPress being one of the most recognisable CMS platforms, it dominates the online web world, which means it’s open to security vulnerabilities. We also recommend installing Sucuri to prevent any malicious attacks on your site. This software monitors security and malware-related events with its dedicated software: https://sucuri.net/website-antivirus/signup. The value of the software install over the free Sucuri plugin is that it offers compressive security and in-depth detection and crawls, therefore decreasing the chance of an attack.
This is also another way to protect your site, and arguably the most downloaded security plugin for WordPress sites: https://www.wordfence.com/. The plugin offers real-time thread defence feeds, advanced blocking, spam filters and much more.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the website security book, but ensuring you have a password that offers upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and symbols will increase the defence of the site. Try not to use ‘admin’ as the username, and ensure you are changing your passwords on a regular basis. You can do this within your account settings within WordPress ‘Users’.
Securing your WordPress site is about much more than simply installing a plugin and leaving it there. It’s important to keep an eye on the vulnerabilities through different mediums, and to stay on top of things in order to reduce risks.