There are thousands of self-acclaimed WordPress gurus out there, who will fill you with complex ideas on how to keep your WordPress blog or website secure and well maintained. Here are some basic tweaks to start off with, that will ensure you keep your WP site secure and well maintained.
- Back up.
This is the first step towards security and proper maintenance. You should ensure that all the contents of your database are well backed up. This should also be done before any changes or maintenance procedures are undertaken. You can choose the manual way or use impressive plugins like Backup Buddy that allows you to export everything in your database; including files and images in the content folder for your blog. Vaultpress by automatic is also worth considering. VaultPress is a subscription-based protection, security and backup service for WordPress blogs and sites.
Make sure that you have the latest version of WordPress at all times. Newer versions are better and easier to Maintain. They also come with security patches that do away with loopholes. Follow the WordPress feed to ensure you are up to speed on the latest developments from the developers. You can ensure that your WordPress core files are automatically updated by selecting a simple, auto update option that is made available by most hosting companies. Some of the things you need to keep up to date include:
- Plugins. WordPress essentially depends on plugins to function. You can find a plugin that is able to help you accomplish any task from over 40,000 available plugins. Make sure that all plugins that you are not using are removed. It is also good to do a background check on the plugins before installing them.
- Themes. Ensure that all selected themes are well coded and secure. Any time an update for your theme is available, ensure that you do not ignore installing it.
- Better passwords.
Make sure that you move from the default password that is familiar with everyone including hackers. Change the default password that is always “admin” and use one that you can remember easily and is strong enough not to be used by anyone. Mix symbols, upper and lower case characters with numbers to get a strong password.
- Review the functionality.
You should always check and ensure that your website functionality is optimum to provide for a good user experience. You should ensure that your website is free from junk that collects over time from repeated use. Suggested plugin into use wp-optimize.
Here us how to ensure functionality at its best
- Check for device compatibility. Ensure that the site or blog works well on different browsers and mobile devices.
- Check navigation. If navigation is poor, users will be frustrated. Counter check every link to ensure it leads to the right place.
- Test your Forms. Ensure that your form plugins are working just the way they should. Ensure that all the addresses are correctly entered and that everything is up to date.
- Fix 404 errors. This is the kind of error, which comes up when a browser or a bot looks for a page and comes up with nothing. This usually translates to poor user experience. You can use Screaming Frog to thoroughly search your website for 404 errors.
- Prevent hacking.
You can prevent a WordPress hack by blocking Admin section by Search Engine Crawlers. Crawlers will go through your entire website unless they are told not to do so. The admin section contains sensitive information and therefore, should not be indexed.
The free Jetpack plugin by WordPress.com offers some basic security and mainace feature that are worth looking into.
Security – Jetpack protects your site against brute force attacks and unauthorised logins. We also monitor your site for downtime and keep your plugins updated.
Image Performance – Jetpack automatically optimizes and speeds up images using the global WordPress.com content delivery network. This saves you hosting costs by reducing bandwidth.
- Prevent directory browsing.
Do not allow your visitors to browse your directory entirely. Hackers look for loopholes in the structures of directories they can access.
Making sure that the website is up to task is something that needs constant attention and commitment. Do not procrastinate on anything, as this will leave your hands full making you back track on ensuring optimum Security and Maintenance of your WordPress.
About the author
This post is written by Andy Merchant, Co-founder of Bloggers Required. When Andy is not working, he can found him with a camera in hand, pretending to be an amateur photographer. Find him on Google+ and Twitter.
If you would like to get involved with Bloggers Required, we're always happy to hear from prospective advertisers, newsletter sponsors and partners, just give us a shout at [email protected]Blogging assignments/giveaways Bloggers Required does not write or imply any association with, nor endorsement by or of, the product/service/brand/business/blogger named in this blogging assignment/giveaway/request or similar, and is not responsible for the assignment/giveaway/request or similar contents or their authenticity. Please read our T&Cs, blogger FAQ and ethical blogging guide before applying to blogging assignments UK – US.