Is WordPress Secure?
WordPress is an incredibly powerful and versatile website platform. With its free, open source code; tens of thousands of plugins and themes, and proven e-commerce platform, it offers a valuable website solution for many businesses.
With about a third of all websites using WordPress, including giants like Facebook, the platform has proven its scalability and worth in even large applications.
One area that is often of concern for businesses, however, is the security of the WordPress platform. Can it offer the security needed to reliably protect customer data and guard against potentially devastating attacks?
WordPress Security: Common Concerns
It is true that WordPress is a popular target for hackers, to the tune of more than 90,000 attacks per minute. Some attacks have succeeded, a few devastatingly so. The Panama Papers attack in 2016 for example, led to the release of millions of confidential papers, with worldwide consequences.
These facts lead to concerns among users about the security of their data. Concerns often focus on the following issues:
- Is the WordPress core secure?
- Does WordPress’ open source nature mean no one is responsible for its security?
- How secure are plugins and themes?
- How much work do website owners have to do to keep their WordPress websites secure?
There is good news in the answers to these questions. The first bit of good news is that WordPress is actually more secure than the numbers might suggest.
For example, while the number of attempted hacks is very high, it demonstrates WordPress’ popularity, not its vulnerability. Lots of people use WordPress, so hackers want to hack it. With so many online discussions of WordPress and its vulnerabilities, it is also fairly easy for hackers to learn where WordPress is most vulnerable to attack.
The good news, however, is that protecting your WordPress website from attack is not solely your responsibility. Nor is WordPress likely to undermine your website’s security. When handled properly, in fact, WordPress can be very secure indeed.
WordPress is protected by a team of experts.
The first thing to know about WordPress security is that it doesn’t all rest on the website owner’s shoulders. WordPress is an open-source software available freely to everyone. However, its core is protected by a team of experts who continually search for, evaluate, and respond to vulnerabilities within the software.
Thanks to their efforts, you will notice regular updates to your version of WordPress. These updates usually contain patches for recognized security vulnerabilities. Unless you have specifically opted out of automatic updates, your site should receive these updates whenever they are rolled out. These experts, and the updates they release, ensure the ongoing security of the WordPress core.
Themes and plugins are reviewed for security issues.
Despite the enormous number of WordPress themes and plugins, a WordPress team also manages to monitor most of these WordPress add-ons. If they identify vulnerabilities, they alert the developer so patches can be added. They can even remove themes and plugins that have known security risks that are not being addressed by the developers.
Website owners play a role in WordPress security as well.
Of course, these efforts are not the only defense against security vulnerabilities in WordPress. Website owners also have a role to play. When they take steps to secure their sites, they can be confident in their site’s ability to resist attacks. Here are a few of the steps you can take:
Choose themes and plugins carefully.
Not every theme and plugin is created equal. Make sure the ones you choose, even if free, are backed by a team that regularly checks for vulnerabilities and releases patches and updates to deal with known issues. Don’t be afraid to pay for add-ons that have this backing.
Update the core, themes, and plugins regularly.
Make sure automatic updates are enabled for the WordPress core. Also check regularly for updates to your themes and plugins, and install them. And remove any add-ons you no longer use or that are no longer updated regularly.
Create secure site logins.
Make it harder for hackers to gain access to your site by enabling strong logins. In particular, make sure your password meets best practices, like being more than 8 characters long and consisting of a combination of words, letters, and symbols.
Choose a secure server.
Your server also needs to be secure. The best way to ensure its security is to choose a professional web host who understands and implements server security. Look for security measures like firewalls and DDoS protection.
Maintain a secure local network.
Finally, keep your local network secure. Properly installed and updated antimalware and antivirus programs, for example, as well as password protection, can ensure your local network’s security.
WordPress can be a secure website solution. Don’t be alarmed by hacking attempts. Instead, rest assured that WordPress’ security team is securing the core and managing themes and plugins. And do your part by using secure themes and plugins, choosing to implement provided security patches, and keeping a secure server and network.
Here at Sequential Tech, we can help you build and secure an effective WordPress site. In addition, we offer secure web hosting services and maintenance plans to keep your site secure for the long term.