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WordPress Security: Is Your Site Safe?

Your website is important—it’s a crucial element in your customers’ decision-making processes, and where they go to learn about your brand, your product and what sets you apart from others.

So, if your website is one of the most important aspects of your business, shouldn’t safety be your number one priority? No matter how safe you may believe your site is, the truth is, all websites are vulnerable. However, most threats can be prevented if you implement these safety measures:

Make Sure Your WordPress Is Updated and Secure

Since WordPress makes up about 23 percent of all websites in the world, hackers and data thieves find it a popular target. WordPress is also open source, which makes the source code available to study for any visitor, including hackers.

“We’ve noticed a rise in hacking,” says Creative Mischief Chief Strategist Isham Colosetti. “It’s on the news all the time, you hear about airline systems getting hacked and many businesses getting attacked. We’ve even had former clients who have been hacked, who came to us because they didn’t know what to do.”

The good news is that each new WordPress release improves your site’s functions, including potential bugs, plug-ins, themes and, most importantly, your security. When you update WordPress, bugs and vulnerabilities get fixed. If your website remains dated, you are at a higher risk of getting hacked.

“We’ve noticed that some clients will decide to go in and add plug-ins after we’ve built their sites,” says Colosetti. “The problem is they often will add duplicates of what we’ve already done, or add dated plug-ins that end up slowing down their site, causing it to not work properly and potentially leaving an open door for hackers. That’s why we guide our clients to use plug-ins we trust and that we know will stay updated along with major WordPress updates to ensure their sites remain safe, functional, and most importantly, memorable in the best of ways.”

Back Up Your Site

Do you back up your personal computer? This same action applies to your website. Backing up your site requires you creating a copy of all its data and storing it in a safe place. This is crucial for your website, so if you face any hacking or security breaches, you can easily restore your site.

Regularly backing up your data allows you to better recover from a cyber attack, although backing up alone doesn’t ensure you aren’t vulnerable.

“A client came to us recently because they had been hacked. Several of their pages, along with content and images were deleted,” says Colosetti. “Because the site was backed up, we were able to restore the site and recover all deleted items. However, it took a week and many contracted hours to get them back to 100 percent of where they were originally, which could have been easily avoided if the client took the extra measures to ensure their site was safe from the start through regular maintenance.”

Limit Access to Your Site

As you may already know, WordPress lets you add an unlimited number of editors or users. Yet, just because you can add multiple users, doesn’t mean you should. The more users you add to your account, the more you open your site to errors that could be avoided and vulnerabilities that could lead to hacking.

“If you have several people managing your site at once, it can cause a lot of problems. People may go in and add duplicate plug-ins or content that can be consolidated,” says Colosetti. “It’s important to take control of who has access to your site and only allow certain functionalities that are relevant to their job.”

The best bet is to hire one company or assign one person to manage your WordPress as a safe alternative to adding a variety of different users. That way, one person can manage tasks, continue doing consistent work and if mistakes are made, they will know how to fix it rather than attempting to figure out someone else’s errors.

Worth the Commitment

Committing to site security is a worthwhile investment for any company that values its information as a key asset to the success of the business. If you ensure your site is safe by following these important measures and work with someone who knows how to create and maintain a safe site, your risk of being hacked will be reduced. Keeping your site updated and secure takes a simple commitment, but makes a monumental difference.

If you haven’t updated your site in a while and you’re unsure of next steps and how to properly maintain your WordPress website, Creative Mischief can help keep your site stay safe, up-to-date and ready for action.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, email us today or give Chris a call at 404-477-6300 x204.