How To Secure Your WordPress Website
When it involves the number of plugins you’ve got installed on your WordPress website, less is certainly more.
Although installing dozens of cool WordPress plugins may sound tempting, attempt to resist. Too many plugins can actually cause a breach in your website’s security, leaving you entirely exposed.
This ranges from your website crashing to slow website loading times, even PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) malware attacks, which we’ll delve into a touch later.
This isn’t to mention that popular plugins aren’t worth your while (Yoast and WooCommerce rightly deserve their popularity, for example), it just means being more discerning about which of them you really plan to install.
That’s why we’re here, to offer you a general overview that helps you work out which of them are reliable and which of them you ought to skip.
Some Secure WordPress Plugins
The beauty of WordPress, and its overwhelming success in powering on the brink of 40% of internet sites on the web, lies in its free, open-source platform.
This means that any user, located anywhere, can create their own code and upload their customized plugin to the ever-expanding WordPress library.
However, this “by-the-people” approach means thousands of WordPress plugins (and yes, to some extent WordPress themes) get created during a very short amount of your time, often without browsing rigorous quality checks.
These easy extensions often seem attractive, especially for those checking out a cool or useful feature that’s yet to be created.
And because these plugin source codes are public within the WordPress library, and written in PHP, an easy coding language, this suggests that anyone can read it and modify the code locally once they’ve downloaded it for his or her respective website.
Because plugin developers don’t always keep their code up so far, this will sometimes leave unintentional security holes. So, theoretically, it’s possible that somebody can add plugins to the WordPress library with malicious code.
In other words, a hacker can look around a plugin’s code, find those unintentional security holes, and insert their own code snippet that abuses a person’s website. While this rarely happens, it can happen.
Can WordPress plugins be dangerous?.
Try imagining your WordPress website is that the same as your trusted smartphone. You wouldn’t just install any application on there, would you?
The same goes for any WordPress plugin that seems too good to be true. Although you would possibly not know immediately which of them are safe to use, be happy to cross-reference them with our handy list of dangerous plugins.
Although we can’t assist you to avoid all the bad apples within WordPress plugins, we will assist you to be more selective. Before downloading any plugin, ask yourself the subsequent questions:
- How many installations does this plugin have?
- Are people giving it good reviews?
- Is it updated regularly?
- Was it tested with the newest version of WordPress?
- Are the support questions answered in a timely fashion?
- Can you avoid employing a plugin by adding your own code snippet on the website that covers plugin functionality?
Just as it’s up to each plugin developer to manage and maintain their respective plugin, it’s up to you because the WordPress website owner to try to do your due diligence before installing.
What is PHP malware?
As mentioned before, PHP may be a server-side programing language. (And it with great care happens that much of WordPress runs on PHP.) Because new PHP code versions get released every few months, having an outdated version means you’re opening yourself up to a possible malware attack.
Need one more reason to update? Updating helps you to comb out bad plugins that aren’t compatible with the newest PHP version.
If your respective plugin isn’t compatible with the newest version, it can simply crash your website and make it unavailable to your visitors.
In other words, by staying au courant the newest PHP updates, you’ll still keep your WordPress website secure.
WordPress themes, in essence, alter your website or blog’s visual appearance, whereas WordPress plugins alter what it can do.
For all intents and purposes, though, WordPress themes are very almost like WordPress plugins.
Both allow anyone to make their own theme code and lots of of the custom “free” themes have base64 encoding, which could hide malicious code.
This is, unfortunately, just differently for hackers to realize access to your website files and upload malware.
However, WordPress themes differ from WordPress plugins during a few ways:
- Theme creation is usually more complicated than plugin creation
- Users can install several themes but just one theme are often activated directly
- Themes are usually lighter in terms of storage needed than plugins
To ensure you’re running only safe themes, you ought to only download or purchase themes from reputable theme shops or from the WordPress theme directory. Choosing free themes from random websites may be a recipe for disaster.
Curious about the way to choose a WordPress theme for your website? Jackie Dana breaks it down nicely.
Secure Your WordPress Website
Now is pretty much as good of a time as any to try and doa fast inventory of your WordPress plugins.
- Do you have too many?
- Do you have ones you’ve never used?
- Do you have ones you’ve only used once or twice?
If you’ve got outdated plugins (meaning ones you never use), this is often a welcome sign for hackers.
If you haven’t disabled directory browsing for your wp-plugins folder, some simple sniffing around lets these would-be hackers find source files of your old disabled plugin, only to insert malicious script and let it work its high to your core files.
Keep in mind that plugins also can majorly hamper your website. In fact, for every plugin you increase your website, the more code is added to the online browser to process.
Sometimes it’s thanks to badly-coded plugins or that they’re not compatible together with your current setup. regardless of the reason, having too many plugins will make your website take longer to load.
So remember, less is more! Now going forward, don’t forget to require attention of the following:
- Only install plugins you really need (for Namecheap Shared Hosting customers, we recommend 3-5)
- Only install reliable plugins
- Always update to the newest versions (this means PHP, too!)
- Always update WordPress core
Given that outdated plugins are one of the leading causes of cyberattacks, confirm to line up automatic updates to avoid any breaches in code. Our plugin pick? Easy Updates Manager.
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Also Read: How To Fix Your Website’s Insecure Content
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