Are you new to WordPress and want to know how secure is WordPress?
Recently you came to know about WordPress and wanted to know all about WordPress and how secure it is?
WordPress is one of the most sought-after open source CMS right now. It powers 60 million websites at this point and hosts hundreds of thousands of plugins. It’s easy to use and offers constant support from team members as well as volunteers from all over the globe. But the popularity has a side-effect. It attracts attention from hackers who break into people’s websites to make use of resources for their own shady purpose.
You’d think that a popular platform of such magnitude will be safe but several events in the past speak otherwise. Hacked or compromised websites run the risk of getting blacklisted by search engines like Google. And when that happens, you’ll experience a sharp fall in your ranking and traffic. And the most important of all, your very reputation will be soiled. It’s scary, isn’t it? These possibilities often lead people to ask whether WordPress is a secure platform for building your website? Let’s find out.
First off, we’ll go right ahead and ask you this – What do you understand by the term ‘security’? In the words of WordPress, “security is not an absolute.” Meaning, nothing is completely secure or nothing is 100% secure. There will always be a risk of a security breach. That’s just how the technology works – it’s complicated.
(picture courtesy: wordfence)
One reason so many people tend to gravitate towards building sites on WordPress is the plugins. There are many essential WordPress plugins that can help a website to shine and rank on the internet. Themes and plugins help create aesthetically appealing and feature-rich websites. At the same time, vulnerabilities in themes/plugins are now recognized as a major cause of the website hacks.
Evidently, WordPress works in a challenging ecosystem. We always suggest our readers be as vigilant as possible because the security of your website is a collaborative effort. Being one step ahead and using tools like WordPress malware removal and site backup services can come handy if something happens to your site.
So what does security in WordPress mean? What are the things it involves? What is your website security dependant on? It involves (but isn’t limited to) the following three factors:
- First off, it’s the people behind WordPress and its ecosystem (which involves developers of the plugin as well as website owners).
- Second, comes the finance/budget. The money that can be invested in making the platform and its ecosystem better and safer.
- The third factor is time. Developing software takes time which is more often than not directly related to the budget.
#1 People Behind WordPress Sites
WordPress goes to a great length to make sure any vulnerabilities that can compromise the security of a site is detected as soon as possible. So that they can come up deploy a patch and fix the issue. Compared to the magnitude of people using WordPress, the company has a small team. But that again is all the people they need.
WordPress is very community-oriented with numerous volunteers helping to keep the platform accessible and safe. They have a really good responsible disclosure space where users are encouraged to find vulnerabilities and report them. Then there is the good ol’ bug bounty program that offers rewards to whoever detects security threats. And then reports it to Team WordPress in a responsible manner.
Developers of Themes & Plugins
There is a seemingly endless supply of plugins within as well as without the WordPress plugin repository. And every single one of them promising that they’ll make your website better, help draw traffic, and retain them. Themes and plugins can be created for any number of reasons. Many themes and plugins are created as side projects. There may have been a need for the product or someone might have created a plugin for personal use and then decided to release it for public benefit. But once developed and launched, themes/plugins need to be maintained and upgraded to match the technology of WordPress (which is often updated and upgraded). Developers who have a fulltime job that helps run their household, may not be able to devote the time needed for maintaining complicated plugins.
You must have come across extremely popular free themes and plugins that have been downloaded over a million times. It’s quite clear that they have a large user-base. And you’d be surprised to know that some of these plugins are being maintained by one or two people. They don’t have the funds required to grow their team or fetch resources.
At other times developers don’t have the understanding warranted for security issues in a plugin. Using plugins that are not being well maintained poses a security threat to a WordPress site.
One Who Builds the Website
When you think about creating a website quickly and without investing too much money, WordPress is frankly considered as the best option in the market. WordPress has made creating a website easy for people without any technical background and hence it’s popularity. But for people who are aware of the technical know-how are likely to create a website that will be at a lower risk for a security breach. They are more capable of predicting as well as handling security threats. It’s because they are aware of the signs that they need to look out for.
#2 Money Spent On Creating or Maintaining a WP Site
WordPress was launched back in 2003. Since then it has become so popular that WP is the first thing likely to come to your mind when you think of creating websites or blogging (after/along with BlogSpot). WordPress now is a large company with offices all over the globe. They employee the best minds in the business and people are eager to work for them. They are being funded well by very large companies and therefore have all the resources they need to keep pushing forward.
If you dig a little about WordPress on the internet, you’d know that the platform is very community-driven. Alongside the employees, there are a large number of volunteers from around the world ensuring that the quality of the platform is top-notch.
Developers of Themes & Plugins
Like we mentioned before, there is an endless supply of plugins and themes. So much so that the scenario has now become very competitive. The general attraction of using WordPress is that it’s free and easy to use. Most popular themes and plugins come free of cost and some offer options for a service upgrade by becoming a paid user. It’s natural that people tend to steer towards free plugins and themes.
Often these free products have little to no management because a lot of times free theme/plugins are built as a side project. With no proper plan or funding, developers are not able to devote the time and resources warranted to maintain the plugin or theme. This affects the quality and leads to problems that pose security threats to your WordPress site.
One Who Builds the Website
Creating user-friendly websites has never been easier. Whether you are interested in blogging or starting a business, a website will propel you to success. Today you can build an attractive site with as little as a few hundred dollars. You can make use of cheap hostings like shared hosting and free plugins and themes. And behold! A perfectly manageable and accessible website. But how secure is WordPress and the websites on it?
While we know that price is not always related to quality, but the amount of effort is often correlated to the budget. And there are situations where quality suffers.
#3 Time Spent On Creating or Maintaining a WordPress Site
It’s been over a decade since WordPress was launched. They have come a long way and have been successful in becoming the world’s most preferred CMS. WP has evolved and is constantly working to make the platform better and keep the websites built on the platform secured. To achieve this, they go through a planned process for updates and the release of new versions. They also offer reviews and beta releases that can span for months.
Team WordPress is spending all its time on improving technology, fixing errors, and providing support to website owners. They have the funds required to fetch the necessary time and resources.
Developers of Themes & Plugins
With the seemingly endless supply of plugins and themes, developers have to find footing in a very competitive market. One of the ways to stay a step ahead in this market is by offering feature-rich plugins and themes. That too within a short amount of time. This race to stay ahead comes at the cost of quality. Many themes/plugins don’t get the mandatory security audits that widely used plugins or themes deserve. Therefore, the time necessary to dedicate to a product is cut short in a bid to stay in the business or to stay ahead of the competitor. Amongst this frenzy, security suffers and your WordPress site using such a plugin or theme is left vulnerable.
One Who Builds the Website
We already explained how the budget dictates the time we can offer to build a secure website. The more time a website owner invests in creating and maintaining a website helps in determining the quality of the site. When a WordPress site is created quickly, it’s likely to skip a number of steps that could detect existing or the possibility of problems. If you assign someone to create a website within a limited period of time with limited resources, the site won’t undergo some of the procedures that could save your site when disaster strikes.
Although WordPress is the world’s preferred platform to develop fully functional and dynamic websites, it can’t promise you complete security. Security is a combined effort between WordPress, it’s an ecosystem and the site owners.
How to Secure your WordPress website?
There are many ways to secure your WordPress website and be safe from hackers. And I will try to share all things that will make your WordPress website hacker-proof.
Use an SSL certificate:
Although, getting an SSL certificate is compulsory for all the websites. But If you are planning to get your Website on WordPress then Go for the standard or the pro SSL certificates. The SSL certificates make sure that your passwords and database is secure. And even for getting an SSL, you have the advantage of having the penalty from the SSL providers. You can also use the free SSL certificate from the Cloudflare which is almost as safe as the paid ones but with the paid ones you have the advantage of getting the penalty from the SSL certificate providers.
Always Backup your Website:
Having a backup of your website is really a good thing in all situations. Being Blogger or WordPress, you must be knowing that WordPress website updated often. And taking the backup of your whole websites can be risk-free. You can either backup your website using the cPanel or using any of the Plugins.
There are plenty of free plugins as well as paid plugins which can help you to backup your website on a weekly or daily basis. Some of the plugins which I will recommend are Backup Buddy, Updraft Plus, and Ready!backup. You can use them according to your requirements.
Do not use Wp-Admin as the login page
When it comes to how secure is WordPress then this the first thing that every WordPress user does. By default login page for the WordPress dashboard is Wp-Admin, so while installing you can change the name of the login page. Make sure that the name of the login page must not be your name or the name of the website, choose an alternate name.
Limit the login attempts on your WordPress:
Many of the hosting Provider provide some preinstalled plugins which help in maintaining better security. Even if your hosting provider does not provide this plugin then you can download this amazing plugin named Limit Login Attempts, by doing this you will be notified by the email if someone attempts to hack your WordPress website and instantly you can delete the account of that person and even change your password.
Do not use Admin as Login username
By default, admin can be your login username but instead of using that, I will suggest you use your personal name or some other name.
Your password should be difficult:
Easy To hack
Little Hard To Hack
Very hard To Hack
Besides the above-mentioned tips, you can also check my post about the WordPress practices which can save your website from being hacked.
At the End How secure is WordPress?
Tell us what problems you are facing with the security of your WordPress site. Or simply jump in, in the comment section if you have something to add to the discussion.
And I must tell you that WordPress is used worldwide by millions of people and there are chances that your WordPress website can be hacked but taking the above precautions can help you make your website safe. So, I will not say that WordPress is not safe to use but it depends on how familiar you are with the platform. Well, according to me WordPress is safe to use.