Unfortunately, in this day and age of technology, running a website isn’t just about making it look good or having all the right content.
These things are important, of course, but an often overlooked aspect of website ownership is website security.
Why is website security important?
Maintaining website security is important to keep hackers from stealing sensitive information or installing malware, software that can harm your computer or servers. These viruses can even target visitors that come to your site which can cause your organization to lose its reputability and online traffic.
To put it simply—a hacked website is bad news for everyone! So, below, we’ve compiled a few helpful tips and tricks to keep your website secure and safe from hackers and cyber attacks.
Update your WordPress Version
WordPress regularly releases software updates that improve website security and performance and help better protect your site from cyber threats.
However, to take advantage of these updates, you have to stay aware of update releases and manually install them. If you have an administrative account, you can login to your WordPress site and view the menu. Under Dashboard – > Updates you should be able to view the latest WordPress version.
Keeping the plugins and themes used on your site up-to-date will also help with web security.
Keep in mind, if an update goes wrong, it could break your site. That’s why it’s best to have a recent backup of your website before completing any updates.
Here at Yemba Digital, we provide maintenance packages for the churches and nonprofits we serve. This maintenance includes frequent backups of your website as well as completing important updates like these on your behalf. We have the technical expertise to know when an update is ready to go or when one may cause an issue. Rather than clicking the button and hoping for the best, you can rest easy knowing that your site is in good hands!
Install an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is an electronic document that verifies your website’s identity and encrypts any data transferred from your site to web visitors. This makes it more difficult for hackers to steal any sensitive information.
The easiest way to get your SSL certificate is through your website hosting provider. They can also help you install it to your website.
Bonus: Installing an SSL certificate can boost your SEO rankings!
Remove Unused Plugins
In addition to simply cluttering your WordPress dashboard, keeping unused plugins and themes can have negative effects on your website.
Unfortunately, the more plugins and themes you install, the more openings there are for security threats. (That’s why it’s also important to use reliable themes and plugins from reputable sources.) If you have any on your website that you aren’t currently using, it’s quick and easy to uninstall and delete them. Better safe than sorry!
Buy Secure Site Hosting
One of the easiest ways to keep your WordPress site secure is by choosing a secure website hosting provider. A secure hosting provider will run frequent backups of your site, protect their servers, and undertake other maintenance to keep your site secure and performing well.
If your church or nonprofit is looking for secure website hosting, you’ve come to the right place! Reach out to our team today. We would love the opportunity to serve you.
Use Strong Passwords
Your childhood pet’s name just isn’t cutting it anymore. One of the best ways to keep your website secure and safe from hackers is to use strong passwords. The stronger the password, the less likely that a hacker can gain access to your website.
We recommend using a ‘passphrase.’ This just means that your password will contain whole words. This makes it both easier to remember and longer. Remember, the longer the password, the better!
Use Secure Password Storage
The best way to remember these long, complex passwords is actually not having to remember them at all. A password manager stores all of your passwords securely so you don’t have to worry about memorizing them. This gives you the freedom to use strong, unique passwords (plus a different password for every account) without the stress of forgetting them all.
There are plenty of password storage systems to choose from. Two options to consider are LastPass and Bitwarden. Both of these options offer a free plan for personal users, so you can test it out before fully committing.
Change Your Username
Just like with passwords, the more unique your username, the less likely it is to be targeted by website hackers. Usually, the default username for a WordPress site is ‘Admin.’
Because this is such a typical username, hackers are likely to use this address when attempting to break into your website. Remembering to change your username and make it something more unique can reduce the chances of a hacker guessing the right username and password combination.
Install Security Plugins
One of the best features about WordPress is the plugins you can use to customize your site (many of which can be free!) Not only can you use them to make your website look pretty, but some are directed at improving site security.
These plugins scan your site to detect vulnerabilities and potential cyber threats. They can let you know if anything seems wrong. The exact security measures provided will depend on the plugin you choose.
Our team recommends the WordFence plugin. This plugin is initially free, but you can pay for the premium version that includes extra security features. We also enjoy using the SiteGround Security plugin which is free for all WordPress users. Both of these plugins are great options, but only use one at a time to avoid slowing down your website.
Keeping your WordPress site secure is no easy task. It requires time and effort. You have to work hard to prevent any security threats, but also know how to address them if something slips through the cracks.
Here at Yemba Digital, we work hard for our churches and nonprofits so that they don’t have to. If you’re looking for the best way to keep your WordPress site secure, get in touch with our team to discuss our website maintenance packages.
From hosting to maintenance to security, we handle it all. Your site is in good hands.
Looking to secure your website?
We can’t wait to talk about your project.
Let’s set up a call.