Welcome to the lesson on protecting your WordPress blog. In this lesson, I'll discuss why it's important that you properly secure your blog.
As a WordPress user, I can't stress enough how important it is that you take the proper precautions to protect your blog from hackers. After having my website hacked and blacklisted by Google, I had to learn the hard way the importance of keeping my site secure.
Part 1: Keep Your WordPress Installation, Theme and Plugins Updated
It's important that you keep your WordPress installation, theme, and plugins up to date. Updates typically include features to improve performance, and security patches to keep hackers out of your blog.
To check if your blog is up to date, in your WordPress dashboard, click on Updates. You will then see a list of all of the items that need to be updated. You'll also have the option to update with a single click.
Part 2: Make Sure Your Password is Secure
If your password is something simple like "happy321," change it now because there is a good chance hackers will gain access your blog.
People are no longer sitting at a computer trying to guess passwords. Hackers are using a hacking method called "Brute Force Hacking." With this method, hackers use software that tries different username and password combinations until they have accessed your blog.
Use a long password that includes letters, numbers, and special characters. Having a secure password will help prevent your blog from being hacked.
You can use the HostGator Password Generator to generate your secure password.
Part 3: Install A Security Plugin
Another way to help keep your blog secure is by using a security plugin. A popular security plugin among bloggers is the iThemes Security plugin.
The iThemes Security plugin adds an extra layer of protection to help secure and protect your WordPress blog.
The iThemes Security plugin gives you the option to upgrade to iThemes Security Pro (starting at $80 per year); however, the free version works very well. Upgrading is only necessary if you want to take advantage of the additional features offered.
Part 4: Backup Your Blog Regularly
At the end of the day, no matter how many precautions you take, there is no way to make your blog 100% hacker proof. As you have probably noticed, some of the biggest websites in the world have been hacked.
You should always have a recent backup of your WordPress blog available. Your web host may keep regular backups of your blog; however, you don't want to rely on your host for your backups.
I use the BackUpWordPress plugin to schedule backups for my WordPress site. Since I update my website often, I run a full backup once a week. If you update your blog less often, you could schedule your backup for once every two weeks.
The BackUpWordPress plugin is easy to use and gives me the peace of mind of knowing that if something ever goes wrong with my blog, I have a saved copy ready to install.