You have a great site, you are ready to go. You are starting to advertise, blog, and hopefully your site starts to bring you in new business. But have you considered what happens if your site gets hacked?

“I’ll deal with that when it happens. It probably won’t happen to me.”

Don’t make this mistake. I see hacked sites all the time. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. All sites can become a victim. Don’t think because your site is small with little traffic that it won’t get hacked. It could happen to you, and most likely will if you don’t secure your site. Cleaning up a hacked site takes much longer than preventing a site from being hacked in the first place.

The number one offense is a good defense. This is true when it comes to WordPress. The key ingredients to a secure WordPress site are:

  1. Strong passwords: Don’t use your dog’s name. Don’t use your kids’ name. Don’t use any words you recognize. A bad password is ‘jane062165.‘ A good password is ‘Ydk2gB5KME8DZKf&Bv^f‘. Here’s a good video about passwords from Jonathan Mann of Gravity View. (FYI – I love all his videos.)
  2. Updated Software: WordPress has updates frequently. Between WordPress and plugins, it’s possible that there are available updates daily. Outdated software is one of the biggest vulnerabilities in WordPress.
  3. Don’t use ‘admin’ as your username. If you are using it, go change it right now. Stop reading, go change it, and come back. I’ll wait.

There’s a lot that can be done to secure your site, but the first step is to develop a plan.

DEVELOP A PLAN

Know who is going to do your updates. Don’t just assume it’s being done. Ask. Do you have multiple people managing your site? Have you talked about what to do if you see an available update? Is it just you? When are you planning to do updates? You have to plan ahead. Know when you are going to login, and check for updates. If you don’t plan to do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. (Note, we do that.)

If you don’t want to do it yourself, find someone to do it for you. Whatever you choose, have a plan for how you are going to keep your site secure. You’ll be glad you do.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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