The internet is often compared to the open range of the Old West. When first settling the western US, settlers found huge, uncultivated stretches of land with few natural barriers and divisions. Where a river or stream could help divide property lines in the East, the West saw sprawling grassland. This was fantastic for livestock to have endless sources of food. However, it forced their owners to let them wander wherever they pleased. They would brand the cattle so they could claim ownership, and they would send cowboys to round them up when they were needed for market or other reasons.
In the case of the world wide web, data relate most with the livestock. Especially in the early internet, data was out there for anyone to find. The brands of yesterday are the encryption of today. Hackers are the cattle thieves, taking livestock by force and looking past the brand. Also, like the internet, the end to the open range as they knew it was barbed wire. Barbed wire was a cheap and easy way to set clear boundaries and lock in the livestock. Today, data is much more secure thanks to certificates, verification, and other security methods.
With current software, how secure is WordPress these days? It is the leading content management system (CMS), trusted by millions of websites. But not everyone pays attention to what WordPress does to keep those sites safe. If you are one of the ones who is interested in learning more, use the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
How Safe is WordPress?
Here, we will be discussing WordPress security as a platform to manage your website’s content. Because of that, there will not be much focus on how users can beef up their security. I will be breaking down this topic as if you have freshly created a WordPress account and hit the ground running.
“Is my WordPress site secure?”
The truth is that WordPress itself is kept updated with ever-evolving security measures and software. A keyword to pay attention to is “updated.” This is because hacking methods and software are always getting better and adapting to current security protocols. To keep things safe, WordPress releases consistent updates to stay on their toes. Here’s a word of advice, though. These updates are not automatically applied to your site. You have to apply the update. WordPress does a great job of letting you know when an update is available. Follow their lead, and you will benefit from their efforts.
From an internal perspective, WordPress has a system that lets site administrators set appropriate permissions for other users. If your site requires multiple writers, editors, researchers, etc., you can feel a little nervous about them all having access to make changes to your site. Without security protocols, simple script changes can compromise your site and data. In WordPress, you can set appropriate permissions for your other users to ensure they only have access to their tasks.
Is WordPress Safe for Sensitive Information?
What if you are interested in eCommerce? What if you perform an on-site service, and visitors need to enter their addresses in your web form? You probably want to know how secure is WordPress for sensitive data. These situations give a whole new level to the question of, “how secure is my WordPress site?”
Accepting payments through your WordPress site absolutely needs a certain level of safety and privacy. WordPress’s role in this is to step back and let you and professionals take care of it. By itself, the CMS does not accommodate for eCommerce by default. Instead, it keeps the door open for you to find a plugin that you feel comfortable with. Some of the most popular ones, like WooCommerce, are trusted by thousands of people to keep payment information encrypted and secure.
This approach means that you have to be more involved. That means you are responsible for doing the legwork in acquiring a safe eCommerce plugin. This level of freedom can be intimidating, but it is also a form of control that can give you peace of mind.
Other sensitive information
Many people already do not feel safe online. They either have a few anti-malware programs, are always cautious online, or have resigned themselves to the reality that everything is monitored. Regardless, this gives many visitors pause before giving any information. You need to make sure their data is safe on your WordPress secure site.
How secure is WordPress for your visitors?
WordPress has a permission system that is designed to keep sensitive information safe and private. Without the right identifying information, this data is kept locked away in the platform. If someone tries to access this data without the right credentials, they are denied access. So every time a visitor fills out a form on your site, it will automatically have a certain level of safety.
What about WordPress Themes Security and Plugins?
When someone breaks into a WordPress site, it is likely due to one of three things: passwords, plugins, and themes. Hackers want to find the path of least resistance. If you keep WordPress updated and they cannot crack your password, they might look for outdated plugins or themes. There is a lot that goes into how your efforts can help protect your site. In terms of how this pertains to the security of WordPress itself, just make sure your plugins and themes are reliable, updated, and compatible.
WordPress also has multiple teams on staff that look into themes and plugins to make sure there are not any blatant security risks. Part of their jobs is to review any suspicious themes and plugins for malicious intent. Aside from that, they also check to see if the more popular themes and plugins remain compatible with each update. If they notice there is any kind of conflict, they reach out to the author of the product to alert them and help them apply an appropriate update as well.
WordPress Security and Hosting
Another option for hackers is with web hosting. Since your host stores your website on their servers, a hacker with access to those servers can get into your site. You need a reliable host with a reputation for taking security seriously. This automatically rules out any free hosting services. Not only can they be scams, but the best-case scenario is WordPress safe practices are not a concern for them. Let’s put it this way, if you are not paying, then you are not their customer. You and your website are the product for their advertisers and affiliates interested in your data.
To keep everything legitimate and safe, your best bet is to pay for your hosting. Even considering that, there are many options out there. Primarily, you want to make sure your host will provide fast speeds with no throttling. More importantly, your host should be able to supply you with the most uptime possible. Your site is not good if it is down. It is also important to stay realistic with your needs. There is no need to subscribe to a far more powerful hosting package than you need. One example is if you are expecting around 1,000 visitors per month, paying for a host to support up to 100,000 visitors will not give you any real benefits. All it will do for you is cost more.
Luckily, using WordPress helps by giving you access to managed WordPress hosting. Specifically managed hosting refers to a service that will help manage aspects of your hosted site so that you do not have to. In the case of WP Super Host, we maintain security and monitor for WordPress updates and plugin compatibility. The monitoring is thanks to us supplying WordPress hosting. We have built our system to effectively communicate and work with WordPress sites. This helps keep things running smoothly while not making your bill skyrocket. Also, it gives us the ability to offer a range of features included in our hosting packages.
Considering all options, the best host for WordPress security is WP Super Host. We have our team working diligently to keep the sites we host safe. We are also a managed WordPress host, so we will help you keep things secure with update and plugin monitoring. Take a look at the hosting packages from WP Super Host to learn more.
There are no guarantees when it comes to the internet. No matter how safe you try to be, you cannot control everything. In this regard, how secure is WordPress? Is WordPress safe enough for you and your visitors? Let me put it this way, WordPress is the most popular CMS for a reason. Part of that reason is that the platform offers appropriate security features to help keep your site safe. Plus, they allow you to use plugins that can help enhance security even further. So be vigilant, but you can stop fretting about whether or not your WordPress site is easily compromised.