Three Basic Steps to Protecting Your Site

Posted on March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

[message class=yellow-message ]Update March 12th, 2012: I recently discovered another plugin that is getting a lot of praise for WP security. It is called Better WP Security. You should check it out if you have not already, it fixes a lot of security weaknesses.[/message]

If you didn’t know, we were hacked last week, and our old site, theme, and database were pretty much wrecked. This happened for several reasons: we had a virus or malware that attacked our site, we had no site-backups ( due to many reasons ), and our database was infected.

Since then, we have implemented as many security measures as we possibly could for running a WordPress site. One being making back-ups on a routine basis. I never knew how many options were out there that do just that. I’d advise any WordPress website owners to do a couple free, easy-to-do things to save yourself the headache, the money, and unfortunately, the loss of income from having that downtime for your site. You cannot rely on web hosts to have your back-up files, as I learned the hard way. So the first thing you need to do is back-up routinely all of your files off-server. There are some great plugin options and cheap and easy ones to set up as well. Although I do not fully trust the security of the dropbox option, there is a dropbox plugin that is probably the simplest and easiest routine back-up option. There are other, more secure options as well such, as WordPress Move, which allows you to move your files directly to an FTP back-up server. Once you’re routinely saving your back-ups, that’s pretty much half the battle.

The other is having a good web host. If your host has no tech support by phone or does not include the words 24/7 tech support when you sign up, run for the hills. My experience this week led me to the conclusion that without a tech support team to rely on in a crisis, you’re not doing anything fast. I won’t recommend a particular host, but I personally chose to work with Media Temple for its 24/7 tech support service. They picked up the phone and worked with me hourly to get my new site back up and running. Light years better than the competition, but once again it’s too early for me to review this web host. What I am saying is find yourself a host that has a real tech support team behind it. After you have a good web host, what comes next? Running Norton or Avast or another security software on your own personal computer. This is to protect you from infecting your own server with malware you could accidentally get from just browsing.

These basic steps: 1) Having a good web host with tech support. 2) Having a database & file back-up solution 3) Running Internet security software on your desktop, will help reduce the potential for a nightmare reboot or restart from scratch as I was forced to do. Also, a fourth step: 4) Finding an antivirus scanner for your server. There are plugins for this as well.