How secure is WordPress for a small business website?

A website is only as secure as the effort put into making it secure. As a small business, you might face a trade-off between budget and security.

WordPress powers over a quarter of the web, and that makes it a big, obvious target. The biggest security issue for WordPress ends up being its own users.

So, how it all happens? The short version – People don’t update themes and plugins, do not check if free themes and plugins are safe and do not focus on using good password security and SSL encryption.

Let’s go deeper into the problem. It is important to analyze the WordPress ecosystem and address potential gateways to give a security analysis for WordPress.

WordPress has an expert security team at work to keep the CMS core secured. Most attacks do not happen through core vulnerabilities but through extension backdoors embedded in plugins and themes used on the website.

Extensions provide additional gateways to enter your site. The higher the number of plugins, the higher the number of potential backdoors for malicious actions. Many small business owners tend to use free plugins and themes in order to save on the budget side, but in reality, they will pay much more if attacked. Free plugins are developed by hobbyists who are doing it for fun and are concerned about being it operational but are not really worried about security which is not their main priority. On the other side, developers of paid plugins hire dedicated security teams to update the plugins regularly with the latest security measures.

All in all, WordPress is exactly as secure as you make it. Therefore, start by implementing the following steps:

  • Install a WordPress security plugin – every small step increases the security
  • Regularly update CMS – staying up to date
  • Regularly update plugins – developers implement latest security measures
  • Keep your local host environment secure
  • Use strong login credentials – don’t call your admin user “admin”
  • Make your password secure – use at least eight characters (numbers as well as letters), add some special characters to make it extra safe
  • Perform regular code backup and changes – rotate codes and use new ones to decrease the risk of a security breach
  • Perform regular malware scan – it might detect some hidden problem that you otherwise would never saw it coming
  • Hire an expert for all round security of your website – a professional would always focus on what needs to be done and not on where to save the budget
  • Never plan a small budget for security costs