Is WordPress secure?

2 minutes read / Web design

When it comes to uploading content to your website, you have two options. If you’re a bit of a tech whizz and have built your site from the ground up, you can upload content directly using its code.

However, even if you know how, adding content to your site this way can be long and cumbersome. The alternative is to use a content management system to help streamline the process and make uploading a breeze.

While there are many different options out there, by far the most popular is WordPress. Used by over 70 million sites on the web, it’s become the go to content management system for news websites, avid cat bloggers and everything in between.

Using a third party system to manage and upload your content may worry some people, especially if they are not familiar with it. So, just how secure is WordPress?

Automatic updates

Like most things on the internet these days, WordPress needs updating now and again. While some updates bring exciting new features, nearly all updates come with security developments to fix any vulnerabilities the system may face.

Fortunately, many of the smaller WordPress updates are designed to happen automatically, meaning that as long you haven’t turned your automatic updates off, your site will update by itself – to ensure it’s up to date against any malicious threats.

If you’ve turned automatic updates off, or just want to check they are definitely on, you can find them under the settings, or the updates menu on your WordPress site. If they’re turned off, we recommend turning them on to better protect your website.

Staying up to date

However, some updates are bigger than others, meaning they won’t always happen automatically. It may be tempting to close a pop-up box prompting you to update WordPress when you’re in the middle of uploading some juicy content, but it’s best practice to simply take the extra 5 minutes to allow the update and protect yourself from any emerging vulnerabilities.

WordPress actively publishes stats relating to the site, one of which is how many people are using different versions of it. At the time of writing, only 66.3% of users are using the most recent version of WordPress – meaning 34% of users are running sites with outdated versions of the system.


Plug into your plugins

One of the perks of WordPress as a content management system is that it allows you to experiment and use a multitude of plugins to enhance your website. Some allow you to change the style and theme of your website, while others allow you to make contact forms quickly and easily.

While it’s worthwhile to check out the plugins on offer, you can very soon end up downloading many of them that you then quickly will no longer need or use.

This is a big no no from a security perspective, as it leaves you with many different potential places of attack from hackers and malicious software. A survey from WordFence found that nearly 60% of WordPress users who had been hacked were due to an outdated plugin or theme. And remember that Panama Paper data breach back in 2016? Well, it turns out all that data was stolen due to an outdated plugin on the Mossack Fonseca site.

When it comes to plugins, it’s best to only use those you really need to, and like WordPress itself, keep them up to date.

Security works both ways

Have you noticed a theme yet? All the dangers associated with using WordPress mentioned in this blog come from a lack of proper usage by the user, not by any issues with the platform itself.

WordPress isn’t perfect, but no content management system is. There will be security issues, but these are typically found and corrected quickly through updates. But these updates can only benefit users if they actively have them installed, and the same applies to plugins.

Security is, therefore, a two-way street. WordPress ensures it stays on top of security issues, but its users need to make sure they stay on top too by installing all new updates as they come through.

Need help designing your very own website with WordPress? No matter the type of site, our team is on hand to help you make a website your customers will love. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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