WordPress security and WordPress performance are two main topics that bother Web-Site owners every day. Everyone wants a fast and secure Web-Site which would require as little care as possible. For some unknown reason, a lot of Client thinks that safety and speed are two incompatible things. However, we would like to we want to prove that this is a misconception. In the real world, attempting to make the Web-Site safer also has a positive effect on its speed. So, let’s take a look at the steps you can take to enhance WordPress security while speeding it up noticeably.
There are thousands of various free WordPress plugins available on the WordPress plugin repository; moreover, there are thousands of premium WordPress plugins available across multiple code markets like Envato and similar. Indeed, the choice is extremely large and tempting, but are you really not using more plugins than you really require? Yes, plugins solve many problems, offers more features and functionality for your Web-Site, but there is also a dark side. Each plugin Employs one or another resource of your Web-Site’s server, which affects the speed of your Web-Site and hurts the Client experience. This is just one dark side, the other lies in the potential vulnerability in the code that relates to such programs. You cannot be sure of the security of the source code. Nobody can guarantee that there will be no security issues in the current or future versions of the plugin. So why keep more plugins than it is really required?
We highly recommend checking plugins installed on the Web-Site and try to reduce their number. First of all, if there are plugins that are only installed but not activated, then delete those plugins you no longer require. Now check out your active WordPress plugins if they offer the same functions and capabilities, maybe there are plugins that you can remove and employ other active plugins to cover those functions. However, there are countless small plugins that are designed to offer a straightforward function. For instance, there is one that disables the Emoji script integrated into the WordPress core design or those plugins that redirect HTTP to HTTPS. It’s not a good idea to solve simple tasks with plugins, especially if there are a lot of solutions to how you can reach the same results by merely altering files like .htaccess, wp-config.php, functions.php (WordPress theme file) and more. Get rid of the plugins who’s offered functions can be changed only by several lines of code.
A straightforward method for identifying plug-ins that may pose a risk to WordPress security or cause speed and compatibility issues in the future is the latest version release date. If the plugin has not been updated for several years and there are many unresolved issues in the support forum, there is a chance that this plugin is abandoned. In this case, it would be better to replace the potentially hazardous plugin in the other one that is actively developed and maintained. From practice, we can say that many abandoned plugins may have compatibility issues with the latest PHP versions that are very actively implemented by hosting companies.
In the end, check if none of your plugins are identified as vulnerable. Plugin vulnerabilities are one of the significant WordPress security issues, so knowing if you are using a hazardous plugin is very important. Remember that each plugin that you delete will reduce the security risks and will speed up your Web-Site.
We talked a lot about un-employed and un-important plugins, but the same applies to themes. If you have un-employed themes in your WordPress install, please delete them. If you ask why then the answer is simple– Google Dorking. Sometimes WordPress themes can also be vulnerable. If Cyber-Criminals can detect a Web-Site that contains a vulnerable template through Google’s search with a specific search query it will definitely exploit the theme vulnerability. Delete un-employed themes (be careful, make sure you’re not deleting parent theme that is employed by child theme). A small reminder, avoid templates and plugins that you do not know or have downloaded from untrusted sources or torrent networks.
I guess you have to think twice before making up your mind whether or not you require client registration functionality. If your answer is “No”, then you should avoid this function at all costs. This allows preventing the risks related to privilege escalation vulnerabilities and will require fewer resources from various archives employed by WordPress, which will respond positively to the Web-Site’s speed. Undoubtedly, if you require Client registration feature, you do not have to abandon it, but be sure to assess all the risks and take the required security measures, including protecting the personal archive of those Clients.
Update, update once more and always upgrade to the latest available program versions. You have to keep your WordPress, its plugins and themes up to date, this is the only way to get the safest and cleanest code of your program. Well maintained and developed plugins, themes and other programs that are up to date will work better, faster and of course it will be more secure. The same applies to server programs. If you have fully managed to host make sure to select the latest version of PHP that is available, and if you’re running an unmanaged server don’t forget to install all the latest patches especially ones related to the security. One should not forget that PHP 7 has spontaneous and safe performance as compared to PHP 5 versions. Also, you have to remember that PHP 5 will not be updated and maintained anymore, so it’s time to migrate to the latest PHP version as soon as possible.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) or Web Application Firewall (WAF) should be on your must-have list. In both cases, you have better DoS/DDoS resilience with better speed figures at the time of the Cyber- infiltration. If the DoS/DDoSCyber- infiltration is not significant, then most of your Clients will not notice any speed drop. The perfect tools to enhance WordPress security and its speed.
Your main task is straightforward – reduce the number of programs employed, get rid of un-employed files and program, discard un-important features, always employ only the latest version of those programs, and don’t forget to deploy advanced tools to help protect and speed up your Web-Site. By the way, don’t forget to back up your WordPress files and list of archives before making any changes; it could save you a lot of time in case of emergency. We hope you succeed in achieving excellent results in optimizing your Web-Site, write to us in comments or on our social networking accounts what results you have achieved. Good luck!
Quite often we hear about the repeated security incidents related to WordPress Websites. This is not something specific to WordPress Websites; it’s more about Website maintenance and security management. Most repeated Web-Site Infiltration occurs due to the unprofessional restore of Websites after previous incidents when the consequences are fixed, but not the causes. In the end, it is all the accurate security repairs is highly based on close attention to minor details.
There are a lot of standard procedures and tasks required for proper Compromised WordPress Website repair. But sometimes people miss some crucial steps, and everything later goes wrong. If you want to repair your Compromised Website on your own, we recommend you to read this post. Also, don’t forget to make backups periodically to have a copy of your Website files and list of archives; it is crucial if you don’t want to lose all your archives. Of course, make sure your computer is up to date and secured by any reliable security programs.
Passwords are the front line of your Website’s security. It is critically important to employ strong passwords for all your accounts. But if your Website gets compromised, then you should change all the passwords that are somehow related to your Website. Any of these passwords might be compromised and pose a real threat to your Website even after complete repair. Here are the most critical passwords that you really have to change:
- Password for WordPress list of archives.
- FTP account password.
- WordPress Clients with the administrator and similar roles.
- Hosting account password.
Always check these files carefully. These files are critical in the perspective of your Website security. These files could contain infected archives added by Cyber-Criminals. For example .htpasswd could be modified and hold the access login credentials generated by Cyber-Criminals. In this case, your .htpasswd security will be compromised.
The same principles apply to .htaccess files. The Cyber-Criminals could make various exceptions and add specific rules to ensure he still has access to the Website files.
The most common reason for repeated (and successful) Website Infiltrations even after an accurate repair is the Multiple Website hosting. Let’s take an example. You have a hosting plan that allows you to host more than one Web-Site and let’s assume that you have five Web-Sites running on this hosting plan. One day you noticed that one of your Web-Site got compromised. You made the repair, cleaned up all the files and even made the hardening of this Web-Site by eliminating the weak part that was employed to infiltrate your web-sites protection barrier. Later you noticed that the same Web-Site or another one from your account is compromised.
Well, that’s because all Web-Sites on the same hosting account share the same file space, they are not isolated from each other. The Cyber-Criminals try hard to gain access to all of your Web-Sites once he has access to one of them. He can place backdoor to any Website to access the server anytime he wants to. So it’s critically important to check the security of all Websites on the Multiple Website hosting account even if even only one is compromised.
One of the biggest mistakes that one does while restoring their Website is they employ insecure programs. There are a lot of security breaches caused by vulnerable or nulled WordPress plugins and themes. Any WordPress plugin or theme downloaded from torrents, or other unreliable sources could endanger your WordPress Website.
We highly recommend you to employ only reliable program downloaded straight from the WordPress theme or plugin repository, Websites developers and well known online catalogs like Code Canyon or similar. As saving a few dollars could bring you a massive headache; you can lose more money due to a security incident. Remember, there are thousands of free WordPress plugins and themes that you can safely employ. And don’t forget to update your programs on a regular basis.
Restoring your Website from the last back up archive could be a bad idea. If your latest WordPress back up file was generated at the time when the Web-Site was already Compromised you’re going nowhere, restoring from such backup file is meaningless.
One has to make sure their backup archive is safe and at least generated from the Website before it was compromised. Server logs could help you to identify the date when the Website was compromised.
One has to be also very careful with their archive backup, as it may contain various injections like unknown clients with administrative rights and one has to carefully inspect the list of archives before making the repair of the Website.
Your Website could be compromised not just by your Website’s program vulnerabilities; it could be easily infiltrated by exploiting server program vulnerabilities or insecure configuration. Restoring your Website will not help to solve the problem. One has to carefully analyze the way how it was compromised and if they still have vulnerable server programs or insecure server configuration, then the Website can be compromised again and again. However, the possibility of such scenarios is very slim and it mostly happens on unmanaged systems that are left without any maintenance for a very long period of time. Normally, every hosting company keeps its server program up-to-date and they also put more focus on setting server settings to maintain optimum security measures.
Make sure all your WordPress plugins and themes are not vulnerable. You can check the status of your plugins and themes by using Threat-Press archives of WordPress vulnerabilities or by using our WordPress security plugin which makes automatic checks periodically. It will notify you as soon as it finds any outdated and vulnerable plugins or themes on your Website. Please, don’t forget to update your programs on time, as soon as possible.
A lot of teams and cyber-protection professionals provide information about recently discovered vulnerabilities to make the WordPress safer, so don’t miss this opportunity to secure your Web-Site.
Sometimes your Website could be marked as Infected due to the activity of suspicious program on your Compromised Website. Even after the Website repair, it can be labeled as infected. Hence, one has to notify their managers regarding these blacklists. More importantly, don’t let anyone know that your Website was compromised. Sometimes Cyber-attacks are made just to employ your Web-Site for black hat SEO spam and similar illegal activities. Also, don’t forget to employ Google Search Console or other similar tools provided by search engines to clean up results generated by indexing injected content. It will not make your Website safer, but it’s extremely important for proper Website repair after the Cyber-attack.
Finally, we would like to say that repairing the Website after the Cyber-attack is only part of the work. The main task is to keep it under constant surveillance and maintenance. Timely program updates, strong passwords and other simple security measures will help you to enhance the security of your WordPress Website.