Dean Wolf
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Is Your WordPress Installation at Risk? 3 Ways to Tell

It is common that you would sit back and breathe a sigh of relief when you finally launch or upgrade your WordPress website. However, unless you have taken care of providing your site with the best possible WordPress security, that sigh will often turn into one of dismay.

The Price of Popularity

As the world’s most popular website builder and platform, WordPress has millions of followers and fans. Precisely because it is so popular, WordPress is also a favorite target of hackers. These individuals and groups spend their time looking for known vulnerabilities in WordPress websites and this should make WordPress security a top priority for all website owners.

Fortunately, there are a number of practical steps you can take to ensure provide proper WordPress security for the most common problems. To properly address your site’s security issues, there are three areas where you can take proactive steps that will minimize your risks. Failing to do so means you are increasing your probability of being hacked by robot spiders. These three areas include:

  1. Not replacing standard defaults and parameters. As a free program, and with the availability of free themes and plugins, there are a number of standard defaults that are favorite and frequent targets of hackers. These include the log in page, the admin user setup and passwords, and URL parameters. If you have not reset these defaults with custom code, it is important to do so immediately. These are relatively simple fixes that add an important first line of defense against active hacking.
  2. Ignoring available updates. In the ongoing battle against hackers and malware, WordPress security is frequently updated to address security holes and problems. The world of hackers quickly communicates any newly discovered weaknesses, and it is vital to eliminate them with the updates WordPress and others will provide. This includes taking action with basic WordPress updates as well as for plugins, widgets and themes.
  3. Relying on a free theme and plugins. If your site is an important part of your business, it is generally a good idea to upgrade to a paid theme from a reputable vendor to provide a higher level of security. Likewise, any plugins you use should come from the WordPress Plugin directory and be current. Many free themes and plugins are actually used to place malware on your site and to provide easily exploitable security leaks. Plugins that are no longer actively developed are likely compromised from a security perspective. Take the time to select your theme and plugin vendors carefully and ensure your theme is properly installed. Once you have installed them, you should regularly check for updates for both the theme and all plugins and download them.

You shouldn’t be intimidated by the issue of security, nor should you allow yourself to be complacent about it. You can find reliable WordPress security firms to help with your security issues if you don’t have your own webmaster or IT resources. Of course, vet anyone you use carefully, as some hackers pose online as security experts just to get access to your site. You can often get solid referrals from your business contacts or your trusted online communities.

One important step for your WordPress security is to engage such a third-party resource to evaluate your site from a risk perspective. A qualified individual will look at all the items discussed above and a number of other areas. They know the common weaknesses and will quickly find any you might have. You can then implement any recommended changes and modifications.  If you want to TEST the level of security on your current WordPress website, visit for a free “Quick Scan”.

How to Pick a GREAT Hosting Company, Focused on WordPress.

WordPress has, in recent years, become a top choice among business owners for enhancing the effectiveness of their online presence. Opting for a managed WordPress account has also become quite popular, as businesses have realized the value of outsourcing their hosting services to experienced professionals. Knowing how to choose the best candidate to manage a WordPress account, however, is often a difficult task in the face of a mushrooming industry.

WordPress Web Hosting

Since there are a multitude of options available, it is well worth learning some criteria by which to identify a superior hosting service. Some of the most basic, but crucial, factors to look for include:

  • A company that has dedicated itself to WordPress alone. Being focused on one thing can help them excel.
  • A quick-response, 24/7 support team
  • Rapid WordPress deployment
  • A server that is focused on the website alone, and not cluttered with an email accounts
  • Quick restoration of back-ups, should they temporarily fail, and full visibility on how many back-ups are kept on file and how many days they will last
  • Top-tier malware scanning
  • Support for the latest versions of PHP and MySQL scripts
  • A content delivery network (CDN), which quickly optimizes your content based on geographic locations
  • The ability to provide you a full-orbed development area

The best WordPress Web hosts will offer you all of the above, and more. It is always possible to skimp, but the best policy to remember is: “You pay for what you get, so pay a bit more.” It is well worth paying a little extra to get fully reliable WordPress management.

WordPress Security

When you ask yourself what to look for in WordPress hosting, you should not think only of functionality. Without adequate security measures, all of your data could be stolen at the click of a button. Paradoxically, the more plugins and functions installed, the greater the danger of data theft, and yet, without functionality, there is no reason to have a WordPress account.

A good WordPress host will know how to minimize the risk of hacker attacks. While nothing online is ever 100% secure, professional hosting services have experienced personnel and advanced software and hardware that can maximally protect your data.

Some of the ways in which WordPress hosting can enhance your online security include:

  • Refraining from installing more plugins than needed and eliminating any you are not using or do not plan to use in the near future. There is no reason to give hackers extra targets to shoot at when you are not gaining any benefit from the risk.
  • Testing all plugins and other functions before actually using them. By investing in a staging website, you will be able to test coding and overall security before implementation.
  • Running security audits on all new WordPress customizations. If your customized content and tools change rapidly, however, you can schedule regular security audits every few months instead of doing it before implementing each adjustment.
  • Paying attention to the security importance of backup systems. If your backup system is on the same server, or worse yet the same Web directory, hackers could steal your information. This is because search engine directory indexing sometimes automatically exposes same-server backup files to public view.
  • Hire a proven company who can worry about security for you.


There is much to consider when selecting a WordPress Web hosting service, including the company’s expertise in WordPress functionality, security, and customer service. As the success of your business partly depends on making a wise Web-host choice, you should take the time to research each company and compare them based on the criteria above.  If you have questions, call us today!

5 Vital WordPress Security Facts

If it can happen to Target Corp. and the director of the CIA it can happen to you.

Hackers, it seems, are hiding everywhere. They’re in the shadows of the Internet, overseas in Russia and maybe even sitting in your local neighborhood coffee shop, sipping lattes and looking for vulnerabilities on websites far and wide.

Don’t let them get into yours.

Maximizing WordPress security is part art, part science and always important. Here’s a look at five vital WordPress security facts that just might help you make your site a lot more secure:

Fact One: Passwords are your first line of protection

One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve WordPress security is to improve your passwords. If you’re familiar with “newpassword1,” “newpassword2” and “newpassword3,” you’ve got a major problem.

Passwords are the first line of protection against people with nefarious intentions. Make sure your passwords are at least 10 characters long, include capital letters and special symbols–and change them often.

Fact Two: Updates are important

Yes, it gets annoying having to constantly install updates. Yes, it can be frightening to update your site and have to worry about breaking the theme. Yes, it’s easy to understand why some people think the seemingly constant barrage of WordPress updates is just a clever ploy to produce Google News search results. And yes, updates are important.

WordPress does not release updates just for fun or to make online headlines. The company releases them to fix bugs, improve website function and fix security issues. All are good reasons to make sure you make the most of them. If you don’t imagine how annoying it’s going to be to fix all the problems the hackers cause (which can include messing around with your theme).

Fact Three: Malware is malicious

This isn’t an earth-shaking fact; everyone knows that malware is malicious. But it is certainly worth repeating because it’s a good reminder that you need to constantly be monitoring your site for malware.

Work with a vendor that knows how to do deep dives into your file structure and doesn’t just focus on your site’s vulnerabilities. Keep a constant eye out for malware, and then when you find it make sure you do something about it. Monitoring for malware is the first in a two-step process. The second step is cleaning up the malware once you find it.

Fact Four: WordPress security is an ongoing effort

Your WordPress website is just like your kitchen–the cleaner it is, the better it’s going to be for everyone. When dishes are piled up in the kitchen it creates chaos and clutter, and it’s only a matter of time before something spills or breaks. The same is true for your WordPress website. The longer you let old themes and plugins that you are not using anymore sit around, the more susceptible your site is to security breaches. If you are serious about WordPress security, you’ll be serious about keeping your WordPress site squeaky clean.

Fact Five: WordPress security doesn’t have to be complicated

If the idea of focusing on WordPress security makes you uneasy, don’t worry because you are not alone. A lot of people who aren’t necessarily IT professionals are positively perplexed by website security. The good news is that protecting your WordPress website doesn’t have to be vexing.

All you need to do is stay vigilant, partner with the right professionals and make sure you pay attention to the five facts listed here. If you do, your website should remain safe and secure from all the ne’er-do-wells hiding in the shadows of the Internet.

Is it Really Critical to Upgrade WordPress? 5 Things You Need to Know

WordPress has quickly become a go-to choice for a self-hosted website content management system. Easy to install and simple to learn, while still enabling users to integrate the latest technologies of the Web through plugins, themes and customization, WordPress can be the perfect solution for many websites. However, once it is installed, it can be tempting for many website owners to simply leave it alone, ignoring prompts for upgrades. Unfortunately, the old adage of “If it’s isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” does not apply to WordPress installations. Here are 5 things that you need to know now about upgrading WordPress:

Is it Really Critical to Upgrade WordPress? 5 Things You Need to Know

  1. The most important reason to upgrade your WordPress installation is the security aspect. Weaknesses and loopholes in the code are constantly being sought out and exploited by malicious hackers. This is especially concerning if your site collects any personal information from visitors or processes any purchases. The only way to keep your site as secure as possible is to install upgrades as soon as they come out to patch potential vulnerabilities.
  2.  Upgrading WordPress ensures that your site is compatible with current versions of plugins and themes, preventing crashes due to clashing code. With the speed with which technology is advancing, this attention to compatibility issues in advance can save you from lost data, site downtime and expensive repairs down the road. Left unchecked too long, your site will inevitably run into these issues, making constant, gentle maintenance the best route to take.
  3. Without upgrading, you’ll also find yourself missing out on the latest features and functionalities being introduced, which can easily give your competition an edge over you. Working with dated tools is giving yourself a handicap in the world of business, so keeping up with the latest trends are important if you want to stay relevant and offer your site’s visitors the best experience possible.
  4. Even if it does not expose you to a security threat, no code is perfect, with bugs continually discovered in older versions of WordPress. New updates constantly work to repair these bugs, and clean up known issues. Even if a bug seems to not affect you, if it has been identified as an issue, there’s always a possibility that it can be triggered in the future. It’s best to save yourself the worry, and stick to the new versions.
  5. Finally, upgrading WordPress ensures that your website’s performance will not be inhibited by outdated code and design. As new technologies and techniques are developed to boost page speed and loading times, device compatibility, page size and more, WordPress is adjusted to accommodate the latest improvements. Skipping upgrades can leave you using out-dated technology, which can not only leave you with an inferior website, but also affect your search engine ranking, as site performance is a key influence on this. Save your Google ranking, and start paying attention to your upgrades.

Neglecting WordPress upgrades can leave your website vulnerable, out-dated, and at risk, and by the time something breaks, it can require far more work to fix it than it would to simply maintain things in the first place. In the worst case scenarios, it can mean that content on your site is permanently lost or confidential information is leaked. It’s far better to save yourself the stress and consequences down the road, and start keeping up to date with your upgrades now!

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