Two weeks ago I spent a few days working on an emergency project – a fabulous lady’s site had been hacked, and the entire site was down and not functioning. Her hosting company wouldn’t bring the site back up until it proved to be secure and safe enough. This meant that she basically needed a whole new design for her site.
That’s where I came in. Within 12 hours, we decided on a theme, and I got to work setting everything up, customizing to her liking, and working with her hosting company to get the site back up and functioning.
And now, her site is responsive (it wasn’t before), up-to-date, and more importantly, it’s not susceptible to being hacked.
Having a hacked site is a no fun stress fest. But it’s easily preventable! Here are 2 simple tips to maintaining a safe WordPress site:
Update, update, update!
If your site is on WordPress, and you have plugins, you likely have a handful of updates that need to be done each month. An update can mean a handful of things – that a bug was fixed, that new capabilities were added (like language translation, or design elements), that they found a way to make things more secure, etc. Developers only offer updates when it means that it’s benefiting the user. So if you log in to WordPress and see that you have 3 updates, that means your WordPress platform or your plugins have more secure and up-to-date options available, and you should hop on that update train.
Back it up
We all know what can happen when you don’t backup your info. #sadmac Setting up a regular backup is so easy, that it’s silly for you not to do it. The plugin I recommend for this is Updraft Plus Backup and Restoration. You can schedule it to run an automatic backup as often as you like. My rule of thumb is that the more content you have, the more often it should run. It should run at least once a week, but if you’ve got a ton of content you want to keep safe, I’d say have it run once a day. You can also save your backups to a cloud platform such as Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, and more. This means that if for some reason you can’t access your WordPress dashboard, you still have your site files saved somewhere to help restore your site. All of this is done for $0.
There you have it! Two steps to keeping your site alive and secure. The first step will make your site healthy and hack-free. The second step will ensure that if something does happen, you haven’t lost everything, and restoration is on the horizon.
CSS for Web Designers
Learn more about my upcoming CSS for Web Designers course, and get useful tools + tutorials to make you a better web designer.