Can WordPress support the security of a scaling website?

Written By Jim Kersey
Posted On January 2, 2020

In this article, we answer the question: ‘Can WordPress support the security of a scaling website?’. Reveal the answer.

WordPress is scalable and secure

With your organisation currently going through a period of rapid growth, you’re probably starting to think about how you can keep your website secure and stable. With a secure site, you’ll be able to handle high web traffic, prevent the loss of customer data through hacking and guard against malicious DDoS attacks.

WordPress is the ideal CRM for brands looking to scale rapidly, without compromising the security of their website. WordPress powers around a quarter of all websites, and has scaled everything from tiny personal blogs to giants of the publishing industry: The New York Times, time.com and News Corp, just to name a few. This means it’s trusted as being secure, and provides proven opportunities for rapid scaling. 

A major benefit of WordPress is its massive open-source community, which reviews every release, meaning security is tight and fixes are quickly put in place whenever security concerns are spotted. 

In this article, we’ve gathered together our best tips on how to protect the security of your scaling website.

Get managed WordPress hosting

Managed WordPress hosting can be a great option to guard the security of a scaling website, particularly in the early days of growth, especially if your brand doesn’t have a lot of internal tech resources. 

Managed hosting reduces the workload of managing server configurations and relieves pressure on hiring. Managed WordPress hosting gives this responsibility to a dedicated individual or team outside of your company, who can commit more time and focus to these essential tasks. 

Managed WordPress hosting will cost more than a standard plan. However, it can help take the strain off resources and means there’s always someone keeping a close watch on your site security.

Upscale your hosting security

Scaling your website can bring threats as well as the obvious opportunities of increased revenue and traffic. A traffic boost results in more visitors coming to your website but unfortunately, not all of these new visitors browse your site with pure intentions. 

One of the first considerations when scaling your website should be to get your provider to scale up your site’s security processes.

Here are some of the best methods to scale up your security: 

Server caching

By caching your data, you’re:

  • Keeping your site and your data safe
  • Freeing up bandwidth
  • Increasing the speed of your website

Server-side CDN

A server-side content delivery network protects your web content when your website is experiencing rapid traffic boosts.

This is because a CDN delivers web pages to users based on their geographical location, from a number of distributed servers. This means large surges in traffic will not slow down your site or prevent users from accessing your content. 

And crucially with page speed being an integral element of Google’s algorithm, your SEO will be protected, alongside your web security.

Firewall

Upgrading your firewall to meet your increased traffic is especially important when your organisation and consequently your website are going through a sustained period of scaling.

A firewall takes the manual action out of security monitoring and management and protects against DDoS attacks.

With an upgraded firewall, your brand can guard against damage to your bottom line from potential lost earnings. DDoS attacks regularly take up to 24 hours to counteract, so in the time it takes to ensure that normal service is resumed, your sales will be hugely impacted. DDoS attacks are clearly no small issue for brands that rely on their website to generate revenue.

Use a security plugin

Implementing a security plugin on your website will help protect against threats such as malware, spam and DDoS. By adding this additional layer of security to your website, you can rest assured, in the knowledge that your website is protected from the most common malicious threats.

Some features which you should consider before committing to a firewall are automatic scanning and monitoring, two-factor authentication, verification and blacklisting. The best WordPress enabled security plugins will have these features, so don’t settle for anything less. 

Consider the following plugins:

  • WebARX
  • MalCare
  • Wordfence Security
  • Sucuri Security
  • All In One WP Security & Firewall

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best security plugins on WordPress, and the performance of each security plugin differs, so don’t be afraid of trialling multiple plugins until you discover a plugin which meets your needs. 

If you need advice on the most suitable option for your organisation, get in touch with us today, to discuss your requirements.

Security checklist

There are many more measures you can take to protect your website security, besides managed WordPress hosting, upgrading server security and using the latest firewall technology. 

Scaling publishing brands can also keep their website secure and stable by following our WordPress security checklist:

  1. Keep your WordPress updated to the latest version

By keeping your WordPress updated to the latest version, you’re reducing the potential for your website to be hacked. This is because, with every new version of WordPress, the community works together to patch any flaws in the system. Each core WordPress update fixes the latest security issues, but any organisations without the latest version will be vulnerable

2. Update your themes

On the same lines, it’s just as important to keep your theme updated. Firstly, ensure your theme is compatible with the latest edition of WordPress – if not choose a new theme. 

If your theme is compatible, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of troubled waters. New updates are regularly released for themes with security issues, so always check that you’re using the latest version of your theme.

3. Update your plugins

This will allow you to keep each individual plugin updated to its latest version. This is important, as third-party plugins are often targeted for attack by hackers –  by having the latest version, your plugins are less likely to be vulnerable to known hacking methods.

4. Remove unused plugins

We know it can be hard to keep track of all the plugins you’ve added to your WordPress account, but it’s crucial to be aware of all your installed plugins. 

When preparing to scale your website, we’d suggest carrying out an audit of your plugins and removing any you don’t use.

5. Run the latest version of PHP

PHP, WordPress’ language, can be vulnerable to exploitation, just like WordPress itself. By updating to the latest version of PHP, your risks are reduced.

Tighten the security of your scaling website

To sum up, as your website scales, you become increasingly opened up to security threats. Fortunately, there’s plenty of support for scaling websites on WordPress. 

For support, get in touch with the team at Powered By Coffee, and we’ll help take your organisation to the next level, without compromising the all important security of your website and your customer’s data. 

Jim Kersey
Content Creator
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