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Security features your WordPress hosting provider must have

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After you get your WordPress website up and running, it may seem like all your website problems have gone away. However, maintaining a fast, secure website will be a continuous task as a website owner. And that is definitely easier said than done.

Nowadays, website security should be at the top of every website owner’s priorities. Without proper website security, malicious parties can easily access your website’s code, make changes to its infrastructure and compromise sensitive data. WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) which means its source code is available to anyone. Although it is a well-established and consistently upgraded CMS, WordPress websites are prone to hacking due to their open-source nature.

Cybersecurity is especially important if you are running a business online. Malicious parties can access customer credit card information and other extremely sensitive data. Hackers can also install and distribute malware through your website, causing serious damage to your website’s reputation.

Related read: Top 5 hacker vulnerabilities in your systems– and how to fix them

To prevent your WordPress site from being hacked, you should make sure your hosting provider has some key security features. If they do not, consider choosing a service that has some of the features listed below.

1. Live Firewalls

Firewalls are one of the most common and fundamental deterrents against malware. But, what are firewalls? A firewall is software that restricts unauthorized access to or from a private network. It acts as a gatekeeper of data that goes in and out, making sure that the things passing through your website are safe. Live firewalls inspect and block malicious software and hackers in real-time, providing the first line of defense for your site.

2. Constant updates

A hallmark of a web hosting provider that truly cares about your website’s security is that they frequently update their software, tools, and applications. This shows that the hosting service is responsive to new security threats and is constantly looking to upgrade. Software that has not been updated for long periods of time allows hackers to find breaches and vulnerable areas to attack. By constantly upgrading its features, hosting services can keep hackers at bay. It’s vitally important to continually compare the best hosting providers for your specific needs.

3. A Distributed Denial of Serice (DDoS) protection system

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is when a hacker makes the site inaccessible to its intended users by shutting down parts of the web hosting server. Hackers accomplish this “takedown” by flooding the website with traffic until it crashes. There are more than 2000 DDoS attacks observed daily.

Different web hosting services offer varying levels of DDoS protection packages. Usually, this protection takes the form of some sort of filter that sorts through requests to access your website, blocking the bots and allowing the real users entry.

Depending on the size and popularity of your service, you might need lots of DDoS protection or a minimal amount. Smaller sites usually are not the target of large-scale DDoS attacks, but the added protection can help bring peace of mind to website owners.

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4. A reliable backup system

In the case of a hack, having backup copies of your website on hand will let you restore it to a previous version easily. Some web hosting services will have built-in backup features for you.

Backing up your site entails copying all the data and saving it somewhere safe. If you don’t have backups of your website, in the case of an attack, your data may be compromised. Although it is possible to backup your site manually using certain plug-ins, a high-quality WordPress hosting provider should include a backup feature.

5. 24/7 reliable customer support

When worst comes to worst and you do fall victim to an attack, having responsive and capable tech support can help save your website during emergencies. Knowing that someone will always be available to help if you do run into a security-related issue also helps give the website owner peace of mind. Similar to having emergency services available 24/7 in the case of an attack, tech support for hosting providers can occasionally act as emergency responders to cyber-attacks.

If a web hosting provider’s top priority is really preventing WordPress sites from being hacked, they will definitely have a robust tech support team.

In 2018, around 90% of hacked websites investigated by GoDaddy Security and Sucuri were WordPress sites. It’s common for young website owners to brush off security as a boring, negligible part of maintaining a website, but it really pays off to be safe.

Update: This post has been updated on January 28th, 2022.

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