How secure is WordPress?
So how secure is WordPress against hackers? While the WordPress core itself is pretty secure (and benefits from automatic security updates), WordPress is an open environment. There are tens of thousands themes and plugins available, both commercial and open-source. All themes and plugins on WordPress.org go through rigorous testing before they can be shared for public use. However, outdated plugins often have serious security flaws. In addition to that, plugins obtained from untrustworthy sources might contain embedded malware which can seriously undermine the security of a website. A popular way to combat this problem is by installing a WordPress security plugin.
The problems with WordPress security plugins
There are many security plugins for WordPress and inexperienced users tend to consider them as their ultimate solution to all of WordPress’s security problems. In fact, this is not the case as some security plugins can introduce new problems when not used properly.
One problem that can arise from a WordPress security plugin is its potential interference with a website’s SEO. As the security plugin blocks any leaks in security, it can also prevent your website from being indexed by Google. This creates nasty SEO issues which can result in a decrease in traffic – something you do not want if you are making money from your website.
Another potential issue that can arise from a WordPress security plugin is that they can lock you out of your own website. This is a security feature that can be found on emails and smartphone lock screens and it works by limiting the number of login attempts. Since the core WordPress login function does not limit the number of login attempts, hackers can guess their way into your website. This problem is usually mitigated by using a security plugin, but if you are the one being locked out of your own website, it can be a frustrating experience!
One more issue that you may run into with WordPress security plugins is their accessibility. Like all plugins, security plugins come with a lot of functions to choose from and use jargon that the inexperienced WordPress user may not understand. This can make the user experience quite frustrating, especially when faced with a multitude of options that you have no idea what they are for. Some of these options can make hard-to-reverse changes to your site, which can add to your frustration levels when you are trying to clean up the mess.
Are WordPress security plugins needed at all?
Like any content management system, WordPress has some vulnerabilities. Security plugins offer a way to combat these issues but they can be difficult to work with. Therefore, it is recommended that only users who understand how security plugins work should consider installing them on their websites. The rule of thumb is that if your site is up-to-date, you’re pretty much safe!