Protecting Your WordPress Site
by Dharma Kelleher
If you use the WordPress content management system (available for free at wordpress.org), there are two plugins that I highly recommend for keeping your site up and running. Both of these plugins are from iThemes, a company that creates a wide range of WordPress themes, as well as some useful plugins for additional functionality.
The first plugin is iThemes Security (formerly known as Better WP Security). This plugin is available for free from the WordPress plugin repository at wordpress.org. You can download it directly from the plugins interface on the admin side of your WordPress website.
This plugin allows you to make changes to the configuration of your site to make it more secure and less likely to get hacked. For example, it can lock out the IP address of anyone who makes three failed attempts to login. (You can whitelist your own IP address so it doesn’t ding you if you ever find yourself in that position.)
You can also limit when the back end of your site is accessible. So if you know you’re never going to be writing blog posts between midnight and 6 a.m., then you can lock the back end during that time every day.
There are a number of other ways iThemes Security can protect your site. So if you use WordPress, you probably want to download and activate this plugin.
This plugin, while not free, can be a real lifesaver. It has two main functions: backing up your WordPress site (including files and the database) and restoring/migrating an existing site. With Backup Buddy, you can schedule regular backups of your website and have these backups sent to a location like an email address or a Dropbox account. If your site is ever hacked, you can use one of the backups to get your website back up in minutes.
If you ever change web hosting companies, you can also use Backup Buddy to migrate your site to the new host’s web server. As a web developer, I often develop sites on my local server before
Dharma Kelleher writes gritty, engaging fiction about gay, trans* and queer-identified characters. She works as a professional web developer for ZenPunk Web Works. Her hobbies include riding motorcycles, making snarky comments on Facebook, and shocking people with her latest haircut. Learn more about her and her writing at dharmakelleher.com.