WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), powering over 38% of the internet’s websites. Given how easy it is to use, it’s no wonder people love WordPress. Before committing to the CMS to power your own site, you may be asking yourself: “Is WordPress secure?”

Put simply, WordPress is secure right out of the box, but becomes vulnerable to attacks if features like plugins and themes aren’t kept up to date. When determining how to improve WordPress security, here are three factors to consider:

1. Plugins

When asking yourself “is WordPress secure?” remember that all plugins pose risk. That includes the two default plugins that come with the CMS, in addition to any plugins you add after installation. Vulnerability to malware attacks increases when plugins are allowed to sit idle on your CMS unused or un-updated.

When deciding how to improve WordPress security, best practices include only installing plugins you need and will actively use, only downloading well-reviewed plugins from a reputable source, and updating them consistently once they’re installed.

2. Themes

WordPress’s vulnerability to attacks increases when themes—the templates that drive the look and design of a WP site—are not kept up-to-date on a regular basis. This includes both the default themes included with WordPress, and any themes added later on.

When determining how to improve WordPress security, make sure to only install themes from trustworthy sources and to update them regularly. Additionally, use a child theme configuration when installing a new theme. That way, when changes are implemented, an update for the parent theme can be applied without complications.

3. Proactive measures

When asking yourself “Is WordPress secure?” keep in mind that plugins and themes are always going to carry some degree of risk. Regular maintenance and updates greatly reduce that risk, but don’t eliminate it entirely. It’s never a bad idea to be proactive about website security by employing tools like web application firewalls (WAF), automated website scans, and (if necessary) malware removal.

As WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms people and businesses use, not taking security seriously can have drastic consequences. Be proactive an make sure you protect your site with these basic tips for plugins and themes.

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