Around 25% of the world’s websites (and over 90% of our web hosting clients’ websites), are powered by WordPress. It’s powerful, flexible, simple to use and let’s not forget free; Its popularity should hardly come as a surprise.
However, its high profile means sites powered by WordPress are regular targets for hackers and other security threats. This is why we recommend WordPress sites are regularly backed up and WordPress versions and Plugins are updated whenever new versions becomes available. WordPress sites that are not regularly maintained remain at greater risk of being attacked.
WordPress Announce SSL Certification Will Become a Requirement in 2017
Late last year, WordPress announced that in order to increase security, WordPress sites would soon be required to have an SSL security certificate installed as standard. Those sites that do not have a valid certificate, will find that some key features no longer work correctly. (They will of course, also remain at risk of security breach).
WordPress have not yet stipulated a deadline for sites to implement certificates. However, they will soon only recommend hosting partners that offer security certificates as standard.
What Are SSL Security Certificates?
- A certificate acts like a digital “passport” which confirms a website’s entity and credentials. When confidential information is exchanged across the web, these credentials are used to establish a secure connection between the sender and the recipient
- Once a secure connection is established, encrypted data can be safely exchanged between the two parties
- Sites with a security certificate installed can be identified by the HTTPS: at the beginning of their URL. Browsers also often display a green padlock symbol, to confirm a site is secure
- “Insecure” sites appear without the padlock or the “S”, as HTTP:
- Security certificates need to be renewed regularly, much like domain name registrations
SSL Certificated Websites Favoured in Google Search Results
SSL certification also forms part of an effective SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy. Google have considered the installation of security certificates as best practice Since 2014 and weighted secure sites more favourably when assessing a site’s relevance in search results.
Site Speed Will Soon Impact Upon Your Site’s Search Results Performance for Mobile Searches
Site speed has had an impact on Google search results performance since 2010. In June 2016, Google further announced that they were “months, but not years” away from introducing different rankings for desktop and mobile searches. Any time now, sites with poor download speeds will not perform well in results for searches made from mobiles. With 78% of all local searches on mobile devices leading to a direct purchase within 24 hours – that’s not an insignificant development.
Simple Things You Can You Do to Secure Your WordPress Site
- Add an SSL Security Certificate to Your Site
- Ensure Your Website Is Regularly Backed Up
- Ensure Your WordPress Versions & Plugins are Regularly Updated
- Use a Plugin Such as WPS Hide Login to Change the Standard Login Screen URL
- Ensure Your Web Hosts Have Specific WordPress Expertise
Simple Things You Can You Do to Improve Your WordPress Site’s Performance in Search Results
- Use a Plugin Such as Yoast SEO to Help Improve On Site Search Engine Optimisation
- Ensure All Images Have the Correct Meta ‘Alt’ & ‘Title’ Tag Information
- Ensure Your Site is ‘Mobile Friendly’ or Has a Mobile Version
- Regularly Monitor & Tweak Your Site’s On-Site SEO
- ‘Speed Up’ Your Website
Simple Things You Can Do to ‘Speed Up” Your WordPress Website
- Remove Unnecessary Plugins / Reduce the Number of Plugins Installed
- Reduce the File Size of Images Used on the Site
- Host Your Site on Servers Optimised for WordPress
I Know What You Are Thinking…
Okay, suggestions like ‘Host Your Site on Servers Optimised for WordPress’ or ‘Add an SSL Security Certificate to Your Site’ may not appear to be all that ‘simple’ at first glance, but, here at Focus, we specialise in making the seemingly complicated, simple.
Focus offer dedicated hosting for WordPress sites
Find out how we can banish your website worries and make your WordPress hosting simple… or call Tony on 01209 613660