Knowing your WordPress

In todays world of third party CMS (Content Management System) packages it should be of no surprise that a large portion of sites are incorporating WordPress. WordPress is an amazing platform to build blogs and websites that allows the end user a great deal of content management flexibility. What most website owners do not understand is that what makes WordPress so amazing and cost-effective is also its biggest weakness. WordPress is a highly extensive and expandable application that allows the average site owner to easily make changes, add news and manage content. This ease of use, while awesome, shifts a tremendous amount of responsibility to the site owner. This fact is so much the case that the site owner is often the root of their own security problems. Lets look at some facts.

Popularity
WordPress dominates rival CMS applications by huge margins, not in terms of functionality or features, but simply by end-user adoption. There are a host of reasons behind this fact, but for the purpose of this article, lets simply say, it is the most popular, and examine how this affects site owners. With WordPress’s popularity comes fame. Unfortunately this fame means attention from the the people looking to do your site harm. Yes, Hacker’s. People intent on turning something good into something evil.

Why should I still use WordPress?
Simply put, WordPress is still the best. It is widely adopted and the ability to reach millions far exceeds the time and energy required with other applications.

is WordPress Vulnerable?
In my opinion anything that lives on the web becomes vulnerable with time. That said, the most current release of WordPress is not the problem. This is not the case with older versions, and is to be expected with any platform. This is the main reason updates are so important.

The WordPress team deserves your highest praises for their ability to push out timely updates when security issues are identified. Again, this puts responsibility back on the site owner to make sure the site is up to date with these latest updates.

Why does WordPress still get hacked?
Not long ago WordPress had security issues that were considered to be the root reason for hacked sites. This is no longer the case. The paradigm has shifted, and now the site owner is usually the reason the site was hacked.

We are in a time where complex websites are now available to customers on much smaller budgets. The problem with this scenario is that now, rather than highly trained developers maintaining websites, you have inexperienced site owners maintaing the site and neglecting small details that create vulnerabilities. Everyday our security team fights malware, Sunday to Saturday, midnight to midnight, and the trend is getting stronger. Hacks occur because the site has been neglected by its administrator.

top reasons for WordPress Hacks:

  • Poor User/Password Management for Administration Accounts
  • Poor System Administration
  • Out of Date Software – (WordPress, Plugins, Themes)
  • Lack of Web Knowledge
  • Lack of Security Knowledge

Most site owners are lax and sloppy. People are anxious to jump at the opportunity to use an application like WordPress for their website needs, with little regard to the inherent problems of such a powerful tool. When a hack occurs, as human nature dictates, site owners will look to blame everything but themselves, which in this case is the software running the site. What website owners need to take away from this article is that WordPress has the tools in place to keep your site hacker free.  Like a desktop computer, WordPress has updates, security measures, and requires intricate passwords for a reason. If you neglect any of these, you cannot blame WordPress when a hacker takes advantage of that neglect.

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