Securing WordPress hosting is extremely important for development agencies. Neglecting security measures can lead to unauthorized access, data breaches, and malware infections, which can harm your agency’s reputation and disrupt your business. As an experienced white-labeling partner for digital agencies, we understand the importance of strong security protocols in WordPress hosting.
To provide you with expert insights, I spoke with Bobby King, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the White Label Agency (WLA) and he shared valuable tips that form the basis of this article.
I outline five essential WordPress hosting security tips for agencies. These tips, ranging from selecting a trustworthy hosting provider to using advanced security tools, will help you protect your clients’ websites. Let’s start with the first tip, focusing on selecting a reputable hosting provider and the criteria to consider when making this decision.
Tip 1. Choose a reputable hosting provider
When it comes to WordPress hosting, your choice of hosting provider is vital in determining the overall security of your clients’ websites. The provider you select forms the foundation of a strong security infrastructure. Bobby shared some tips on making an informed decision when selecting a hosting provider. These are the criteria to look for:
- Start by looking into the hosting provider’s reputation and track record in the industry.
- Focus on providers known for their commitment to security.
- It is better to find a provider that is built entirely around and for hosting WordPress sites.
These were the factors that WLA considered while choosing WP Engine as our hosting provider. WP Engine has garnered a strong reputation in the industry and is renowned for its specialization in hosting WordPress sites, making it an excellent choice for agencies.
Tip 2: Responsive customer support
Another important factor for WordPress hosting security is to look for a provider that promptly addresses any security issues that may arise. Research hosting providers’ packages and find out if they have 24/7 support.
Bobby recalled that a few weeks ago WLA had an issue with a recently migrated website where the website was redirecting to an unrelated advertisement. He immediately contacted WP Engine support through the chat tool and within 2 hours they found the compromised files and cleaned the website. That is the kind of speedy support you should look for when it comes to security.
Tip 3: Avoid shared hosting
When it comes to hosting security, one important consideration is the choice of the hosting environment. Shared hosting, where multiple websites are hosted on the same server, may seem affordable, but it comes with security risks.
Bobby put it this way:
“In a shared hosting environment, you have limited control over who your neighbors on the server are. If other websites sharing the same server are compromised, it increases the potential risk of your own websites being affected.”
Shared hosting can also cause performance problems. If other websites on the server use too many resources, it can slow down your own websites. Slow-loading sites frustrate visitors, affect search engine rankings, and harm the user experience.
To reduce these risks, consider other hosting options like managed hosting services. These environments minimize WordPress hosting security breaches and offer more control over security settings.
Tip 4: Utilize a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
Web Application Firewall (WAF) is an essential tool to look for in your hosting provider. It acts as a barrier between your clients’ websites and malicious actors, monitoring and filtering web traffic to identify and block harmful requests.
WAF defends against various types of attacks:
- Blocks SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), and DDoS attacks
- Analyzes incoming data and requests in real-time
- Takes action to block or minimize the threat after detecting suspicious requests
When choosing a hosting provider, look for one that includes a strong WAF. It adds an extra layer of security to your websites. A reputable hosting provider, like WP Engine, provides targeted protection against WordPress-specific vulnerabilities and offers a defense option tailored specifically for WordPress websites.
Tip 5: Look for threat detection and proactive alerts
When thinking of WordPress hosting security, consider those providers that offer threat detection and monitoring specifically designed for WordPress websites. These systems continuously scan for suspicious activities and send notifications when needed.
Proactive alerts play a critical role in promptly notifying you of potential security risks. They can be configured to notify you via email, SMS, or within the hosting dashboard, ensuring that you are aware of any emerging threats. This allows you to take immediate action like investigating the source of the threat, applying necessary patches, or adding more security measures.