Putting all your trust on a website creation tool, for running your site can be scary for some and a relief for others. Sooner or later, most of you who run a website on WordPress will wonder:Is WordPress entirely secure?What steps does the giant platform take to keep the websites secure?Can there be a breach of security? And how is it handled? Being the world’s most high-profile open source software, WordPress has been, unfortunately, the target of numerous security exploits. Remember when hackers defaced over 1.5 million pages last year or the simple mistakes that caused the whole outrage over Panama Papers?In the light of such news, one may ask – Iis WordPress secure to use? As you can see, the security breaches in the past are undeniable. Despite that, the answer can never be a definite “yes” or “no,” and that’s because WordPress does not work in isolation. The various Themes and plugins that you use on your website, can leave your website vulnerable to malicious hackers and spammers. Therefore, the ecosystem designed for your website to thrive in, may instead cause discrepancies to creep in, affecting the security of your site.Let us illustrate this point further.To get to the bottom of things, we will need to consider the three following factors, as these are essential related to WordPress’ security:People involved in creating WordPress, building websites, and the corresponding ecosystem of themes and pluginsMoney mattersQuality takes time 1. People involved in creating WordPress, websites, and the ecosystemThis section is about the people responsible for keeping our sites safe and the challenges they tend to face along the way.WordPress security teamDevelopers of WordPress offers the first line of defense against a cyber attack. They are responsible for following the best cyber practices; developing new technologies, helping to reduce the risk of a security threat. Given that WordPress powers a quarter of all websites around the world, they have the world’s leading workforce as their core team along with a host of developers and contributors. In fact, they have a diligent hiring process where the final candidates find themselves spending weeks on projects before becoming part of the company.Theme and plugin developersPlugins and themes – free or paid, are available in abundance. Monetizing a plugin or theme helps the creator devote time and effort to improve the product. On the other hand, free plugins or themes are developed as a hobby or to hone one’s skill. Here improvements like issuing updates and vulnerability patches take a back seat, compromising the security of the product.Website ownersBy being vigilant, site owners reduces the chance of a compromise. But it is not uncommon to think that when you are paying for a service, you will never have to face a security breach. That’s a mistake. While there are dedicated teams to keep your site from harm’s way, you can’t just create a site and then forget about it for years. Your site will be in ruins if you don’t keep an eye out. Take a look at these commonly overlooked security hacks. 2. Money mattersLet’s take a look at how monetizing or not monetizing a plugin/theme affects the quality of the product.WordPressWordPress.com is a privately owned company with notable clients like CNN, BBC, SONY among others. It receives funding of millions of dollars from investors to ensure the growth of the business, expansion of employee base among other things. In other words, WordPress has enough money to hire the best talents who’ll guarantee the best services. Themes and pluginsWhile WordPress may be a pioneer in its fields, themes and plugins are not always as good. As mentioned before, the paid products have a dedicated team and funds necessary to buy resources required to make the product better. On the other hand, free products lack these significant resources. Naturally, quality suffers leaving the product and by extension, the whole website vulnerable.Website ownersToday, it’s cheaper and easier than ever to create a website. While this may sound as good news, it makes people reluctant to buy high-quality paid themes or plugins, especially when numerous free alternatives are readily available. As we have discussed earlier, money matters for reducing the risk of a security compromise. Cheap products, seemingly well working often lacks quality assurance that becomes a ground for serious cybersecurity issues. 3. Quality Takes TimeThere is no denying that building a great product requires time and effort. A product build as a side hustle often lacks the quality of a similar product build by developers who are invested in the work fulltime.WordPressWordPress has an army of some of the best people in the business, taking care of the platform 24X7. WordPress hosts a planned calendar for maintenance and security releases (offering details on its news blog; it’s worth checking out) along with reviews, beta releases that span for months on end. Anything less will mean compromising the security of the site.Themes and pluginsBuilding a great product is anything but instantaneous. It takes time. But to stay on top of the ladder, developers are forced to bring in more and more features as soon as possible. The result? Quality control processes are often overlooked, leaving the product vulnerable to malicious attacks.Website ownersWhen consumers want affordable but fast ways of building a website, the time dedicated to bringing up a site is not nearly enough to offer all-around security. Quick results come at the cost of quality. On top of that, lack of proper analysis does not help save a site when disaster strikes. Over to youGiven the knowledge, we have now, it’s safe to assume that WordPress is not 100% secure. It offers a safe environment but needs managing. The risk of a breach cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced. The key to keeping your websites safe lies in your hand. Contrary to popular belief, website owner’s involvement is absolutely necessary. It’s well documented that keeping WordPress’ core, themes and plugins up-to-date are the stepping stones to keeping your WordPress website secure against hacks and security attacks. I’ll leave you with Tony Perez, co-creator of Sucuri Security who notes that “attackers are successful not because we’re technically incapable, but because we are behaviorally weak.”

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