Security is extremely important when blogging on WordPress. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of plugins designed to keep your blog safe.
WordPress’s selection of plugins is just one of the many things that make it a fantastic tool – and the most widely-used blogging platform in the world.
Unfortunately, that diversity comes with a price: it can be near-paralyzing to figure out which plugins you should install for your blog. Knowing what types of plugins you’ll need is a good start.
Last time, we looked at addons related to comments, post creation, form creation, analytics, and SEO. Today, we’re revisiting the topic, adding a few more items to the list.
These plugins – all excellent in their own way – share one thing in common: they’re all tools that no WordPress blog should ever be without.
While comments on your blog offer a great way to foster conversation and audience engagement, you’re always going to receive an influx of spam, as well.
These comments contribute nothing to the discussion and simply clutter your pages; they occasionally offer up suspicious links, to boot.
You need to either get rid of them, or make sure they don’t make it to your page in the first place.
For this reason, it’s vital that you install some form of spam protection software.
Thankfully, Akismet comes pre-installed with most WordPress setups, though if you want to start customizing how you use it, you’ll need to purchase an API key.
Better WP Security (Security)
It’s imperative that you secure your WordPress blog against all the possible threats it might face on the world wide web, and Better WP Security is one of the best (and simplest) means of doing so.
Among its many other features, it hides sensitive elements of your blog to keep attackers from learning too much, scans your site for security vulnerabilities; bans bots, other hosts, and user agents, and prevents brute force attacks.
Unfortunately, hardening your security isn’t always going to protect your blog from the ravages of the Internet.
Unless you stay well on top of things, there’s a very good chance your blog might end up infested with malware, at which point it could infect thousands of users.
Of course, your readers aren’t your only concern here: such malware could also be designed to harvest login info or payment information.
That’s where the simply-named Antivirus comes in. With this plugin, you can quickly scan your blog for viruses, spam injections, and exploits.
While it does share some functionality with Better WP Security, I’d still recommend installing both. Just as every computer should have a proper antivirus scanner, so too should every blog.
Backup Buddy (Backup)
Eventually, in spite of all your best efforts, your site might go down. Maybe you got hacked, deleted or modified something you shouldn’t have, or just suffered a critical server crash.
Either way, if you don’t have some sort of backup solution in place, you’re completely hosed in such situations.
Backup Buddy is probably one of the best plugins of its type, with the ability to quickly and easily restore your site from anything save a complete meltdown of the WordPress platform.
W3 Total Cache(Caching/Optimization)
Last but certainly not least, we’ve a plugin geared more towards self-hosted blogs (though blogs hosted on WordPress could certainly make use of it, as well).
Eventually, depending what you’ve got installed on your blog, things might start to get a little bloated.
Your load times will start to drag, and eventually, visitors might be lucky if your page loads at all. Aside from completely ruining the audience experience, this could lead to some very serious problems as far as stability is concerned.
What you need is an optimization tool. W3 Total Cache is just the ticket; it’s one of the best plugins of its kind, trusted by a number of authority blogs such as MakeUseOf and Yoast.
As an added bonus, it makes integration of a content delivery network into your site a piece of cake.