One of the biggest security problems that website owners tend to have is caused by not updating the themes and plugins on their site. By avoiding this simple action, it can leave your site vulnerable to attack because hackers will continue to exploit the security flaws until the developers patch up any problems and send out an update. But, if you don’t update, your site remains open to attacks.
The WordPress development team is fixing this problem and making it even easier for people to keep their WordPress site safe. For months now, the team has been working on an update feature, which does the work for its users automatically.
If you are a WordPress user, you might already be taking advantage of this feature already without even realizing it, as it has already been implemented in plugins. The developers are still working on rolling out this mechanism for WordPress’ themes as well.
As soon as this feature is available for WordPress users, the site owners will have to do a little bit of work to make sure that the sites remain secure. However, it should just take a few seconds to keep their site safe. Site owners will have to configure the themes and plugins to auto-update by selecting that option within the site’s admin panels.
And that’s it! The process is very easy, and this is what it should look like when the feature is officially rolled out to the general public.
Code Has Been Present 2013
Since 2013, the code for this new feature has been present since version 3.7, which was released way back in October 2013. Since that update, all WordPress installations have been set up to automatically install minor security updates. However, users were still required to manually upgrade their WordPress sites if upgrading between major versions (like version 5 to 6), but for minor upgrades (like v.4.3.2 to v.4.3.3) were installed automatically.
For the past seven years, some more technically savvy WordPress developers figured out that this feature was available on more than just core updates, and hacked their own configuration files (wp-config.php). This allowed for the auto-updates to happen on all their plugins and themes, not sure the core files.
However, now all WordPress users will enjoy the same benefits now that the team has activated this bit of code for everyone. Thanks to this feature, it is believed that the number of WordPress sites will be greatly reduced, as out-dated plugins and themes are one of the biggest exploited vulnerabilities on WordPress sites.
Keeping Your Website Secure
The security of your WordPress site is important. If you are having trouble with your WordPress site being continually hacked and your plugins and themes are updated, you might want to consider changing WordPress hosting providers. A secure WordPress hosting provider will take certain precautions to make sure that your website is not attacked by bad actors. Some of the things a good host will do include:
- Network monitoring. A secure hosting provider will monitor for any authorized activity on the network. By doing so, it helps to catch small problems before they turn into a big problem.
- SSL and Firewall. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption means that sensitive data like credit card information, passwords, and other personal data can be exchanged securely. This is extremely important because visitors need to ensure that the website is safe before entering any personal information.
The Web Application Firewall (WAF) will monitor HTTP traffic moving through various web applications. The WAF is more secure than a network firewall and can prevent a variety of problems like cross-site scripting, SQL injections, and vulnerability probing.
- DDoS Prevention. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is one of the most common types of attacks that websites experience. When this type of attack occurs, the compromised server will be flooded by bad actors and so much traffic that real users aren’t able to visit the site anymore. When a DDoS attack occurs, it can be difficult to stop it, so the best way to reduce this threat is through prevention. Your web host should be taking the necessary steps to ensure that DDoS attacks are less likely to happen as well as tools to reduce the problems caused by the attack.
- Malware detection and removal. A reliable and secure website host will be routinely scanning the server as well as your files. You should be able to see a report of the scans of your files to help you identify and then remove the malware.
- Backups. While you don’t want to plan for something to go, it sometimes will. Having a backup in place can help reset your website back to a time when everything was clean and unaffected. Automatic backups by the hosting provider mean that you don’t have to manually remember to go in and back up your site every so often. By having access to frequent backups of your website, it can ensure that you have recent copies of your site and it adds an additional layer of security.
Thanks to WordPress’ new feature, all WordPress site owners will have a little less to worry about when keeping their websites secure.