About a month ago, a regular visitor to my website notified me that her browser had alerted her that a virus was attached to my site. (Note: I never got this message when I browsed to my own site at home. Yes, that can happen!)
Since we all know that safety in the kitchen is your first priority, I thought it was appropriate to share some tips on the topic.
Here’s what I did to correct my situation:
1.Contact my web hosting service to alert them and ask them to check my site/clean off any viruses (which they happily did). Unfortunately, in the process of removing the virus, the hosting service broke my navigation links. Since I had wanted to switch up my theme* anyway, this was the perfect opportunity.
2. Open a new hosting account on a completely new service. Normally, you wouldn’t need to do this, but dealing with the broken nav links and the support I got from the old hosting company was the last straw in a long line of disappointments. So I moved to hostgator.com. They made the move very easy.
3. I’m no security expert, so I enlisted the help of colleague, Adam W. Warner of WP Pro Business. He’s got the same instructions he walked me through on his website. (By the way, he ROCKS as a WP expert. You should definitely check out his video tutorials.) If you don’t want to start over with a new site, here are some great instructions for making an existing WP database file structure safer. But first, back-up your files before you do anything!
5. I also changed my default admin account by adding a new user with new login/strong password; deleting the default when I was done.
6. I implemented a few of the other tips from WordPress listed here. Depending on how much security you feel is necessary, you may want to do all of them.
7. For Back-ups, I use the BackWPUp plugin and have it set to automatically back-up each night. I’m also doing an FTP download of my entire database once each week.
What’s your experience been like with WordPress security? Please share any tips I missed, or feel free to ask a question about any of the above.
*This time around, I’m using the Genesis framework with a great “child” theme and couldn’t be happier with how smoothly things are running!