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We get all sorts of excited when we set up a new site. It becomes our baby and we love to work on it, grow it, and watch it become successful.
However we get caught up in the whirlwind of all the newness only to skip over one of the most important things to do on any website.
Back up the website! Don't just back it up, but set up a back up that runs on a regular schedule. (My suggestion would be to run a database backup nightly and a full/complete backup weekly.)
It’s unfortunate that people need to have their site completely down and offline to learn the importance of backing up. Professional backup and restore services, such as BackupBuddy, are available for what breaks down to only $6 per month. There are also plenty of free utilities that can require a bit more setup time to get going.
It is important that you update your WordPress website as soon as an update is available. This is as true for your WordPress site as it is for your computer. WordPress is open source software with reports of bugs, vulnerabilities and security issues almost daily. The best part is that WordPress is always closing the holes within it's software.
If you want to ensure that your website stays up and running by making it harder for a hacker to bring your site down, updating WordPress and it's plugins are critical.
Besides these updates also carry with them improvements and brand new features. One of which is WordPress now can update your site automatically. You still do have to perform the updates on most plugins. However the good folks developing plugins and WordPress are trying to make this as easy as possible for you in the future.
The lowest hanging fruit for a hacker to breach your website is guessing your username and password. Hackers use scripts that can easily guess your login in a matter of seconds, if not quicker.
Thankfully WordPress has changed up its install as to allow you to pick the first username instead of using admin. However I suggest you taking it a step further to remove the first WordPress admin username.
Even if you don't take that extra 90 seconds and remove the first user, please choose a username and password that's obscure enough so that your website does not get a brute force attack on it.
[Tweet "Guessing a username and password are the #1 way unauthorized parties access WordPress sites."]
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