WordPress Tips for Small Businesses: Part 4 – Wordfence Security & Stop Spam Comments
Wordfence Security is an all-in-one plugin that protects your website and WordPress installation from hackers and other threats that may possibly compromise your online presence. As a near fully-automated security plugin, this is one of the best options for small business owners who want their website to be fully protected but don’t have hours to spend configuring and keeping tabs on their website’s security.
To get started with Wordfence, install it as you would any other plugin that we have discussed so far in this tutorial. After installation and activation have been completed Wordfence will appear on the left-hand menu towards the bottom underneath Settings and will be labeled, as expected, Wordfence. Go ahead, click the icon and you will be taken to the Wordfence dashboard.
After you have arrived at the Wordfence dashboard you will notice that you are prompted to Start a Wordfence Scane. Feel free to start your scan and let it run for a few moments. Depending on the size of your website it shouldn’t take more than a minute and is completely automated, leaving you with a report of its findings and any errors or vulnerabilities it may have come across.
For this website in our example Wordfence found some problems with old themes, plugins and core files. Depending on your site, it may return a wide array of errors and vulnerabilities specific to your specific WordPress installation. Scrolling down the page a bit, Wordfence has found a problem with one of our plugins being out of date, specifically “All in One Webmaster”. While this isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm it is good practice to keep your plugins up to date as they are often patched and improved to remove vulnerabilities from previous versions.
Depending on whether or not Wordfence returned any problems for you, it will let you know the best way to remedy the situation. In our case, a simple plugin update was all that was needed. Once you have correct your problem you can click I have fixed this issue and Wordfence will let you know if it runs into any new problems during future scans.
The last item on our agenda for the Wordfence plugin is to configure a couple features within the Options area. Towards the bottom of this page you will notice that Wordfence would like to do Regular scans ensure your site stays secure and Automatically updates Wordfence to the newest version within 24 hours of a new release. By default, Automatic Updates will be disabled. To turn them on, give the check box a tick and also enter your email address so that you can receive any alerts about your site’s security (hopefully never!). Additionally, the default security level and IP retrieval settings set in a good place for most small business owners and are fine where they are at.
There are many other additional and more advanced features within this plugin that are best left alone for most novice users. However, if you are tech savvy you are more than welcome to adjust these settings at your own risk, just be cautious!
Stop Spam Comments
Installing and setting up Stop Spam Comments really couldn’t’ be any easier. Simply run a quick query for the plugin within your WordPress installation, click install, activate and Wallah! Gone are the days of constantly having to filter out junk comments and trying to decide if they were legitimate or not. And, best of all, there is no configuration required – Just remember to keep the plugin updated and you’re all set!