TECH TALK: Wordfence helps protect WordPress websites – Goshen News

WordPress once touted as a blogging tool, is now used for all kinds of websites. From big brand names like CNN and Huffington Post, to photographers, people that need an e-store, and more. In fact, WordPress has become so big that somewhere around 74 million websites online use it. About 27 percent of all the world’s websites are built on WordPress. Overall, that’s a load of websites.

If you depend on WordPress for your business, be aware that you need to keep your site safe. Since it is a popular platform, it’s also popular for hackers to try and breach since if they can get into one WordPress site, they could likely access thousands more. While there are many WordPress security plugins, the one I use most often is Wordfence. Wordfence, like most other plugins out there, has both a free and a paid version to help you secure your website. Here are a few features, as well as the positives and negatives of Wordfence.

The positives of Wordfence

Unlike a lot of the other plugins out there, Wordfence is constantly updated. This means that it protects you against the very latest threats.

The paid version of the plugin has more features than the free one, of course. However, the free version still has a ton of options, settings and features. Both the free and paid versions have tech support. So if you ever have questions or need help, just ask.

Both free and paid options of Wordfence feature a complete firewall. This means it blocks attacks, malware and any backdoor vulnerabilities you may have on your site. Usually, a feature like this would just be available to paid users. But that’s one of the reasons I like Wordfence so much. They make sure everyone is protected, not just those with the paid version.

Feature suggestions are definitely considered. Unlike some other plugins, if there’s something you want to see on Wordfence, make a feature suggestion and they’ll definitely consider it. Wordfence also alerts you via email to updates you need to make to your site security and plugins, which is a valuable benefit for busy people.

The negatives

While tech support is available for both free and paid members, I assume paid members get support first. I have the free version and sometimes it takes nearly a week for them to get back to you. This is understandable considering they’ve had about 1 million downloads of the plugin.

There’s also a learning curve. Since there are so many features and options (which is a good thing), it can also be confusing to use at first. Thankfully, there are a lot of articles, videos and how to’s online to help guide you at first setup.

The plugin offers site scans which scan your entire website for vulnerabilities. This seems like it would be positive, but it actually takes up a lot of bandwidth and can slow your site down, so that’s something to consider.

If you don’t mind learning what all the options and settings do, and you want to keep your website safe from attacks, then Wordfence is the option for you. On the other hand, if your time is precious you may consider hiring someone to set it up for you. I can recommend Wordfence to you for your WordPress security. We use it on all our new WordPress installs.

Mike Gingerich is president of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design and marketing agency. He is also a co-founder of TabSite.com and Waftio.com, leading software tools for contests and lead capture, and author of the book Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation. Find out more at www.MikeGingerich.com/book.

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