how to secure classified website

Are you a classified listing or directory website owner? Does your site have lots of confidential data from different users? It has become a valuable asset to you. Unfortunately, not only you, but this website is also valuable to hackers who love to steal data. You need a proper guideline to secure your classified website. One of your greatest fears as website owners is, what if you suddenly discover they have infiltrated it? All the effort you put into it got wasted because of getting hacked.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of spammers and hackers that can access your website through submission forms and cause harm. However, many web developers are unaware of these threats, security precautions, and solutions. 

Nowadays, most website owners prefer WordPress to build their classified listing and directory site. You concentrate on the content or prefer to develop websites from scratch. Instead, you forgot to make the site secure. So, even though one built-in plugin might claim to provide security, you need to know the credible way.

Follow the steps to secure classified & directory websites:

1. A renowned domain registrar

godaddy hosting

Always look for a good domain registrar when registering a new domain. An unknown domain provider could disappear at any time. After buying the domain name, your domain information is publicly open. Personal information like name, address, mail, and phone number gets stored in the database. Your information is also open to hackers, spammers, and identity thieves.

All domain registrars provide domain privacy services. This service will have a tiny fee, but it also comes with benefits, making it a wonderful bargain. First, it will conceal all your personal information so it can go public without affecting who owns the domain.

It’s a short and easy step to take, but it can make a big difference in whether a website is secure or not. You can check GoDaddy and Namecheap for better domain security.

2. A reliable & secure hosting provider

siteground hosting - how to secure classified website

Like other websites, the classified websites are also hosted on servers. When the hosting platform is not properly secured, problems arise. Your website is vulnerable to hacker attacks when a hosting service is not strong.

Make sure to pick a reputable hosting provider while setting it up. Always inquire about the options available for ensuring the hosting service’s security is in question. Consider their assurances and choose the one that will best help keep your hosting platform’s integrity. You can get hosting from Siteground, Bluehost, Hosgator or you can check the list of best hosting for classified websites

3. Always use HTTPS

Does your website have a secure badge? Your visitors will only visit your website and do transactions if it has HTTPs protocol. It allows information to pass between a website and a secure encrypted server. Therefore, any attempt to access the data while it is in transit will fail to display the data that is being transmitted. In reality, Google gives high priority to HTTPS status websites. It is a ranking factor because of the security advantages of SSL.

Rebuilding your directory website can be frustrating and expensive, depending on what data the hackers target and how much damage is done. You can lessen the probability of an attack by implementing simple safety measures. You must spend money on an SSL certificate if you want people to believe in your brand. An SSL certificate has a low, upfront cost. Still, the extra level of encryption it provides to your clients greatly increases the security and reliability of your website. You can avail SSL certificate from your hosting provider.

4. Use a robust Application Firewall.

The firewall application offers a straightforward but complete defense to your website. It is available as hardware appliances and a cloud-based service to shield your website from hackers and other harmful traffic before reaching your server. Advanced caching may also help your page load faster.

Many firewall application brands are relentlessly providing network security services. You can buy their firewall subscription for monthly or yearly support. For WordPress, install the Wordfence plugin. It will provide you with a powerful firewall defense system. 

5. Using strong passwords

Using weak passwords is a mistake that many people make. It applies to all websites and programs that need logging in. Passwords also make it more difficult for hackers to pose as you and cause trouble.

However, you are putting yourselves and your clients in danger if you use weak passwords because you worry that you might forget them.

To create strong passwords, you can use different passwords for every account, which makes it much more difficult to decipher. Keep in mind the recommended password procedures as well. It must fit in and have both capital and lowercase letters, as well as digits. Try including characters like $,! #? =, etc.

6. Hide Access to WordPress Admin Directory 

Wordfence to secure your classified & directory website

The admin directory of WordPress is one of the most often attacked regions. You will be in serious trouble if access to your WordPress admin area is simple to gain.

You must ensure that only reputable site administrators are granted access to your admin directory. Strengthen its security by using two-factor authentication and creating stronger passwords. Additionally, ensure that only those requiring it has access to the admin directory. Only changing your WordPress login URL won’t make your website secure. Most security risks can’t access your login page because you’re using a custom WordPress login URL. A trusted WordPress security plugin will allow you to do it for nothing. Install Wordfence; it has login security and two-factor authentication to secure your admin access.

7. Protecting your Email Information

To keep your directory website safe, ensure your email is protected. Hackers and spammers are constantly looking for personal information about website owners and users that they can use against them. If they are successful, it will harm not only the reputation of your website but also your email deliverability rate, which will harm the income and return on investment from your email marketing efforts.

Adding an SPF record is one of the most crucial things we can do to safeguard our email data from thieves. A particular kind of Domain Name Service (DNS) record called an SPF record enables email systems to determine whether the sender of a message is from a reliable source and to reject an email if the source is unreliable. You can get this service from your hosting provider.

8. Backup your Data On and Off-Site

Your websites can crash, hackers can steal data, and hosting service issues can occur. You must enable backed up and keep your files in a safe drive. You need access to it if you ever need to restore it.

You safeguard against the risk of ransomware and corrupted files by routinely capturing and archiving all the important files on your website. When you back up, you can also swiftly recover if your server or hard drive malfunctions. In addition, having the files in hand enables you to resume operations rapidly. You may use a free backup plugin from the WordPress plugin directory with a high user rating to back up all of your classified listings and directory data. Also, you can take a routine backup from your hosting service.

9. Regularly update WordPress

Neglecting updates is one of the major errors that WordPress site owners make. You do this out of concern for how it can harm your classified website. But unfortunately, you can lose even more because of their worry.

Always update to the latest version. Updates are essential since they give you new features and care for the ever-changing threats. Developers quickly respond and typically create updates to handle the many new dangers that emerge. In addition, updates often include security patches, so update prudently to keep your WordPress version up to current. 

10. Not Updating Plugins or Theme

You frequently take updates from plugins and themes for granted despite their critical relevance, similar to the prior statement. However, you should remember that plugins and themes might help hackers access your website if you buy plugins and themes from unknown third-party sources.

Use only themes and plugins that come from reliable WordPress developers. In addition, as committed as you are to upgrading your website, be sure to update the plugins and themes to maintain their integrity regularly.

Additionally, it would help if you considered replacing any themes or plugins that have not received updates in a sizable amount of time with more recent versions of comparable plugins. Themes and outdated plugins serve as breeding grounds for cyber threats. Check the Radiustheme website for all the latest WordPress themes and plugins.

11. Use a reliable Classified Ads and Directory theme and plugins.

Classima - Classified ads & directory WordPress theme

There are so many themes in the WordPress industry that offers all the features of a Classified listing website. But not all the themes are cleanly coded, and it can take a lot of time to load the page. Also, there are so many WordPress directory plugin that we can install for free on WordPress.org. But not all the plugins are worthy to offer security and privacy features for your customers. Therefore, a professional hacker will find a weak way to access these themes and insecure plugins easily.

Buy a strong and multifunctional premium classified ads WordPress theme like Classima. It contains every feature needed to build a safe classified listing website. You don’t need to code to develop the website. Instead, it takes a single click to deploy all the useful pages, and the site gets ready.

Similarly, you can use the most robust plugin like the Classified listing and directory pro. It has both free and pro options. This plugin may enable ReCaptcha for the User Registration, New Listing, Contact, Report Abuse, and Store contact forms. Thus, you can prevent any spamming activity. Also, it has addon features, which you can buy from their website. For example, mobile number verification is a great addon that sends OTP to verify the real user and secure the Classified website access. Another cool plugin is the seller verification badge, which can easily distinguish between a real seller and a scammer from the admin.

Final words

You must pay close attention to the security of your classified listing and directory websites because it is quite important. The blunders mentioned above are some of the biggest and most frequently committed ones that result in hacked sites. Many negative effects are challenging to overcome, especially for smaller site owners.

The best news is that all these steps can help you protect your website successfully. So make it a point to keep an eye out for these eleven security measures so your website doesn’t get into any security issues.

You will be much safer than most WordPress sites if you can accomplish that. But don’t be careless. Ensure that you put proper security measures to be the best-classified listing website.