Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are serious threats that every website manager must be prepared for. Unfortunately, some of the most widely publicized DDoS attacks have created a number of misconceptions about the risks associated with them. In 2012, hactivist group Anonymous launched one of these attacks against the CIA website. These types of events have led the public to believe that only large organizations are targets by DDoS attacks.
Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. There were over 2 million DDoS attacks last year alone. Word are certainly not immune to them either. WordPress websites are certainly not immune to them either. A 2014 report from Scuri showed that at least 162,000 WordPress website had been taken off-line by DDoS attacks. I have been unable to find more recent figure specific to WordPress websites, but this figure has almost certainly jumped in recent years, as DDoS attacks become more common and WordPress is more widely used.
This means that every WordPress website operator must take reasonable precautions against them. Here are some tips that WordPress users should take into consideration if they want to prevent their website from being taken off-line by a DDoS attack.
Choose your web hosting plan carefully
Choosing the right web hosting plan is one of the most important things that you can do as a WordPress website owner. You need to make sure that your hosting plan is scalable and has plenty of bandwidth. This will help you absorb a massive spike in web traffic that will occur when your site is being targeted by a DDoS attack.
You should look into using a cloud hosting provider. Cloud hosting companies tend to be a lot more scalable and you can usually get a lot more bandwidth for a fairly reasonable price. You can learn more about your cloud hosting options by reading reading up on WordPress hosting reviews.
You also need to look at your hosting providers track record for handling these types of attacks. Some hosting providers use machine learning capabilities to understand the red flags indicating that a hacker is launching a DDoS attack against one of their publishers. They can use artificial intelligence and automation to filter out that traffic to prevent any of the sites within their network from being taken down. Unfortunately, this technology is not versatile enough yet to be able to handle more sophisticated attacks. This means that webmasters must still take necessary precautions on their own end. Nevertheless, they can still minimize the threat of DDoS attacks by choosing a hosting provider that has a good track record for identifying and thwarting them.
Use a CDN
Content delivery networks (CDNs) are frequently used to improve user experience. They are especially useful for websites that reach people across different regions. They are able to match website visitors to the closest server in their region to ensure the content loads quickly and seamlessly.
As useful as CDNs are for enhancing their user experience, they are also useful for preventing DDoS attacks. One of the limitations of these attacks is that they send the vast majority of their web packets from the same point of origin. This means that WordPress webmasters can prevent one of these attacks by using a CDN like Akamai to reroute incoming traffic from a DDoS attacker to another server.
Use plugins specifically designed to stop these attacks
There are a number of WordPress security plugins that you should look into. One of the most important is the Cloudflare plugin. This plugin is specifically designed to optimize the functionality of WordPress websites and bolster security. It has a number of features that are useful for preventing DDoS attacks.
Some WordPress plugins are designed for the sole purpose of stopping these types of attacks. The Protection against DDoS plugin is one of the most highly rated. It has been downloaded over 4,000 times since it was first published a year ago. This plugin has received a five-star rating so far. Although it hasn’t been reviewed by many customers yet, this is likely to change as it gets more traction and downloads.