Here’s the reality about running a business site:
Nobody is truly ever safe.
Even the most prominent brands, with millions of dollars backing their websites, have experienced costly data breaches throughout the years.
And imagine what these online threats could do to your livelihood if they start messing around with your site!
Thankfully, there are safety measures to ensure that you have a backup if the worst comes to the worst.
Sites like BlogVault/Malcare have made managing WordPress security much, much easier.
And in this interview post, we’ll pick the brain of Akshat Choudhary, founder of BlogVault and Malware. He discussed how he started developing a WordPress backup plugin that became one of the best ones in the market.
WordPress Security Talk with BlogVault Founder Akshat Choudhary
1. Tell us a little about yourself – who you are, what you do, your background, what you enjoy doing outside of work.
I’m Akshat Choudhary, founder of BlogVault, Migrate Guru, and MalCare. We provide backup, migration, and security services to WordPress sites.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, I was hired at a large software company. I spent the next seven years building network infrastructure products at Citrix Systems before dabbling in the world of WordPress. During my time at Citrix Systems, I filed for 19 patents. And then, 10 years ago I started Blogvault. I love to travel and read biographies. I really love programming and can do it all day.
2. How did you become the Founder of Blogvault? What was the journey that got you to where you are now?
I got into WordPress very accidentally. When I was still employed at Citrix, Jeff Atwood’s popular blog Coding Horror went down. It made me realize the significance of a reliable backup service that can help a website get up and running in no time. So, I began working on a WordPress backup plugin and launched it in a few weeks. As time passed, BlogVault began attracting a few paying customers. Eventually, after a year, I quit my full-time job and made BlogVault my primary focus. I still think I’m a novice to WordPress because there is so much more to learn about.
At the moment, there are 15 of us at BlogVault, mostly programmers and a small Growth Team. Currently, we are exploring various growth strategies and seeing good results. We at BlogVault seek self-motivation and we absolutely love what we do. Occasionally the entire team goes hiking and eating out together which helps foster team spirit.
3. How did you discover WordPress and what would you be using if you hadn’t discovered it?
It is very difficult to say. There is a good chance that I would still be continuing as an engineer at my last company. It was a great place to work with some really challenging problems. It’s possible that I would have started a completely different product, completely unrelated to backups and WordPress.
4. What made you decide to develop WordPress security and backup plugins? What’s your process that resulted in this decision?
WordPress attracts a lot of attention from hackers because of its popularity. Any vulnerability found can be exploited to affect millions of sites. Having backups in such cases is critical, as the hackers can wreak havoc on the website. A good backup system will be the only recourse in such situations.
We take security very seriously. We take a number of steps to ensure that the backups are completely safe, even if a disaster were to strike your site. We do not store any data on the WordPress sites itself. In fact, our plugin cannot modify or write to the WordPress site in any way. We also store multiple copies of website backups to cover all our bases.
Security is a continuous process. You need to think about security right from the early design of any software before writing even a single line of code. A small innocuous-looking statement can also lead to major vulnerabilities. Our aim is to make managing a website as easy as possible for any user.
5. In a competitive world of WordPress plugins, what are the key factors that helped you differentiate yourself from the rest? That said, what do you think makes BlogVault and Malcare stand out in the sea of competitors?
Not to be boastful, but I genuinely think we are doing some incredible work, especially with MalCare, our security plugin. It is the first product out there which can accurately scan a WordPress site for hacks and also clean it with a click of a button. We also recently introduced a database cleaner which deep-cleans the database files as well.
I also like the folks behind WP Rocket. They have taken something which was considered a real pain and made it dead simple to use.
6. What are things related to WordPress security that users take for granted but are really important to ensure the safety of your website?
Maintaining WordPress sites on an ongoing basis is a real challenge. As the majority of WordPress users are from non-technical backgrounds, it can become a serious issue. People do not understand how crucial it is to take security measures and have a backup plan in place.
7. Has it been difficult to build a plugin dedicated to securing a WordPress site? What are the challenges of ensuring that your plugins offer the best security and backup features for your clients and users?
There are many challenges to the WordPress ecosystem. WordPress is constantly evolving and considering the rapid technology changes, keeping up is not easy at all. The biggest challenge for us is at the user level. There are many backup solutions available on the market today, and it’s certainly getting noisy. It’s important for users to know what an ideal backup solution looks like, and choose something that will give the best value.
8. What’s the most difficult part of running a WordPress security company?
I think building algorithms to find malware is challenging. There are new malwares found every day. The algorithm needs to be dynamic and evolving to detect malware efficiently. Apart from this obvious issue, fighting misinformation regarding WordPress security is another challenge. Even experts seem to give out poor advice because of the complex nature of WordPress security.
9. What do you think is the main reason for your companies success so far?
You need to set up great processes.
For example, we make it a point to have everyone involved in Customer Support in some way. Someone from the marketing team would not take any questions but then you see them jumping into Facebook groups and Twitter and helping customers out, whoever needs help with WordPress or BlogVault.
So even the marketing team gets involved with support and every single developer is made to do support. When you’re involved in support you get that first level feedback which really helps us understand what we need to change in our product to make it better for the end-user.
10. Any tips for site owners on how to make their WordPress websites even more secure?
There is no such thing as perfect security. The worst can always happen, so it’s better to be prepared. We’ve had cases of site owners who reached out to us because their sites had been blacklisted by Google because of Malware. This malware could have easily been detected, had they employed a security plugin. It’s always better to have your site backed up and to have a security plugin in place.
11. What are your productivity hacks in order to do what you do and keep moving forward?
Having teammates helps. You can’t be the only one slacking around when the team around you is firing on all cylinders.
12. Any words of motivation for our readers?
Always keep everything up-to-date and use strong passwords for your sites. Creating and maintaining a site can be overwhelming because of the risks associated with it. But it isn’t impossible to do so. You just have to accept that there are always going to be risks but do your best to keep your site safe.
Wrapping It Up
If you read the interview, you should know that WordPress security is serious business. While it’s fun making money from your websites, all of that can go away without setting up the proper protection.
With services like Malcare to detect malware and online threats in your site’s database and BlogVault to secure backup copies of your site automatically, you can rest assured that all your data is intact.
Both have free WordPress plugins that you can download and install in your dashboard. But for extra protection and security, you should consider a paid subscription.
However, setting up your WordPress security is just half of the battle.
There are other things you need to worry about to ensure that you’re running a very tight ship with your WordPress site.
And I don’t want to assume that you have time to learn and do all that!
That’s why we are offering a 7-Day Free Email Course that covers the basics of WordPress maintenance and security. You will receive actionable tips on how to keep your site secure and perform at a very high level.
Exclusive 7 Day Course
Defend your site from hackers, improve your website speed, get free uptime monitoring and learn tactics used by WordPress experts
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