Virtual Private Network (VPN) services have picked up steam in recent years, as you have no doubt observed yourself. From YouTube sponsorships to paid ads in social media, and from site ads to word of mouth, they’re everywhere. And for a good reason too; VPNs are no temporary bubble, by any means. They offer a valuable service to businesses and individual internet users alike. Most importantly, in the context of this article, they are also an invaluable tool for WordPress sites and their owners. If you’re wondering, then, how WordPress users benefit from VPN services, read on.
What’s a VPN service?
Before we delve into the specifics of how WordPress users benefit from VPN, let us briefly define VPN.
A Virtual Private Network is what the name likely suggests. It offers a tunnel between a device and a private network, which goes through a public network. Encryption is not an inherent attribute of a VPN, but it is so common that it’s often a significant selling point. Wikipedia explains that “[a] VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated circuits or with tunneling protocols over existing networks”; in short, it’s a safe route to your private networks.
Public networks, such as Wi-Fi that cafes, hotels, and airports offer, are often notoriously under-protected. Therefore, many internet users use VPNs as a means of protection. And with rampant data collection by companies and the threat of malicious actors to boot, who can blame them.
How WordPress users benefit from VPN
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) today. It’s open-source, powerful, flexible, and mostly free – save for some paid plugins and extensions. As a result, it now powers over 30% of all sites on the internet. In turn, it’s a frequent target for hackers and other malicious actors. Indeed, a 2017 report by Sucuri found that 83% of all infected websites used WordPress as their CMS platform. Therefore, an invaluable benefit of VPN for WordPress users and sites is added security.
The additional layer of security is not the sole benefit of VPNs, however. Security and privacy aside, VPN also offers access to geo-restricted apps and websites, as well as oft-overlooked SEO benefits.
VPN security benefits
Arguably the most frequent selling point of VPNs, one should not overlook the additional layers of both security and privacy. Let us start by addressing the former.
In terms of security, there are, of course, other steps to take before using a VPN. Namely, WordPress users resort to the following key steps:
- Installing an SSL certificate from their web hosting provider
- Installing a WordPress security plugin
- Using a VPN service
Since the first two steps are mostly self-explanatory, let us delve into how WordPress users benefit from VPN security-wise.
Both businesses and individuals tend to log into their WordPress sites through secure networks, a home, or a work internet connection. However, business trips, vacations, and other travels may necessitate using an unfamiliar public network, such as a hotel or café Wi-Fi. In those cases, then, VPNs’ data encryption addresses this security concern and keeps their data safe. It is especially vital if the website in question doesn’t have HTTPS, of course.
VPN privacy benefits
While it may seem that security and privacy are interchangeable terms, that’s not quite the case. The two certainly overlap, but WordPress users benefit from VPN in distinct ways privacy-wise.
To begin with, privacy concerns are specific. A third party may discover your real IP and monitor your activity, or acquire other personal information. Individuals aside, this is particularly true for businesses that collect client information. It can be a catastrophic event if valuable client data leaks, such as credit card information or home addresses. We all have at least a few such examples in recent memory; Twitch in 2015, Equifax, and Uber in 2017. It can be a serious blow to a business’s reputation, and a PR nightmare to address.
Using a VPN addresses those concerns by encrypting and securing your data transfers.
VPN geo-blocking access benefits
Many VPN users likely know of this particular benefit, as it’s a rather prominent feature. Accessing geo-blocked content, such as apps and websites, is an invaluable asset for many WordPress users included.
VPNs make this possible by allowing users to connect to such content through a VPN server that’s local to it. As they do, they also mask the user’s IP address and data that identifies their location. This feature is handy in terms of, say, entertainment, but WordPress users benefit from VPN professionally in this regard. Namely, they can access geo-blocked tools and services, as well as other resources.
Should you need access to geo-blocked resources, then a VPN can provide it. It can, in turn, boost your WordPress site as you enjoy increased access to tools and research assets.
VPN SEO benefits
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, to many businesses, WordPress users benefit from VPN in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Many may overlook this factor, but it is indeed a noteworthy one.
Search engines collect data about their users, which can affect search results. Namely:
- Search history
- Miscellaneous/other data
Therefore, search results and ads may cater to said information, instead of being completely neutral. For example, if you research airlines to write about them, Google will personalize your results based on this presumed interest. However, this can work against your SEO efforts, especially when you monitor your rankings and ads.
Thus, the anonymity that VPNs provide can be of tremendous help in terms of SEO. When you need a clear picture of your business’s local or global SEO efforts, a VPN may be just the tool you need.
In conclusion, it should now be clear that VPN services are far from trivial. They are by no means just a torrent assistant or a tool to access geo-blocked entertainment. On the contrary, they can offer WordPress users immense benefits, from security and privacy to geo-blocking circumvention and SEO. And fortunately, their surge in popularity only ensures that more powerful options will continue to become available.