If you manage a WordPress site then you should take your website’s security seriously. Why is that? Because WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) and powers over 35% of all sites in the World. Needless to say that it is also the favorite target of hackers and spammers who seek to take over your website for their vested interests. For this reason, you should secure your WordPress site using these 9 proven methods.
Take your WordPress login security seriously
As part of sound login security practice, you should take care of three things: changing your WordPress username, using a hard-to-guess username and password, and securing your login page.
When you install a new WordPress website, your default username is ‘admin.’ This is the easiest username to guess for any hacker. So, the first thing you should do is change your WordPress username to something that is very difficult to guess for anyone.
Next, you should keep a strong password. You can change your password by visiting the profile settings in the WordPress admin dashboard. You can either set the password on your own or keep the one that WordPress suggests.
After this, you should secure your WordPress login page by setting up 2-factor authentication (2FA) so that even if a hacker hacks your username and password, he still cannot gain access to your WordPress site thanks to the 2FA shield.
Install a WordPress security plugin
Many WordPress security plugins offer comprehensive protection for your WordPress website, and almost all security plugins have the following features in common:
- Change the default “admin” username
- Password strength tool
- Protect against brute force attack login
- Lockdown your login page after x number of failed login attempts
- Blacklist users by IP
- Secure your WordPress database
- Secure your .htaccess file
And many more features
Some of the popular WordPress security plugins include All In WP Security and Plugin, iThemes Security, WordFence, BulletProof Security, and many more.
Secure your WordPress site with SSL
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) secures the communication between your website and the users’ browser. If you accept payments on your website or allow user registration, you should undoubtedly install an SSL certificate on your WordPress site.
If you think you need to pay a premium for SSL certificates, think again. Let’s Encrypt, supported by the likes of WordPress and Google, provides free unlimited SSL certificates for your WordPress websites. All you have to do is download the install the certificates.
Update your themes and plugins regularly
Want to know an exciting WordPress security fact? About 42% of all attacks on WordPress are due to outdated plugins. There are more than 55,000 plugins on the WordPress repository and about 3% are never updated.
Also, the most popular plugins are the favorite target of hackers who are always looking for vulnerabilities in the plugin code to inject malware in your WordPress site through the backdoor. Don’t make things easy for them.
Make sure to update your WordPress themes and plugins regularly. Even better, you can enable auto-updates of themes and plugins by adding a code in your .htaccess file or use a plugin like JetPack to auto-update your other installed plugins.
Hide the fact that you’re using WordPress
Do you want to get even more radical with your WordPress security? You can hide your WordPress themes, plugins, login page, and much more from prying eyes by using the plugin Hide My WP Ghost. You can hide the fact that you’re using WordPress on your website.
Now, if spambots and hack bots cannot figure out that you’re using WordPress, it will reduce the spam and hack attempts on your WordPress website.
Don’t fall prey to nulled plugins or themes
One of the biggest pluses of using WordPress is the sheer number of premium plugins and themes you can use to extend WordPress functionality. But many people who are unable to afford these premium plugins and themes end up installing “nulled” or hacked plugins and themes on their WordPress website.
These plugins and themes are obtained from doubtful sources and often contain malicious code that can play havoc with your WordPress website without your knowledge. So, you should cease from falling prey to the temptation of saving from money by using these nulled plugins and themes.
If you are unable to purchase these plugins or themes, remember that there are great free options available on the WordPress repository. These plugins and themes may not have all the features offered by the premium versions, but still, their free features are sufficient for most bloggers and website owners.
Protect against DDoS attacks
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise, and these co-ordinated attacks can torpedo your WordPress website if you do not take preventive measures.
One of the easiest (and free) ways to prevent DDoS attacks is by using Cloudflare. Cloudflare not only protects your WordPress website from online security threats, it even provides free DDoS protection. What’s more, you can also speed up your website loading times with Cloudflare.
Don’t give admin access to anyone
The admin user has full control over a WordPress site. You should not share your admin credentials with anyone. If you need to provide access to users like your web hosting support or developers, you should create a separate user account with the desired access level so that no one can tinker with your crucial WordPress files or delete your WordPress posts and pages.
WordPress allows the creation of user accounts with different access levels like Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. For most purposes, user access with Author permission should be adequate.
Perform security audits regularly
To secure your WordPress website, you should carry out regular security audits using the security plugins I listed earlier. These security audits highlight the chinks in your website security and also offer the solution to close the security loopholes.
I hope you found these 9 tips on securing your WordPress website useful. Even if you implement the majority of these techniques, you will have a more robust and more secure WordPress website in no time.
What’s more, these tips will allow you to concentrate on growing your blog or website and achieve the goals you wish to attain using WordPress.