WordPress is the most widely used Content Management System (CMS), powering over 30% of all websites. However, as it rises in popularity, hackers have taken notice and are beginning to target WordPress sites explicitly. You are not an exception, regardless of the type of content you give on your website. Chances are that you might get hacked if you do not take the necessary safeguards. So, check the security of your website, as you do with anything technology-related.
In this article, we’ll go through our top ten tips for keeping your WordPress site safe.
Choose a Good Hosting Company
Choosing a hosting service that has numerous levels of security is the simplest method to keep your site safe.
It may sound appealing to choose a low-cost hosting provider; after all, saving money on website hosting allows you to spend it elsewhere in your company. This path, however, should not be taken. It can, and frequently does, lead to nightmares in the future. Your information could be fully wiped, and your URL could start referring to a different location.
When you pay a little more for a good hosting firm, you get extra levels of security automatically applied to your website. Another advantage is that you may substantially speed up your WordPress site by choosing reliable WordPress hosting.
While there are numerous hosting companies to choose from, WPEngine is one of our favorites. They offer a variety of security features, including regular virus scans and access to assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Their price is also affordable, which is frosting on the cake.
Don’t Use Nulled Themes
Premium WordPress themes are more professional-looking and offer more customization options than free themes. However, it may be argued that you get what you pay for. Premium themes are built by expert developers and tested to pass many WordPress checks right out of the box. Customizing your theme is completely unrestricted, and you’ll get full support if something goes wrong with your site. Most importantly, you’ll receive regular theme updates.
There are, however, a few websites that offer nulled or cracked themes. A nulled or cracked theme is a paid theme that has been hacked and made available through illicit means. They are also quite hazardous to your website. Those themes may contain hidden harmful code that could cause your website and database to crash or log your admin credentials.
While it may be tempting to save a few dollars by using nulled themes, do not do so.
Install a WordPress Security Plugin
Regularly checking your website security for malware is time-consuming, and unless you keep your understanding of coding techniques up to date, you may not even realize you’re looking at malware written into the code. Other people, thankfully, have recognized that not everyone is a developer and have created WordPress security plugins to assist. A security plugin looks after your site’s security, scans for malware, and keeps an eye on it 24 hours a day, seven days a week to see what’s going on.
Sucuri.net is a fantastic security plugin for WordPress. Security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, effective security hardening, post-hack security actions, security notifications, and even website firewall are some of the services they provide (for a premium)
Use a Strong Password
Passwords are a critical component of website security that is all too often overlooked. If you’re using a simple password like “123456, abc123, password,” you should change it right away. This password is simple to remember, but it is also simple to guess. An advanced user can easily crack your password and gain access to your account without difficulty.
It’s critical to choose a difficult password, or better yet, one that’s generated automatically using a mix of numbers, illogical letter combinations, and special characters like percent or /,[.
Disable File Editing
In your WordPress dashboard, there is a code editor function that allows you to edit your theme and plugins as you’re setting up your site. Appearance>Editor is where you’ll find it. You may also access the plugin editor by heading to Plugins>Editor.
We recommend that you disable this functionality once your site is live. Hackers can inject subtle, malicious code into your theme and plugin if they obtain access to your WordPress admin panel. The coding is often so subtle that you won’t notice anything is wrong until it’s too late.
Simply enter the following code into your wp-config.php file to prevent the ability to alter plugins and theme files.
Install SSL Certificate
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is now widely used for all types of websites. Initially, an SSL certificate was required to make a website safe for specific processes, such as payment processing. Today, however, Google has realized its significance and gives SSL-enabled websites a higher ranking in its search results.
SSL is required for any site that handles sensitive data, such as passwords or credit card numbers. All data between the user’s web browser and your web server is transferred in plain text if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Hackers may be able to read this. Using an SSL encrypts important information before it is sent between their browser and your server, making it more difficult to read and increasing the security of your site.
The average SSL pricing for websites that accept sensitive information is roughly $70-$199 per year. You don’t need to pay for an SSL certificate if you don’t accept any sensitive data. Almost every hosting provider provides a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate that you can use to secure your website.
Change your WP-login URL
The address for logging into WordPress is “yoursite.com/wp-admin” by default. If you leave it as is, you risk being the victim of a brute force attack aimed at cracking your username/password combination. You may receive a large number of spam registrations if you allow users to register for subscription accounts. Change the admin login URL or add a security question to the register and login page to prevent this.
Add a 2-factor authentication plugin to your WordPress site to further secure your login page. When you try to log in, you’ll be asked to provide additional authentication, such as your password and an email address (or text). This is a more advanced security feature that keeps hackers out of your site.
Check which IP addresses have the most failed login attempts, and then ban those IP addresses.
Limit Login Attempts
WordPress allows users to try to log in as many times as they like by default. While this may aid in remembering which letters are capital, it also exposes you to brute force attacks.
Users can try a limited number of times until they are temporarily blocked by restricting the number of login attempts. The hacker is locked out before they can execute their attack, limiting your chances of a brute force attack.
With a WordPress login limit attempts plugin, you can easily enable this. After installing the plugin, go to Settings> Login Limit Tries and modify the number of login attempts. You can also enable login attempts without the need for a plugin.
Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files
While hiding your site’s.htaccess and wp-config.php files to prevent hackers from accessing them is a sophisticated method for boosting your site’s security, it’s a smart practice if you’re serious about your security.
We strongly advise experienced developers to adopt this option, as it’s critical to take a backup of your site first and proceed with caution. Any error could render your website inaccessible.
To hide the files, after your backup, there are two things you need to do:
First, go to your wp-config.php file and add the following code,
deny from all
In a similar method, you will add the following code to your .htaccess file,
deny from all
Although the process itself is very easy it’s important to ensure you have the backup before beginning in case anything goes wrong in the process.
Update your WordPress version
It is a good practice to maintain your WordPress up to date to keep your website secure. Developers make a few changes with each version, and security features are frequently updated. By keeping your software up to date, you may help protect yourself from becoming a target for pre-identified gaps and exploits that hackers can use to get access to your website.
It’s also crucial to keep your plugins and themes up to date for the same reasons.
WordPress downloads minor updates automatically by default. Major adjustments, on the other hand, must be made directly from your WordPress admin dashboard.
One of the most important aspects of a website is its security. Hackers can easily attack your site if you don’t keep your WordPress security up to date. Maintaining the security of your website is simple and maybe done for free. Some of these solutions are intended for expert users, but if you have any questions, I’m just a click away.