WordPress is the most commonly 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 specifically. No matter what types of content your site provides, you are not an exception. You might be hacked if you don’t take certain steps. You should examine the security of your website, as you do with anything technology-related.
In this article, we’ll go over our top 10 Best WordPress Tips to Make Your Website Secure.
1. Choose a Good Hosting Company
Choosing a hosting service that has multiple levels of protection is the simplest method to keep your site secure.
It may seem 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 often does, leads to nightmares in the past. Your data could be completely erased and your URL could begin redirecting somewhere else.
When you pay a little more for a good hosting firm, you get extra levels of security automatically applied to your website. An additional benefit, by using good WordPress hosting, you can significantly speed up your WordPress site.
While there are many hosting companies to choose from, WPEngine is one of our favorites. They provide a variety of security features, including regular malware scans and access to support 24/7 a day, 7 days 365 days a year. Their price is also reasonable, which is icing on the cake.
2. Don’t Use Nulled Themes
Premium WordPress themes are more professional-looking and provide more customization options than free themes. But one could argue you get what you pay for. Premium themes are built by expert developers and tested to pass many WordPress checks straight out of the box. There are no restrictions on customizing your theme, and you will get full support if something does go wrong on your site. Most important, you’ll receive regular theme updates.
There are, however, a few sites that provide nulled or cracked themes. A nulled or cracked theme is a paid theme that has been hacked and made available via illegal means. They are also quite dangerous to your website. Those themes contain hidden malicious codes, which could destroy your website and database or log your admin credentials.
While it may be tempting to save a few bucks, always avoid nulled themes.
3. 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 know you’re looking at malware coded into the code. Other people, thankfully, have recognized that not everyone is a developer and have created WordPress security plugins to help. A security plugin takes care of your site security, scans for malware, and monitors your site 24/7 to regularly check what is happening on your site.
iThemes is a great WordPress security plugin. Security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, efficient security hardening, post-hack security measures, security notifications, and even a website firewall are some of the services they provide (for a premium)
4. Use a Strong Password
Passwords are a vital part 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 get in without much hassle.
It’s important you use a complex password, or better yet, one that is auto-generated with a variety of numbers, nonsensical letter combinations, and special characters like % or ^.
5. Disable File Editing
In your WordPress dashboard, there is a code editor tool that allows you to change your theme and plugins as you’re setting up your site. Appearance>Editor that’s where you’ll find it. You may also use the plugin editor by going to Plugins>Editor.
We recommend that you disable this feature once your site is online. Hackers can inject subtle, malicious code into your theme and plugin if they obtain access to your WordPress admin panel. Often times the code will be so subtle you may not notice anything is amiss until it is too late.
Often times the code will be so subtle you may not notice anything is amiss until it is too late. Simply enter the following code into your wp-config.php file to prevent the ability to alter plugins and theme files.
6. Install SSL Certificate
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is now widely used in all types of websites. Initially, SSL was required to make a website safe for specific transactions, such as payment processing. Today, however, Google has recognized its importance and provides sites with an SSL certificate a more weighted place within 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 delivered in plain text if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Hackers may be able to read this. Using an SSL encodes important information before it is sent between their browser and your server, making it more difficult to read and improving the security of your site.
The typical SSL price for websites that take sensitive information is around $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.
7. Change your WP-login URL
“yoursite.com/wp-admin” is the default URL for login into WordPress. If you leave it as is, you risk being the target of a brute force attack targeted at breaking 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.
- Pro Tip: 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 extra authentication, such as your password and an email address (or text). This is an enhanced security feature to prevent hackers from accessing your site.
- Pro Tip 2: Check which IP addresses have the most failed login attempts, and then ban those IP addresses.
8. 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 opens you to brute force While this may aid in remembering which letters are capital, it also opens you to brute force attacks.
Users can try a limited number of times until they are temporarily barred by restricting the number of login attempts. The hacker is locked out before they can execute their attack, reducing your chances of a brute force attack.
You can enable this easily with a WordPress login limit attempts plugin. After you’ve installed the plugin you can change the number of login attempts via Settings> Login Limit Attempts. If you wish to enable login attempts without a plugin you can also do so. The full tutorial is here.
9. 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 an advanced method for improving your site’s security, it’s a smart practice if you’re serious about your security.
We strongly advise experienced developers to implement this option, since it’s critical to take a backup of your site first and continue with caution. Any error might render your site inaccessible.
After you’ve made a backup, there are two things you need to perform to hide the files: To begin, add the following code to your wp-config.php file:
<Files wp-config.php> order allow,deny deny from all </Files>
In a similar method, you will add the following code to your .htaccess file,
<Files .htaccess> order allow,deny deny from all </Files>
10. Update your WordPress version
It is a good habit to keep your WordPress up to date in order to keep your website safe. Developers make a few changes with each update, and security features are often updated. By keeping your software updated, you may help protect yourself from being 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. For major updates, however, you will need to update it directly from your WordPress admin dashboard.
WordPress security is one of the crucial parts of a website. If you don’t maintain your WordPress security, hackers can easily attack your site. Secure your website with iThemes
Also Read: How To Secure Your WordPress Website? Also Read: Why Do I Need an SSL Certificate and How Does It Work? Also Read: What Is SSL Certificate? Also Read: BackupBuddy Plugin Review 2022 Why You Need a Backup Plugin WordPress Site.
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