WordPress is, and for a good reason, one of the most shared content management systems out there. It is easy to use, thousands of themes and plugins are available for it, and with it, you can build any sort of website. No wonder, then, that WordPress powers 35.6 percent of all websites on the internet.
Why the WordPress Security Tips Topic? Because of the insecurity of all pages. No matter how much effort you’ve put into launching your web, even if you may not have done anything wrong, it will still find itself in harm’s way. This is just how the Internet operates and how it carries out random attacks. But most risks can be avoided if you only spend a short time implementing these ten essential security tips for WordPress:
To keep your site secure, 17 WordPress security tips.
- When it comes to doing a routine search, there are a few items you need to place on the list. To keep you safe, checking these measures once a month or so should be enough.
- We’re going to concentrate on the main areas of the platform. A website is, to some degree, like the human body. It affects the entire system if a particular component is affected.
What to do here:
1. Regularly Update WordPress
WordPress is enhanced with every new release, and its security is also enhanced. Every time a new version comes out, lots of bugs and vulnerabilities are fixed. If any especially malicious bug is found, the core WordPress guys will take care of it immediately and promptly force a new safe version. You’ll be at risk if you don’t upgrade them.
You first need to go to your dashboard to update WordPress. You’ll see an announcement at the top of the page any time a new version comes out. Click to update and then click the “Update Now” button in the blue color. It takes only a few seconds.
2. Update The Themes And Plugins For Your
For plugins and themes, the same goes. Your current theme and the plugins that you have installed on your site should be updated. It allows you to prevent vulnerabilities, bugs, and possible security breach points.
Like most software products, specific plugins may get breached every once in a while, or security holes may be discovered in them. For instance, in the past, plugins such as Ninja Types and WooCommerce have been hit with very nasty issues. So, how are your themes and plugins updated?
Let’s get the plugins started. Go to Plugins / Installed Plugins; you’ll see a list of all your plugins. If the latest version of a specific plugin is not available, WordPress will let you know:
- I have two old plugin versions, for instance, so all I need to do is click under each one on “update now,” and they’ll be ready in a couple of seconds.
- Go to Appearance / Themes to update your theme, and you can see all your installed themes there. The obsolete ones will be marked just as they were plugins. Only click “Update now.”
- Besides upgrading every plugin and theme, bear in mind that the plugins and themes that you don’t need at the moment are also disabled. It’s just unneeded weight. Among these WordPress security tips, consider this a bonus one.
3. Back-Up Your Site Occasionally
It’s about making a copy of all the site’s data to back up the site and storing it somewhere secure. That way, in case anything wrong occurs, you can restore the site from that backup copy.
You need a plugin to back up your site. Here, there are plenty of good backup options. For instance, Jetpack now has some built-in backup features, priced at an affordable $3.50 / month. You get regular backups, one-click restore, spam blocker, and 30-day archive backups for that.
There’s also an alternative free of charge, UpdraftPlus.
Here are some more tips + how-to on your WordPress account backup.
4. Limit Login Attempts And Frequently Change Passwords
Don’t allow unlimited username and password attempts in your login form since this is precisely what makes a hacker succeed. If you let them do it an infinite amount of times, your login information will finally be discovered. To avoid that, restricting the available attempts is the first thing you can do.
To limit future login attempts, you can use specific specialized plugins. For instance, two widespread solutions are both free:
You further reduce the likelihood of any hacker breaking into your site by changing your passwords regularly. However, I don’t mean every day by “often” … once in 2-3 months, it would be enough. For those that are trying to break in, diversity kills the fun
5. Have A Firewall Installed
Another one of our security tips for WordPress deals with firewalls. On a machine of yours Usually, firewalls safeguard your computer from various online threats. This way, if it’s suspicious, each odd thing that tries to interact with you will be questioned and held away.
This has nothing to do with your WordPress site, per se, at least it does not have a direct link, but for one crucial reason, installing a firewall on your computer is still worth the effort:
- You use your computer to connect to your website’s admin area. Therefore, if your device has been compromised, your connection to the website may also be at risk.
- Norton Internet Security, Comodo, or ZoneAlarm would be a couple of instruments for this reason. The latter would be free On your website with WordPress
- You can install security tools right on your WordPress website as well, apart from installing a firewall on your computer. This kind of firewall protects your website against viruses, malware, attacks by hackers, etc.
- In this regard, Sucuri does a great job, and it’s one of the best WordPress security services out there. It sort of does everything a little bit.
6. Limit The Access Of Users To Your Site
Be cautious when setting up new user accounts, too, if you are not the only user who can access your site. You should control everything and try to restrict access of any kind to users who do not necessarily need it. You could restrict their functions and permissions if you have many users. They should only have access to the features that are required for them to do their work.
Force Strong Passwords can also assist you with this issue. By default, WordPress recommends a strong password, but if you pick a weak one, it will not force you to change it. Unless your password is powerful enough, this plugin will not let you continue. For all the individuals entering your admin, this could be the right solution. Essentially, it’s your only way to ensure that, just like you, they use strong passwords.
7. Rename Your URL for Login
The URL you use to log into your dashboard by default is either wp-login.php or wp-admin, added after your web’s main URL. And guess what, those two are also the hackers’ most accessed URLs that want to get into your database. You decrease the odds of finding yourself in trouble if you alter the URL. For hackers, guessing a custom login URL is much more challenging.
The iThemes Security plugin does this trick. For example, your login URL can be transformed into something. This is one of those security tips for WordPress that’s very easy to do.
8. Allow for Security Scans
Security scans are done by specialized software/plugins that search for anything suspicious through your entire website. If something is found, it’s instantly removed. Just like anti-viruses, those scanners work.
You can use the Jetpack mentioned above plugin for a simple and affordable solution. It also has daily scans for malware and threats with manual resolution, aside from the backup features (this plan is $9 / month). Alternatively, CodeGuard, or SucuriSiteCheck, can also be used.
9. Using SSL
A great strategy through which you can encrypt your admin information is SSL (Secure Socket Layer). SSL makes it safe to transfer data between the user’s browser and the server. Two ways to get an SSL certificate are available:
- A) Buy one like RapidSSL from a third-party company.
- B) Ask for one from your hosting supplier. Sometimes, in some hosting plans, this comes as a feature. It is possible that you can get one at no extra cost, depending on your host.
Page Hosting, for example, comes with free SSL on all plans.
10. Protect Your Wp-Config.Php Configuration
The wp-config.php file is one of the most critical files on your site and is therefore vulnerable. It hosts critical data and information about your entire WordPress installation. It’s the core of your WordPress site, technically. You will not be able to use your blog usually if something terrible happens to it.
You can take that wp-config.php file and move it one step above your WordPress root directory with a straightforward thing you can do. Your WordPress site will not be affected by this move at all, but hackers will no longer find it.
To post on your blog, use a contributor or editor account.
Consider creating a blogger or editor account to add fresh posts and articles to your blog if you want to take the above tip a step further. Doing so will make it harder for hackers to harm your site because there are usually no administrator privileges for contributors and editors.
11. Use a Plugin Backup
If you don’t have your website backed up yet, you need to start right away. If the worst happens and your site ends up being hacked, a backup system will help you restore your site. To create a regular backup schedule for your website, use a plugin like UpdraftPlus, and don’t forget to store the backup files offsite to make sure those files don’t end up infected as well.
12. The Admin Area Harden
When it comes to hardening the admin area, before a user is locked out of your site, you’ll need to change the default admin URL and limit the number of failed login attempts. By default, your website’s admin URL will look like this: yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Hackers understand this and will try to directly access this URL so that they can gain access to your site.
13. Use Authentication with Two-Factor
To set up two-factor authentication for your site, consider using a plugin like Google Authenticator. This means that you will also have to enter a code generated by a mobile app to log on to your site, in addition to entering your password. This can stop attacks by brute force, so setting it up now is a good idea.
14. XML-RPC Disable
XML-RPC enables your site to connect to mobile WordPress apps and plugins such as Jetpack. Unfortunately, because they can abuse this protocol to execute several commands at once and gain access to your site, it’s also a favorite of WordPress hackers. To disable this functionality, use a plugin like the Disable XML-RPC plugin.
15. Disable Reporting Errors
Error reporting is useful for troubleshooting and determining which particular plugin or theme is causing an error on your WordPress website. Once the system reports an error, however, it will also display your server path. This is a perfect chance for hackers to find out how and where they can take advantage of your site’s vulnerabilities.
16. Remove the Version Number for WordPress
Anyone who takes a look at your website’s source code can tell which version of WordPress you’re using. Since each WordPress version has public changelogs that list bugs and security patches in detail, they can quickly determine which security holes they can take advantage of.
Hotlinking is not a security breach per se. Still, it is considered theft, considering it refers to another website using the URL of your site to point directly to an image or another media file. As such, you will have to deal with legal ramifications, and because your hosting bill can go through the roof if the site that stole your image receives a lot of traffic, hotlinking can lead to unexpected costs.