WordPress has been turned into the most popular term in the website industry for the last few years. Most of the professionals already declared this as the best Content Management System in the world. For some very logical reasons, its security is a significant issue for the webmasters. Today, we are going to discuss on this particular issue and will try to provide a comprehensive WordPress security guide to protect your site smartly. You don’t need to be an expert to do all this stuff. Let’s have a look at the security checklist below.
The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide
There are a lot of things to implement to increase WordPress security. As over 30 percent of total websites on the web are built with this CMS, hackers choose this platform to show their talents. So, what to do now? We picked some of the best WordPress security tips from experts to provide you a reliable solution. Let’s go through this step by step.
Keep WordPress Updated
WordPress wants you to keep updated with the latest version. It doesn’t update too often, but you should check the dashboard regularly. The update is essential as it increases the security and fixes the bugs from the earlier versions. Sometimes, they declare some new features in the updated versions to make some tasks easier.
Use Email ID To Login
After installation of a WordPress site, you will find a default user name. Put an email ID as the user name to make it more secure. Many users don’t care about this. The reason is maybe the willingness only! Whether you keep an email ID to login the dashboard, it becomes difficult for the breachers to make any hamper to your site.
Use A Strong And Unique Password
Using a common and easy password is not a good practice at all. Hackers always try to log in the dashboard with some common terms related to the website. So, try to listen to what WordPress suggests. Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and special characters together to set a strong password. Hackers can rarely determine if you go this way.
There is also another way to do this. You can also use a password generator to make this easier. One thing to add here. Don’t keep the password for a long time. Change it after a certain period.
Change The Website Login URL
By default, every WordPress site has a common URL to access it. After the main site’s URL, you will see wp-login.php or wp-admin. That’s the most common scenario in almost every WP site. For this reason, hackers get an extra benefit to get into your files. You can change the login URL through any security plugin from the WordPress directory. It makes confusing for the attackers to find out the original login page.
Use Secure Connections
A secure connection is always crucial for every website. Most of the users don’t even concentrate on this significant issue. Make sure that you are using a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) to transfer files. Thus, your data will remain safe and encrypted. Another way is to enable the highest level of encryption on your WiFi connection. Be aware of keeping the firmware of your router up to date.
Update WordPress Themes And Plugins Regularly
At the time of using the WordPress platform, you will see the update notification of themes and plugins regularly. Developers always update the files with something new or with fixing bugs. Hackers try to exploit bugs through the old versions you are using. So, make sure you update all the themes and plugins manually.
Use A Secure Hosting
Using a secure hosting plan is another essential part of this WordPress security guide. A good quality service provider ensures you to get protection from unwanted threats. They provide the best possible support by monitoring their network for suspicious activity. The top quality hosting providers keep their server software and hardware updated. That’s another reason to get a secure place for your data. So, choose a reliable and secure hosting company that you can trust to keep your WP site safe.
Always Keep Backup
It’s crucial to keep the backup of your WordPress files. Professionals always suggest making a complete backup of the entire site. Something may go wrong even after maintaining the WordPress security checklist. So, you have to keep it safe in another way. Initially, it may seem to be time-consuming, but it does worth a lot. In the manual process, it takes a lot of time to complete the task. You can use a trusted backup plugin to do this automatically.
Remove Unused Themes And Plugins
It’s a good practice to check out the file directory. There can be some files that are not being used anymore. So, you should find the plugins and themes (it has), and remove them from the drive. Hackers always keep trying to get inside the unused and older files. It’s better to remove them permanently.
Limit Login Attempts
Whenever hackers plan to hack a site, they try in several methods one after another. The attempt continues with different passwords. You can limit login attempts to get the better safety of your website. The plugin will notify you if someone tries to get into the database even after the repeated failure of brute force attacks. If it continues, the security plugin will ban the IP of the hacker.
Logout Idle Users
Maybe a user is away from his/her desk after login to the WP database. There can be a chance to be affected by the breachers in the meantime. It’s better to use the auto-logout plugin for the inactive or idle user in the system. You can customize the time limit as per your wish. After the season, the idle users will be logged out automatically.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
In the list of our WordPress security guide, this one is one of the essential parts to secure a site. In recent times, many of the webmasters are using this trick through a smart security plugin. We are talking about the two-factor authentication (2FA) system, which is regarded as a powerful security measure. In this process, the plugin sends a secret code or character to your phone. Only the owner can see this and log in with that.
Protect Against DDoS Attacks
DDoS (Daniel of Service) is maybe the most dangerous attack in the system that occurs against the server bandwidth. Many giant websites get affected by this every year. Get the solution from the most reliable and popular security plugins like Cloudflare or Securi to harden WordPress security. It helps to analyze the bandwidth and protect DDoS attacks from hackers.
Disable File Editing
You may not be the person who only gets access to the site. For several reasons, multiple users may need to log in the dashboard. What if anyone makes an edit to the important files? Make sure to disable file editing of your WordPress site. Provide the proper roles and permissions to the users. Otherwise, you may have to see a white screen of death. It is absolutely disappointing. You can do it by a simple plugin or by yourself. Just make a simple addition to your config.php file.
//Disallow file edit
Define (‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);
Change The Database Table Prefix
WordPress table prefix (“wp-”) is a common term if you are familiar with installing WordPress. Make change the default table prefix name and keep something uncommon. It will be much harder to make an assumption for the hacker.
Make The Best Use of SSL
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a hot topic today to establish a secure connection between servers and users. This has been a must thing whether to receive sensitive user information. Using an SSL certificate is very simple. Many hosting providers provide this for free. You can also buy from a third party service provider. One thing to add here. SSL is also an essential and important factor for Google ranking. So, don’t forget to make the best use of this system.
Add Security Questions
Adding security questions can be a proper measurement of strong security. It adds an extra layer to your WordPress website. Add some different and tough questions in your login page. It makes sense that nobody can reply to the queries you put in the form. To do that, make use of a popular plugin. Apart from this, you can also include captcha form beside the security questions. It will make the website security stronger.
Use Security Plugin
Besides following some tactics and rules, it’s essential to use a WordPress security plugin. There are a lot of security plugins in the directory. Some of them are free to use, and some are premium. The plugin checks the core files, including themes and plugins for malicious codes. Some popular plugins are Wordfence Security, Securi Security, iThemes Security, etc.
Some Additional WordPress Security Tips
Don’t Use Nulled Files
Many webmasters use nulled files to build their sites. Maybe the reason is to reduce some costs or lack of knowledge. Website security experts always discourage to avoid nulled themes and plugins from unauthorized places. This is most probably the easiest way to get hacked.
Avoid Using WordPress Version Number
Using the WordPress version number is not a compulsory factor in developing or a site. If a hacker knows the version of WordPress you are using, it becomes easier attacking to your files. So, remove the version name from the source file and let it be unknown to the breachers.
Protect Sensitive Data
There are some sensitive files in your WordPress directory like wp-config.php, readme.html, licence.txt, etc. The files contain sensitive information. It can occur great damage if some get access to these files. So, it’s a good practice to use the .htacess file to hide the important files. Thus, you don’t have to take any headache about this.
Here is the simple code to paste in the root directory (code given for wp-config.php file only).
# Protect .htaccess
Order allow, deny
Deny from all
# Protect wp-config.php
Order allow, deny
Deny from all
Prevent SQL Injection
SQL injection is a very common way to destroy the entire database of your WordPress site. The injection can happen anywhere like login portals, search bars, contact forms, subscription pop-ups, and more. So, take the necessary steps to protect your database from hackers against SQL injection.
Wrapping Up on WP Security
So, we have come to the ending point of this WordPress security blog. As per research, there are a lot of WordPress security issues which are not finished yet. Hackers are trying to discover new ways to attack every day. A simple careless incident can bring negative impacts to your favorite site. For that reason, we provided you a simple but crucial WordPress security guide to improve the site’s security.
Hopefully, you will be benefitted enough by these security tips to secure your WordPress site. Do you have any other tips to protect WordPress site from hackers? Feel free to share your preferences through the comment section or email.