7 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Website
WordPress is definitely the most popular Content Management System (CMS). In fact, WordPress is used by more than 60 million websites, including 33.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2019 powered by WordPress. In this blog post we are going to show 7 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Website. This includes everything from personal blogs to government websites with heavy website traffic. It is not hard to see why, as WordPress is totally customizable while being very easy to use.
Here are 7 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Website:
Because so many use WordPress, security is one of its’s primary concerns. Your WordPress website may be vulnerable to hackers because of a number of WordPress security issues.
Seemingly silly things such as faulty passwords and skipped updates can easily leave the door wide open to cyber thieves. Luckily, many WordPress security issues can easily be fixed if you know what to look for and take the time to do things right.
#1: Do not Skip WordPress Updates
The WordPress development team works hard to find security flaws and correct them. These fixes are delivered to users in regular core version updates.
Minor updates happen automatically however major overhauls, like the upcoming WordPress 5.3, have to be manually updated by the user. Many decide to ignore these core version updates, as they might sometimes break website components, which then require to be fixed with haste. Hackers love whenever you do this, as it makes their jobs much easier.
Core version updates aren’t the only thing you should keep up with. Your WordPress plugins and themes must be updated regularly, as well. In fact, plugins are even far more dangerous to ignore than WordPress core updates. 63% of reported WordPress security issues are caused by incompatible plugins or themes, while only 37% are because of missing core files.
Reputable WordPress plugins and themes release updates shortly following WordPress core version updates. As a general rule, do not use any questionable plugins/themes from third parties and your website will be safe.
#2: Use A Secure Web Host
The web host you select will have an effect on your WordPress website’s security. Shared servers are inexpensive however pose a possible WordPress security issue. Hackers can easily find their way into your website by first going through the other less secure websites on the shared server.
To fix for these WordPress security issues, opt for managed WordPress hosting whenever possible. Many of these web hosts even update and backup your website automatically!
#3: Rename Your WordPress Login Page
Renaming your WordPress login page is an simple and easy way to protect your website. This makes it inaccessible unless you have got the direct URL. If you are not a developer, it is possible to use the Rename wp-login.php plugin to do so-just ensure that you bookmark the changed URL.
It is really an effective WordPress security method as long as your website only enables a few administrator accounts. However, in case your WordPress website has a high number of users (like a store page) you should make admins and users use different login pages (and only hide the admin login).
#4: Keep Your Password Strong
Brute force attacks are certainly one of the most common hacking methods. Put simply, hackers use programs to manually enter ID and password combinations until they guess right.
This method is time-consuming and imprecise. When you have a strong password then it could take decades for a hacking program to guess correctly. However if you have a weak password (like “password”), your WordPress website could be hacked within a matter of minutes. Strengthen your password by making it longer (10 characters and above) and by adding numbers and special symbols.
Creating a strong password is very simple and very important. Up to 8% of WordPress security issues occur because of weak passwords. Install a plugin that limits login attempts like Login Lockdown for added protection against brute force attacks. Additionally, software tools like LastPass can easily help you manage passwords and also generate secure passwords for you in case you can not think of one.
Lastly, be sure to change your password frequently and never reuse the same one twice.
#5: Check out WordPress Security Plugins
WordPress does a pretty good job of securing itself however you will be able to improve the security by installing security plugins. These plugins handle all manner of tasks including scanning, blocking threats, adding firewalls, tracking logins, and more.
The one of the most popular WordPress security plugin is Wordfence. This freemium plugin comes with a firewall and malware scanners designed specifically for WordPress. Sucuri is another popular freemium option. It provides file monitoring and malware scanning.
#6: Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication requires users to confirm their identity twice to login. This usually means that you will need to use SMS, which uses your phone number, authenticator apps (which generate time sensitive passwords), and push-based notifications (which sends prompts to all your devices upon login).
Every method makes logging in slightly more difficult, however the security benefits should not be overlooked. With two-factor authentication, you will always get back into your website long as you have got one of your devices.
Just be careful in case you use SMS. A hacker could gain access to the WordPress website without the need of knowing the password if they get access to your phone.
#7: Maintain Regular WordPress Backups
Each week, Google purges around 70,000 websites for malware and phishing.
While keeping your WordPress website secure will help protect you from hackers, anything may happen. This is why it is advised to have a backup plan.
WordPress plugins like Vaultpress can easily create backups for a specified time period. Some WordPress backup plugins also come with additional features security features, for example Vaultpress’ ability to scan your WordPress website for malware.
It is important that you do not store all your backups in your hosting account. Hackers may easily get access and destroy these, too. So instead, store your backups in the cloud on an unrelated account. Or even better, store them on a physical device, like a hard drive that isn’t connected to the internet at all.
Final Thoughts: A Little Security Goes A Long Way
Setting up WordPress security tools can easily be a hassle. That is why many users do not do it. However it is important not to ignore this process, as rough 73% of the most popular WordPress sites are vulnerable to attack by some method.
Learn from other user’s mistakes and keep up with your security software. You’ll thank yourself for it later on!
We hope this helped you learn 7 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Website. You might also like to see our plugins category where we write about the best WordPress plugins which you can use to accomplish whatever you are looking to do. Each of those articles come with step-by-step instructions regarding how to setup individual plugins. You can visit our blog to read more blog posts.
What are your best tips for securing against WordPress website? Let us know in the comments!