WordPress Website Security; How To Protect WordPress Site?
WordPress is the most popular CMS among people out there. It is pretty easy to develop a website with the help of WordPress. However, you should also know how to improve the website’s security that you create on WordPress. By doing this, you will be able to overcome numerous problems that can take place in the future. Continue to read, and we will share more details on how to improve WordPress website security.
Why is Website Security Important?
Imagine what would happen when your website gets hacked. You will be delivering a negative impression to the minds of your customers. They will feel insecure about doing business with you. On the other hand, hackers can access valuable information from your websites, such as your customers’ passwords and credit card details. On top of that, the hackers might even use your website to spread malware to your customers’ devices.
Hacking attempts are pretty standard out there. According to recent studies, it is identified that more than 20,000 websites are black-listed by Google for malware. Likewise, 50,000 more websites are black-listed for phishing. If you don’t want to end up with any such consequences, you should consider paying more attention to the security of your WordPress website. It would help if you thought of it as a responsibility. Let’s take a look at steps that you can follow to improve the security of your WordPress website.
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How To Protect a Website From Hackers?
Here are some of the most effective methods available to improve WordPress website security. Any person looking for a way to improve WordPress security can go through these factors and start working on them accordingly.
1- Choose a Good Hosting Provider
The hosting provider you select can contribute a lot towards WordPress website security. That’s because your website and all the files are hosted on the server of the hosting provider.
While you are looking for a hosting provider, you will come across numerous options. However, it is essential to select a hosting provider that you can trust. This will help you to stay away from security problems that you will come across. Another good option to consider is hosting a WordPress website on your own VPS as well. However, you should have the essential technical expertise to manage things on your own.
Server hardening is one of the best methods available for you to enhance the overall security of your WordPress website. Some people tend to look for the cheapest hosting provider out there to save money. Going after such a low-cost hosting provider is not something that we can recommend. You will indeed be able to save $20 per year, but the risk you take is not equivalent to money. Hence, it would help if you refrained from going after those low-cost hosting providers.
All the servers used to host your WordPress website should be maintained up to date with the latest security updates. On the other hand, appropriate threat detection methods should be installed on the servers as well. The hosting provider should conduct regular scans on the server and detect malware or other malicious software.
You may also configure secure file transfer encryption and networking with the WordPress website. This is where you should look at the appropriate file transfer protocols, such as SFTP.
2- Keeping WordPress, Plugin and Themes Updated
Your WordPress website would contain both plugins and themes. You need to keep them up to date at all times as well. Regular updates are made available to the plugins and themes that you have installed. Whenever an update is open, you should proceed with installing it without ignoring it. Then you can fix the security patch.
Unfortunately, most WordPress websites hosted out there are not up-to-date in themes and plugins. This is the main reason why we can see how a large number of websites get hacked. If you don’t want to make any such changes, you should regularly watch the updates. These updates will not just help you enhance the security of your WordPress website but can also help you boost the functionality.
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3- Use Latest PHP Version
Your WordPress website is based upon PHP. Hence, you will need to have the latest version of PHP installed on your website. PHP continues to offer updates for the WordPress website owners once every two years. These updates will fix security issues as well as bugs. You should go for those updates and patch the security problems that you have.
It is better to check and see the PHP version that you are already running on the server. If that is PHP version 7.1 or below, you should go for an immediate PHP update. That’s because your PHP version is not getting any security update as of now. Once you update the PHP version, you can also expect to see a performance enhancement of your website.
4- Strong Passwords and User Permissions
Using strong passwords on the WordPress website may sound like something evident for WordPress protection. Unfortunately, most WordPress website owners fail to use secure passwords, which is why many security breaches happen. When using a strong password, you can reduce the chances of your website being hacked with methods such as brute force attacks. You should not just have a secure password for the WordPress Admin Area. You will also need to have strong passwords for your databases, FTP accounts, custom email addresses, WordPress hosting accounts, and the domain account of the website.
The main reason why people are reluctant to use strong passwords is that they can’t remember them. This is where you can think about using a password manager vault. It will keep track of all your passwords.
Likewise, you need to pay attention to user permissions as well. You will need to go through all the users on your WordPress website and see every user’s permissions. Before you grant permission to a new user, you should carefully pick the permissions as well.
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5- Install a Backup Plugin
By taking regular backups of your WordPress website, you can reduce the negative consequences that you may have to face at the time of a disaster. Therefore, it is a must for you to take regular backups. Some of the hosting providers will assist you with this by taking regular backups. If the hosting provider is not providing regular backups, you will need to do it on your own. This is where the backup plugins can help you.
It is a good idea to pick a backup plugin, which will assist you in taking backups into a cloud platform, such as Dropbox or AWS. Or else, you can even take the backup to your private cloud. Make sure that you get backups at least once a day.
6- Use SSL/SSH Certificate
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a name given for a data encryption methodology, which is capable of encrypting data that transfers between a user’s browser and the website. When the data is encrypted, no other person or a middleman will gain access to the content.
Once you install an SSL certificate on your WordPress website, you can make it HTTPS. This will help you to earn trust from the people who are visiting your WordPress website.
Some of the hosting providers offer free SSL certificates to the people who host websites on their servers. If you can get SSL certificates from your hosting provider, you will need to go for it. Otherwise, it would help if you bought the SSL certificates. Then you will be able to enhance the protection of your website without a challenge.
Regardless of what type of content you have on the WordPress website, you will need to install SSL certificates.
7- Enable Web Application Firewall
If you can install a web application firewall, you can make your WordPress website highly secure. It is among the best WordPress security measures to take. That’s because the firewall will be able to block dangerous traffic before they come into your website. There are two main options available to consider when you are trying to install a web application firewall.
– Application-level firewall: An application-level firewall will inspect for dangerous threats before the traffic reaches out to your server. This will help you to minimize the load when checking traffic.
– DNS level firewall: DNS level firewalls will inspect traffic for threats at proxy servers. Only legitimate traffic will be allowed to come into your WordPress website.
8- Change Your WordPress Login URL
We all know about the default WP-Admin login URL. If you keep the login URL unchanged, even the hackers can gain access to the login page. This is why you should think about changing the WordPress login URL. By doing this, you can make the hackers clueless. The hackers will have to spend extra effort to figure out what the login URL of your WordPress website is.
9- Limit Login Attempts
By default, WordPress will allow visitors to attempt many logins as much as possible. It would help if you never kept this permitted because it can make you a victim of brute force attacks. Therefore, you will need to limit the login attempts of your WordPress website. It is a good idea to limit the number of login attempts to 3.
There are plugins, which can help you to limit login attempts. Login LockDown is a perfect example of such a plugin. Install the plugin, go through the documentation, and activate it on your WordPress website.
10- Enable Two-Factor Authentication
We see two-factor authentication everywhere. You will need to enable two-factor authentication on your WordPress website as well. Whenever a person logs into the WordPress website, you can send out an OTP message to a phone. That OTP message should be entered for a successful login. There are situations where the login username and password can pass to the hands of hackers. For example, it can happen when you become a victim of a phishing attack. You can overcome the problems that such a situation can create by enabling two-factor authentication.
The best method to activate two-factor authentication on your WordPress website is to start the “Two Factor Authentication” plugin. Then you will be able to configure the plugin as per the preferences that you have. Another plugin that you can use to get desired functionality is LastPass. Both these can be helpful when you are trying to enhance the security of your WordPress website.
11- Disable File Editing
You can add the following piece of code into the wp-config.php file and disable file editing.
// Disallow file edit
define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );
There are plugins available to deliver the functionality as well. Sucuri is a perfect example of such a plugin.
12- Change WordPress Database Prefix
WordPress will prefix all the tables located in the database with WP_. You will need to change this database prefix as well. Otherwise, the hackers can guess this and gain access to them. Make sure that you follow a reliable guide on how to change the WordPress database prefix and do it.
Now you are aware of the best WordPress security measures that you need to take to secure your website. Adhere to these security measures and proceed with enhancing the overall security of the WordPress website. Then you can keep all hacking attempts at bay. You will fall in love with the level of protection your website can get by adhering to these security measures.