I’ve seen website owners often complain about WordPress website security. The thought is that an open source script is vulnerable to all sorts of attacks. Is that a reason? And if so, how do you fully secure your WordPress site?
Luckily, the lack of built-in WordPress security is a horror. In fact, sometimes it’s the other way around – WordPress websites are completely secure than their online brothers and sisters.
Today, I would like to discuss quite a few important tips on cheap domain registration and managed WordPress hosting. That can help you secure your WordPress website even better way.
New versions of WordPress always fix security holes identified in earlier iterations. As well as bring new features and improvements. That’s especially true for minor updates (which you can identify by the third digit in their version number, e.g. 4.9.1). They come out specifically for that purpose.
Consequently, it’s necessary that you apply new versions to your site as soon as possible.
Important WordPress Security Tips
The simplest way to keep your site secure is to go with a hosting provider who provides multiple layers of security.
- Choose a Good Hosting Company
Paying a little bit more for a managed WordPress hosting company means additional layers of security are automatically attributed to your website. An additional benefit, by using a cheap WordPress hosting, you can significantly speed up your WordPress site.
- Avoid using of Nulled Themes
A nulled or cracked theme is a hacked version of a premium theme, available via illegal means. They are also very dangerous for your site. Those themes contain hidden malicious codes, which could destroy your website and database or log your admin credentials.
- Use two-factor authentication for WordPress security
Introducing a two-factor authentication (2FA) module on the login page is another good security measure. In this case, the user provides login details for two different components.
The Google Authenticator plugin helps me with that in just a few clicks.
- Install a WordPress Security Plugin
A security plugin takes care your site security, scans for malware and monitors your site 24/7 to regularly check what is happening on your site.
- Use your email to log in
Using an email ID instead of a username is a more secure approach. The reasons are quite obvious. Usernames are easy to predict, while email IDs are not. Also, any WordPress user account is created with a unique email address, making it a valid identifier for logging in.
- Use a Strong Password
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 ^.
- Disable File Editing
When you are setting up your WordPress site there is a code editor function in your dashboard which allows you to edit your theme and plugin. It can be accessed by going to Appearance>Editor. Another way you can find the plugin editor is by going under Plugins>Editor.
- Install SSL Certificate
SSL is mandatory for any sites that process sensitive information, i.e. passwords, or credit card details. Without an SSL certificate, all of the data between the user’s web browser and your web server are delivered in plain text. This can be readable by hackers. By using an SSL, the sensitive information is encrypted before it is transferred between their browser and your server.
- Change your WP-login URL
By default, to login to the WordPress site, the address is “yoursite.com/wp-admin”. By leaving it as default you may be targeted for a brute force attack to crack your username/password combination. If you accept users to register for subscription accounts you may also get a lot of spam registrations.
You can also check which IPs have the most failed login attempts, then you can block those IP addresses.
- Change the admin username
During your WordPress installation, you should never choose “admin” as the username for your main administrator account. Such an easy-to-guess username is approachable for hackers. All they need to figure out is the password, then your entire site gets into the wrong hands.
- Limit Login Attempts
By limiting the number of login attempts, users can try a limited number of times until they are temporarily blocked. The limits your chance of a brute force attempt as the hacker gets locked out before they can finish their attack.
- Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files
We strongly recommend this option to be implemented by experienced developers, as it’s imperative to first take a backup of your site and then proceed with caution. Any mistake might make your site inaccessible.
- Update your WordPress version
By staying updated with the latest version you are helping protect yourself against being a target for pre-identified loopholes and exploits hackers can use to gain access to your site.
By default, WordPress automatically downloads minor updates. For major updates, however, you will need to update it directly from your WordPress admin dashboard.
It is also important to update your WordPress plugins and themes for the same reasons.
- Change the WordPress database table prefix
Using the default prefix makes your site database prone to SQL injection attacks. Such attacks can be prevented by changing wp- to some other term. For instance, you can make it mywp- or wpnew-.
If you have already installed your WordPress website with the default prefix, then you can use a few plugins to change it.
- Disable directory listing with .htaccess
If you create a new directory as part of your website and do not put an index.html file in it, you may be surprised to find that your visitors can get a full directory listing of everything that’s in that directory.
Options All -Indexes
After implementing these tactics and following up with continual WordPress security checks, you’ll be well on your way to secure your WordPress website for good.