Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to secure your WordPress website.
Get started with these simple security basics
When setting up security for your WordPress site, there are some basic things you can do to increase your protection.
Here are some things you should implement first to secure your website.
1. Implement SSL certificates
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are the industry standard used by millions of websites to secure online transactions with their customers.
Getting one is one of the first steps in securing your website.
You can also purchase an SSL certificate, but most hosting providers offer it for free.
Then use the plugin to force an HTTPS redirect. This will activate an encrypted connection.
This standard technology establishes an encrypted connection between a web server (host) and a web browser (client).
By adding this encrypted connection, you can ensure that all data passed between the two remains private and essential.
2. Require and use strong passwords
In addition to getting an SSL certificate, one of the first things you can do to secure your site is to require all logins to use strong passwords.
It may be tempting to use or reuse passwords that are familiar or easy to remember, but doing so puts you, your users, and your website at risk.
Improving the strength and security of passwords makes them less likely to be hacked.
The stronger your password, the less likely you are to become a victim of a cyberattack.
When creating passwords, there are some general password best practices to follow.
If you’re not sure if you’re using a strong enough password, check it out with a free tool like this handy password strength checker.
3. Install security plugins
WordPress plugins are a great way to quickly add useful functionality to your website, and there are some great security plugins available.
Installing a security plugin can add an extra layer of protection to your website without much effort.
First, check out our list of recommended WordPress security plugins.
- Wordfence Security – Firewall and Malware Scanning
- All-in-one WP Security & Firewall
- iThemes security
- Jetpack – WP Security, Backup, Speed & Growth
4. Keep WordPress Core Files Up to Date
Keeping WordPress up to date is important for maintaining the security and stability of your site.
Whenever a WordPress security vulnerability is reported, the core team starts working on releasing an update that fixes the issue.
If you haven’t updated your WordPress website, you may be using a version of WordPress with known vulnerabilities.
As of 2021, there will be a total of 1.3 billion websites on the web, with over 455 million using WordPress.
WordPress is so popular that it is a prime target for hackers, malicious code distributors, and data thieves.
Avoid exposing yourself to attacks using outdated versions of WordPress. Turn on automatic updates and forget about it.
If you want an easier way to handle updates, consider a managed WordPress hosting solution that has automatic updates built in.
5. Be careful with themes and plugins
Keeping WordPress up-to-date ensures that you can check your core files, but there are other areas such as themes and plugins where WordPress is vulnerable and core updates may not protect you.
First, install only plugins and themes from trusted developers.
If a plugin or theme is not developed by a trusted source, it’s probably safer not to use it.
On top of that, make sure to update your WordPress plugins and themes.
Just like older versions of WordPress, using outdated plugins and themes can make your website more vulnerable to attacks.
6. Perform frequent backups
One way to protect your WordPress website is to always keep up-to-date backups of your site and important files.
The last thing you don’t want is for something to happen to your site and you don’t have a backup.
Back up your site, and back it up often.
That way, if something goes wrong with your website, you can quickly restore the previous version to get you up and running faster.
Intermediate security measures for extra protection
If you’ve done all the basics but want to do more to protect your website, there are some more advanced steps you can take to improve your security.
7. Don’t use “administrator” usernames
Since ‘admin’ is a very common username, it is easily guessed and scammers can easily trick users into providing their login credentials.
Never use the “admin” username.
Doing so makes them susceptible to brute force attacks and social engineering scams.
Just like setting a strong password, we recommend using a unique username for login. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to crack your login information.
If you are currently using the “admin” username, please change your WordPress admin username.
8. Hide WP-Admin Login Page
By default, most WordPress login pages can be accessed by adding “/wp-admin” or “/wp-login.php” to the end of the URL.
This makes it easier for hackers to try to break into your website.
Once a hacker or scammer has identified your login page, they may attempt to guess your username and password in order to access your admin dashboard.
Hiding the WordPress login page is a good way to make yourself less of a target.
Protect your login credentials by hiding the WordPress admin login page with a plugin like WPS Hide Login.
9. Disable XML-RPC
WordPress uses an implementation of the XML-RPC protocol to extend its functionality to software clients.
this remote procedure call The protocol allows commands to be executed and the returned data is formatted in the following format XML.
Most users don’t need WordPress’ XML-RPC capabilities. This is one of the most common vulnerabilities that target users for exploitation.
Therefore, it is recommended to disable it.
Thanks to the Wordfence Security plugin it’s very easy to do.
10. Harden the wp-config.php file
The WordPress wp-config.php file contains highly sensitive information about your WordPress installation, such as your WordPress security key and WordPress database connection details.
You can “harden” your website by securing your wp-config.php file via a .htaccess file.
This basically means that you are giving your site an extra layer of defense against hackers.
11. Run a Security Scan Tool
Your WordPress website may have vulnerabilities you didn’t know existed.
We recommend using tools that can find and fix vulnerabilities.
The WPScan plugin scans WordPress core files, plugins and themes for known vulnerabilities.
The plugin also notifies you by email when new security vulnerabilities are found.
Strengthen server-side security
So far, you have taken all the above measures to protect your website.
However, you may want to know if there are other things you can do to make it as safe as possible.
The rest of the actions you can take to increase security should be done on the server side of your website.
12. Find a hosting company that does this
When looking for a hosting company, you want to find one that is fast, reliable, secure, and backed by great customer service.
This means having good and strong resources, maintaining at least 99.5% uptime, and using server-level security tactics.
If your host can’t check these basic boxes, it’s not worth your time or money.
One of the best things you can do to secure your site from the start is choosing the right hosting company to host your WordPress website.
13. Use the latest PHP version
As with older versions of WordPress, older versions of PHP are no longer safe to use.
If you are not using the latest version of PHP, upgrade your PHP version to protect yourself from attacks.
14. Hosts on completely separate servers
A private cloud server has many advantages.
One of these benefits is increased security.
All cloud environments require a strong combination of antivirus and firewall protection, but private clouds run on specific physical machines, making it easier to ensure physical security.
In addition to security, fully isolated servers offer benefits such as extremely high uptime and easy integration of managed hosting.
Looking for the perfect cloud environment for your WordPress website?
Look no further.
With Managed WordPress Hosting from InMotion Hosting, server-to-server migration, more secure upgrades, on-the-fly security patching, and industry-leading speed all rolled into one.
15. Use a web application firewall
One last thing you can do to add extra security measures to your WordPress website is Web Application Firewall (WAF).
a WAFs It’s usually a cloud-based security system that provides another layer of protection around your site.
Think of it as the gateway for your site.
Blocks all hacking attempts and filters out other malicious types of traffic, such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and spammers.
WAFs usually require a monthly subscription fee, but if you care about the security of your WordPress website, adding a WAF is well worth it.
Make sure your website and business are safe and secure
If your website is insecure, you may be exposing yourself to a world of hurt.
Thankfully, with the right tools and hosting plan for your needs, securing your WordPress site doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge.
Instead of waiting to respond to threats as they arise, you should proactively protect your website to prevent security issues.
That way, if someone targets your website, you’ll be prepared to reduce the risk and go about your business as usual instead of rushing to find the latest backup.
Get secure and fully isolated WordPress hosting with free SSL, dedicated IP address, free backups, automatic WordPress updates, DDoS protection and WAF.
Learn more about how managed WordPress hosting can help keep your website and valuable data from being exposed to hackers and scammers.