Top 15 Ways to Secure a WordPress Site
Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect your WordPress website.
Start with these simple security basics
When setting up security for your WordPress site, there are some basic things you can do to bolster your protection.
Here are some of the first things you should do to help protect your website.
1. Implement SSL certificates
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are an industry standard used by millions of websites to protect their online transactions with their customers.
Obtaining one should be one of the first steps in securing your website.
You can buy an SSL certificate, but most hosts offer them for free.
Next, use a plugin to force HTTPS redirection, which enables 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 transmitted between the two remains private and intrinsic.
2. Require and use strong passwords
Along with getting an SSL certificate, one of the very first things you can do to protect your site is to use and require strong passwords for all your connections.
It can be tempting to use or reuse a familiar or easy-to-remember password, but doing so puts you, your users, and your website at risk.
Improving the strength and security of your password decreases your chances of being hacked.
The stronger your password, the less likely you are to fall victim to a cyberattack.
When creating a password, you should follow some general password best practices.
If you’re not sure if you’re using a strong enough password, check it with a free tool like this password strength checker.
3. Install a security plugin
WordPress plugins are a great way to quickly add useful functionality to your website, and there are several excellent security plugins available.
Installing a security plugin can add extra layers of protection to your website without much effort.
To get started, check out this list of recommended WordPress security plugins.
- Wordfence Security – Firewall and Malware Scanning
- All in one WP Security and Firewall
- iThemes Security
- Jetpack – WP Security, Backup, Speed and Growth
4. Keep Core WordPress Files Up to Date
Keeping your WordPress up to date at all times is essential to maintaining the security and stability of your site.
Whenever a WordPress security vulnerability is reported, the core team starts working to release an update that resolves the issue.
If you’re not updating your WordPress website, you’re probably using a version of WordPress that has known vulnerabilities.
In 2021, there are an estimated 1.3 billion total websites on the web, of which more than 455 million use WordPress.
Because it’s so popular, WordPress is a prime target for hackers, malware distributors, and data thieves.
Don’t expose yourself to attacks by using an older version of WordPress. Turn on automatic updates and forget about them.
If you want an even easier way to manage updates, consider a managed WordPress hosting solution that incorporates automatic updates.
5. Pay attention to themes and plugins
Keeping WordPress up to date ensures that your core files are under control, but there are other areas where WordPress is vulnerable that core updates might not protect, such as your themes and plugins.
To get started, only install plugins and themes from trusted developers.
If a plugin or theme hasn’t been developed by a credible source, it’s probably safest not to use it.
In addition to that, make sure to update your WordPress plugins and themes.
Just like an outdated version of WordPress, using outdated plugins and themes makes your website more vulnerable to attacks.
6. Run frequent backups
One way to protect your WordPress website is to always have an up-to-date backup of your site and important files.
The last thing you want is for something to happen to your site and you not have a backup.
Back up your site and do it often.
That way, if something happens to your website, you can quickly roll back to a previous version of it and get back up and running faster.
Intermediate security measures to add more protection
If you’ve completed all the basics but still want to do more to protect your website, there are more advanced steps you can take to beef up your security.
7. Never use the username “Admin”
Because “admin” is such a common username, it’s easy to guess, and it’s much easier for scammers to trick people into giving up their login credentials.
Never use the “admin” username.
This makes you vulnerable to brute force attacks and social engineering scams.
Just like having a strong password, using a unique username for your logins is a good idea because it’s much harder for hackers to crack your login credentials.
If you are currently using the “admin” username, change your WordPress admin username.
8. Hide your 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 a URL.
This makes it easy for hackers to start trying to break into your website.
Once a hacker or scammer identifies your login page, they can then attempt to guess your username and password in order to gain access to your admin dashboard.
Hiding your WordPress login page is a good way to make yourself a less easy 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 functionality to software clients.
This Remote procedure call The protocol allows commands to be executed, with returned data formatted in XML.
Most users don’t need WordPress XML-RPC functionality, and it’s one of the most common vulnerabilities that opens users up to exploits.
That’s why it’s a good idea to turn it off.
Thanks to the Wordfence Security plugin, it is really easy to do this.
10. Strengthen the wp-config.php file
Your WordPress wp-config.php file contains very sensitive information about your WordPress installation, including your WordPress security keys and WordPress database login details, which is exactly why you don’t want it to be. easy access.
You can “harden” your website by protecting your wp-config.php file via your .htaccess file.
This basically means that you are giving your site extra armor against hackers.
11. Run a security scan tool
Sometimes your WordPress website may have a vulnerability that you had no idea existed.
It’s wise to use tools that can find vulnerabilities and fix them for you.
The WPScan plugin scans for known vulnerabilities in WordPress core files, plugins, and themes.
The plugin also notifies you via email when new security vulnerabilities are discovered.
Strengthen your server-side security
By now, you have taken all of the above steps to protect your website.
However, you may still want to know if there is more you can do to make it as safe as possible.
The remaining actions you can take to strengthen your security will need to be done on the server side of your website.
12. Look for a hosting company that does this
When looking for a hosting company, you want to find one that is fast, reliable, secure, and backs you up with great customer service.
That means they need to have good, powerful resources, maintain at least 99.5% uptime, and use server-level security tactics.
If a host can’t tick these basic boxes, it’s not worth your time or money.
One of the best things you can do to protect your site from the start is to choose the right hosting company to host your WordPress website.
13. Use the latest version of PHP
Like older versions of WordPress, outdated versions of PHP are no longer safe to use.
If you are not using the latest PHP version, upgrade your PHP version to protect yourself from attacks.
14. Host on a Fully Isolated Server
Private cloud servers have many advantages.
One of those benefits is that it boosts your security.
All cloud environments require a strong combination of antivirus and firewall protection, but a private cloud runs on specific physical machines, making it easy to ensure its physical security.
In addition to security, a fully isolated server has other advantages such as very high availability and easy integration of managed hosting.
Looking for the perfect cloud environment for your WordPress website?
Look no further.
With InMotion Hosting’s managed WordPress hosting, you get server-to-server migrations, safer upgrading, on-the-fly security patches, and top speed all in one.
15. Use a Web Application Firewall
One of the last things you can do to add extra security measures to your WordPress website is to use a web application firewall (WAF).
A WAF is usually a cloud-based security system that provides another layer of protection around your site.
Think of it as a gateway for your site.
It blocks all hacking attempts and filters other types of malicious traffic, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks or spammers.
WAFs usually require a monthly subscription fee, but adding one is worth the cost if you’re putting a premium on your WordPress website security.
Make sure your website and business are safe and secure
If your website isn’t secure, you could open yourself up to a world of pain.
Fortunately, securing a WordPress site doesn’t require too much technical knowledge as long as you have the right tools and a hosting plan that suits your needs.
Instead of waiting to respond to threats once they occur, you need to proactively secure your website to avoid security issues.
That way, if someone targets your website, you’re prepared to mitigate the risk and continue with business as usual instead of scrambling to locate a recent backup.
Get secure, fully isolated WordPress hosting with free SSL, dedicated IP address, free backups, automatic WordPress updates, DDoS and WAF protection included.
Learn more about how managed WordPress hosting can help protect your website and valuable data from exposure to hackers and scammers.