This article covers the top 14 WordPress security tips suggested by our experts. But why have we covered this topic? Let us explain. With millions of flocks using it, WordPress is gaining popularity for a long time now. WordPress is one such platform that is powering numerous websites. With its growth, the number of hackers targeting it is also increasing.
This raises the importance of WordPress security to a whole new level. Innately, WordPress is a highly secure platform. There have been a lot of efforts taken to deal with the WordPress security; still, there are some loopholes that need to be handled. Though this is the burning topic for the entire WordPress user, yet it remains much neglected one
We have curated below several actionable steps that you can take to protect your website against security vulnerabilities.
Investing in a reliable and trustworthy web hosting should be your first step in enforcing the security of your WordPress site. Going for shared web hosting can put you in great risks as you share the resources with numerous other customers. A good web hosting company will keep a track of any suspicious activities in their network, maintain their server software and hardware up to date and stay alert and ready with disaster recovery and accident plans. Opting for a managed WordPress hosting is also a great choice as it offers automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates, and more advanced security configurations, thus protecting you from any security vulnerabilities.
Around 8% of hacked WordPress sites happen due to weak login information. You must create a strong and unique password for your website. Also, never use admin as your username so that it becomes hard for the hackers to guess. Delete the admin name and create a new user with a unique username and password that has the full administrator rights. If it is difficult to remember the passwords, then use a password manager. Restrict yourself from giving access to your WordPress admin account unnecessarily.
We understand that website owners are busy and it is extremely difficult to stay updated daily. As per a recent study, almost 56% of WordPress installations are running outdated versions. This can increase the vulnerability of your website as most hacks come from out-of-date version. Latest versions of WordPress, Plugins, and Themes have a tightened security enhancements and bug fixes.
Another method to reduce the Bruce force attacks on your website is the two-step authentication process. Here you not only login using your password but also a second methos which is generally an OTP, text or a phone call to your mobile. This is one of the WordPress security tips that have been 100% effective in protecting your website from all sorts of horrible things. There are also certain plugins that can be installed to facilitate this method to your website easily such as Clef, Clockword SMS, Two factor auth, Google authenticator, etc.
Since most of the hacks happen via pluggins and themes, it requires extra attention. You must be vigilant about the theme and plugin usage in your website. Install as few plugins as possible. In case if the plugin is not properly coded or is not up-to-date then it can pose serious threats to your website. So getting rid of those unused plugins can speed up your website to a great extent. You must keep in mind to keep you themes and plugins up-to-date as outdates ones can pose serious security risks. An easy way to do that is to enable automatic updates for plugins and themes by adding
add_filter( 'auto_update_plugin', '__return_true' ); to wp-config.php
Using the latest version of PHP on your server is very crucial. As per reports, around 57% of WordPress users are still on PHP 5.6 or lower and over 57% of WordPress users are still on PHP 5.6 or lower. Experts say that any website running on PHP 7.0 or below is prone to security vulnerabilities and breaches. Running your website on older version can not only expose to unpatched security vulnerabilities but also scale down your overall performance level.
It is important to take backups regularly. You must expect security breaches, no matter how good and great measures you take up. So keeping backups can certainly prepare you for the worst. This is also the step that we recommend before taking any of these security measures. There are several plugins that help you with a backup at hand such as BlogVault, VaultPress, BackupBuddy and many more.
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Changing your admin login URL or limiting login attempts have also proven to be very effective. Attackers target the login forms. There are WordPress security plugins that gives you an option to change the default URL. Another alternative is to use the login lockdown plugin that tracks the number of attempts from a single IP address and disables it after a certain number of attempts.
Running your website over HTTPS by installing an SSL certificate can tighten your WordPress security. HTTPS is crucial in forming a secure connection between a website and a browser. HTTPS website and ranked good by the google. As per the latest version of Chrome, all non- HTTPS sites have een marked as tagged as “Not Secure”. Thus with these points the importance of HTTPS is clearly understood 10. Disable editing options
In WordPress, the entire database has the default prefix wp_. This becomes easy for the hackers to access your site. Thus it becomes vital to harden the security around your wp-config.php file. One method is to choose a custom table prefix. This can be done either through a plugin such as iThemes Security or manually. Another way to protect this important file is update WordPress security keys. These keys are randomly generated variable that make it difficult to comprehend easily. Adding .htaccess file to protect your wp-config.php is also another method to protect it. This action makes your file inaccessible by anyone. Another security measure includes choosing correct file permissions on your server. Usually the file permission is set to 644 and this becomes easily readable by anyone. Thus setting your wp-config.php to 440 or 400 using the FTP clients can prevent other users on the server from reading it.
One of the major WordPress security tips is to hide your WordPress version. We explain why? Generally, your WordPress versions is displayed on the header of your site’s source code. If attackers come to know that you are running an outdated version, then you are open to a grave security risk. So we suggest you to hide your WordPress version either by simply adding add_filter(‘the_generator’, ‘wp_version_remove_version’); to your WordPress theme’s functions.php file.
The authentication keys are a set of random variable that obscure the information stored within user cookies, thus improving security of information in cookies. These keys and salts( user cookies) work hand in hand to protect your cookies and passwords in transit between the browser and web server. To change this in wp-config.php, the salt generator fills in random characters that are difficult to guess.
The role of XML-RPC is to connect your WordPress site with web and mobile apps. In recent years, XML-RPC has been facing major brute-force attacks. There is a hidden feature in XML-RPC , the system.multicall function that can execute multiple methods to login; thus amplifying the number of attacks. There are quite a few plugins that reply XML-RPC. If you’re not using XML-RPC, then it is highly recommended to disable it.
With a range of WordPress security plugins and themes, choosing the right one for you may put you in a dilemma. These plugins will check and monitor on everything happening to your website. Be it integrity monitoring, failed login attempts or malware scanning, these plugins are attributed by advanced features that prevents attackers from gaining access to your website. Some of the WordPress security plugins that we recommend are WordFence Security, iThemes Security, Sucuri Security, SecuPress and WP fail2ban. These plugins are featured with strong and unique passwords while login, malware scanning, Two-factor authentication, WordPress security firewalls, Monitor DNS changes, Block malicious networks, Auto updates of WordPress security keys, and much more.
We hope this article has given you a brief idea about how to optimize your WordPress website against security vulnerabilities. But if you don’t want to go through all this hassle then collaborate with Artoon Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Being an immaculate WordPress development Company, our experts will help you to speed optmise your website effortlessly. If you are looking for a speckless WordPress development services then you require a reputed WordPress Development Company like Artoon Solutions Pvt. Ltd. that delivers the best quality services. So contact us now for more details.