WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) and over 41% of websites are built using this platform. However, as its popularity grows, hackers continue to work hard to lock down or break down WordPress security. Whether it’s a personal blog or an eCommerce site, you are no exception. Hacking can happen if you do not take some precautions. Like everything related to technology, you need to check the security of your WordPress website
13 WordPress Security tips to ensure your WordPress site secure from hackers
In this tutorial, we are going to share a lot of tips, tricks, and techniques that you can protect your WordPress site better and more securely.
1. Use A Reliable & Secure Hosting provider
The simplest way to protect a WordPress site is to go with a good hosting company that provides multiple layers of security.
Your WordPress installation is software only installed on a server. The foundation of a secure website is a server that has adequate security that ensures that your website is protected against hackers.
A secure WordPress hosting company works in the background to protect your websites and data.
- They regularly monitor the network for suspicious activity.
- Good hosting companies have Server-level firewalls to mitigate DDOS attacks.
- Keep up-to-date server software, PHP versions, and hardware to prevent hacking.
Remember, in a shared hosting plan, you share server resources with many other clients. This opens up the risk of cross-site contamination where a hacker could use a neighboring site to attack your website.
Paying a little more to use WordPress-managed hosting to get extra layers of security on your website. An additional benefit, by using WordPress Managed Hosting, you can significantly increase the speed of your WordPress site, automatic backups, and automatic WordPress updates.
Of the many hosting companies, I have created this most reliable and secure list against hackers:
A2 Hosting: A2 Hosting is one of the top hosts that provides great protection. It is beginner-friendly for a cheap rate.
Kinsta Hosting: Number #1 managed WordPress hosting provider who is perfect for WordPress websites with high traffic & security.
WPX Hosting: A Managed WordPress hosting provider that offers free malware detection & removal, and free site ﬁxes if down.
If your current hosting company is not secure and does not provide any security-related support, moving to any one of the hosts listed above will make a huge difference.
2. Back up WordPress sites regularly
Backing up your site is about making a copy of all site data and storing it somewhere safe. Any catastrophic events that take the site down can be restored with a backup.
There are many backup solutions but the one I found to be very useful is called UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. UpdraftPlus is trusted by over two million users, making it a well-known choice.
It can be configured for daily backup emails or for sending to cloud storage locations like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Moreover, if your hosting company offers backups, make sure they store the backups on a different server.
3. Install SSL Certificate
Nowadays Single Sockets Layer, SSL, is useful for all types of websites. Initially, SSL was required to secure a site for certain transactions, such as processing payments. Another benefit, Google recognizes the importance of giving sites with an SSL certificate a heavier place in its search results.
SSL is mandatory for any site that processes sensitive information, such as passwords, or credit card details. With the exception of an SSL certificate, all data between the user’s web browser and your web server is distributed in plain text. It may be readable by hackers. Using an SSL, sensitive information is encrypted before being transferred between their browsers and your server, making it more difficult to read and making your site more secure.
For websites that receive sensitive information, the average SSL cost is around $ 70- $ 199 per year. Fortunately, almost all good hosting company (Bluehost, Kinsta, WpEngine) offers a free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate that you can install on your site.
4. Update your WordPress version.
Older versions of the WordPress software are a very common target for hackers. Be sure to check and install WordPress updates regularly as soon as possible to fix vulnerabilities in older versions.
To update WordPress, you first need to go to your dashboard. At the top of the page, you’ll see an announcement every time a new version comes out. Click to update and then the blue “Get Update” button. It only takes a few seconds.
5. Don’t use nulled themes
WordPress premium themes look more professional and have more customizable and edit options than a free theme. But someone might argue why you pay for it. Premium themes are coded by highly skilled theme developers and tested to pass multiple WordPress checks out of the box. There are no restrictions on customizing your theme, and if something goes wrong with your site, you get full support. Most of all you will get regular theme updates.
However, there are sites that offer null or crack themes. A canceled or cracked version theme is a hacked version of a premium theme that is available illegally. These are also very dangerous for WordPress security. These themes contain hidden malicious code, which can destroy your website and database or log your admin credentials.
While it may be tempting to save some money, always avoid discarded themes.
6. Update all themes and plugins
It is important to update all themes and plugins at all times. WordPress provides a way to automatically update all plugins, which is convenient for publishers or businesses who do not log in to the regular WordPress backend and update frequently.
Enabling the auto-update feature can ensure that a publisher has the most up-to-date software. Having an old plugin is one of the main reasons why a site is hacked.
There are reasons not to enable the auto-update feature, but negatives are rare. For example, an updated plugin may be incompatible with other plugins.
But for sites that don’t change frequently, enabling the auto-update feature is probably a good idea.
7. Update to the latest version of PHP.
Upgrading to the latest version of PHP is a crucial step that can protect the WordPress site. When an upgrade is ready, WordPress will notify you in your dashboard. This will prompt you to go to your hosting account to upgrade to the latest PHP version. If you do not have access to your hosting account, contact your web developer to upgrade. Also, you can see the PHP version’s latest update on their official stats page.
8. Install a WordPress security plugin
Regularly checking the security of your website for malware is a time-consuming task and unless you regularly update your knowledge about coding practices you may not realize that you are seeing a piece of malware written in the code. Fortunately, others have realized that not everyone is a developer and have WordPress security plugins to help. A security plugin takes care of your site’s security, scans for malware, and regularly monitors your site 24/7 to check what’s happening on your site.
iThemes Security is a great WordPress security plugin. They offer security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, effective security tightening, post-hack security actions, security notifications, and even website firewalls (for premium).
9. Use the complex combination to WordPress Dashboard login
Change the default admin username – Normally hackers first try and find the username of the administrator so that the usernames like admin, administration, and host are very clear and you need to change them to something more difficult to identify.
Use strong passwords – One of the things you must check right now is your WordPress password, especially the password you use for the WordPress dashboard.
Don’t use simple, character-only passwords, but create strong passwords with at least 12 characters with letters, numbers, and special symbols.
Here are some examples of simple and strong passwords:
Moreover, it is a good idea to change your username and password every three months.
10. Install Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A firewall exists between your WordPress site and the network that hosts all other networks and automatically prevents unauthorized traffic from entering your network or system from outside. Firewalls keep malicious activity away from your site by removing direct connections between your network and other networks.
There are two suggested services that you can use to implement WAF:
Cloudflare: Starting at $20 per month
Sucuri: Starting at $9.99 per month
This is a highly recommended WordPress security feature for WooCommerce and other WordPress websites designed for business.
11. Hide the WordPress version
Let’s say you don’t have those 2 minutes to update your original WordPress files. The listed WP version can give rise to an idea to break the hacker. If you run an older version of WP and everyone knows it, believe me, you’re ruined.
Most theme designers these days can get rid of it for you, but just to make sure, go to your functions.php and add this line:
<? php remove_action (‘wp_head’, ‘wp_generator’); ?>
12. Change the WP login URL to secure WordPress site
By changing the WordPress login URL page, you are preventing many attacks and hacking attempts. By default, the address to log in to WordPress is “yoursite.com/wp-login.php” or “yoursite.com/wp-admin”. Leaving this as the default will allow you to be the target of a brutal power attack to crack your username/password combination. If you do not accept user registration on your site, you can easily change the WP URL using this WPS Hide login plugin.
Or, you have multiple users on your site. You can make your login page more secure by adding a 2-factor authentication plugin to your WordPress. When you try to log in, you’ll need to provide additional authentication to gain access to your site – for example, it could be your password and an email (or text). This is an enhanced security feature to prevent hackers from accessing your site. You can also check which IPs have the most failed login attempts, then you can block those IP addresses.
13. Limit login attempts
By default, WordPress lets users try to log in as often as they like. While it can help if you often forget which characters are uppercase, it also opens you up to brutal ball attacks.
By limiting the number of login attempts, users can try a limited number of times until they are temporarily blocked. Hackers limit your chances of attempting a brutal force because they are locked out before they can finish their attack.
You can easily enable it with a WordPress login limit effort plugin. After you install the plugin, you can change the number of login attempts by going to Settings> Login Limit Attempt.
WordPress security is one of the most important parts of a website. If you do not maintain your WordPress security, hackers can easily attack your site. Maintaining your website security is not difficult and can be done at a minimal cost.