From brute-force login attempts and cross-site scripting to SQL injections and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, WordPress sites are constantly under attack from a variety of security threats.
While there’s no such thing as a “perfectly secure” website, there are a number of easy steps you can take to reduce the chances of your WordPress site being hacked significantly.
In this post, we’ll share with you some of the best practices for securing your WordPress site.
Choose a Secure Web Hosting Provider
One of the reasons why startups fail at SEO is because they choose the wrong web hosting providers. The wrong host can lead to downtime and security breaches, leading to low rankings and a poor reputation.
A good web host will have security measures in place to help protect your website from attacks, including firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and regular security scans.
Additionally, a quality web host will also have 24/7/365 customer support in case you need assistance with anything related to your website.
Web hosting, such as managed WordPress hosting on AWS offers several other benefits that can help improve the security of your WordPress site, including automatic updates, daily backups, and malware scanning.
Use a Secure Connection (SSL/TLS)
Another important step you can take to secure your WordPress site is to ensure that all communications between your website and visitors’ web browsers are encrypted. This is one of the surest ways to improve cyber security.
This can be accomplished by using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate. These certificates encrypt the data that is transmitted between your website and visitors’ web browsers, making it difficult for hackers to intercept and steal sensitive information.
Use a Strong Password
This one seems like a no-brainer, but did you know that 81% of data breaches are caused by weak passwords?
Yes! Using your pet’s name or year of birth as your admin password puts your WordPress site at a much higher risk of being hacked.
Instead, use a strong password that is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
A strong password should look like this: W+p$_$@o-75gH%hy not like this: password123.
You can generate a strong password using a password generator tool like LastPass or Dashlane. Once you have a strong password, be sure to change it regularly (at least once every 90 days) and never use the same password for more than one account.
Update WordPress Regularly
One of the best ways to secure your WordPress site is to keep it up-to-date with the latest version of WordPress.
New versions of WordPress are released regularly and usually include security fixes for any vulnerabilities that have been discovered since the previous release.
Additionally, many WordPress plugins and themes are also updated frequently to address security issues.
You can update your WordPress site manually by going to the Dashboard > Updates page. If you have a managed WordPress hosting account, your web host will handle updates for you automatically.
Use WordPress Monitoring
WordPress monitoring is a security measure that helps you watch your WordPress site for any changes or anomalies that could indicate a security breach.
There are a few different ways to monitor your WordPress site, including:
- Use a plugin like Jetpack Security (formerly WordPress.com Security) or Sucuri Security
- Manually check your website files and database for changes
- Set up file change alerts using a service like Cloudflare. This will send you an email any time a file on your website is changed.
If you suspect that your WordPress site has been hacked, the first thing you should do is change all of your passwords and then run a security scan to check for any malicious code or malware.
You can complement this security measure by limiting WordPress user permissions. This means that you should only give users the permissions they need to do their job and nothing more.
For example, if you have a contributor who only writes blog posts, there is no need for them to have access to your WordPress settings.
Bonus Fix: Change the Default WordPress Login URL
This is one of the most overlooked, yet important steps you can take to secure your WordPress site.
By default, the WordPress login URL is /wp-login.php. This means that anyone with basic hacking skills can easily try to brute force their way into your site.
Changing your WordPress login URL to something unique and difficult to guess will make it much harder for hackers to gain access to your site.
There are a few ways you can change your WordPress login URL, including using a plugin like WPS Hide Login or modifying your site’s .htaccess file. However, using a plugin is much easier and less likely to cause errors on your site.
By following these simple steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of your WordPress site being hacked.
Of course, no security measure is 100% effective and there is always some risk involved. However, taking these precautions will help make it much harder for hackers and snoopers to gain access to your site.