WordPress has earned its place as one of, if not the, most widely used content management systems in the world. The ease of use, along with the ability to customize your site to your heart’s content, and the accessibility of WordPress all contribute to its enormous appeal.
WordPress’s popularity, on the other hand, renders it susceptible to a wide range of cyberattacks.
So, let’s take a closer look at how to keep your WordPress site safe and protected.
How secure is WordPress, anyway?
It’s possible that since WordPress is free and open-source software that can be downloaded and modified by anybody, it’s subject to misuse. The truth is that WordPress is more secure than you may have imagined it to be.
Dedicated developers try to maintain the WordPress core product as safely as possible. They keep an eye out for WordPress security flaws and update the program as soon as they’re discovered. In other words, that’s the first line of defense.
The remainder, on the other hand, is up to the end users.
Choose your hosting wisely
An excellent starting point for ensuring the security of your WordPress website (or any other website for that matter) is to choose an established host. Your web hosting company should be able to supply the most up-to-date, reliable software versions as well as comprehensively monitor for security holes and viruses. Additionally, see whether they have dependable backup and site recovery techniques, as well as if SFTP or SSH connections are offered
We at Hostnats, for example, place a high value on the security of our EasyWP customers, which is why we provide free PositiveSSL certificates with all of our Turbo and Supersonic plans.
Ensure that your WordPress site is up-to-date
You, as a user, are the second line of defense. Due to obsolete versions of WordPress and/or plugins or the failure to install the most recent upgrades, many WordPress sites are vulnerable to hacker assaults. These files grow progressively susceptible to attacks if they are not updated.
If you want to keep your site safe and secure, you need to make sure that all of the themes and plugins you have installed (whether they are from a WordPress site or a third-party developer) are up to date as well.
WordPress’s Auto-Update mechanism automatically installs most minor updates, but you must actively initiate the update for big releases. To accomplish this, go to your dashboard and click on “Updates.” Make careful to back up your site before you begin the upgrade, in case anything goes wrong.
Be mindful of your passwords and permissions
A lot of website owners didn’t bother changing their WordPress usernames in the past since the default username was “admin.” Even though WordPress now requires users to choose a username after installation, some one-click WordPress installers continue to utilize “admin” as the default admin username.
A brute-force assault on your site will almost always begin with “admin” as the login of choice. It’s a good idea to update your “admin” login as soon as possible to anything new. There are three options:
You may create a new user, give it the “Administrator” role, and set “Attribute all content to” for it; then, you can deactivate the default user.
Changing the username is easy using the Username Changer plugin.
phpMyAdmin may be used to modify the user’s login information.
As with usernames and passwords, this is true for both the administrator and FTP passwords. They should be difficult to decipher and unique to your page. In addition, you should change them out often.
Another option is to limit access to the site folders and disable file editing for particular user accounts in order to reduce the danger. Temporary rights may be granted by giving a user role (in this instance, “Editor”) under the Users menu, then revoked later by lowering permissions (say back down to “Subscriber”) once the user no longer requires that access.
Limiting login attempts and triggering alerts for excessive logins are two more things to keep in mind.
Install security plugins
Security plugins for WordPress are plenty, as we’ve already discussed, and they’ll offer even another layer of safety to your site. Plugins for security include anything from all-in-one solutions to specialized feature sets and can be found by doing a search for “Security” under the “Plugins” page on the official WordPress site.
Some helpful plugins to keep your site secure include:
WPS Hide Login is a lightweight plugin that enables you to replace the default login URL with a personalized one. Hackers will have a far more difficult time gaining access to your admin panel using this method.
Protect your site against brute force assaults and restrict the number of unsuccessful tries to log in to your admin panel with WordFence, a paid (rather than free) plugin.
Using WP DB Backup, you may save a copy of all of your site’s database tables.
To combat spam, you may use this spam-blocking plugin to prevent unwanted messages from reaching your inbox.
To keep their WordPress websites safe from bots, viruses, and spyware, many WordPress users utilize the Antivirus plugin.
A WordPress security plugin will have unrestricted access to all of your WordPress files and folders when it is activated, so keep this in mind before you do anything else. The plugin should be installed only after checking the permissions it needs. You may find this information in the plugin’s documentation.
Check out the reviews and current installations if you’re unsure about the plugin’s reputation. Avoid products with poor ratings or a small number of consumers. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the plugin is compatible with the current version of WordPress and has been updated lately – older plugins may have their own security flaws or clash with the current version of WordPress.
Keep in mind that all of the security plugins you have installed should be updated as often as WordPress updates.
Back up your site
You should back up your WordPress site even if you are certain that it is safe from external threats. This is particularly true if you have recently added or changed any material. You’ll be glad you did if you make a mistake while editing, lose data accidentally, switch hosting providers, or your site is infected with a virus or hacker attack.
Backing up both your WordPress site files and database is critical, so be sure to do so before making any changes.
Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and similar services are also an excellent idea to preserve backups in case your hosting server goes down or if you lose access to your account.
In addition to its widespread usage, WordPress’s popularity makes it a prime target for hackers. Fortunately, WordPress users have a variety of options for securing their sites.
Regular updates and backups, as well as the use of reliable security plugins, all reduce the likelihood of a site’s security being hacked.
For further information on how to keep your WordPress site safe, we’ve compiled a list of helpful sites. Keep your website safe by reading our latest blog on minimizing plugins, as well as our Knowledgebase article on how to protect your WordPress database and other helpful hints.