Getting your website hacked is not fun. It compromises your customer’s sensitive data, ruins your business’s reputation, and hurt your revenue. This explains why entrepreneurs and website developers take online security seriously. If you are one of them and you happen to own a WordPress website, here are the top 8 sure-shot ways to improve WordPress website security.
Use A Secured Web Host
Before launching a website, the first thing you need to do is look for a decent web host. And one of its characteristics is security.
Mind you, one of the common reasons web hosting for WordPress is attacked is due to such vulnerability.
That said, we suggest that you look for a hosting provider that offers SSL certification. Doing so enables you to encrypt sensitive organization details. It also allows your site visitors to browse your website securely.
You can also do some googling to know whether your preferred web host is secured.
WordPress rolls out updates from time to time. These updates often come with patches and fixes that ensure your website’s security.
Here’s the thing: All websites are vulnerable to online threats. However, 31% of websites worldwide are powered by WordPress, making it a common target.
Another reason WordPress is commonly hacked is that website owners are using outdated plugins.
That said, it is imperative to keep your backend updated and uninstall unused and outdated plugins.
Change Your Username
If you own a WordPress website, you will notice that they use “admin” as a default username. While this easy to remember, it can also be a security issue.
For one, it is a standard default. Making it easy for hackers to guess your username. Next, an easy username is usually paired with a quick-to-guess password like “admin123.”
All a hacker needs to do is make multiple login attempts to reset your login credentials. Once done, he can get in and exploit your website’s vulnerabilities.
That said, it would be best to change and create a new administrator account for your WordPress website.
Use A Strong Password
Other than outdated backend and plugins, weak passwords are what makes a WordPress website vulnerable to threats.
This explains why you need a strong password. And when we say “strong password,” it means something easy to remember but challenging to crack.
Hence, we suggest that you create a password recipe:
- If you can sign up as a guest, do so.
- Create a strong password that is unique to a single website. That way, only one account is compromised.
- Use a password manager to accomplish rule #2.
Limit Login Attempts
As mentioned earlier, a hacker can use brute force to attack your website. This is possible through multiple login attempts.
Hence, the best workaround is to limit login attempts.
When you activate this feature, what happens is that it can hinder hackers from using brute force. That’s because when they reach the maximum login attempts, they will need to wait between ten seconds to 24 hours before they can try again.
Use Paid Themes
It is common to use WordPress’s available themes when designing your website. However, we suggest that you opt for paid themes when you have the budget.
One of the common reasons is that free WordPress themes usually have base64 encoding. The problem with such a scheme is that it can be used to sneak spam links and other malicious codes.
That said, it would be best to stay away from free themes whenever possible. Otherwise, look for WordPress themes developed by reputable companies.
The same thing goes when installing WordPress plugins. It should be compatible with your theme and backend version and should be made by trustworthy developers.
Disable Dashboard File Editing
If you want to tweak how your WordPress website looks, you can do it by navigating through Appearance > Editor. From there, you can edit your theme files on the dashboard.
The caveat is that hackers can do the same. And when that happens, they can inject any code on your website. This can cause many things like copying sensitive customer information and implanting viruses.
Hence, it would be ideal to disable Dashboard File Editing. All you need to do is add the following line of code to your wp-config.php file: define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true).
Install Security Plugins
Of course, the best way to secure your website is to install security plugins. Here are some popular options:
- https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/ – provides a range of security features.
- https://wordpress.org/plugins/bulletproof-security/ – provides .htaccess protection.
- https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-security-and-firewall/ – adds a firewall to your site.
- https://wordpress.org/plugins/sucuri-scanner/ – scans your site for malware.
- https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/ – offers a full-featured security plugin.
- https://wordpress.org/plugins/websitedefender-wordpress-security/ – comprehensive security tool.
- https://wordpress.org/plugins/exploit-scanner/ – searches your database for any dubious code.
Securing your WordPress website may seem intimidating. Luckily, there are plugins and quick workarounds that you can do to achieve it. And when you follow the ways to improve WordPress website security listed above, you are one step ahead of securing your WordPress site.