Powering more than 30% of all websites in the Internet, WordPress is no doubt the most widely used Content Management System (CMS). However, as it increases in popularity, hackers have taken notice and are starting to target WordPress sites directly. According to the figures, Google blacklists approximately 10,000 websites every day for malware and approximately 50,000 websites per week for phishing.
There is plenty that can be done to boost your site’s security features, although the WordPress core software in itself is extremely secure and is routinely inspected by teams of developers. However, security is more than just risk mitigation. It’s all about lowering risks. Even if you’re not a tech whiz, there’s a ton you can do as a website owner to boost WordPress protection.
You are not an exception, regardless of the type of content you have on your website. You will be hacked if you do not take those precautions. You should check the security of your website as you would any other technology.
Here are tested and proven ways to make sure that your WordPress website is protected from any form of security threat.
Update WordPress and Plugins to their Latest Versions
On a regular basis, WordPress is an open-source program that is updated and maintained. It is a good idea to keep your WordPress up to date in order to keep your website protected. Developers make a few improvements in each update, and security features are frequently updated. For major releases, you must manually trigger the WordPress version update but for smaller modifications, they are automatically installed by default.
Aside from helping to prevent yourself from being a target for pre-identified loopholes and vulnerabilities that hackers can use to gain access to your site, using the most recent version can also help you achieve a 100% health check score.
Use Strong, Unique Passwords
The most popular method of WordPress hacking is to use stolen passwords. You can make this more complicated by using unique passwords for your website. Aside from having a unique password for your WordPress admin section, you can also consider implementing this change for FTP accounts, WordPress hosting accounts, databases, and custom email addresses that use the domain name of your site.
Passwords are a critical component of website security that is all too frequently ignored. If you are using a simple password such as ‘qwerty, 12345, admin123,’ you are doing a major WordPress mistake and must change it immediately.
It is critical that you use a complex password, or better yet, one that is created automatically with a variety of numbers, illogical letter combinations, and special characters.
Disable Theme and Plugin Editor
WordPress has a built-in code editor that enables you to modify theme and plugin files directly from the WordPress admin dashboard. When you first set up your WordPress account, you can edit your theme and plugins using the code editor feature in your dashboard. It is accessible by going to Appearance > Editor. You can also find the plugin editor by heading to Plugins > Editor.
This function may be a security risk if given to people with malicious intent, which is why it is strongly advised to disable it. This is easily accomplished by inserting the following code into your wp-config.php file.
// Disallow file edit
define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );
If hackers gain access to your WordPress admin dashboard, they will be able to discreetly insert malicious codes into your theme and plugin. Sometimes, the code is so subtle that you do not know something is wrong until it is too late.
Lockout Failed Login Attempts
Naturally, WordPress allows users to try as many times as they want to log in. Your WordPress account will be vulnerable to brute-force attacks as a result of this. Hackers attempt to break passwords by logging in with various combinations.
Once a hacker gains access to your admin dashboard, they can take complete control of your website. They can install malware, create a backdoor, deface your website, advertise and sell illegal goods, steal your users’ personal details, spam your website visitors, and engage in other malicious activities.
You can avoid this by limiting the number of failed login attempts per account. For example, you might argue that after 5 failed attempts, the user should be temporarily locked out. If anyone makes more than 5 unsuccessful attempts, your site will temporarily block their IP address based on your settings. You have the option of making it 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 24 hours, or even longer.
Change Default WordPress Login URL
The default URL address for logging into WordPress looks like this: “yoursite.com/wp-admin”. This seems to be a negligible factor but if you leave it as is, it can be used as a gateway to execute a brute force attack to initiate cracking your username and password combination.
Changing the URL of your login page is an easy but powerful security measure that can keep hackers at bay. After all, a one-of-a-kind, impossible-to-guess URL is more difficult to find. This means that unless you allow it, people are less likely to gain access to your website.
Plugins like WPS Hide Login will help you modify the URL of your WordPress login page. This is a compact solution that gets the job done quickly and easily. By typing it into the field after your website’s domain name, you’ll be able to generate a new URL for your login page. Your best choice is to choose something random, similar to a password.
Do Not Use a Nulled Theme
Nulled theme providers use nasty and malicious coding to hack the original premium theme. Backdoors are common in these themes, and if you use them, hackers will use the backdoor to infect your website.
Although you can install SSL to protect the confidentiality of confidential information that your visitors send on your site, nulled themes will render SSL protection useless. Hackers may use malicious codes to steal your users’ personal information, such as contacts, usernames, passwords, and email addresses.
This is why it is recommended to use a premium theme instead. With a premium WordPress theme, you can be sure that you get what you pay for. Premium themes have a more professional appearance and more customization options than free themes. Also, these themes are created by experienced developers and are reviewed to pass multiple WordPress quality evaluations and tests. With a premium theme, you’ll get full support if something goes wrong with your site and in terms of customization, the sky is the limit. Most notably, you can be sure that your theme is updated and debugged on a monthly basis.
FuelThemes has a wide plethora of aesthetic premium WordPress themes that are safe and secure.
Trying to maintain the website’s protection is simple and can be achieved for free. Though WordPress is a very safe platform, there are still steps you can take to protect your website even more. The tips mentioned above are basic, but when combined with a robust security plan, they make it more difficult for hackers and spammers to gain access.