Six Ways to Secure Your WordPress Website

Cyber-attacks are real, frequent, and often very painful, so keeping your WordPress website is enormously important. More and more attempts are launched against websites every year, so the question of security remains critical for everyone. As we know, size doesn’t matter to cybercriminals, so when it comes to targeting victims, everyone is a fair game, from large international corporations to small businesses.

2018 Internet Security Threat Report informed that 2017 was the year of cyber-attacks, with their number peaking at 27.7 million per month.

Source: 2018 Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec

 

The events of 2020 show that cybersecurity is also evolving, as are other technologies in the realities of the pandemic. Every company and business is trying to survive and protect its potential.

Since the best way to deal with cyber threats is to prevent them, check out the six ways to secure your WordPress website below.

1. Update, Update, Update

Many owners of WordPress websites avoid installing updates because they think they can disrupt the performance of their platforms. However, avoiding updates is a really bad idea because they may contain the latest protection tools from developers.

The risk arising from the lack of protection is high. For example, Sucuri’s Hacked Website report found that 39.3 percent of hacked WordPress sites in 2017 had outdated versions. 

Source: Sucuri’s Hacked Website report

So check whether you have the latest version of WordPress, back up your site, and update it when updates are available. Or insert the following code in wp-config.php to enable auto-updates: define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', false ); define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );

However, we do not recommend enabling auto-updates. For example, updating a plugin may not be compatible with your theme or vice versa. This in turn can break or damage the structure of the site.

 

2. Create a Super Strong Password

Some WordPress websites have pretty weak passwords, which puts them at an increased risk of being hacked. In fact, according to WPSmackdown, 8 percent of WordPress websites get hacked because of this reason.

Source: WPSmackdown

The same source also informed that the most common passwords that are being tried include:

Password

12345678

123admin

123abc

Qwerty
While you can come up with your own passwords (it has to be long, at least 12 characters, and contain a string of random letters and digits), feel free to check these tools:

Strong Password Generator

Strong Random Password Generator
While you can come up with your own passwords (it has to be long, at least 12 characters, and contain a string of random letters and digits), feel free to check these tools:

Strong Password Generator

Strong Random Password Generator.

Also, I recommend changing your password every couple of months for maximum protection so the user of the site can focus on writing blog posts and avoid distraction by security measures. Also, for increasing the efficiency of writing and proofreading posts, safe and reliable tools such as essay services reviews are recommended.

 

3. Carefully Review New Plugins and Themes before Installing (and Update Those You Have)
Here’s an alarming fact: 18 percent of the hacked WordPress websites in 2016 were breached because they had outdated versions of just three plugins: GravityForms, RevSllider, and TimThumb (source: Sucuri’s Hacked Website Report 2016 – Q3).

Source: Sucuri’s Hacked Website Report 2016 – Q3
A strong correlation between outdated plugins and hacked sites suggests that updates are critical here as well. Another key consideration is plugins’ reliability. You should be very careful selecting them because some of them may be vulnerable to hackers. For example, some developers using poor coding practices may allow them to exploit plugins and undermine every website it gets installed on.

To avoid such plugins, follow these tips:

Check if the plugin is updated regularly

Check user ratings and reviews (try to install those that have at least a 4-star rating)

Get your plugins from well-known trustworthy sources such as WordPress.org (there are more than 56,000 of them on this site!)

Clean up your site on WordPress and remove all unnecessary templates and plugins. Hackers often use disabled and outdated templates and plug-ins (even official WordPress plug-ins) to access your control panel or download malicious content to your server. By removing plug-ins and templates that you stopped using (and may have forgotten to update) a long time ago, you reduce your risks and make your WordPress site more secure.


4. Limit Login Attempts

WordPress doesn’t impose any limits on the number of times one can try and login into your website. The lack of limits, of course, provides hackers with all chances they need to force their way into your admin panel. To change that and reduce the risk of getting hacked, you can limit login attempts.

For that, you can use a plugin called Login LockDown. If it detects a certain customizable number of failed attempt from the same IP range within a short period of time, then it disables the login function for all requests from that range. As the result, you can prevent brute force password discovery.

Additionally, it is possible to remove the display of the message that the entered login and password are incorrect. After all, this is also information that can help the attacker.

To remove the output of this message, you need to open the functions.php file located in the current topic folder of your website (wp-content / themes / current_word_WordPress theme) and add the following code:

add_filter (‘login_errors’, create_function (‘$ a’, “return null;”));


5. Implement an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate
This security measure is a very popular one for securing the admin panel because:

Gain visitors’ trust. SSL certificates can help you to build credibility and gain the trust of your visitors.

Increasing website security. The most significant benefit of SSL certificates is that they protect the sensitive data transmitted from and to your site.

SEO benefit. Google recommends getting an SSL certificate for websites and prioritizes those that have it because the search engine strives to give its users a safe browsing experience.
 

6. Back up Regularly

You may think that your website is safe if you implement all these tips above but there’s still some room for improvement. Remember to always make backups because they’re the best way to keep your data safe. If you have it, you can restore it to a working state anytime. UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular backup plugins, so you can start with it.

You can manually make copies of your site at regular intervals or before important updates, but there are also a number of plug-ins that will help you automatically create copies of WordPress. 

You can see the different options here: wordpress.org/plugins/tags/backup

By installing the WordPress Database Backup plugin, you will be able to additionally secure your site's database. Plugin settings allow you to set the option to send a daily backup of the database to your contact mailbox.

Conclusion
Cyber-attacks remain a huge problem for website owners, so seeking additional ways to secure yours is something that you need to do. As you can see, these ways don’t require some extraordinary skills from you but they’ll go a long way in helping you to reduce the chances of getting your site hacked.

About the author

Mary Voss is a freelance writer, content creator of educational, management, marketing, tech topics and an editor in cv writing service uk. She is a permanent co-organizer, moderator and attendant of educational webinars and participator of various creative business projects. Her main areas of interest are travelling and teaching people to live an abundant and limitless life. 

 

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