A Complete Guide For The Best WordPress Security Practices
Security is an important concern for every WordPress website owner. Being a popular and widely used platform for building websites, WordPress is very prone to different security threats. Therefore, every webmaster needs to adopt very strong measures to safeguard their websites from threats like hacking, data breach, malware, etc. They need to follow the best practices and embrace the right security solutions to tighten the security of their WordPress websites.
Though the WordPress core is quite secure and regularly updated by hundreds of developers, there is lot you can do to improve the security of your site. You must pick the right WordPress development company to get a highly secured website. Moreover, when it comes to securing your WP site it shouldn’t be about just eliminating the threats, but you should also adopt ways to reduce the possible risks to prevent the future threats. In this post, we will be discussing the most effective and useful ways to secure your WordPress website.
The best practices for WordPress security are divided into different parts along with methods to ensure website security.
Part 1: Securing WordPress with login page protection
It is very easy to access WordPress login page as everyone knows the URL. By simply adding /wp-admin/ or /wp-login.php at the end of WP website domain, one can access the login page. This is the reason why attackers use brute force to hack a website. The first step that you should take to secure your site is to customize the login page URL along with page’s interaction. Following are some suggestions to secure the login page:
One of the good security measures is to incorporate two-factor authentication (2FA) on the login page. This method provides double login security as the user has to provide details for two login components. For instance, 2FA can include a regular password followed by a secrete code, secrete password, some characters, or Google Authenticator app.
Configure website lockdown feature
By setting up website lockdown feature you can prevent brute force attacks. The lockdown feature works for failed login attempts. With this feature enabled on your site, whenever someone tries to login to your site repeatedly with wrong password, it automatically gets locked and you get a notification of such unauthorized activity. There are many plugins that you can integrate into you site to enable this feature.
Rename the login URL
One of the most important step to secure your site is to change the URL of your site’s login page. By default the login page URL for a WordPress website is wp-login.php or wp-admin followed by the page’s URL. Hackers can brute force into a website using different combination of usernames and passwords. Customize the login page to secure your WP site, you can seek assistance from a good WordPress developer to get this done.
Use email to login
Using an email id is a much secure rather than using a username to login WordPress. Usernames can be predictable, but email ids are not easy to predict. So, using email ids provides better security than simple usernames.
Change passwords regularly
You must change your passwords regularly and make strong passwords every time. To create strong passwords, you must use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters and numbers. You can use long passphrases that are easier to remember but nearly impossible to predict for the hackers.
Automatic log out for idle users
When someone, who is logged into your site, but is idle for some time may enable someone to attempt a malicious activity with your site. Integrate a plugin into your site that allow you to set a specific idle time after such user will be automatically logged out.
Part 2: Secure website through admin panel
The admin dashboard is the most intriguing part for hackers, which is the highly secured section among all. So, it’s very challenging for the hackers to attach this section. But, if successful hacker will have a moral victory and do a lot of damage to the site. However, there are some methods that you can use to protect your website’s admin section.
Use SSL for data encryption
One smart method to secure your website’s admin panel is by implementing SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. SSL makes sure that the data is transferred securely between the users’ browsers and the server which make it difficult for the hackers to breach the data.
Add multiple users carefully
When you have more than one person accessing your WordPress website’s admin panel then it could make your site vulnerable to security threats. There are many types of tools and plugins that you can use to ensure that the passwords other user use are secure.
Monitoring the changes in files of your WordPress website gives you an added to security to your site. There are many plugins that you can utilize to get this feature.
Don’t use admin username
When you install WordPress the one thing you should never do is choose admin as the username for administrator login. This is easy guess and a hacker can use this username to penetrate your site.
If opt for a WordPress development company, then ensure that they implement the best security features to make your site foolproof secure.
Part 3: Tighten security in the database
Database is the most important thing that you need to take care of because all the site’s data is stored in the database. There are some method that you can use to secure your database.
Change database table prefix
Did you ever install WordPress? If so then you know that WordPress database uses wp- prefix for tables. In order to make your database, you should change this something different and meaningful. If you leave the prefix to default then it makes the database vulnerable to SQL injection attacks.
Create regular backups
Your WordPress might have stringent security features, yet there might be a room for improvement. The best way to ensure safety of your data is by making regular backups. So, you must make continuous update of your data.
Create strong database password
You must create a very strong password for your database as it helps you secure your website database. Always use letters both uppercase and lowercase along with special characters and numbers to create strong passwords.
Part 4: Securing WordPress from hosting part
Though you get an optimized and secure environment with all hosting services, you can get some step further to tighten the security.
Protecting the wp-config.php
This file includes important information about WordPress installation. You can secure it by moving it to a higher level than the root directory. On the WordPress priority list, the configuration file is set on the top, hence WordPress can access this file no matter if it’s stored on the higher level than the root directory.
Restricting file editing
If you have conceded a user the admin access to your WordPress dashboard, then that user can easily edit any file that is available with your WordPress installation including themes and plugins. You can disallow the file editing to discourage any hacking attempts. Simply add the below line at the very end of your config.php file:
Part 5: securing themes and plugins
There are different ways to secure your WordPress website themes and plugins and the best method is to update the themes and plugins regularly. By updating the themes and plugins on your site, you can make sure that they are not vulnerable to malware attacks.
WordPress is a leading content management system and a good platform for creating different types of websites. Though it is quite popular, WordPress websites are prone to security threats and a major number of these threats are caused by website owners themselves. Though, the WordPress core is very secure, there are some important steps that every website owner should take to ensure higher safety of their websites.
Emily White is associated with CSSChopper which is an eminent web design and development company and provides topmost solutions across the world. She is a senior developer at the company and loves coding a lot. She also likes to compose quality blogs and articles for her audience to spread knowledge and information.