WordPress has gained immense popularity as a content management system (CMS). It currently powers more than 30 per cent of all websites around the world.
Several major companies use this platform for their website management. Hence, all its features have come under the scanner. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility.
One of the biggest concerns of website owners is data security. Since WordPress is an open-source platform, its script is considered vulnerable to attacks. It is always a good idea to hire a WordPress developer and invest in the system so as to not fall prey to compromised security.
However, if you think WordPress has no built-in security, you’re mistaken. Experts have touted it as a more secure platform than many other similar content management systems.
In case you’re still worried about your site’s security, we bring you the top 10 ways to assure a secure WordPress experience.
Top 10 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Website
Apart from the pre-existing security measures, there are certain steps you can take to strengthen your website’s protection against external attackers.
Install a Security Plugin
Checking your website frequently for malware and security issues might add extra load to your workday. You will also need coding knowledge to recognize hidden malware.
Instead, you can opt for security plugins that take care of these issues automatically. A WordPress security plugin scans and monitors your site in real-time to check for unwanted guests. You can also get features like auditing and monitoring file integrity, blacklist, remote malware, and website firewall.
Choose the Host and Theme Wisely
Your website host should ideally provide multiple security layers that ensure both speed and safety for your data. Choose to spend money on a good hosting solution rather than opting for a free or cheap one.
Another important aspect is your WordPress theme. Though free themes look sufficient, it is always better to opt for a premium theme with more customizable options. This way, you will get more secure codes, regular updates, and great customer support. This also reduces the risk of falling prey to a nulled or cracked theme, which may contain highly damaging malware.
Install SSL Certificate
Single Sockets Layer or SSL is beneficial for all websites, not just sites involving payment transactions. Even Google gives more weightage to websites with an SSL certificate in its search results.
If your site has passwords or bank account details, this certificate is mandatory. It creates a block between the web browser and server so that your sensitive information cannot be accessed freely by hackers. SSL ensures encryption of information and is available for a reasonable price.
Limit Login Attempts & Remove Idle Users
WordPress allows unlimited login attempts for users, which can be beneficial to hackers looking to gain access. You can combat that by setting a limit on the number of login attempts directly or through a plugin. Anyone attempting to log in unsuccessfully more times than the limit should get temporarily blocked.
Another security threat can come from idle users who leave the wp-admin panel of your site open for a long time. This can lead to a breach of security and even alterations in personal information. To stop that, you can set a time limit for the site, after which it automatically logs people out if they are idle.
Hide the wp-config.php & .htaccess file
This process is a bit more technical than the other ones, but it ensures tight security for your website. Hiding your website’s wp-config.php and .htaccess files helps to protect it from hackers.
The wp-config.php file is extremely important as it contains installation information, and the .htaccess file holds the key to your directory listing. Protecting these two will ensure that your blog and directory are secure.
Set Access Permissions & Disable File Editing
Setting access permissions is a major way to ensure other users cannot view content they are not supposed to. In sites with multiple users, you can control access areas, functions, and permissions. Some users might have view access, and some view and edit access.
Another aspect of this is disabling file editing. Your dashboard has a code editor function that allows users to edit themes and plugins. Once the site is fully set up and made life, it is a good practice to disable file editing so that hackers or unwanted users cannot play around with your code.
Use Two-Factor Authentication and a Strong Password
It is often easy for hackers to override passwords to gain access to a website. Hence, an additional layer of protection never goes wrong. A two-factor authentication system lets a user log in after going through two different components. They can be a password and security question, password and OTP, and so on.
Using this system builds additional security for your website. It is also recommended to all users to have a strong password that is a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters. Your password must be unique, hard to guess, and unpredictable.
Rename the Login URL
Renaming the login URL is a smart way to stop hackers from accessing your website with ease. If your URL is direct, unwanted users might try to gain access through brute force and guesswork databases.
To prevent that, you can replace the login URL with something indirect so that only people who have the exact URL can find your website. This will restrict people who don’t have proper authorization from accessing the login page.
Monitor Audit Logs
Monitoring user activity becomes an essential task in multi-author websites. People working on your CMS might be performing tasks that hamper your site’s security. Your themes, widgets, and plugins might also be affected by contributors.
To prevent these from compromising security, you should monitor your site’s audit logs. If any unwanted activities seep through access control measures, they can be curbed during this step. This way, you can prevent admins and writers from making unapproved changes.
Perform Regular Updates and Backups
This step is true for any website or mobile app you use. Performing regular updates ensures you stay current on security measures and get full technical support in case of a crash or error. Your themes and plugins should also be updated regularly.
Sign up for automatic updates, if suitable, and don’t let security loopholes drag you down. Also, back up your website data periodically. This will help you to restore the latest version in case of mishaps. There are plugins that help you perform scheduled backups and keep your data secure in case you want to make changes to your website.
Website security can be guaranteed in a number of ways, in addition to the ones mentioned above. Some of the measures are free and fairly easy, whereas some require technical knowledge and expenditure. You can also opt for white label services that can help you to maintain and evolve your site without compromising on its security.