Let’s say you are starting a new small business, then there is a chance you have a dozen things in your mind and you are not probably focusing your WordPress website secure and safe.
You must know, WordPress is one of the favorites a target for hackers, who want to exploit the vulnerabilities of the system to access sensitive data or even take control of the server on which the website is hosted.
This scenario may appear to be excessively catastrophic but in reality, it may surprise how much the subject of web security is even neglected by professionals. And above all, we often don’t know what is at stake.
And for that, I am going to tell you some of the best tips and tricks that can help you to secure a WordPress website.
Table of Contents
- Tip 1: Update WordPress Version
- Tip 2: Update Plugins and Themes
- Tip 3: Back up Your WordPress
- Tip 4: Change Default Username
- Tip 5: WordPress Managed Hosting
- Tip 6: Change Your Login URL
- Tip 7: Make Your Login Secure
So, let’s begin!
Tip 1: Update WordPress Version
The first essential step we need to take is to keep WordPress version updated! Sometimes, the security loops that are discovered inside the WordPress Core, in the themes or plugins installed are only corrected by future updates.
Have you ever wondered why instead of seeing the versions of our programs in the form of 1, 2, 3 and 4 we often see 4.9.1?
Well, this happens because the rules of the Semantic Versioning are followed. A numerical structure that allows the developers to declare what aspect of the program is modified with the update. In fact, if we take into consideration any three-digit release, we find that these have very important meanings:
- Major: the first number used in the series serves to identify that the update contains such substantial changes that it generally makes it incompatible with previous versions.
- Minor: this number is used to identify an update in which some features have been added that respect the previous versions, i.e. it is said that it is backward compatible.
- Patch: the last number serves to declare that the update does not contain any new features but rather it was released to correct some security issues that had been triggered by the changes made.
This type of numbering is so common that we find it within the updates of our operating systems, the software present on our web servers and it is normal that there are also for WordPress.
Keeping any program up-to-date is very important and we will discover an aspect that we should not waste time on. If you are afraid that an update can “break” your website, the best thing is to create a clone and test the update first.
Once you have verified that everything is working correctly, you will be ready to update your main website.
Tip 2: Update Plugins and Themes
We all know that WordPress is an open source platform which is frequently updated and maintained. Also, there are thousands of tons plugins and themes, which will also ask you to update a new version or new update whatever you have installed and activated on your WordPress website. If you don’t update, you will be at risk.
If you want to update your WordPress version, plugins, and themes, then go to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate Dashboard → Updates. Here you can see all the update of WordPress version, themes, and plugins.
Tip 3: Back up Your WordPress
This is a very important task for every WordPresser!
Most of the time users update the changes without backing up WordPress website. And this is a big mistake which most people do. Backups can your salvage against any WordPress attack. You need to remember, nothing is 100 percent secure.
In WordPress, there are many backup plugins available such as UpdraftPlus, BackUpWordPress, and many more. You need to pick anyone and install on your website. And if your hosting provider is professional, it will definitely offer you a backup service.
Tip 4: Change Default Username
When you set up your WordPress, make sure that you don’t add simple username like “admin”. If you are still using that then it means that you are unintentionally allowing or welcoming hackers to hack your website easily.
This is not just for WordPress admin area, but also you need to add strong username and password for FTP, hosting account, database, and business email address. If you don’t have one (at least 8 characters), then it is time to do it now to make your website secure.
Tip 5: WordPress Managed Hosting
WordPress hosting plays a vital role to keep your WordPress website secure. Most of the people used shared hosting but they don’t know that in shared hosting you share your servers to many other users. This is the easy chance for hackers since they can use a neighboring website to attack your website.
We strongly recommend used managed WordPress hosting like Cloudways, which provides you with a more secure platform for your website. Moreover, you can take many benefits such as free SSL certificates, free migration, free backups, advanced security, iron-clad firewalls, free WordPress cache plugin, 24/7 expert support and much more.
Tip 6: Change Your Login URL
When installing WordPress by default, it will create a link wp-admin or wp-login. For example, your website name is ABC so it will make a link something like www.abc.com/wp-admin. This is the most common URL that hackers can use to attack your WordPress website.
Secondly, if you set your own URL, then it might be possible you forget your URL. So, it is better you should install iThemes Security plugin for your WordPress. It will generate your URL something like www.abc.com/this-is-my-site and makes it harder for hackers to access your login page.
Tip 7: Make Your Login Secure
Login is certainly the most important part to put in security. The first measure to be taken is the installation of an SSL certificate, which will prevent the transmission of data in an interceptable “plain text” format.
Once you have purchased an SSL certificate for the specific domain, install it through your hosting provider and force the login and administration of WordPress adding the following two lines to the wp file -config.php:
define (‘FORCE_SSL_LOGIN’, true);
define (‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true);
Once this is done, it is necessary to deal with the admin users. To prevent brute force attacks, or at least limit them, we recommend the following:
- Avoid setting “admin” as the administrator’s username. It is the first target for brute force attack.
- Instead, create an account from a simple “subscriber” with username “admin” in order to “mislead” the attackers.
- Use complex passwords made up of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Summing It Up!
I have explained you some of the best security tips and tricks to make your WordPress website secure. These are the major points for every WordPresser to do it on their website whether it is a personal blog or an ecommerce store. If you have any comments regarding this article, feel free to ask me via the comments section below.
Saud Razzak is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways – A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at email@example.com.
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