WordPress is quite a user-friendly platform for creating and publishing online content. The CMS provided by WordPress is easy to implement and customise according to your website requirements. But this open-access nature of the platform also makes it susceptible to attacks from hackers. Therefore it is very important for bloggers and online content business sites to know how to secure WordPress from hackers.
If you are new to WordPress, make sure you understand how to secure login access to your site’s dashboard. It is also important to learn how plugins work to ensure the safety of your site and its content. To help you with this task, we have come up with a few measures you can take to keep your WordPress site safe. Find out how to secure WordPress website from hackers below.
Use Strong Login Credentials
The safety of your site depends on the login credentials set by you. Make sure that you change the admin name and use a strong password that is difficult to crack in order to prevent brute force attacks. The more complex your password, the more difficult it will be for hackers to get access to your site. Also, change your passwords frequently to keep the security uptight.
Trust only if you must
Don’t share your WordPress login credentials with multiple users or developers. Make sure you are careful in trusting the people you allow access to your site. More importantly, review what privileges you allow these users when they logged into your site. Once the task of the developer or user has been completed, remove their access to ensure the safety of your website.
Set up website lockdown and auto-logout feature
This a great feature to prevent your site from brute force attacks. Your site will automatically lockdown after 2 or 3 failed login attempts and you will be notified of this activity immediately. To implement this, you can use the iThemes Security plugin but make sure that you update the WordPress version timely to ensure the safety of your site. Also, set up an automatic logout feature if the user has been idle for certain time by using BulletProof Security plugin to prevent people from misusing your account.
Use two-factor authentication for WordPress security
To add another layer of security, use Google Authenticator plugin. This plugin will allow you to add two login components. Apart from the password, you can choose a secret question, code or set of characters. The Google Authenticator app will send these secondary components to your phone, allowing you better control over your site’s access.
Use your email to log in
Using email IDs instead of user IDs is another simple safety measure to protect your site from hackers. It adds a bit of extra safety as email IDs are difficult to guess while user IDs are easy to predict for hackers. Therefore, using your email ID instead of user name can protect it from hackers who specialize in brute force attacks.
Keep WordPress Plugins Secure & Updated
WordPress in itself has a secure CMS and keeps the site protected. However, installing too many plugins without ensuring their safety can compromise the security of the site. Since WordPress is an open-access platform, the code is available to all users and each plugin you install is a doorway to enter your site. While you protect login access to the website, adding unverified plugins can open gateways for hackers. This is why it is important to keep your plugins secure and update WordPress regularly to prevent your site.
Rename your login URL to secure your WordPress website
It is important to change your URL from wp-login.php or wp-admin to something personalized. Remember, 99% of the brute force attacks are possible because the login URLs are predictable. URLs based on the two formats mentioned above are easy to predict and hack. Changing it to something like my_new_login can reduce the predictability of the URL and make it less prone to attacks from hackers who are trying to access your database.
Protect the wp-admin directory
The wp-admin directory is prone to attacks as it is the heart of the site. It is important to protect it because if it gets hacked, the entire site will be damaged. You can protect it with a password using WordPress security measures. Adjusting your hosting setup via cPanel can help you protect the wp-admin directory. Once you are done setting this up, the user will have to give two passwords to access, one for logging in and the other for accessing the WordPress admin area.
Use SSL to encrypt data
You can get Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to secure the admin panel. It not only secures data transfer between browsers and server but also enhances the Alexa rank of the site. SSL makes it difficult for hackers to get access to your site or misuse the information. So this is not just good for security but also enhances the performance of your WordPress website. You can purchase SSL certificate from a third-party company or even get one from your hosting site if they offer it for free.
Remove your WordPress version number
Your WordPress version number is available at the bottom of your dashboard. It is important to hide this number to stop hackers from getting access. If your WordPress version number is not hidden, it is easy for hackers to tailor an attack using this information. It can be hidden using either of the security plugins mentioned above.
Prevent a WordPress Hack with a Website Firewall
Having plugins and themes on your WordPress site can often prevent you from updating the current version. This makes it easier for hackers to attack your site. Installing Web Application Firewall (WAF) can prevent this. WAF directs regular traffic towards your website and prevents potential hackers, DoS and exploits from hitting your WordPress site. This way you can ensure the use of plugins without compromising the security of your website.