If you’re using WordPress, you’ve made a really great choice. This particular content management system is easy to use with loads of amazing features and powerful SEO. But such kind of popularity comes with a great deal of risk. WordPress attracts a huge number of hackers who will try in many different ways to exploit your website. To secure your WordPress site is very important nowadays as there are many threats which can cause big problems.
There is nothing as horrifying as waking up one morning and finding your WordPress site hacked and suspended for sending phishing emails or hosting malware. The cost of recovering your site to a secure level and the extent of damage to your reputation could be extremely high. Recovering the lost trust from your customers can also take a long time. Similarly, the damage to your site’s ranking in Google might be at high risk.
You can however easily secure your WordPress website and seal a majority of hacking avenues using some simple housekeeping security procedures. Below are the top 7 simple ways you can follow to secure your WordPress site.
Implementing Login Limits
This might sound simple but it’s very powerful and effective in limiting attempts of unauthorized access from determined hackers. There is an inherent mechanism in the WordPress admin backend to limit the number of login attempts. There are also plugins that prevent attempts of brute force attack from any IP addresses that go beyond the failed login attempts within a given period. Such plugins come with a whole set of other useful security features including IP blacklisting.
Cut back on Plugin Use
Plugins are awesome, we could never survive in the WordPress environment without them. It’s however important to note that use of plugins should be limited as much as possible. For starters, delete any themes and plugins that you’re not using. Similarly, you need to be scrupulous with the criteria you apply when selecting your plugins if you want to keep your site secure.
Aside from security, installing too many plugins on your site affects its performance and speed. Some plugins will drastically slow down your site and result in poor user experience. So if your WordPress website can work without certain plugins, skip them. The rule of thumb is that the fewer plugins your site has, the least likely you will be hacked.
Two-Factor Authentication Login
A two-factor authentication is another great way to fend off hackers who may attempt to hack your site using brute force. A two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of login security by requiring additional identification proof such as secret questions or mobile generated codes. A great example is the WP Google Authentication plugin that can be easily installed to ensure that your site is secure at all times.
Change Admin Login URL
Most website owners leave their WordPress administrator login URL to the default one (it most often ends with either wp-login.php or wp-admin). This leaves your site more predictable to hackers as they can easily locate your login page and launch an attack. Changing your login URL to something more unpredictable will make your site more secure. Most automated brute force attacks are set to attack the default WordPress admin URL page. You can make this change either from your hosting space or use a plugin.
Set Plugins and Themes to Update Automatically
Plugins and themes are typically things many people update manually. In any case, theme and plugin updates are released at different times for each. However, if you are one of those administrators that don’t do regular site maintenance, it’s important that you set your site to update automatically. This will ensure that everything stays current and secure even without your immediate intervention. You may want to note that most theme and plugin updates are security based; meaning that some hackers might have discovered a way to exploit them and the developer is trying to seal these loopholes via a new update.
Switch to HTTPs (SSL/TLS)
Another form of attack is the Man-In-The-Middle Attack where data shared between two parties is intercepted by a hacker who monitors the exchanges. The easiest way to prevent this is by switching from HTTP which is insecure to a more secure HTTPs protocol by installing an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate creates an impenetrable, encrypted link between the web server and the browser. Aside from securing your site, HTTPs has recently been added as Google ranking factor. If you don’t have a secure website we can help you to get the best service. Learn more here why you should use an HTTPS encrypted connection.
Enforce strong passwords and usernames
Many people are guilty when it comes to this. But using simple passwords like those that contain your name or year of birth, for instance, makes hacking your account much easier. Hackers use automated brute force scripts that try to guess your username and password over and over. If you can’t generate your own strong passwords, you can use password generating tools to make your life easier. You should also force your users to use strong password using inherent theme configurations or plugins.
As you can see, you have plenty of simple but effective ways of enhancing the security of your WordPress website at virtually no cost. Some of them are just basic procedures that we either ignore or don’t put in enough effort to find out. Just keep in mind that it’s these simple things that prevent your WordPress site from being hacked.