WordPress has brought about a radical transformation in the field of website creation and content management systems. It is believed that word press powers well over 30% of all websites today. Having achieved phenomenal growth in the last few years, WordPress websites have also become prone to cybersecurity threats. This post aims to publish information about how one can avoid these threats without the advanced knowledge of coding. Here are the 10 of the best and simplest ways to secure your WordPress website.
1. Use Strong Passwords
Though password protection seems a rather obvious point to note, it seems that people often take choosing their passwords too lightly. The rule is that a password that is also easy to remember is also easy to guess. Make sure you use a dynamic mix of symbols, numbers and upper- and lower-case alphabets. Besides the main password, you can also add in a Two Factor Authentication plugin which requires you to use an OTP sent to your email address or phone number.
2. Choose your Hosting Company Wisely
With a range of hosting options available, its often tempting to select the one at the lowest cost. We urge you to reconsider how you select you host, a significant difference in quality can be bought with a small increase in the amount that you invest. We advise that you take on a provider who offers good security features. The latest versions of PHP, MySQL, and Apache are options to consider and WPEngine provides support 24/7 and 365 days a year.
3. Install WordPress Security Plugins
A security plugin tends to the security of your website by regularly scanning it for malware. Unless you have knowledge of coding you may not be able to identify a malware written into the code. The security plugin will do so by monitoring the activity on your website 24/7. Sucuri.net is a recommended plugin for WordPress. It provides a range of services like auditing of security activity, post hack security instructions and even firewall.
4. Choose a Good Theme
While there are free themes available on WordPress, you should consider paying for a premium theme. Premium themes are coded by highly skilled technicians and besides getting regular theme updates they also pass multiple WordPress checks. You may find that some sites even provide you with nulled or cracked themes, you should steer clear of these as they are probably hacked versions of the premium themes.
5. Keep the WordPress Software Updated
While WordPress automatically installs minor updates, you need to manually initiate the process for any major updates. You may also be using some of the themes and plugins available for WordPress and these too need to updated from time to time. By staying updated you make sure you do away with any loopholes that your hackers can easily identify. It is also a good practice as it helps to maintain the security and stability of your website.
6. Change the Administrator Username and add in the Contributor/ Editor User name
The default username on you WordPress website is usually set as admin. Being as common as it is, hackers often use it when they attempt to launch an attack. You can easily create a new admin user name by going to the ‘users’ option’ and selecting the ‘add new’ button. The role remains the same but the name changes making it harder to hack. To give rights to people to add new posts and articles you can add Contributor/ Editor account as these usernames do not have any administrator privilege’s and that role remains secure.
7. Look Closely into File Permissions
In the cPanel of your website, you will find an option for file and folder permissions. Have a look at what they are and change them if necessary, as if your settings are not correct hackers can access all the content and attack your website. The WordPress codex recommends that you set them as follows:
● All files should be 644 or 640
● Directories need to be 755 or 750
● wp-config.php should be 600
8. Disable the file editing option
At the time of setting up, the dashboard in your WordPress website provides an option allows for your theme and plugin to be edited. This feature is not required once your website goes live and you should disable it to reinforce security. Hackers can very easily insert malicious codes into these areas if they gain access to the admin panel.
9. Login Lockdown
If you have noticed, every website, application or device goes into lockdown after a set number of wrong attempts at login. However, by default WordPress allows users to attempt login as many times as they wish. To limit the number of failed login attempts that a user can make you need to activate the Login LockDown plugin. You are also secure from this problem if you are using a Web Application Firewall (WAF). You can enable WAF to help block malicious traffic from reaching your website.
10. Acquire an SSL Certificate
Put simply, a Single Sockets Layer Certificate, (SSL Certificate) is what helps to provide a secure link between your website and a visitor’s browser. This was put in place to make a site secure for specific transactions like processing of payments but today is crucial for the security of your website. Without an SSL certificate, a hacker could easily access private information like credit card numbers, names and addresses. Once you get yourself an SSL certificate, sensitive information is encrypted before being transferred hence increasing the level of security for both you and your user.
The Utmost Importance of Cybersecurity
While the above-mentioned points are crucial in ensuring the security of your website, there are always some technicalities that experienced developers know best. Considering, how we are slowly shifting to being a world that lives through the internet, you can also take a few more steps to make completely certain that your website is not under threat.
● Install an antivirus and enable the firewall on your computer. You should avoid using public Wi-Fi networks
● Automatically log out the idle users in WordPress
● Use a backup plugin as it helps to restore everything if the worst happens and store backup files offsite as well.
We hope to have added to your understanding about the security of your website. It’s always good to have regular contact with a Wordpress Development Company or expert Wordpress Developers that can help with all the points listed above.