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Top 15 Ways to Secure a WordPress Site

Personal website

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to protect your WordPress site.

Get started with these simple security basics

When setting up your WordPress site security, there are a few basic things you can do to improve your protection.

Here are some of the first things you should implement to protect your website.

1. Implement SSL certificates

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates are an industry standard used by millions of websites to protect their online transactions with their customers.

Obtaining one should be one of the first steps you take to secure your website.

You can buy an SSL certificate, but most hosting providers offer it for free.

Next, use a plugin to force HTTPS redirection, which enables the encrypted connection.

This standard technology creates an encrypted connection between a web server (host) and a web browser (client).

By adding this encrypted connection, you can ensure that any data passed between the two remains private and intrinsic.

2. Require and use strong passwords

Besides getting an SSL certificate, one of the very first things you can do to protect your website is to use and require strong passwords for all your logins.

It may be tempting to use or reuse a familiar or easy-to-remember password, but doing so puts you, your users, and your site at risk.

Improving your password strength and security decreases your chances of being hacked.

The stronger your password, the less likely you are to be the victim of a cyber attack.

When creating a password, you should follow some general password best practices.

If you’re not sure if your password is strong enough, check the strength with a free tool like this helpful Password Strength Checker.

3. Install a security plugin

WordPress plugins are a great way to quickly add useful functionality to your site, and there are several great security plugins available.

Installing a security plugin is an easy way to add additional layers of protection to your website.

To get you started, check out this list of recommended WordPress security plugins.

  • Wordfence Security – Firewall and Malware Scan
  • All-in-one WP security and firewall
  • iThemes security
  • Jetpack – WP security, backup, speed and growth

4. Keep WordPress core files up to date

Keeping your WordPress up to date is crucial to maintaining the security and stability of your website.

Every time a WordPress vulnerability is reported, the core team starts working on releasing an update that fixes the problem.

If you don’t update your WordPress site, you’re probably using a version of WordPress that has known vulnerabilities.

As of 2021, there are an estimated total of 1.3 billion websites on the internet, of which more than 455 million use WordPress.

Because of its popularity, WordPress is a prime target for hackers, malicious code proliferators, and data thieves.

Don’t let yourself be left vulnerable by using an old version of WordPress. Turn on automatic updates and forget about it.

If you want to handle updates even more easily, consider a managed WordPress hosting solution that has built-in automatic updates.

5. Pay attention to themes & plugins

Keeping WordPress up to date ensures your core files are in check, but there are other areas where WordPress is vulnerable that core updates may not protect – like your themes and plugins.

First, only install plugins and themes from trusted developers.

If a plugin or theme isn’t developed by a credible source, you’re probably safer not to use it.

Also, make sure to update your WordPress plugins and themes.

Just like an outdated version of WordPress, using outdated plugins and themes makes your website more vulnerable to attacks.

6. Take frequent backups

One way to protect your WordPress website is to always have an up-to-date backup of your website and important files.

The last thing you want is for anything to happen to your website and you don’t have a backup.

Back up your website and do it often.

This allows you to quickly revert to a previous version and get back up and running faster if something happens to your site.

Intermediate security measures for more protection

If you’ve covered all the basics but still want to do more to protect your site, there are some more advanced steps you can take to increase your security.

7. Never use the “admin” username

Because “admin” is such a common username, it’s easy to guess and makes it much easier for scammers to trick people into giving up their login credentials.

Never use the username “admin”.

This leaves you vulnerable to brute force attacks and social engineering scams.

Similar to a strong password, using a unique username for your logins is a good idea as it makes it much harder for hackers to crack your credentials.

If you are currently using the “admin” username, change your WordPress admin username.

8. Hide your WP admin login page

By default, most WordPress login pages can be accessed by adding “/wp-admin” or “/wp-login.php” to the end of a URL.

This makes it easy for hackers to break into your website.

Once a hacker or scammer has identified your login page, they can try to guess your username and password to access your admin dashboard.

Hiding your WordPress login page is a good way to make you less of an easy target.

Protect your credentials by hiding the WordPress admin login page with a plugin like WPS Hide Login.

9. Disable XML-RPC

WordPress uses an implementation of the XML-RPC protocol to extend functionality to software clients.

The remote procedure call The protocol allows commands to be executed with data returned formatted XML.

Most users don’t need the WordPress XML-RPC functionality, and it is one of the most common vulnerabilities that open users to exploits.

That’s why it’s a good idea to disable it.

It’s really easy thanks to the Wordfence Security Plugin.

10. Harden the wp-config.php file

Your WordPress wp-config.php file contains very sensitive information about your WordPress installation, including your WordPress security keys and WordPress database connection details, which is why you don’t want it to be easily accessible.

You can “harden” your website by protecting your wp-config.php file via your .htaccess file.

This basically means that you give your website an extra layer of protection against hackers.

11. Run a security scan tool

Sometimes your WordPress website might have a vulnerability that you had no idea existed.

It is advisable to use tools that can find vulnerabilities and fix them for you.

The WPScan plugin scans for known vulnerabilities in WordPress core files, plugins, and themes.

The plugin also notifies you via email when new security vulnerabilities are found.

Strengthen your server-side security

By now you have taken all the above measures to protect your website.

You might still want to know if there’s anything else you can do to make it as safe as possible.

The remaining measures you can take to improve your security must be done on the server side of your website.

12. Look for a hosting company that does this

When you’re looking for a hosting company, you want to find one that’s fast, reliable, secure, and backed by great customer service.

This means they should have good, powerful resources, maintain at least 99.5% uptime, and employ server-level security tactics.

If a host can’t tick these basic boxes, they’re not worth your time or money.

One of the best things you can do to protect your website from the start is choosing the right hosting company to host your WordPress website.

13. Use the latest PHP version

Like old versions of WordPress, outdated versions of PHP are no longer safe to use.

If you are not using the latest version of PHP, update your PHP version to protect against attacks.

14. Host on a fully isolated server

Private cloud servers have many advantages.

One of those benefits is that it increases your security.

All cloud environments require a strong combination of antivirus and firewall protection, but a private cloud runs on specific physical machines, making it easier to ensure its physical security.

In addition to security, a fully isolated server offers other benefits such as: B. a very high uptime and easy integration of managed hosting.

Looking for the perfect cloud environment for your WordPress website?

Look no further.

With managed WordPress hosting from InMotion Hosting, you get server-to-server migrations, more secure upgrades, on-the-fly security patches, and industry-leading speed all rolled into one.

15. Use a web application firewall

One of the last things you can do to add extra security measures to your WordPress site is to use a Web Application Firewall (WAF).

A WAF is typically a cloud-based security system that provides another layer of protection around your website.

Think of it as a gateway for your website.

It blocks all hacking attempts and filters out other malicious types of traffic like B. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks or spammers.

WAFs typically require monthly subscription fees, but adding one is well worth the cost if you put a premium on your WordPress site’s security.

Make sure your website and business are safe and secure

If your website isn’t secure, you could be opening yourself up to a world of breaches.

Luckily, securing a WordPress site doesn’t require too much technical knowledge as long as you have the right tools and hosting packages to suit your needs.

Instead of waiting to respond to threats as soon as they appear, proactively secure your website to avoid security issues.

That way, if someone attacks your website, you’re ready to mitigate the risk and go about your business as usual instead of looking for an up-to-date backup.

Secure and fully isolated WordPress hosting with free SSL, dedicated IP address, free backups, automatic WordPress updates, DDoS protection and WAF included.

Learn more about how managed WordPress hosting can help protect your website and valuable data from hackers and scammers.

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