Best 5 Pointers to Ensure WordPress Website Security
Recently, a WordPress blog owner complained that his website got hacked and firmly blamed WordPress for this. As I know, he is not the only person who is nagging about WordPress security. My answer was: ‘What have you done to protect your WordPress website from being hacked?’ The answer was that pretty much nothing.
WordPress, by itself, is pretty much stable. It’s just you who have to do some job to prevent it from being hacked. This article aims to discuss 5 most important pointers to ensure WordPress website security and give you tips on protecting your website from malicious attacks better.
Pointer 1: Secure Login Page
WordPress has no secret that the backed login page is accessed by adding /wp-admin or /wp-login.php to the website’s URL. This is so tempting to brute force attackers, as many website owners are pretty careless about their access details and use the trite ‘admin’, ‘admin123’ or some simple to remember details, such as admin name followed by the year of birth. What is left to brute force attackers is to use their database of guessed usernames and passwords to unlock your WP dashboard and do whatever they want.
Steps to ensure that your login page is secure:
- Ban users with repetitive unsuccessful login attempts. If a user enters access details wrong for 3 or 5 times, there should be something wrong with the user. Use a lockdown plugin, such as iThemes Security or Login LockDown, to block all users, who reach a chosen number of unsuccessful login attempts.
- Introduce two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is one more measure against brute force attacks. Such plugins as Google Authenticator add one more field to your login window, in which you should either answer a security question or enter a secret code.
- Rename your login page URL. With a plugin like iThemes Security, you can change /wp-admin and /wp-login.php to other text strings like /mplogin17 mp-login17.php. The less predictable your login URL, the less brute force attacks you’ll face.
- Your password should be secure. Intermingle uppercase and lowercase letter, sprinkle them with numerals and special characters and you’ll get a truly secure password. Please change your password at least once a month and do not disclose it to every single person.
By following these simple steps, you can minimize a brute force attack’s likelihood to 1%. I guess that’s much less work than saving your website after a hacker attack, so go for securing your admin panel access right after reading this article.
Pointer 2: Secure Dashboard
It’s known that WordPress Admin Panel is not that vulnerable. However, more advanced hackers may go for it if they want to test their skills. In this case, damage caused to the website is pretty drastic. You can secure your WordPress Dashboard by doing this:
- First of all, password-protect your wp-admin directory. Use AskApache Password Protect plugin to set a separate password for your admin area and access it by entering WP login credentials, followed by this password.
- Secondly, buy SSL certificate to secure your data transfer between browser and server. Being a great security aid, SSL certificate also benefits your SEO, as Google ranks SSL-encrypted websites higher in search results. In some cases, after setting up an SSL on your site you may get a WordPress site is not secure message. Read about insecure WordPress warnings and how fix them.
- Thirdly, know whom you entrust access to your admin panel. If you have several authors writing for your website, and having access to your dashboard, restrict their access to the needed areas only. Moreover, make them come up with secure passwords, using Force Strong Passwords plugin.
So, now you can be sure that no one gets to your admin panel without your permission. Good job! However, there are many other ways to attack your website. Let’s learn how to address them too.
Pointer 3: Secure Database
The next ‘soft spot’ of your WordPress website is your database. All the information that’s on your website gets stored there. So, it’s crucial to protect it from unauthorized access by following these steps:
- Firstly, your WP database prefix should be changed to a less predictable one. This can be carried out manually (that’s pretty time-consuming) or with the help of such plugins as WP-DBManager or iThemes Security. And don’t forget to make a back-up of your database before making any changes to it! Check out this detailed video-tutorial that shows how to change WordPress database prefix in your dashboard:
- Then, change your database access details to more secure ones. Again, use both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols.
Pointer 4: Stay Cool with a Backup
This should be a rule of the thumb that you should always have a fresh backup of your website stored on your PC. By having it, you can be sure that even if hackers get hold of your website, you have a way out and can completely clear your website’s root folder and reinstall your website from scratch (and be warier next time).
One more great thing about having a fresh website backup is that whenever something gets wrong when you’re customizing a website (to err is human), you can revert changes by simply restoring your backup.
WordPress plugin market provides a huge variety of backup plugins. Go for the one that makes backups automatically, and have backups done on an hourly or daily basis.
This is the Scheduled Backup page of the BackUpWordPress plugin. This popular backup plugin allows you to set your own schedules for files and database backups and ensure that a fresh backup is always there in case it’s needed.
Pointer 5: Regularly Update your WordPress, Website Theme and Plugins
- Update your WP to the latest version whenever an update is out (Make sure to back up your website first). The owner of this website has five pending updates, including a WordPress CMS update. I hope that when you see such a message, you proceed to creating a website backup and updating your website to ensure the maximum security level of your website.
- Go for a modern website template that works with new versions of WordPress and update it in time. Entrust your website to a template from a well-established provider, who guarantees that template’s code is clean and well-written. For instance, go for new WordPress themes by TemplateMonster that are built with clean and valid HTML5 and CSS code. With such a template you can lay back and be sure that your website is secure template-wise.
- Plugins are great, but, not updating them regularly, you’re also at risk. Whenever you see a corresponding message, update a plugin. If an automatic plugin update is for some reason, not working for you, don’t be lazy to update the plugin manually.
The Monstroid2 Multipurpose Modular Elementor WordPress Theme
Try a WordPress item that can fit any of your projects! The Monstroid2 Multipurpose Modular Elementor WordPress Theme enables you to create multiple websites in a short time. And, this is possible due to 73+ skins that are ready-made sites themselves. Feel free to insert them as-is or set them in the powerful Elementor that allows you to build new pages on the fly by saving them as templates for other projects.
Plus, Monstroid2 opens innovative ways of the work in Elementor, as it goes with Jet plugins and Magic Button. To clarify, Jet plugins are useful extensions for content and page styling. And, Magic Button provides the number of UI designs.
As well, the Monstroid2 WordPress theme suits both eCommerce and traditional websites. Relying on it, you can launch online stores, as the WooCommerce plugin and booking forms are also added. So, if you want your websites to be protected, fast, mobile-friendly, and adjusted for SEO, draw your attention to Monstroid2!
Don’t blame WordPress for getting hacked, blame yourself. By implementing these simple security improvements, you’ll be able to prevent almost all hacker attacks that you’re likely to face. I wish you good luck in staying secure and having a thriving WordPress website!
If you have any questions or comment regarding WordPress security, I’ll be happy to address them below. Stay tuned!