There are many reasons why WordPress is such a popular target for hackers. First and foremost, it is widely used. This makes it an attractive target for hackers; a successful attack on WordPress could potentially affect millions of websites.
Another reason WordPress is a popular target for hackers is that it is open source. This means that anyone can view the code and contribute to it. While this is generally a good thing, it also means that potential vulnerabilities can be more easily found and exploited.
WordPress sites are by default poorly protected, with weak passwords and little or no security measures in place, and are often hacked through vulnerabilities in plugins or themes. Once a WordPress site is hacked, the hacker can gain access to the site’s database. They can steal data, host malicious code, or redirect visitors to other sites.
Are you looking for ways to improve the security of your WordPress website? With so much data being shared and stored online, it is essential to ensure that your site is secure and protected from malicious attacks. In this article, we will provide 22 easy ways to improve the security of your WordPress site. With these tips and tricks, you can be sure that your website is as secure as possible.
1. Keep your WordPress Version Up to Date
Outdated WordPress versions are vulnerable to security threats and can lead to performance issues on your website, user experience problems, and even the loss of data. For those who use WordPress, it is important to ensure that you have the latest version installed, as this will ensure that your website is protected from any potential threats and can run optimally.
WordPress is constantly releasing new features and bug fixes, so you should enable automatic updates. It is important to note that the automatic updates should only be enabled for the core files. It’s not for your theme or plugins, as these will need to be updated manually.
There is no harm in waiting a few days before updating, as this will give you time to test the new version and make sure that it is compatible with your website. Keeping your WordPress version up to date is critical for keeping your website safe from threats.
2. Use Latest Version of PHP
Older versions of PHP are no longer supported by the PHP team and therefore do not receive security updates. This means that if a security vulnerability is found in an older version of PHP, it will not be fixed, and your site will be at risk.
In addition to security updates, newer versions of PHP also include performance improvements and new features. For example, PHP 7.4 includes a new Zend Engine, which can significantly improve the performance of your WordPress site.
If you are not sure what version of PHP your site is currently running, you can use the WordPress Site Health tool to check. This tool will give you the option to see which version of PHP your site uses, as well as other details about the configuration of your WordPress site. Alternatively, you can contact your web host and ask them to update your site to the latest version of PHP. Most reputable web hosts will keep their servers up to date with the latest versions of PHP.
3. Hide WordPress Version Number
If you are running a WordPress site, you may be exposing your site to potential security vulnerabilities by displaying your WordPress version number. By default, WordPress displays your WordPress version number in the source code of your website. This information is useful for developers and debuggers, but it can also be used by hackers to find vulnerabilities in your WordPress site.
For example, a hacker can use this information to find out if you are running an outdated version of WordPress. If you are, they can then try to exploit any known vulnerabilities in that version to take over your WordPress site.
There are two ways to hide the WordPress version number: You can either do it by adding a line of code to your WordPress configuration file or by using a WordPress plugin. The easiest way to hide the WordPress version number is by using a plugin. There are many plugins available that can help you achieve this. It is difficult to edit your theme files, so we recommend you use a security plugin like All in One WordPress Security or Sucuri to hide your WordPress version number.
4. Use a Strong Password
Having a secure password is essential to protecting your online presence. When creating a password for your WordPress site, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, don’t use the same password for multiple sites. Additionally, don’t use personal information such as your name, address, or birth date in your password. Consider using a passphrase instead. This is a combination of random words that are easier to remember than a string of numbers and characters.
A strong password should be difficult for others to guess, so it’s important to avoid common words and names. Strong passwords are composed of both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. They’re also longer than 14 characters.
If you’re still having trouble, you can use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords for you. A password manager is online software that you can register with, and then it will generate strong passwords for you and store them in an encrypted format. You don’t need to remember passwords. When you need to log in to a site, the password manager will provide the password for you. There are a number of password managers available, both free and paid. Some of the more popular ones include LastPass, Zoho Vault, and Bitwarden. It’s also important to change your password on a regular basis.
5. Don’t Use “admin” as Your Username
“admin” is the default username for a WordPress installation. Many WordPress site owners don’t bother to change it. That’s a bad idea. If you continue using “admin” as your username, then hackers can easily guess it and try to brute force their way into your site. There are two simple ways to change your WordPress username. The first way is to create a new user with a different username and then delete the old “admin” user. The second way is to use a WordPress plugin like Easy Username Updater.
Now, your WordPress site is much more secure. Hackers will have a much harder time breaking in. It’s one of the easiest ways to improve your WordPress security.
6. Rename WP-login Page URL
One way to help keep your WordPress site secure is to rename the default WP-login page URL. By doing this, you make it more difficult for hackers to find and attack your login page.
To rename your login page URL, you can use a plugin like WPS Hide Login, Change wp-admin login, or iThemes Security. These plugins will allow you to change the URL of your login page to anything you want.
Whatever method you choose, make sure you remember your new login page URL! If you forget it, you can login with your hosting account and use File Manager to change the settings in your security plugin or delete the plugin folder.
Cookies Blocked Error
When rename WordPress login page url you may face cookies are blocked error and cant be able to login. The reason is that many managed WordPress hosting services don’t allow some plugins. In this case, you need Filezilla software. You can go to the plugin folder using Filezilla and delete only the “Rename WP-login Page URL” plugin. After that, you can login with the default URL.
7. Use a Security Plugin
There are several great security plugins available for WordPress. Some popular options are iThemes Security, Sucuri Security, and Wordfence Security. Each of these plugins offers a variety of free features, including password protection, server configuration rules, and malware scanning. Free security plugins have enough features to secure new websites. When you begin to earn money from your website, you should invest in premium security plans.
We recommend using a security plugin to help harden your WordPress site’s security. However, it’s important to remember that no security measure is 100% effective and that you should always take backups. Make sure your plugins are up-to-date to ensure your WordPress site is as secure as possible.
8. Use a Backup Plugin
Backing up your WordPress site is an absolute must. There are many ways to do it, but we recommend using a WordPress backup plugin like Backup Migration, Backuply, or BackWPup. These plugins will create a complete backup of your WordPress site files and database and store them safely on your server or in the cloud.
There are a lot of great backup plugins available for WordPress, but our personal favourite is UpdraftPlus. It is a free plugin that makes it easy to create backups of your WordPress site and store them remotely. We recommend storing them off-site in a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive. You can set up automatic backups with UpdraftPlus so that you don’t have to remember to do them manually.
9. Don’t Give away Too Much Information About Yourself
Giving away too much information about yourself can lead to identity theft or other personal problems. It can also lead to your website being hacked, as hackers will use any information they can find to try to gain access to your site.
To avoid giving away too much information, only include the minimum amount of information necessary when filling out forms or registering for services. When creating a username, use something generic instead of your real name. If you must give out your email address, use a disposable one that you can easily change if it becomes compromised. And never give out your home address, phone number, or any other personal information unless it’s a business requirement.
By being careful about what information you share, you can help keep yourself and your WordPress site safe from harm.
10. Use a Secure Hosting Provider
A good hosting provider will have secure servers, firewalls, and other security measures in place to protect your site from attacks. They will also keep their servers and software up to date with the latest security patches.
There are a number of great hosting providers out there that offer WordPress-specific hosting plans. These plans often include features like 99.9% uptime, fast data transfers, malware scanning, and daily backups. They can also be more affordable than you might think.
If you’re not sure which hosting provider to choose, we recommend checking out our hosting guide. It includes a list of our top picks for different budget hosting options, as well as a detailed comparison of the different features they offer.
11. Use Premium Themes
Premium themes are created by professional WordPress developers who have years of experience in coding and creating secure themes. When you use a premium theme, you can be sure that the theme developer is keeping up with the latest WordPress security standards. This gives you confidence that your site is secure.
While there are many free WordPress themes available, they often don’t have the same level of security as premium themes. This is due to the fact that free themes are developed by developers, who do not include all features in the free plan.
If you’re serious about improving the security of your WordPress site, then use a premium theme. Not only will you get the latest security features, but you’ll also have access to support from the theme developers.
12. Use Reliable Free Themes
If you can’t afford to buy a premium theme, be sure to do your research and only select free themes from reputable sources. There are many free themes available, but not all of them are created equal. Some free themes are created by developers who are less experienced and may not be familiar with WordPress security best practices. Others are created by well-known developers who have a track record of creating high-quality and reliable themes.
Additionally, look for themes that have been updated recently, have good reviews, and are well-known in the WordPress community. You can use a free WordPress plugin to enhance your free theme’s performance.
13. Don’t Use Nulled Themes and Plugins
Nulled themes and plugins are a popular way for hackers to insert malicious code into a WordPress site. The code is usually hidden in the source code, and it can be used to take over a WordPress site or to insert malicious ads onto a site. When any individual or store provides premium themes for free or at a very low cost, then they seem like a good deal, but actually they are worthless.
Crack themes are easy to find on the internet. Nulled or cracked themes and plugins are a major security risk for WordPress sites. If you are using it, we recommend that you remove it from your host immediately.
14. Scan Your Site For Malware
A WordPress malware scanner will scan your site for known viruses. There are a number of great WordPress plugins that can help you scan your site, but we recommend using the Sucuri online SiteCheck scanner. This scanner will check your site for malware, viruses, blacklisting, and other security issues.
If you find that your site has been infected with malware, you should clean it up as soon as possible. You can usually do this yourself by performing a clean reinstall of WordPress, but if you’re not sure how, you can always hire a Sucuri security expert to do it for you. Once your site is clean, you should take some steps to prevent it from becoming infected again.
That said, it’s important to note that a malware scanner is not a replacement for a WordPress security plugin. A WordPress security plugin will help you harden your WordPress site against attacks and prevent malware from getting in in the first place.
15. Limit Login Attempts
Hackers can use brute-force methods to guess your password, and if they’re successful, they can gain access to your site. By default, WordPress allows users to try logging in an unlimited number of times, which can be a security risk. It’s important to limit the number of failed login attempts on your WordPress site.
There are a few plugins that can help you limit login attempts, such as Limit Login Attempts Reloaded and Login Lockdown. Once you have installed and activated a plugin, you will need to configure it. For example, you may want to limit the number of login attempts to four and lock out a user for ten minutes after four failed attempts.
16. Use Two-factor Authentication
The term “two-factor” refers to the fact that user login is verified twice when logging in. The first factor is something you know, like your password. The second factor of information is your phone number and email address. Two-factor authentication is the most powerful security tool. Even if someone knows your password, your site is still secure. You should use one dedicated SIM for your website. It is also recommended that you separate your personal and business phone numbers.
There are a few different ways to set up two-factor authentication for your WordPress site. One popular option is to use the Google Authenticator plugin. WP 2FA, Two-Factor Authentication, and Two-Factor are some other free plugins. With these 2FA plugins, you’ll need to enter your username and password, as well as a code that is generated by the authenticator app on your phone. The WP 2FA plugin allows you to receive a one-time password (OTP) over email. You can also generate single-use backup verification codes. If you do not receive the code on your mobile or email, the backup code will come in handy, so you should enable it.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to secure your WordPress site. It’s quick and easy to set up, and it’s an extra layer of security that can go a long way in protecting your site from hackers.
17. Edit Author Slug
By default, WordPress generates author slugs based on the author’s username. This can be a problem because it makes it easy for someone to guess the author’s username and then gain access to their account. You cannot change the username in WordPress, but you can change the author’s public display name and URL. Your author link includes your user name in the URL. So you can edit the author slug. Go to the Users tab in the WordPress dashboard and enter your custom author slug.
To make more changes to the author slug, you need to install the plugin “Edit Author Slug.” Locate the line that says “Author base” and then change it to “Display Name”. This will ensure that the author slug is different, which is much harder to guess than the default author slug.
18. Disable File Editing from WordPress Admin
This is a tool that is included with WordPress that allows you to edit your theme and plugin files directly from the WordPress admin interface. While this is a convenient feature, it also represents a serious security risk. If you don’t know about coding, then theme editing features have no advantage. If any other user or hacker is able to gain access to your WordPress admin account, they can use the file editor to inject malicious code into your site.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to disable the file editor. All you need to do is add the following line of code to your WordPress configuration “wp-config.php” file:
Once you have added this line of code, the file editor will be disabled, and your site will be much more secure.
19. Secure WordPress Database
If you’re storing any sensitive data in your WordPress database, you’re doing it right. That includes things like credit card numbers and any other Personally Identifiable Information (PII). WordPress, by default, is not a secure place to store this kind of data, and you need to put in some work to make it so. You can store this data in a secure database outside of WordPress, but we recommend using WordPress to handle sensitive data. The best way to secure your WordPress database is to use a security plugin.
There are many security plugins available for WordPress, and they can help secure your website in several ways. For example, they can help to prevent brute force attacks, optimise database tables, and change your database prefix. By default, WordPress uses the “wp_abcd” prefix for all database tables. However, this is well known and easy to guess, so it’s important to change it to something else.
There are many unnecessary records in the WordPress database that you can’t delete manually, like revisions, auto-drafts, deleted posts, empty tables, orphaned post meta, duplicated post meta, etc. You need WordPress plugins like WP-Optimize, Advanced Database Cleaner, and WP-Sweep to clean the database. With WP-DBManager, you can see a complete record of your database without logging into phpMyAdmin. You can also repair databases and set a schedule for database backup.
20. Use HTTPS for your WordPress Site
HTTPS is a must for any WordPress site. It is the standard security protocol that encrypts communication between a website and a visitor’s browser. Any data transmitted over HTTPS, such as passwords or credit card information, is much more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal.
All WordPress websites should be using SSL certificates. Search engines give preference to HTTPS sites in their search results. And, most importantly, it helps keep your site and its visitors safe. It’s a good idea to do this even if you’re not handling sensitive data on your site. It’s easy to do, and it can help your site rank better in search results. Many WordPress hosts provide an SSL certificate for free. You can also buy PositiveSSL for less than $10 from Namecheap.
21. Disable Directory Indexing and Browsing
By default, when you install WordPress, the web server is configured to index all directories, which means that anyone can see a list of all the files and folders in your WordPress installation. This can be a security risk. It can give hackers a good overview of your site structure and potentially allow them to find vulnerabilities.
To disable directory indexing and browsing, navigate to your.htaccess file. This file is located in the root directory of your WordPress installation. If you don’t see it, make sure that your server is configured to show hidden files.
By including the following code in your .htaccess file, you can disable directory indexing and browsing:
Options All -Indexes
These lines can be placed anywhere in your .htaccess file, but they are usually best at the top. This line of code will tell the server to turn off directory indexing if someone tries to browse to a directory. Once you have added this line of code, save the file and upload it to your server. This will take effect immediately, and you will no longer be able to see a list of files when you visit a directory on your site.
22. Disable PHP Error Reporting
PHP error reporting can give away important information about your website to potential attackers. By default, WordPress displays all PHP errors on the frontend of your site. This can include information such as file paths, database connection strings, and other sensitive data.
Fortunately, it’s easy to disable PHP error reporting in WordPress. You just need to replace four lines of code in your wp-config.php file.
ini_set('display_errors','Off'); ini_set('error_reporting', E_ALL ); define('WP_DEBUG', false); define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
Once you’ve added the appropriate code to your wp-config.php file, save the changes and upload the file to your server. That’s it! Your WordPress site will now no longer display any PHP errors or warnings.
What steps would you take if a WordPress site was hacked?
WordPress sites may not be difficult to recover after a hack, but the damage caused can be significant. In the previous section, we defined a few things you can do to help secure your WordPress website. In the next section, we’ll take a look at easy ways to take action after your WordPress site’s security fails.
If you think your WordPress site has been hacked, the first step is to take a deep breath and remain calm. It can be a very stressful situation, but it’s important to remember that you can fix the problem within an hour.
The next step is to determine the extent of the damage. Have any of your files been altered or deleted? If so, you’ll need to restore them from a backup. If you don’t have a backup, you can’t restore data. That’s why automatic backup is the most important step in WordPress security.
You don’t need any premium plugins or professional help when your website has been hacked. The simplest way to recover it is to delete your entire WordPress installation, then reinstall WordPress and import your backup. That’s it. You can now recover your WordPress website without spending money. When you clean reinstall WordPress on an entire site, all viruses are removed as well. You can immediately apply the above recommendations after reinstalling.
We hope you enjoyed our article. Using the tips in this article, you can better protect your WordPress theme and increase the security of your online business. If you’re still unsure, please let us know by sending us a message in the comment section. We would love to hear from you!
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