How to Secure Your WordPress Website: Tips & Tricks

June 20, 2022    Reading Time: 8 Minutes

If you’re running a WordPress website, it’s important to make sure that your site is secure. WordPress is a popular target for hackers, and if your site isn’t secured, you could be at risk of being hacked. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks for securing your WordPress website. We’ll cover topics such as password security, malware protection, and more. So if you’re looking to keep your WordPress site safe from hackers, read on!

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that enables you to create a website or blog. It’s the most popular CMS in the world, powering over 30% of all websites. While WordPress is great for its flexibility and ease of use, it’s also a prime target for hackers. This is because WordPress sites are often not properly secured, making them easy targets for attack.

There are a few key things you can do to secure your WordPress site. First, let’s talk about password security.

Why is WordPress security so essential?

As we mentioned earlier, WordPress is a popular target for hackers. If your WordPress site isn’t properly secured, you could be at risk of being hacked. A hack can result in your website being taken down, your data being stolen, or even worse. That’s why it’s important to take steps to secure your WordPress site.

How to Secure Your WordPress Site

Now that we’ve discussed why WordPress security is so important, let’s talk about how you can secure your own WordPress site. Here are a few tips:

Password security

Your password is the first line of defense against hackers. That’s why it’s important to choose a strong password that’s difficult to guess. A strong password should be at least eight characters long and contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or your name.

It’s also important to change your password regularly and to never use the same password on multiple sites. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, you can use a password manager to help keep track of them.

Password managers are software programs that help you generate and store strong passwords. They’re a great way to keep your passwords secure and easy to access.

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (or two-step verification) is an additional layer of security that can help protect your WordPress site from being hacked. With two-factor authentication, you’ll need to enter a code that’s sent to your phone or email in addition to your password when you log in. This makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account, even if they know your password.

You can enable two-factor authentication on your WordPress site by using a plugin like Two Factor Authentication.

Backups

Another important way to secure your WordPress site is to create backups. This way, if your site is hacked, you can restore it from a backup. There are a few different ways to create backups of your WordPress site. You can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus, or you can manually create backups.

To manually create a backup of your WordPress site, you’ll need to export your content and database. You can do this by going to your WordPress admin panel and selecting “Export” from the Tools menu.

Once you have your content and database exported, you’ll need to store them in a safe location. You can do this by uploading them to a cloud storage service like Dropbox.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to some more advanced tips.

Keeping your WordPress site up to date

One of the most important things you can do to keep your WordPress site secure is to keep it up to date. WordPress releases new versions of its software regularly, and these new versions often include security fixes. So it’s important that you update your WordPress site when a new version is available.

You can update your WordPress site manually or automatically. To update your WordPress site manually, you’ll need to log in to your WordPress admin panel and select “Updates” from the Dashboard menu. From there, you can select “Update Now.”

If you’d prefer to have your WordPress site updated automatically, you can use a plugin like Jetpack. Jetpack is a plugin that includes a number of features, one of which is automatic updates.

Keeping plugins and themes up to date

In addition to keeping WordPress itself up to date, it’s also important to keep your plugins and themes up to date. Like WordPress, plugins and themes often release new versions that include security fixes. So it’s important to update them when a new version is available.

You can update your plugins and themes from your WordPress admin panel. To update your plugins, select “Plugins” from the Dashboard menu and then select “Update Plugins.” To update your themes, select “Appearance” from the Dashboard menu and then select “Themes.” From there, you can select which theme you’d like to update and then select “Update.”

You can also use a plugin like Jetpack to automatically update your plugins and themes.

Remove unused plugins and themes

In addition to keeping your plugins and themes up to date, it’s also important to remove any plugins or themes that you’re not using. This is because unused plugins and themes can be a security risk, as they may contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.

To remove a plugin or theme from your WordPress site, you’ll need to log in to your WordPress admin panel and select “plugins” or “themes” from the Dashboard menu. From there, you can select the plugin or theme you’d like to remove and then select “Delete.”

Secure website hosting

Another important factor in keeping your WordPress site secure is choosing a secure web host. A good web host will have security measures in place to protect your website from attacks.

Some things you should look for in a web host include:

  • Web application firewalls (WAF): A WAF is a firewall that protects your website from attacks by identifying and blocking malicious traffic.
  • SSL certificates: SSL is a security protocol that encrypts data sent between your website and visitors’ browsers. This helps to protect your website from attacks like man-in-the-middle attacks.
  • 24/7 security monitoring: A good web host will monitor your website for signs of attack and take action to protect your website if an attack is detected.
  • Backups: A good web host will create regular backups of your website so that you can restore your website if it’s hacked.
  • Intrusion detection and prevention: A good web host will have intrusion detection and prevention systems in place to protect your website from attacks.
  • Malware scanning and removal: A good web host will scan your website for malware and remove any malware that is found.
  • Regular security audits: A good web host will perform regular security audits of your website to identify any potential security risks.

Even more advanced security tips in WordPress:

Change the default admin username:

By default, the username for the WordPress admin account is “admin.” Hackers know this, so they often try to brute force their way into WordPress sites by guessing the admin username. You can reduce the chances of this happening by changing the default admin username to something else.

You can change the default admin username by logging into your WordPress site and going to the “Users” section of the Dashboard. From there, you can select the “Add New User” option and enter a new username.

Change WordPress database prefix:

The WordPress database is where all of your website’s data is stored. By default, the WordPress database prefix is “wp_.” Hackers know this, so they often try to brute force their way into WordPress databases by guessing the database prefix. You can reduce the chances of this happening by changing the default database prefix to something else.

Disable XML-RPC:

XML-RPC is a feature that allows you to post content to your WordPress site from remote applications. However, XML-RPC can also be used by hackers to brute force their way into WordPress sites. You can reduce the chances of this happening by disabling XML-RPC.

Disable directory browsing:

Directory browsing is a feature that allows users to view the contents of a directory on your website. However, this feature can also be used by hackers to find sensitive files on your website. You can reduce the chances of this happening by disabling directory browsing.

Block IP addresses:

If you notice that someone is trying to brute force their way into your WordPress site, you can block their IP address. This will prevent them from accessing your website.

To block an IP address, you’ll need to edit the .htaccess file on your website. You can do this by logging into your WordPress site and going to the “Settings” section of the Dashboard. From there, you can select the “Edit .htaccess File” option.

Add security headers:

Security headers are a type of code that helps to protect your website from attacks. There are many different types of security headers, but some of the most common ones are the X-Frame-Options header and the Content-Security-Policy header.

You can add security headers to your WordPress site by editing the .htaccess file on your website. You can do this by logging into your WordPress site and going to the “Settings” section of the Dashboard. From there, you can select the “Edit .htaccess File” option.

Install a security plugin:

There are many security plugins available for WordPress. Some of the most popular ones are Wordfence, Sucuri, and iThemes Security. These plugins can help to secure your WordPress site by adding features like firewall protection, malware scanning, and brute force protection.

Limit logins:

One of the best ways to secure your WordPress site is to limit the number of login attempts that users can make. This will prevent hackers from brute forcing their way into your site.

You can limit login attempts by installing a plugin like Limit Login Attempts or Wordfence. These plugins will allow you to set a maximum number of login attempts and will also block IP addresses that exceed the limit.

Disable PHP execution:

PHP is a programming language that WordPress is written in. However, PHP can also be used by hackers to upload malicious files to your website. You can reduce the chances of this happening by disabling PHP execution.

You can disable PHP execution by editing the .htaccess file on your website. You can do this by logging into your WordPress site and going to the “Settings” section of the Dashboard. From there, you can select the “Edit .htaccess File” option.

Hire a WordPress development company

At the end of the day, the best way to secure your WordPress site is to hire a WordPress development company like Graticle. These companies specialize in security and can help to secure your website from attacks.

When hiring a WordPress development company, be sure to ask about their security policies and procedures. Make sure that they have experience in securing WordPress sites and that they are up-to-date on the latest security threats.

By following these tips, you can help to secure your WordPress website from attacks. However, it’s important to remember that no website is 100% secure. Even the most well-secured WordPress site can be hacked. Therefore, it’s important to keep your WordPress site up-to-date and to backup your site regularly.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help to secure your WordPress website. Call (360) 450-3711

WordPress security FAQs

What is a security plugin?

A security plugin is a type of software that helps to secure your WordPress site. Some of the most popular security plugins include Wordfence, Sucuri, and iThemes Security.

What are some of the most common WordPress security vulnerabilities?

The most common WordPress security vulnerabilities include:

  • SQL injection
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • Brute force attacks

How can I secure my WordPress site?

There are a number of ways you can secure your WordPress site. Some of the most effective methods include:

  • using a security plugin
  • keeping your WordPress version up to date
  • using strong passwords
  • backing up your WordPress site regularly

How often should I update WordPress?

It is recommended that you update WordPress to the latest version as soon as possible. Additionally, you should also update your plugins and themes on a regular basis.

How can I tell if my WordPress site is hacked?

If you suspect that your WordPress site has been hacked, there are a few things you can do to check. First, you can check the source code of your website for any suspicious code or links. Additionally, you can check your website’s access logs for any unusual activity. Finally, you can run a malware scan of your website to check for any malicious code.

If you think your WordPress site has been hacked, what should you do?

If you think your WordPress site has been hacked, the first thing you should do is change all of your passwords. Additionally, you should update all of your plugins and themes to the latest versions. Finally, you should run a malware scan of your website to check for any malicious code.

I have more questions about WordPress security. Where can I find more information?

For more information on WordPress security, contact us today. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Call (360) 450-3711

Written by Shawn Hooghkirk on June 20, 2022

Last updated on June 20, 2022. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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