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9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website

9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website

Many website owners prefer WordPress for web development and here we are going to discuss 9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website. It offers many benefits. WordPress is a free CMS that uses PHP. Content management system (CMS) used to create and modify digital content. While PHP is the scripting language.

Around 36% of the sites on the internet use WordPress. It’s no doubt the most popular type of CMS as no other CMS comes close to WordPress. It supports a wide range of sites. Initially, it used to power blog-publishing sites only.

9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website

Now, WordPress can easily power sites like forums, online stores, mailing lists, etc. You can use it for a website containing media or members. After installing on a web server, your site can use WordPress.

Read our article on How WordPress is worth switching.

Why WordPress Security is Essential ?

In this post of 9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website, we will first discuss various WordPress vulnerabilities. It will give you an in-depth understanding of security issues. Then we will learn about vital tips to secure your site.

The main risk with WordPress is its open-source script. As per a study, in 2017, around 83% of infected sites powered by WordPress. That’s why it has a bad reputation for security.

It doesn’t mean you can’t use WordPress for your brand. The core software of WordPress is very secure against any breach. Many security breaches happen due to user mistakes only. Website owners follow many worst-practices.

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack:

Here, the malicious script injected into your WordPress web site. Hackers send different harmful codes and malicious scripts to your website visitors. The end-user is unaware of these type of attacks. Hackers do this to grab session data or cookie information.

Denial of Service (DoS) attack:

It’s the gravest form of website attack. It overwhelms the memory of the website’s operating system. Hackers exploit bugs in site code. It becomes critical that you have the latest version of WordPress. It provides good security against DoS attack.

Pharma ads hack:

Here, outdated plugins and WordPress version are more prone to a attack. Rogue code gets inserted into the website. It causes search engines to show pharma product ads when your site gets searched, it’s spam menace that often results in your website getting blocked by a search engine.

And many more, so here we are to discuss 9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website.

9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website :

      1. Use Latest PHP Version
      2. Work with Best Hosting Company
      3. Secure Wp-config.php file
      4. Install SSL Certificate
      5. Add WordPress Security Plugin
      6. Disable File Editing
      7. Change Your Login URL
      8. Update WordPress Version
      9. Add Limited Login Attempts

    1. Use Latest PHP Version:

    PHP is the most common language used to do web development. It’s the backbone of your website powered by WordPress. It becomes critical to use the latest form of PHP on your hosting server. Typically developer supports PHP for two years after its release year.

    In this period of two years, you will get a fix and patch for bugs and general security issues. As per the study, almost 75% of WordPress users have outdated PHP versions. So it becomes a grave security issue for the vast majority of WordPress websites.

    No doubt, you will need some time to test and check whether your site code runs on the latest version of PHP. But, running PHP without support risks your site to various online threats. The latest version also helps to enhance performance of your website.

    Free tools available on the internet will help to check which version of PHP that your WordPress site uses. In case your host company uses cPanel, under the software category, you will get the option to switch to different versions of PHP.

    2. Work with Best Hosting Company:

    You have to use the best web hosting services. It plays a vital role in the security of your WordPress site. Then, you can get an excellent level of protection in most basic WordPress hosting. For that, you have to select an ideal hosting company.

    The best hosting company monitors its server for any type of potential threat. They also offer protection against DoS attacks. Your server software and hardware need to be up to date. The best host company does just that.

    They have software that allows for data recovery in case of an accident. In the case of shared hosting, there is an increased risk of cross-infection from sites on the same server. Best hosting companies offer you a more secure platform for WordPress site. You will get automatic backups, WordPress updates, and many more. You can try best hosting from Site Hosting Club.

    3. Secure Wp-config.php file:

    The 3rd point in the list of 9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website is securing your Wp-config.php file.

    There is the most important file on your site as far as WordPress security is concerned. It’s called wp-config.php file. You can say this file is the soul of your WordPress website.

    You have to secure this file. It contains login information of your database along with security keys. You have some options to improve the security of this file.

    You can move this file to another location; As per default settings, wp-config.php file located in the root directory. You can see it in your /public HTML folder. One need to move it to a Directory that is non-web accessible.

    You can also update WordPress security keys. They used to protect data stored in the user’s cookies. WordPress comes with four different keys. You can update them by using a free tool. It update them by generating random keys in your wp-config.php file.

    You can change permission to this file. By default, other users can read this file. You have to change this setting. By using these steps, you can secure your wp-config.php file.

    4. Install SSL Certificate:

    There is a big myth that only e-Commerce sites need HTTPS protection. Many site owners think that the SSL Certificate is necessary only if you accept credit cards. But, your website needs HTTPS as it offers many benefits.

    Many hosting companies offer free SSL certificates. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) establishes a secure connection between your site and your audience.

    SSL certificate not only offers your site excellent security but also it helps you with SEO. Google ranks a website with HTTPS higher than others in search results. It can help your business to grow by making a site more visible.

    It makes your site more trustworthy. Users feel secure to use your website. New versions of the Chrome browser shows a website without HTTPS as not-secure. Now, it becomes critical to have an SSL certificate if you want higher traffic from Chrome. It also makes your site fast as it gives much higher performance.

    5. Add WordPress Security Plugin:

    Many developers and companies offer free security plugins that perform many vital tasks like checksum utility. It means the security plugin always check for any modification in the core files. When you install WordPress, you will get core files from the parent company of WordPress. Any changes in these core files indicate the possibility of an attack.

    Some security plugins offer you in-depth information like changes in login, password, theme, widget, by providing you a detailed activity log. Security plugins give excellent security for free.

    6. Disable File Editing {most imp in 9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website}:

    Commonly, your website may have granted administrator access to multiple authors/users. You can’t give administrator access to authors or contributors. It’s a risky practice that hampers WordPress security.

    You have to grant the correct role and permission to different authors and moderators accessing your site. Easy trick is simply to disable Appearance Editor in WordPress.

    Many site owners make the mistake of directly editing in the Appearance Editor that causes a white screen of death. You must do the edit locally and then upload it by using FTP.

    Hackers can easily insert malicious code by editing PHP files in Appearance Editor; So, it’s best if your dashboard has disabled this feature. You can disable file editing by putting just a single-line code in your wp-config.php file.

    7. Change Your Login URL:

    The 7th point in the list 9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website is about changing your login URL. Ideally, you should hide the login URL from black hat hackers. You can change your login URL easily. Hackers can gain access to your login page by simply adding wp-admin to the site URL.

    In case hackers have a direct URL of your login page, they can mount a brute-force attack. They have a guesswork database. It contains many likely combinations of usernames and passwords.

    By changing your login URL, you can be safe from 98% of direct brute-force attacks. You will have to install a plugin; then, enter the new login URL and just save it.

    8. Update WordPress Version:

    Developers regularly release updated versions of WordPress. It contains security enhancement patches. They also fix common bugs. You need to have up to date versions of all components of WordPress. It includes core software, themes, and plugins.

    Many site owners don’t pay enough attention to updating their WordPress version. The reasons may vary. The old version of WordPress has many bugs. It can cause your website to break down. Many hackers gain entry via some outdated plugins. You have to update them regularly.

    The latest versions contain security patches and higher functionality to support the latest plugins; So, you must enable WordPress automatic updates. It will help you to thwart any type of possible online attack.

    9. Add Limited Login Attempts:

    WordPress has a default setting that allows as many login attempts as you like. It may help a little bit in case you type your password wrong. But it makes your site extremely vulnerable to brute-force attacks from hackers.

    Hackers will simply keep on trying to crack your password. It becomes vital that you limit login attempts. Here, in case of wrong username-password combination, the user will simply get blocked for some time or more. Hackers get locked out, thus failing to finish their hack.

    All you have to do is to install a Login Limit Attempts Plugin. Then, you need to go to settings. It will have the option of limiting login attempts.


    Conclusion :

    WordPress offers you a free and great platform to power your brand website. WordPress is the first choice of the majority of website owners. But, WordPress is also known to be vulnerable to possible online threats.

    You need to keep your site safe from all types of online attacks. In case your website gets infected, it will cause your business grave financial loss. There are many ways malware and hackers can wreak havoc on your website.

    We have discussed 9 Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website. They are free and easy to use. You need to follow them if you want enhanced security for your website.

    The most critical factor that dictates your WordPress security is the selection of the best hosting company. You have to choose a company that offers excellent protection to WordPress at a low cost. It will make your business prosper by adding an extra layer of security to your WordPress website. You can try SHC’s best quality hosting


The author

Prithwiraj Sinha

Prithwiraj Sinha

Founder and CEO @ Site Hosting Club
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