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20 Ways To Harden The Security Of Your WordPress Site
2017-08-09 by  Anil Parmar

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Has your site ever been hacked?

What measures are you taking to improve security for your WordPress site?

With the multiple benefits of the online world, it has a dark side too. And, especially when you run an online business you may be worried about the security.

In this article, I will discuss some of the key steps to strengthen the protective shield to your WordPress sites.

What can you do to harden WordPress Security?

 

 

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the web and is now powering 27.5% of the top 10 million websites.

WordPress security is a trending concern for most of the site owners. Moreover, considering the daily transits of your business and customer information, it can cause a serious damage to your revenue and reputation as well.

To secure your website you need to go through proven methods to enable a secure system and making it even more difficult for a hacker to take over your WordPress site.

Equip yourself from the beginner to the intermediate knowledge necessary to administer a secure WordPress site. As there cannot be 100% security, we need to keep a balance between the security and convenience.

Let’s get started!

Secure Your WordPress site

 

Keep WordPress up to date

 

This is just a click operation! It has become necessary in today’s world to use the updated version. The latest one offers advanced security and less vulnerability.

 

If you don’t feel to manually update your WordPress than you can make use of tools such as SiteGround which has an auto update functionality for your site.

 

Always make sure you use the latest software version for your reputed sites.

 

Protect your Login Page

 

The hacker may enter your site mostly by brute force attacks. So, in order to protect the login page, you need to configure the Chap Secure Password Login plugin on the WordPress site.

 

This plugin will transmit the encrypted the password by using the Chap protocol through the web and can significantly improve password security.

 

Monitors changes to file within your blog

 

You would like to be alerted about any changes made to your file. WordPress comes with a plugin WordPress File Monitor that keeps snapshots of the files and drops an email notification in the dashboard if there have been any changes in the respective files or so.

This helps the site owner to know if somebody has tried to interfere in the content of the WordPress files.

Move wp-config.php file

 

The wp-config.php file consists of important settings MySQL database host name, user, and password. You certainly don’t want wp-config.php file falling into wrong hands.

 

Change the location of the wp-config.php above the folder where your WordPress website is installed. This will make it difficult for the hacker to locate the file and get through the necessary configurations.

 

Always keep your Themes and Plugins updated

 

If there exist any security issues in the themes and plugins you use, make sure to update them regularly in order to reduce risks.

Whenever possible, always ensure that they are actively maintained.

To the better side, Custom WordPress Development Company is making it easy for website business owners to implement advanced theme and plugin solutions to boost security for your website.

 

Restrict access to plugins directory

 

Deny the access to your plugin directory otherwise, a hacker can easily manage to get in touch with deactivation and deleting the plugin.

To avoid such situations, you can add the following line of code in .htaccess file in the root folder to restrict the access of plugins directory.

And, your code would be “Options- Indexes”

 

Limit Login Attempts

 

WordPress has a plugin namely Login LockDown that allows you to configure the number of login attempts and block repeated attempts.

This helps to protect the login screen and act as a shield against brute force attacks.

Change Admin Username

 

Stop using the default ‘admin’ as a username which is easily recognizable by a cracker. Always prefer to create a name as per your choice rather than the default one.

 

You can use a plugin Username Changer to change the administrator name.

 

Enable SSL for to Secure WordPress Database and Login

 

A Secure Socket Layer encrypts all the information sent to and from the site.

 

It is essential to secure the database with SSL layer so that no hacker can exploit your data and you can avoid man-in-the-middle attacks. This can directly impact the current rankings for your website.

 

All the sites that are secured with SSL start with HTTPS and the remaining have HTTP.

 

The hosting providers like HostGator provide free SSL certificates

 

Change WordPress Login URL

 

Any hacker can get in your login credentials easily once he knows that the URL contains wp-admin. So, to reduce the risk of the brute force attacking you can optimize your login URL to protect the login screen.

 

You can change the login URL by using WPS Hide Login.

 

Use Strong Passwords, CAPTCHA & RECAPTCHA for Login

 

       

It is always advisable to have strong passwords for the login credentials. Choose a complex password ideally comprising of letters, numbers, and symbols.

 

Moreover, you can avoid automated bad bots by integrating “CAPTCHA” and “RECAPTCHA” in your login screens.

Enable Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

 

The two-factor authentication adds up to the security of WordPress to make it robust and significant. This feature functions by creating a One-time unique code (OTP) at the time of login to ensure the authorization of the site owner.

 

It is generated by an app or sent to the device/smartphone via SMS.

 

Disable XML-RPC

 

XML-RPC allows a number of blogging clients to connect with the correct audience via Trackback and Pingbacks techniques.

 

Unfortunately, a hacker gets into your site by attempting DDoS attacks. In DDoS attacks, a single system is targeted with a number of bots that causes a denial of service.

 

You can just paste the following line of code to disable XML-RPC if you do not use such features.

 

Install effective security plugins from official networks

 

WordPress comes with a number of security plugins such as Sucuri Security, iThemes Security, All in one WP Security and Firewall and Wordfence Security.

If your hosting provider does not have the comprehensive security solution you can go consult with the best WordPress Plugin Development Company to understand the best match for your security needs or even customize one as per your website behavior.

This can add as a great step in your WordPress Security strategy.

Hide the WordPress version number

 

It is a good suggestion to hide your version number because it is shown in the head of the HTML file of every page.

So, if your website version has been updated for a while it can be an open invitation for the hacker manipulate with your site.

You can hide the version number by pasting the following code in function.php file

 

Secure wp-admin.php folder

 

If you are the only person to access the WordPress site as an author or an admin, it is a good practice to restrict the access of /wp-admin/ folder or wp-login.php file.

You can grab your personal computer IP address and add following lines to the .htaccess file in WordPress admin folder so that only your computer can allow the login.

Similarly, for multiple computers to allow login, you can add the ‘Allow XX.XXX.XXX.XXX’ to a new line.

Use SFTP (Secure FTP) to connect to your server

 

Use Secure FTP (SFTP) to ensure protective communication between the client and server. This can ensure no intervene during the peer to peer communication.

 

GoDaddy offers the SFTP service to enable secure communication.

 

Choose a secure hosting service provider

 

Always prefer a secure and reliable hosting service provider. There is a number of website hosting service provider viz. Bluehost who take care of the site security and ensure protection against common malware attacks.

 

Add security questions to WordPress Login

 

Adding security questions to the login screen adds more to the WordPress Security. It disallows the unauthorized access to the site.

You can add security questions by use of WP Security Questions plugin.

 

Backup your WordPress site regularly

 

Do not forget to take regular backups of your WordPress site. It plays a crucial role to handle those scary emergency failures of your site.

You can take manual backups or use Backup plugins such as All-in-one WP Migration and UpdraftPlus to restore the site from time to time.

 

Wrapping up

 

There are multiple ways to secure your website from costly attacks, however, in this article I have mentioned the basic security measures to keep your site up to date.

Be proactive, not reactive J

Hope you might love to practice some of them and please inform the ones that you safeguard your site with?

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Author

Anil Parmar

Anil Parmar is the co-founder of Glorywebs, a full-service digital marketing agency aiming to help clients with services like web design, web development, digital marketing and graphic design. Themes & plugins I develop have a common # 1 goal: Keeping it as simple as possible for not tech geeks. Follow him on Twitter @abparmar99 & say Hi!

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