How To Keep Your WordPress Website Secure

WordPress is a popular website platform that is used by millions of people around the world. A website is often the first point of contact for potential customers, so it’s important to make sure your website is looking its best. But what many business owners don’t realize is that security is just as important as aesthetics.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some easy ways to keep your WordPress website secure. So read on to learn more!

Why is important to keep your website secure?

importance of wordpress security

A website is a collection of files and databases that contain information about your business or personal brand. If these files and databases are compromised, it can cause serious damage to your reputation and bottom line. That is why it is so important to keep your site secure.

Let’s have a look at a few more reasons why it’s important to make your website secure:

Protects the image of your company or brand

If your website is hacked or vandalized, it can damage the reputation of your company or personal brand. This can lead to a loss of customers and revenue.

Maintaining the security of your WordPress site is important for protecting the image of your business.

prevents data loss and wordpress security helps protecting your company image

Prevents data loss

If your website is hacked, you could lose important data, such as customer information, blog posts, and more. This can be devastating to a business or individual who relies on their website for income, especially an e-commerce store, or membership website.

Minimizes downtime

If your website is hacked, it will likely be taken offline. This can cause a loss of traffic and revenue for your business. It can also be frustrating for your customers who are trying to access your site.

Maintaining the security of your WordPress site is important for minimizing downtime and keeping your website online.

Google likes secure websites

No one likes a website that is hacked. Not even Google. This means that if your website is secure, it is more likely to rank higher in search results. If your website has been hacked, and it contains malware, you might even risk getting your website banned from Google search engines.

What are some common WordPress Security issues?

hacker with their hood up
Hacker working in the darkness

Keeping your WordPress website secure is an essential part of maintaining a successful online presence. Unfortunately, there are many common security issues that can arise with WordPress websites.

These include weak passwords, outdated plugins and themes, poor hosting services, and vulnerable databases. Hackers can exploit these weaknesses to gain access to sensitive information or disrupt the functionality of your website.

Brute-Force Login Attempts

Unsurprisingly, brute-force attacks are one of the oldest tricks in a hacker’s book. Through this method, malicious actors can quickly and easily gain access to sensitive information by rapidly entering every possible combination until they accidentally stumble upon the right credentials.

This all too common-attack is an ever-present threat – no password-protected system or data is safe from its reach!

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Be on the lookout for XSS attacks! The malicious code in these types of robberies can easily be injected into a website’s backend or submitted through user-facing forms. Taking extra precautionary measures against this form of attack is an absolute must – any leaked data could lead to serious consequences and cause irreparable damage.

Protect yourself now so you don’t have future regrets later!

Phishing

Protect yourself, your business and your customers from malicious phishing attempts! Attackers often masquerade as legitimate companies to gain access to personal information or even launch attacks against unsuspecting targets.

Even if they get into your WordPress account, you could unknowingly become their tool for sending out further dangerous emails under the guise of being you- damaging both you and your customer’s trustworthiness in no time flat. Put a stop to these schemes before it’s too late – take action now to defend your online presence today!

malicious phishing website security and wordpress security

Database Injections

It’s called SQL injection, and it could be one of the most hazardous attacks your website faces. All it takes is for an attacker to input a “string” – some malicious code disguised as harmless user input – into something like a contact form or search box on your site.

That code then gets stored in the database where sensitive data can be easily accessed by hackers without you even realizing what happened! Protect yourself today; don’t fall victim to this insidious attack!

Backdoors

Protect your WordPress website from malicious attacks by staying alert to the dangers of backdoors. These pieces of code allow an attacker to bypass standard login procedures and access your site at any time – undetected! Attackers are sneaky, placing these file types among other source files that can be hard for untrained eyes to find.

Even if you manage to remove them now, they can easily come up with new variants and continue infiltrating your protected space. To combat this sinister threat, ensure all uploaded files abide by strict WP guidelines and remain vigilant towards safeguarding yourself against cyber-attackers schemes.

Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks

Have you ever heard of a denial-of-service attack? This sophisticated cybercrime jams your website with massive amounts of traffic, overwhelming the server and stopping anyone from accessing it. And if that isn’t scary enough, a distributed DoS ratchets up its game by utilizing multiple machines in its assault!

Don’t be caught off guard – take steps to protect yourself against these crippling digital intrusions today.

How safe is WordPress?

your website security is helped by wordpress

WordPress is a very safe platform. In fact, it is one of the most popular content management systems in the world. It powers over 35% of all websites on the internet.

That being said, no platform is perfect. There are always ways that hackers can exploit vulnerabilities. That is why it is important to keep your WordPress site updated and secure.

Here are some statistics about WordPress security:

  • Over 90% of hacked websites are running an outdated version of WordPress.
  • Outdated plugins and themes are responsible for over 50% of WordPress hacking attempts.
  • Less than 1% of WordPress sites are compromised by brute force attacks.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the reasons why it’s important to keep your WordPress site secure let’s take a look at some of the ways on how you can do this.

Use an SSL certificate

use ssl certificate to improve your wordpress security

Installing an SSL certificate on your WordPress site is a great way to make your website secure. It is also one of the requirements for PCI compliance.

Why is my WordPress site showing not secure?

If your WordPress site is showing a “not secure” message in the browser, it means that you do not have an SSL certificate installed.

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that encrypts information sent from your website to your visitor’s web browser. This helps to protect sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and login credentials.

How to install an SSL certificate?

You can purchase an SSL certificate from a hosting provider or a trusted third-party provider, such as Symantec or GeoTrust. A lot of reputable hosting companies, such as Kinsta, also offer Free SSL certificates as part of their hosting packages.

Install a WordPress Security plugin

install a wordpress security plugin on your website

A WordPress security plugin helps to protect your website from hackers and malware. It does this by adding an extra layer of security to your website and monitoring for suspicious activity. A security plugin can also help you recover from a hack if your website is ever attacked 

While you can take some steps to secure your WordPress website on your own, it’s often best to leave it to the experts. That’s where WordPress security plugins come in. By choosing a reputable plugin, you can rest assured that your website is in good hands.

How to Choose the Right WordPress Security Plugin 

When choosing a WordPress security plugin, there are a few factors you should consider. First, think about what features you need. Some WordPress security plugins offer basic protection while others include more advanced features like two-factor authentication and malware scanning, such as Sucuri.

Next, consider ease of use. You’ll want to choose a security plugin that’s easy to set up and use so that you don’t have to spend hours trying to figure it out.

Finally, consider the cost. Some security plugins are free while others charge a monthly fee. Choose the plugin that fits your budget and offers the features you need.

A good option which has both a free and a paid plan is WordFence. We personally use and recommend Malcare.

Use strong passwords

a strong passwords for wordpress admin is improveing your website security

A website is only as secure as its weakest password. If you’re using easily guessed words like “password” or easily accessible personal information like your birthdate, you’re putting your site at risk.

Hackers can use automated tools to quickly try thousands of common passwords until they find one that works. Once they’re in, they can wreak havoc, deleting files, posting offensive content, or even stealing sensitive information. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of being hacked, you can make it much harder for attackers by using strong passwords.

A strong password should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also important to use different passwords for different websites. That way, if one site is compromised, your other accounts will remain secure.

By taking these simple steps, you can help make your website safe from attacks.

improve your wordpress security with a strong password for wordpress admin

Use a password manager

Speaking of using different unique passwords, this is where a password manager tool might be able to make your life easier.

A password manager is a software application that stores your passwords in an encrypted database. When you need to log in to a website, the password manager will automatically fill in your username and password for you.

There are many different password managers available, both free and paid. Some popular options include LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane.

1Password is what I’ve personally used for the last 5 years or so, and I’ve been very happy with it.

Avoid using admin as a username

help your wordpress security, protect your site and prevent login attempts by changing the wordpress admin username from admin

Whether you’re setting up a new website or updating an existing one, it’s important to choose a secure username. One of the most common mistakes people make is using “admin” as their username. This might seem like a harmless choice, but it can actually leave your website vulnerable to attack.

As mentioned above, hackers use automated tools to quickly try thousands of common passwords. But that’s just half of the job, as they also need to guess the correct admin username.

To protect your website, avoid using “admin” as your username and choose something that’s unique and difficult to guess. By taking this simple step, you can help keep your website safe from harm.

Changing the WordPress login page(wp-admin) URL

protect your site by change your wordpress login page url to improve security

If you want to ensure that your WordPress site isn’t the target of a malicious attack, it’s important to take steps beyond the traditional “yoursite.com/wp-admin” login page URL. Changing the WordPress login page (wp-admin) URL is a simple but effective security measure that can help protect your website.

The most common way to change your wp-admin URL is by using a plugin such as WPS Hide Login or WPP Safe. Both of these plugins are free, easy to use, and can help make your website more secure.

Hackers won’t stand a chance against your WordPress login page – arm it with an advanced layer of security: two factor authentication (2FA). Just set up the plugin and you can be sure that no one but you will gain access to your website, thanks to its unique combination of the password plus email or text confirmation for each time someone tries logging in.

Also, fuel up your security with the power to identify potential malicious intruders and block their access. Uncover the IP address that has registered multiple failed login attempts, swiftly preventing future attacks on your system!

Enjoy peace of mind knowing that the highest level of protection is at work!

Keep your WordPress and Plugins up to date

update your wordpress websites plugins and themes and prevent security vulnerabilities

Any website, no matter how big or small is vulnerable to security risks. Hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit weaknesses in website code, and WordPress is no exception.

When you don’t keep your WordPress website updated, you open yourself up to potential security risks and vulnerabilities. Websites that are running an outdated version of WordPress are more susceptible to being hacked.

By keeping your WordPress website updated, you can help prevent hackers from taking advantage of any security flaws in older versions of the software.

In addition, regularly updating your WordPress site can help improve your site’s performance and ensure compatibility with the latest web browsers and plugins.

That’s why it’s important to maintain your website on a regular basis. WordPress, Themes & Plugins updates can include security fixes & other software updates.

So not only that you’ll be keeping your website secure, but also ensure it performs at it’s best for your visitors.

This is something we normally do for our clients, through our Website Maintenance Packages.

Use reliable themes and plugins

Following on from keeping your website updated, another important factor is to make sure you’re using reputable themes & plugins.

There are tons of free themes and plugins available online, but not all of them are created equal. Some might not be regularly updated or maintained, which can leave your website vulnerable to security risks.

At the end of the day, you can’t update a plugin or a theme, if the developer hasn’t released an actual update for you to apply.

Therefore, before you choose a theme or a plugin for your website, make sure that they have a well-proven record, they have good reviews and they are releasing updates on a regular basis.

Make sure that you are using the latest PHP version of WordPress

securing your website by having the latest php version and core software

Upgrading to the latest version of PHP is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your WordPress website is secure. With every new release of PHP, there are often improvements and bug fixes that help to keep your site safe from malicious attacks. Newer versions are also more efficient and can provide a faster loading experience for your visitors.

To check which version of PHP you are using, simply use the WordPress Health Check & Troubleshooting feature that is already existing on your website. This will give you a detailed report on how your website is performing, including which version of PHP it’s currently running on.

Once you know this information, you can then decide if an upgrade is necessary.

To upgrade the PHP version you need to access your hosting account to upgrade to the latest PHP version. If you do not have access to your hosting account, try to get in touch with your web developer to upgrade.

Disable file editing in the WordPress wp-config.php

improve wordpress security by disableing the file editor inside the wp config

Keeping your WordPress website secure is the most important step that you can take to protect it from malicious attacks. One way in which you can bolster the security of a site is to disable file editing in the WordPress wp-config.php. This prevents any changes to how a website functions and how it looks, as well as any access attempted through the back end.

Disabling file editing might sometimes be necessary when making other adjustments to the website such as adding content or changing plugins, ensuring that your website remains safe and stable while still being able to make the desired updates.

This simple step can significantly improve how well your website is protected against hackers and other forms of unauthorized access.

How to disable file editor in wp-config.php

WordPress website comes by default with a code editor function in your dashboard which allows you to edit your theme and plugin. It can be found by going to Appearance>Editor. Another way you can find the plugin editor is by going under Plugins>Editor.

disable wordpress file editor inside the wp-config.php found in Appearance to improve wordpress security
disable wordpress file editor inside the wp-config.php found in Plugins to improve wordpress security

You can easily do this by adding the following code in your wp-config.php file:

// Disable File Editing

define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);

Take regular backups of your website

some wordpress hosting and hosting providers offers backup services

In today’s digital world, your website is one of your most important assets. It’s a vital part of your online presence, and it contains a wealth of information about your business. That’s why it’s so important to take regular backups of your website.

By doing so, you can protect your website from hacking, malware, and other security threats.

Regular backups also help you to keep your website up and running in the event of a technical issue or natural disaster. If your website goes down, you can quickly restore it from a backup and minimize the amount of time that your business is offline. And if you ever need to move your website to a new host or server, having a backup will make the process much simpler and less stressful.

How to backup your WordPress website

There are many different ways to back up your website. The most important thing is to ensure that you are backing up all of your website files and databases regularly. This includes both the static files (such as HTML and CSS files) and the dynamic files (such as PHP and MySQL databases).

One easy way to do this is to use a WordPress plugin like UpDraft, BackupBuddy or VaultPress. These plugins will automatically back up your website on a schedule that you configure. You can also use them to restore your website from a backup if needed.

Apart from this, you can also look for a hosting provider which takes backups of your website on a regular basis. But, I don’t recommend you rely just on that. It’s always good to have a 2nd set of website backups, just in case.

Here at Brilliant Digital, for example, as part of our website maintenance packages, we take care of all our client’s websites and provide daily backups.

Use a secure web hosting provider

choosing the right wordpress hosting from all the hosting providers

Choosing the right WordPress hosting company also plays a big role in website security.

A good hosting company will have security measures in place to protect your website from hackers, malware, and other online threats. They will also have the latest software and hardware to ensure that your website is always up and running.

When choosing a hosting company, make sure to do your research and select a company with a good reputation. There are many web hosting companies to choose from, so take the time to find one that you can trust.

For example, we highly recommend Kinsta to all our clients, because they specialised in WordPress, the customer support is very good, but most importantly, their security it’s very tight. Not just that, but they provide a guarantee that they’ll help with malware removal should your website get hacked. – something which a lot of hosting companies don’t do.

Another combo we like, is using something like Cloudways for hosting and Malcare for security.

Limit The Users with Admin Acess

protect your business website by limiting the users with admin access

While it’s important to have a few trusted people with admin access to your website, it’s important not to have too many. The more people who have admin access, the greater the risk of someone with malicious intent gaining access to your site.

By limiting the number of user accounts with admin access, you can help to keep your site secure.

Of course, it’s also important to choose wisely when it comes to who you give admin access to. Make sure that you only give admin privileges to people who you trust and who you know will use their power responsibly. By taking these precautions, you can help to keep your website safe and secure.

Conclusion

Keeping your WordPress website secure doesn’t have to be complicated. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can protect your website from hackers, malware, and other online threats.

Make sure to take regular backups of your website so that you can restore it if anything goes wrong. Choose a secure web hosting provider and limit the number of user accounts with admin access to your site. Follow these best practices and you’ll be able to keep your website secure for years to come.

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