How To Secure Your WordPress Website in 2018 – 9 Quick Tips
With the rise in the stories of hacks and data breaches, website security is the topmost concern for many webmasters. How to fend off malicious hackers, protect all the site content and secure customer data? If you own a website or run an online business, these must be your biggest concerns.
There is no denying that online security is a big deal. However, it can be tackled by embracing some good WordPress security practices. Here, we will be going through some tips and tricks that will help you create better security for your WordPress website.
What we will be discussing are relatively easy to implement on your website but will make it highly secure. Also, we have refrained from adding any paid solutions from boosting your security. But if you are running a well-to-do website with a large user base, then we do recommend you invest in some paid security solutions.
So without further ado, here are the 9 best tips that will keep your WordPress website secure in 2018.
1. Update Your Themes and Plugins Regularly
According to this infographic by WPBeginner, 83% of hacked WordPress blogs are not upgraded.
Outdated themes and plugins are filled with vulnerabilities which hackers can exploit easily. This is why you will see many software gets updated by developers every now and then. These updates don’t come with many new features but offer bug fixes and security patches. They are crucial for the overall security of your website and it is advised you never delay on updating your plugins and themes.
If you use plugins and themes from a developer who rarely updates their product, then it is also advised that you switch to products from a more reliable theme developer. The primary goal here is to make sure that the code that is behind your site is always kept up-to-date.
2. Use 2-Factor Authentication
If you don’t know already, 2-Factor Authentication systems are used to add an extra layer of security to your website. Users will have to insert not only their usernames and respective passwords but also an extra bit of information that can be only accessed by them. A 2FA system can secure your website from brute force attacks easily.
Now, there are many WordPress plugins on the market which lets you set up a 2FA system on your website. We would recommend you go for the Google Authenticator-Two Factor Authentication plugin. It is available for free, and you can use it to include a secret question, a security code, etc., as the extra layer of security.
3. Implement SSL Certificates
The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is slowly becoming the online standard for a secure website. It creates an encrypted data transfer bridge between the user browser and the server which blocks hackers from spoofing any information.
Getting an SSL certificate has also become extremely simple and comparatively inexpensive. You can get it from your hosting provider. In fact, most reputed hosting providers offer them for free with their plans. Furthermore, sites with an SSL certificate are favored by Google’s search engine algorithm which will help boost your site’s SEO performance.
4. Change Your Login URL
By default, the WordPress login page URL ends with “wp-login.php” or “wp-admin” followed by the main site’s URL. If the hacker lands on your login page, then they can simply use a Guess Work Database and force their way into your website.
Luckily, you can change the login URL to something unique. This will prevent hackers from finding your website’s login page, and hence create an extra layer of security. There are many plugins which allow users to change the login page URL rather easily. You can try out the WPS Hide Login plugin which is available for free, and more than capable of the task.
5. Change The Admin Username
Much like the issue with the login URL extension, by default, the username for the admin will be set to “admin.” This is super easy to guess and hence, super easy to crack for the hackers.
And so it is advised you change your admin username as well. Also, don’t include the author names which are available from your website either. Instead, go for something unique and hard to guess. Now there are multiple ways through which you can change your admin username. We recommend you take a look at this read for more details.
6. Don’t Add Users Carelessly
Many websites function as a multi-author blog. If you run something similar, then you already know the headache of having multiple users accessing your admin panel. This can make your website prone to more vulnerabilities and security threats.
To avoid any mishaps, only let these users access as much of the WordPress backend as necessary. Also, make sure that each user/contributor on your website has a unique username different from what is shown on your site. Their passwords should be strong as well and implement random alphanumeric characters. Force Strong Password is a great plugin to make sure their passwords are reliable and secure.
7. Monitor Your Files
Just like malware and Trojan viruses that affect desktops and PCs, there are similar software to compromise the security of a website. Files can be uploaded to your site which will leak out data or help hackers break through all the security measure you have set up.
To avoid such mishaps, you should always monitor your website for malicious files. Installing plugins like Sucuri Security can help you out by automatically scanning for malware, like your desktop antivirus.
8. Avoid Showcasing Your WordPress Version Number
As you know, WordPress itself is a piece of software which also gets updated/upgraded to a different version. Now hackers keep track of all the bugs and security loopholes that come with each version of WordPress.
Hence if you remove the WordPress version number, the hackers won’t be able to guess which loophole to target and exploit. This should increase the security level of your site. Here is a quick guide on how to hide the WordPress version number from your website.
9. Perform Regular Backups of Your Website
Up until now, we have gone through multiple methods for safeguarding your website from hackers. However, we should also have a backup plan in case the undesirable happens. And our backup plan is to perform regular backups for the website.
If your site becomes compromised, then the hacker will either steal data or corrupt many of the files. In case the latter happens, if you have an off-site backup, then you can quickly restore your WordPress site to a working condition in no time. VaultPress is an excellent plugin which can help you out in this regard.
So these were our top 9 tips for boosting security on your WordPress website. As you have noticed, we have covered many tips that will keep your site safe from all sorts of threats. Following these tips can secure your website from multiple types of hacking attempts, improving your security to a whole new level.
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