There is no denying the fact that when it comes to content management systems, there is no match for WordPress as it accounts for more than 30% websites online. The increasing popularity of WordPress has also attracted hackers, and they have started targeting WordPress site specifically. If you run a WordPress site, you are also under threat regardless of the type of content on your website. It’s possible for your site to get hacked in case you don’t take certain precautions.
It is crucial for you to check the security of your website, like all things related to technology. Most of the security enhancements are not that difficult to implement and will take only a few minutes when performed manually.
Excellent Hosting Company
One of the simplest ways to making sure that your WordPress site is safe is to choose a hosting provider with multiple layers of security. Choosing a cheap hosting provider might seem tempting as the money saved on hosting can be spent elsewhere within the organization. Don’t give in to this temptation. Usually, it leads to nightmares down the road. It’s possible that lack of security might lead to your website’s URL redirecting somewhere else or complete erosion of the data.
When you pay a bit more to host your website on a quality hosting company, it also means the addition of several layers of security to your website. You also get the benefit of speeding up of your WordPress site by choosing a good WordPress hosting.
There is no shortage of hosting companies out there, but our recommendation is WPEngine. They offer several security features that include daily malware scans along with access to support 24 x 7, all days of the year. Also, they offer reasonable prices.
Use a WordPress Security Plug-In
Checking your WordPress website for malware regularly takes a lot of time. Also, you’re not going to realize if there is a piece of malware-ridden in the WordPress code unless you are in the habit of regularly updating yourself on the latest coding practices. Thankfully, some developers have understood that every Webmaster running a WordPress website is not a developer, and therefore, they have developed some incredible WordPress security plug-ins. This WordPress Security plug-in scans for malware and is always monitoring your website. Simply put, it helps in taking care of your WordPress site security.
A fantastic WordPress Security plug-in is offered by Sucuri.net. This security plug-in provides a variety of security services including blacklist monitoring, remote malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, security activity auditing, security notifications, post-hack security actions as well as a website firewall.
Disallow Editing Of Files
You must have noticed the code editor function in the WordPress dashboard when setting up your website. This function is there to allow the users to edit the code of the plug-ins and theme. You can access this by clicking on the Appearance button followed by Theme Editor.
It is recommended to disable this feature once your WordPress website is live. In case a hacker is able to gain access to the admin panel, it’s possible for them to inject malware code to theme and plug-in. Often the code is so subtle that it’s difficult to notice anything until it’s too late. In order to disable the ability of users to edit the theme and plug-ins file, you just need to copy and paste the following code in WP–config.php file.
Get an SSL Certificate
There was a time when SSL certificate was needed only for making a site secure for particular transactions such as sites that process payments. However, these days, SSL or Security Sockets Layer is considered useful for various types of websites. Google has also recognized the importance of SSL and the presence of SSL certificate on a site is rewarded by giving it a certain weight in its ranking algorithms.
Any website that processes sensitive information such as credit card details or password necessarily needs SSL. Without the presence of an SSL certificate, all the data exchanged between the web server and user’s web browser is delivered in plain text which can be read by hackers. Use of SSL encrypts the sensitive information when data is transferred between the web server and the user’s browser, which makes it difficult for hackers to read the exchanged information and makes the WordPress site more secure.
The average price of SSL certificate ranges from $70 to $199 per year for websites accepting sensitive information. In case no confidential information is received on your website, there is no need for you to pay for SSL certificate. SSL certificate given by Let’s Encrypt is offered by almost every single hosting company which can be easily installed on your website.
Limit the Number of Login Attempts
The default setting in WordPress allows users to try to get into the website unlimited times. This is helpful for users who frequently forget their password, but it also opens the WordPress website up to brute force attacks. When you limit the number of login attempts, users are blocked temporarily after a certain number of attempts are found to be wrong. This helps in preventing brute force attacks as a hacker is not allowed even to attempt to login after trying a certain number of attempts.
This setting can be easily enabled in your website with the help of Loginizer plug-in. In order to set up the number of login attempts, you will need to go to the Loginizer and then to Brute Force Settings after installing the plug-in. You also have the option of restricting the number of login attempts without the use of a plug-in.
Latest WordPress Version
It is considered a good practice to always keep the WordPress software up to date if you want to keep your website secure. Developers keep making changes with every update and these changes also typically include security feature updates. When you keep your WordPress website updated with the latest version, you prevent it from being a target of hackers who like to exploit any pre-identified loopholes to gain access to WordPress websites. You should also regularly update the plug-ins and themes. Minor updates are downloaded automatically by WordPress, but you will need to download and install a major update manually from the admin dashboard.
The best and most straightforward way to keep your website safe in case of a disaster is to back it up regularly. In case your site is hacked or harmed, you can get your website running quickly by restoring it with the help of a recent backup. This will provide you enough time to fix the issue and move on.
Needless to say, you want to be smart about creating and using backups. Here are a few tips:
- Always keep multiple backups. It is recommended to keep at least three recent backups available at all times, as the most recent backup might have issues that haven’t yet been noticed.
- The backups should be saved in multiple external locations, including physical hard drives as well as cloud storage.
- It is recommended to set up and stick to a regular backup schedule.
- It is recommended to create an extra backup of the website in addition to regular backups before you make any changes to it. Simply put, you should create a separate backup of your site before implementing any of these above-mentioned security boosting techniques.
Needless to say, security is one of the most essential parts of your WordPress website. Your site can be easily hacked by hackers in case you don’t take the WordPress security seriously. It’s not that hard to maintain the security of your website, and you don’t have to spend any money in order to keep it secure. While some of these above-mentioned solutions are meant for advanced users, that’s why we are always available in case you have any questions. Don’t shy away from tweeting at us or messaging South Florida Web Development directly.