WordPress comprises almost 30% of the website all over the world, which is a huge number as there are hundreds and thousands of ways to handle and operate an online business.
Although it has proven itself to be the best and the easiest Content Management System (CMS), people still point out its flaws in the security aspect of the website. Security is a major concern for anyone running a business either online virtually or physically.
There are much bigger and dangerous vulnerabilities in a digital platform than in a physical one. Anyone from all around the world can access the internet and your website, resulting in greater threats to your website or online business.
However, WordPress is more secure than its internet brothers and sisters if you take a closer look at it. You need to follow simple steps in securing your website which is as easy as boiling a pot of water. Here, in this article, we will go through very basic yet powerful ways to ensure security on your WordPress website.
Why take security steps?
No matter what content you host or what type of website you are currently running, the security threats are similar to any kind of website.
As I have already mentioned, the most popular CMS hosting about 30% of the website worldwide, WordPress website gets targetted more often.
Storing the confidential files and contents over the world wide web, you and many of us are already risking our business for the ease of services.
Losing data on your online business, malware injection, or even bringing the website or server entirely down is what you might have to face if you are not careful enough. Years of hard work and dedication can go to vain in just a few seconds if any hacker gets access to your website.
As important it is to make your website look presentable to your users, making a secure website is nothing less. If your website goes through any of these security threats, you might go back on track in a few days or even hours, but you will lose your valuable users.
So, securing your website should be one of the major concerns for you and you should take enough steps to ensure security.
Smart ways to effectively secure your WordPress website
Choose web host wisely
Choosing a web host is the first step in starting your online business. There are hundreds if not thousands of web hosting service providers all over the world offering top-notch services.
What we recommend is you choose web hosts that provide multiple layers of security. According to WPTemplate, around 47% of the websites are under attack because of the vulnerabilities in the web host they chose.
Although going with the cheapest web host does sound tempting but the vulnerabilities are high if you are a bit scared to spend on the security.
The contents of your website can be wiped out and your website URL can be directed to somewhere else, resulting in completely erasing your website.
Hence, a secure web host can be the easiest solution to ensure security on your website.
Back up your website
Before you start to do anything, you would want to back up your website so that if any crisis hits, you have the contents of your website for restoring.
You can either backup manually or use various plugins. You can use WordPress ‘export’ to export your website in the current version.
However, there is a problem with this way, as you need to backup time and again so that if anything happens you have the recent version of your website backed up.
This can be an overhead as sometimes it might slip your mind and the crisis might not be aborted. For these reasons, you can use various backup security plugins such as Backup Buddy, Backup WordPress, WordPress Backup to Dropbox, and many more.
Also, there are various web hosts that offer automatic backup and restore and a staging area as well. You can get automatic backup if you choose Hostgator, Bluehost, A2Hosting, and many more as your web host.
Update software or WordPress versions regularly
The developers make new updates every now and then with a few changes including upgrades in security features. Hackers will have an easy way to get into your system if you are using an older version of WordPress on your website.
This is because the older versions have had experimented with and the hackers know all the loopholes and the vulnerabilities that come with it.
Along with updating your WordPress, you also need to be up to date on all the plugins and themes you use on your website. WordPress itself automatically does the minor updates but the major updates are something you need to do it manually.
You can update the WordPress to the latest versions through the admin dashboard provided to you. It is an extremely easy and effective method to keep your website secure.
Add security plugins
Looking after a website in search of a security threat, malware, or any unusual activities is not ideal when you have an empire to build.
Sometimes, normal users won’t even notice malware code injected on the codes of your website. Hackers tend to inject the code very subtly that shows no change what so ever, but when you notice, it would be too late.
These problems have been acknowledged by many companies that not everyone is a developer and has made various security plugins available.
You can add these plugins as an extra layer of security on your website so that you don’t have to overhead to look over your website all the time. Some of these plugins are:
This plugin has an extensive large library of known malware that is checked on your website 24/7. If any malware creeps into your website from one way or another, SiteLock makes sure to remove it immediately.
It is an almost all-in-one security plugin that is used auditing, remote malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, blacklist monitoring, post-hack security actions, effective security hardening, security notifications, and even website firewalls. But all of these comes with a huge price tag on it.
Login Lockdown is a plugin that works to limit the number of login attempts from the same IP address for a period of time. This will help in preventing the brute force attack on your website.
Use secure login credentials
Login credentials are an extremely important factor on your website. Using a password that is simple like ‘12345’ or even ‘Abcde’ is easy to remember but is easy to guess as well.
If you want people around you or hacker to not get into your system then you should be using passwords with an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number, and a special character, and it also should be long enough so that no one can guess it.
What I suggest is you can use the auto-generated password with a bunch of random numbers. This is the most secure you can get with login credentials as there will be almost 108= 1000 000 000 probabilities.
Protect wp-config.php and .htaccess files
The wp-config.php is a very crucial file that contains the information of WordPress installation, setups, and most important files on your site’s root directory.
On the other hand, the .htaccess file is the one where it contains the information on the Apache web server and your website’s server information.
Securing these files will make things difficult for hackers to breach your system as they will be inaccessible to the most important files on your website.
But before you get into it you need to backup your website if any crisis occurs while moving the most important files on your system.
Extra steps to follow
Here, I will talk to you about some extra steps that you can follow to ensure the ultimate security on your WordPress website.
Install SSL Certificate
SSL or Secured Socket Layer used to come in use only when we needed to perform certain transactions only.
However, now that we have understood the importance of SSL, and is mandatory to process any website confidential credentials.
Change WP login URL
By default, WordPress admin panel can be accessed from the URL “yourwebsite.com/wp-admin” and it is a fact to enter anyone’s admin panel.
Hence, by changing the URL of your admin panel or admin dashboard, you give hackers a hard time to find your admin panel, resulting in less brute force attack.
Disable File Editing
When you are setting up your WordPress website, the contents of the website are often editable. Disabling the editor by accessing “Appereance>Editor” or “Plugins>Editor” can help you as to when the hackers tend to edit or add malicious codes, the WordPress won’t let him/her to.
Limit login attempts
Limiting the number of attempts any user can log in to your system from a particular IP address is also another way to ensure the security from the brute force attacks.
Here, you can follow various steps listed here to ensure multiple layers of security on your WordPress website. These steps are extremely easy and something anyone, even someone with the least knowledge on web development can secure their website.