Top 12 strategies for enhancing security of your WordPress website

Securing your WordPress site is crucial at a time when cyber threats are on the rise. One of the most widely used content management systems, WordPress, is a favorite target for hackers and other bad guys. Installing a few security plugins is not enough to protect your website; you need a comprehensive plan to protect your data, user information, and online reputation.

WordPress is a remarkable security platform in addition to being strong and user-friendly. This fantastic free tool is used by millions of small businesses, large corporations, and startups to build client websites.

Of fact, no platform today is completely secure. The WordPress community is working hard every day to make our platform more secure. Additionally, this platform is sufficiently well-liked to be a persistent target because it powers more than 30% of the internet.

Before going through some crucial security advice, let’s first talk about how WordPress websites become compromised.

WordPress websites are hacked in one of four ways: through hosting platform vulnerabilities (41%), through weak passwords (8%), through susceptible WordPress themes (29%), through WordPress plugins (22%), and vulnerable WordPress themes.

Why do you require WordPress Security?

Every effective website needs security. This holds for companies of all shapes, sizes, and reputations. This is why.

  • Your reputation and information are safeguarded.

There is no telling what an attacker might do with stolen information if they manage to obtain personal information about you or the users of your website. A security breach puts you at risk for identity theft, ransomware, server failures, and a long list of other things.

Any of these activities, as you can understand, would be a waste of time, effort, and money and would not be good for the reputation of your company.

  • Visitors anticipate it.

Simply put: Your visitors anticipate a secure website. If you can’t offer this basic service right away, you’ll damage your customers’ faith in you. You can make sure that your customers have a good experience with your company and will come back by gaining their trust.

Whether it’s their contact information, payment information (which necessitates PCI compliance), or even a simple survey response, your customers must believe their information is utilized and stored properly. There’s a dilemma in this: Your customers won’t ever need to know if your security procedures are effective. The majority won’t return if they ever hear unfavorable news regarding the security of your website.

  • Google appreciates safe websites.

On search engine results pages (SERPs), everyone wants to appear higher. More visibility results in more visibility, which results in more visits. The good news is that making your site secure is one of the methods to increase the likelihood that Google will like it.

Why? Because a searchable website is secure. Google’s (and other search engines) visibility is directly impacted by WordPress security and has been for some time. Security is one of the simplest strategies to raise your search ranking. Our Ultimate Guide to Google Ranking aspects contains information on additional aspects that affect how Google ranks your website.

Protecting your internet properties should undoubtedly be your top priority. Your website must guarantee that users are safe while using it. But first, you might be curious as to how secure WordPress is.

Let’s look at what’s underneath.

WordPress: Is it Secure?

If you implement the required site security measures, WordPress can be a secure content management system (CMS). The most important website security measures to adopt are listed below, along with an explanation of why doing so is crucial for your company website.

1. Continue to update the WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins

Continue to update the WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins

WordPress is free software that is created and updated by volunteers from all around the world. Any security flaws are patched with each successive release.

Minor updates (such as WordPress 6.2.3) are installed automatically by WordPress by default. The responsibility for manually updating to the most recent version falls on you for significant releases, such as WordPress 6.3.

The security and functionality of your site depend on these fundamental changes. Therefore, make sure to backup your website and upgrade its core software as soon as it is possible.

To ensure you’re always using the most recent and secure software releases, it’s also critical to periodically update any plugins and themes.

2. Use robust and distinctive passwords

Use robust and distinctive passwords

Utilizing stolen usernames and passwords to access a website is one of the most popular WordPress hacking techniques. Use strong passwords that are exclusive to your WordPress site to make hacking efforts more challenging.

This applies to your hosting, FTP accounts, company email address, and WordPress website, among other things.

Although using the name of your pet is appealing because it is simple to remember, it is also simple to figure out.

Using a password with at least 12 characters is recommended. There should be both capital and lowercase letters, numerals, and symbols in those characters.

Because they’re difficult to remember, complicated passwords are avoided by many WordPress users. The good news is that you can create and securely store strong passwords with password managers.

Keeping your WordPress admin account private is another crucial piece of advice. You can assign users unique user roles and permissions before adding their new user accounts if you have a large team working on your website or many WordPress authors.

3. Construct a two-factor authentication (2FA) system.

Two-factor authentication makes the login process more challenging and tedious for authorized users while also assisting in preventing undesirables from accessing your website.

Users with two-factor authentication must finish two security checks before they may access the website, as the name suggests. Typically, the name/password challenge is the initial stage.

4. Secure Server Configuration and Hosting

Secure Server Configuration and Hosting

Pick a hosting company with a solid reputation and robust security features. Select a reputable host’s managed WordPress hosting or a Virtual Private Server (VPS). Make that the server software, like Apache or Nginx, is up to date and securely configured.

If you need some tips and best hosting provider list then you can refer our article – Best WordPress & WooCommerce hosting guide.

5. Make Your WP-Admin Login Page Invisible

By default, putting “/wp-admin” or “/wp-login.php” at the end of a URL will take you to the majority of WordPress login pages.

Because of this, it will be simple for hackers to begin attempting to access your website.

A hacker or con artist can try to access your Admin Dashboard by finding your login page and then guessing your username and password.

An excellent technique to make yourself a less attractive target is to hide your WordPress login page.

By using a plugin like WPS Hide Login, you may conceal the WordPress admin login page and secure your login information.

6. Use SSL encryption or Secure Sockets Layer

Use SSL encryption or Secure Sockets Layer

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, an industry standard, are used by millions of websites to protect their online business dealings with customers.

One of the initial actions you should do to secure your website is to acquire one.

Although you can buy SSL certificates, the majority of hosting companies give them away for free.

The next step is to force the encrypted connection by activating the HTTPS redirection using a plugin.

This industry-standard technology creates an encrypted link between a web browser (the client) and a web server (the host).

You may make sure that all information transmitted between the two remains intrinsically confidential by adding this encrypted connection.

7. Limit user rights and access

Monitoring activity in your admin area will help you find any unauthorized or malicious operations that endanger your website.

For individuals whose WordPress website is accessed by several users or authors, we advise using this strategy. Users may update settings that they shouldn’t, such as configuring plugins or changing themes.

You can identify the individual in charge of those undesirable alterations and determine whether an unauthorized user has gained access to your WordPress website by keeping an eye on their activity.

The simplest approach to monitor user activity on WordPress is to install a plugin like:

  • WP Activity Log – tracks changes to articles, pages, themes, and plugins among other website components. Additionally, it records changes made to any file as well as newly inserted and deleted files.
  • Activity Log – this feature allows you to define rules for email notifications while monitoring various activities on your WordPress admin panel.
  • Simple History – This plugin supports numerous third-party plugins like Jetpack, WP Crontrol, and Beaver Builder and records all activity connected to them in addition to the activity log on the WordPress admin.
8. Web Application Firewall (WAF) installation

Web Application Firewall (WAF) installation

Utilizing a Web Application Firewall (WAF) is another highly advised method of safeguarding your WordPress website and feeling assured of its security. Before reaching your website, it stops any harmful traffic. There are two categories of firewall plugins:

Website Firewall at the DNS Level: These firewall plugins pass the traffic to your WordPress website through their cloud proxy servers. They can now only send legitimate traffic to your web server thanks to this.

Application Level Firewall: Before most WordPress scripts are loaded, but before the traffic reaches your server, this firewall plugin examines the traffic. Practically speaking, this approach is less effective in reducing server load than the DNS-level firewall.

9. Consistent Backups

Hacking is distressing. If you lose all of your data as a result, it seems much more painful because it feels like a breach of your digital privacy. However, you may prevent that from happening by ensuring sure WordPress and your hosting company are backing up your website.

The use of a WordPress plugin is one of the many various ways to create backups. However, we advise working with a web host whose primary services include performing automatic daily backups for you.

10. Turn off XML-RPC and REST API if not required.

Removing the XML-RPC.php file is an easy way to safeguard your WordPress website. By granting anyone remote access to your WordPress website, hackers may be able to insert harmful code or completely take over your website.

Additionally, attackers can use this file to carry out brute-force login attempts, meaning that even if your login page is safe, attackers can still access it.

Fortunately, removing the XML-RPC file is a rather easy process. To remove the file from your server, just connect via FTP to your website. After you’ve done this, be careful to update your.htaccess file to prevent any further access to the file.

11. Monitoring and Security Plugins

The next step is to set up an auditing and monitoring system to keep track of everything that happens on your website after you’ve implemented the backup solution. Typical examples of this are failed login attempts, virus detection, file integrity monitoring, etc.

WordPress security plugins make it easier for websites to function by providing features without the effort of coding. Additionally, setting up a WordPress plugin is a straightforward process. However, selecting the finest WordPress Plugin from the more than 58,000 free and paid options available might be challenging.

12. Enhance Database Security

You can increase the security of your WordPress database in a few different ways. The first is to give your database a clever name. Your WordPress database is probably named wp_volleyballtricks by default if your website is called volleyball tricks. By making it more challenging for hackers to recognize and access your database information, changing the name of your database to something more obscure helps safeguard your website.

Altering the default WordPress prefix introduces a layer of complexity for hackers and spammers trying to infiltrate your website. Guessing your database table names becomes more difficult for them, and as a result, it enhances your website’s security by reducing the vulnerability to SQL injection attacks.

Summing up

If you want your website to be secure and operate effectively, website security is a must, not an option. It is necessary to keep your website operating securely and to reduce the dangers of hacking attempts, spamming, and virus attacks.

You may secure your WordPress site by using the following advice:

  • Be cautious while logging in and use strong passwords.
  • Enable a backup program and run routine backups.
  • Make use of security plugins for WordPress like WP Defender, WordFence, BulletProof Security, and iThemes Security.
  • Install SSL Certificate to encrypt all data transmitted between the browser and server.
  • Enable Web Application Firewall (WAF).
  • The secret to protecting your website and keeping it online in the event of any unforeseen events, such as a virus attack or a failed upgrade, is selecting a reputable web hosting service.

Our company, LinkSture, offers security options for the WordPress ecosystem. Additionally, we have you covered with our automatic backups, malware scan, and our support staff of WordPress development specialists if you ever do run into a security issue.

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