By : Azeem S
11 ways to secure WordPress website from hackers
As you all know, WordPress is a blogging tool which may also be used as an intelligent content management system (CMS) for developing websites, blogs and apps. Popular belief & statistics reveal that WordPress is one of the most popular target for hackers. Hence it is of utmost importance to secure WordPress website from hackers.
Below are a few points to ponder on making WordPress sites secure from attacks.
Update WordPress core and plugins regularly
WordPress is a well maintained project and its updates and bug fixes are released frequently. These updates will sometimes have vital security patches. Not updating your WordPress themes and plugins can really make your website vulnerable to attacks. Hackers will exploit these bugs to gain control over your websites. So it is important that you must update themes and plugins to secure WordPress website from hackers.
Change default login urls
WordPress default login page urls are either wp-login.php or wp-admin.php after the main site url. Normal hackers can initiate brute force attack on this known urls. So you should replace the default login urls and do away with most of the straight attacks. For beginners, altering the default urls will be a daunting task. You can easily change the urls using the iThemes Security plugin.
Two step verification on login
A better way to stop this attack would be to add an extra layer of security to your WordPress login. With 2–Step Verification, you’ll be able to protect your account with both your password and your phone. After you sign in with your password you will receive a code to your phone number which you need to type in too. Without having access to your phone, it is simply impossible to break through the login page.
I prefer using a secret code while deploying 2FA on any of my websites. The WP Google Authenticator plugin is the one you would bet on.
Use strong, unique and secure usernames and passwords
Simple passwords are not encouraged. Simple passwords might make it easy for you to remember it, but they are also easier for a hacker to crack. Use stronger and more secure passwords instead.Your password should be at least eight characters long. It should include numbers, special characters, and uppercase and lowercase letters. passwordsgenerator.net is a tool that helps you create strong passwords.
Always remember, if you are considering ways to secure WordPress website, then never be gentle with your passwords.
Every time, brute force attacks are conducted using bots. We can simply verify if a form has been submitted by a human or not. If it’s submitted by a bot then we simply don’t process it. No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA is a simple and user friendly way of asking the site visitor to verify if they are human or not when submitting a form.
Implementing an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is one smart move to secure WordPress website admin panel. SSL ensures secure data transfer between user browsers and the server, making it impossible for hackers to break in.
You can purchase the SSL certificate from some dedicated companies or alternatively ask your hosting firm to get you one (it’s often an option with their hosting packages).
I use the Let’s Encrypt free open source SSL certificate on most of my sites. Any good hosting company like SiteGround offers free Let’s Encrypt with their hosting packages.
The SSL certificate affects your website rankings in Google. Google ranks sites with SSL higher than those without it.
Change database default table prefix
You would be familiar with the wp- table prefix that is used by the WordPress database. I recommend you change it to something unique. Using default prefix makes your site database prone to SQL injection attacks. Those attacks may be prevented by shifting wp- to another term, e.g. you can make it xwp-, myblog-, etc.
If you have already installed your WordPress website with the default prefix, then you can use a few plugins to change it. Plugins like WP-DBManager or iThemes Security can help you do the job with just a click of a button.
Take backup regularly
No matter how secure your website is, there is always room for improvements. Keeping an off-site backup somewhere is perhaps the best antidote. If you have a backup, you can always restore your WordPress website to a working state any time you want. There are some plugins that can help you in this respect.
Prevent file editing from wp-admin
If you’re the kind of developer who routinely makes changes and tweaks to plugins and themes then you may want to disregard this section. But if you don’t use the built-in plugin and theme editor in the WordPress dashboard on a regular basis, you’re better off disabling it altogether.
You can remove this editor by inserting another code into the wp-config.php file. It’s another simple one: define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);
Use secure connection to login to server
When setting up your site, connect the server only through SFTP or SSH. SFTP is always preferred over the traditional FTP because of its security features that are, of course, not attributed with FTP.
Use cloudflare to secure WordPress website
Using Cloudflare can protect and accelerate any website online. Once your website has Cloudflare, its traffic is routed through their global network. They automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance.