Nowadays, security has become the biggest concern for WordPress website owners. Some say that since it is an open-source script it is exposed to all kinds of attacks. That is not true. Even though if it is true, you can’t blame WordPress for that reason. Because it is our responsibility to keep our websites secured and protected.
In this article, we are going to focus more on tips and tricks with which you can secure your WordPress website’s admin. Because security is thoughtfully important.
According to WP WhiteSecurity, more than 117,000 WordPress installations were hacked in the year 2012. This situation alerted other website owners to improve the security of a WordPress installation.
Things You Should Know Already
Even if you are a WordPress expert, taking these preventive measures can be effective as you set about executing security methods on your websites.
Keep Your WordPress Up-To-Date
Why I am saying this is because so simple and small thing can have a huge effect on your website. Whenever you see “Update available” option in the dashboard section do not ignore it; click on that and update your site. A backup of your data before you update your site is recommended. Information about the latest security issues and bugs that were fixed from the older version will be out to the public as soon as the newer version is made available. So that means if you are still using the older version then there are more chances for your site to get hacked.
Keep Themes & Plugins Up-To-Date
Updating WordPress themes and plugins regularly are just as important as updating WordPress Core. Every theme and plugin that you installed on your site is kind of a backdoor into your website’s admin. So unless/until accurately secured, themes and plugins are like an open door to your website and furthermore, your personal information.
Delete Unusable Plugins & Themes
Just like updating the ones you are using, deleting the one you don’t use is also crucial for your site’s security. Getting rid of the themes and plugins you don’t use, need, or want will likely reduce the chances of being hacked. You might be thinking that deactivation is enough but unfortunately, no; deactivating is not enough, you must delete them.
Download Themes & Plugins From Known Sources
There is a hell of a lot of plugins and themes available right now. But that’s not the point. Download plugins and themes only from well-known sources and especially WordPress.org is recommended since they will thoroughly scan before being allowed to the Plugin or Theme Directory.
Limited User Access
At times, website security is run through the wringer because of a simple thing: granting user access for half of the population. Would you consider giving your bank account credentials to everyone? No right. Then why this. Limit or grant the access to only those people who really need it and give them a minimum of permissions to finish their assigned duties. Giving your website access to too many people is kind of inviting problems your way.
Add A Two-Step Authentication
A really great way to block monster attacks is to set up two-step authentication for your WordPress website. In this process, a password is required but along with that a security code that is sent to your registered mobile number will also be needed to log into your website. There are a lot of plugins that can be used to add this feature and some of them are Google Authenticator and Clef.
Now that you are familiar with the things that you should already know about securing your WordPress website, let’s move onto a few of the obscure things.
1. Limit Your Themes & Plugins Usage
I know I have already mentioned this in the above list about deleting plugins and themes that you don’t use. But it is also worth noting that you shouldn’t download too many plugins in the first place. In order to keep your website from malicious attacks, you need to be sure about the criteria of plugins you choose to install.
This isn’t just about the website security, it is also about the speed and performance of your site. Downloading too many plugins can slow down your site.
2. Kill PHP Error Reporting
If a particular plugin or theme doesn’t work properly, then there are chances for it to create an error message. This might be useful when troubleshooting this problem but the actual problem is that such error messages usually include your server path.
This would be a great opportunity for hackers because all they need is to view your error messages to get your full server path and this is no less than handing them your website on a golden platter. Regardless of how useful or helpful an error reporting might be, it is good to disable it altogether.
3. Use SSL To Secure Your Admin Panel
Having an SSL (Security Sockets Layer) certificate is a great step to secure your admin panel. It ensures the security of your data transfer between the server and user browser by encrypting the data and thus making impossible for hackers to breach the connection. There are various websites that provide SSL certificates and some of the popular and trusted ones are Symantec SSL, GeoTrust SSL, Comodo SSL and many more.
4. Change The Username
We tend to choose “admin” as the username for main administrator account during the WordPress installation. This gives an easy access to your hackers. Because all they need is just the password to log in into your account.
Never ever keep your username as “admin.” There are some smart plugins that can stop such force attempts by instantly banning IP addresses that try to log in into your account with that username.
5. Secure The wp-config.php File
The wp-config.php file contains a lot of your essential WordPress installation information so securing it means securing your WordPress website. It becomes extremely difficult for hackers to breach the security of your website if the wp-config.php file is inaccessible to them.
And to do that, simply take your wp-config.php file and place it in a greater level other than your root directory. Don’t worry about how the server is going to access the file. The configuration file settings in the new WordPress architecture are placed the highest on the list. So WordPress can still access the file even if it is saved one turn above the root directory.
6. Remove The WordPress Version Number You Use
The WordPress version number can be found right in your website’s source view. Why I am mentioning this is because if hackers know which version you are using then it will be easy for them to build the perfect attack. So it is better to hide it and there are several plugins that can do the task.
Securing a WordPress website is much more than installing a security plugin and thinking that it is safe. However, with the above-mentioned tricks you can secure your site. The more you take care of your WordPress website security, the tougher it gets for a hacker to get in.
If you think I missed any detail that is vital, then please feel free to comment in the section below.