WordPress is a tool that was initially used by bloggers, but over the years, it has become a very popular website builder and is used by many website owners and companies. It has proven itself to be an excellent content managing platform. Its popularity is attributed to the ease with which it can be used to create different kinds of websites suitable for a variety of businesses.
Increased popularity has led to a larger surface area for hackers and attackers to try and breach WordPress websites and their data. This makes it essential to ensure that your sites are equipped with high security to safeguard your data as well as your clients’ data. Better security will eventually lead to better performance and a better turnout overall. So, here is a discussion of some rather small but significant tips that can be used to achieve improved security on your WordPress website and as a result improve performance.
Table of Contents
1. Never make the admin username obvious
Make sure your administrator username is not “admin,” root, owner or administrator or any other word that suggests that this may be the administrators’ credentials. This is a very basic tip that is overlooked most of the time, not just for WordPress but in all websites in general. Making it evident that a username-password combination belongs to the admin makes the job of the hacker easier as they know exactly which credentials to crack to get admin access to the entire system, which can cause havoc.
2. Don’t enable login hints
By default, WordPress login tells you if you enter a wrong password or username with suitable prompts. This works as an aid for hackers when they are trying attacks like a brute force to hack into your account. There is a function.php file where you can disable these prompts and improve security.
3. Be careful with Plugins
Plugins are an integral part of WordPress websites. With WordPress itself containing thousands in its repository, there are other websites online from where plugins can be downloaded. Before downloading a plugin for your website, it is essential to verify its authenticity. Look for reviews, consider how often the author of the plugin responds to queries. Install a trusted security plugin to maintain the security of the website, look for malware, and monitor it.
4. Set appropriate file permissions
Permissions are key factors in deciding who has access to what on your website. These access rights vary from ‘Read access’ to ‘Write access’ and up to execute access. Setting these access specifications correctly for different files and folders is critical to maintaining the security of the website. These permissions are specified using a 3 numbered value. Ideally, the file permissions for folders should be 755, and files must be 644. Permission 777 should never be used as it provides full access to your file/folder to everyone.
5. Disable your website from appearing in directory browsing
By default, if your websites’ web server is unable to find a file named index.php or index.html file, a page displaying the contents of the directory is shown, which reveals critical information related to the plugins your website uses, posing as a security issue. To check if directory browsing for your website is enabled, create a new folder and a text file inside that folder. Now open your directory over a web browser. In case a link to your text is displayed, directory browsing is enabled. To prevent this from happening to go to your .htaccess file and add “Options All -Indexes” to it and ensure that the wp-content/themes and wp-content/plugins folders both contain a blank index.php file in them.
6. SSL certificate is the way to go
The importance of SSL certificates is not new. It is one of the best methods to secure your website, and with Cheap wildcard SSL options available in the market, it has become more affordable. SSL ensures that the data is secure from hackers while it is on the move. The data is encrypted before any transfer of data takes place between the server and the browser and prevents data breaches. Credentials of the users may be extremely critical, like passwords, transactional data, and making sure they are sure is of utmost priority. Hence SSL certificate is one of the methods that must be used to improve security
7. Restrict Login Attempts
By default, WordPress allows an unlimited number of login attempts for the user. This increases the chances of hackers being able to try multiple credentials and may aid them in performing a brute force attack on your account. Hence, it is important to restrict the number of login attempt to a small number like 3-4 so that potential hackers get locked out of the account after those attempts and also, in case you haven’t caused a lockout, you get to know that someone else was trying to access your account.
Cybercrime has increased exponentially over the years, with most of the data being stored in online datastores, which makes it essential to try and be one step ahead of the cybercriminals. So, proceed with some of the above ways to make advance the security of your WordPress website.