20 Ultimate Steps to Secure A WordPress Site

Wordpress Security Tips

The security breaching incidents of WordPress is already on air. Two major security breaches of WordPress have already been reported in recent years. However, WordPress could become as secure as other CMSs, namely Drupal or Magento, and the responsibility mainly goes to the website owner and WP maintenance service providers. WordPress has provided a Security whitepaper too. However, nobody can ensure your WordPress site security if you fail to take your responsibilities. So here is a list of steps we can follow for our WordPress site security.

  1. Activate two-factor authentication for WordPress

Activation of two-factor authentication is one of the best ways to minimize brute force attacks. In the two-step or two-factor authentication mode, apart from the password, your WordPress will also ask for an OTP (one-time-password), which will send to a specific phone number. 

  1. Run scheduled malware scans

Scheduled malware scans help you to stay ahead of malware infections. You can use different plugins to run scheduled malware scans. But, stay alert while downloading plugins; the unauthorized source of plugins can cause security issues.

  1. Activate WordPress Brute Force Protection

Activating brute force protection is another way to protect the website from potential brute force attacks. We suggest you use a protection service covering local and network brute force.

  1. Update WordPress regularly

WordPress releases regular updates that often include security patch-ups. So, try not to miss the updates. Regularly updating WordPress can solve various security issues automatically. 

  1. User Permission and

A stolen password is one of the most common ways to hack WordPress. You must select strong passwords for the database, FTP accounts, professional email addresses, and WordPress hosting accounts. You can use a password manager to manage strong WordPress passwords.

  1. The role played by Web Hosting.

The web hosting service plays a crucial role in the security maintenance of WordPress. A good shared hosting provider takes extra care of the service users, while a poor shared hosting provider takes the users’ security issues reluctantly. So, select a hosting service wisely.

  1. Use a WordPress Backup Solution

It does not matter how protective you are; your website still has a chance of being hacked. So, it is wise to keep a backup. You can use many paid and free WordPress backup plugins to keep your backup. In addition, you can use cloud services (remote locations) like Dropbox and Amazon to save full-site backups regularly.

  1. Use of WordPress Security Plugins

The use of WordPress security plugins is widespread but a helpful step. With good WordPress security plugins, you can easily avoid significant security threats and malware. The Sucuri scanner (WordPress plugin) has also gained popularity.

  1. Activation of Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Enabling a Web Application Firewall (WAF) is advantageous. The activated WAF blocks malicious and suspicious traffic before they reach the website. In this case, we also ask you to select the best quality security providers like Sucuri.

  1. Change the default Username.

To maintain security, it is clever to change the default username “admin.” WordPress will let you change the username by default. So, you can directly change the username or use a special plugin to do so. However, since admin is a default username, not changing the username makes it easier for brute-force attacks.

  1. Disable file editing

WordPress has a built-in code editor that helps users edit plugins and themes directly from the admin area. If your site is compromised, then this feature could prove as fatal. We recommend you add the following code in the wp-config.php file to disable file editing-

// Disallow file edit
define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );
  1. Disable PHP File extension

Disabling PHP extension is also advantageous. To do so, paste the following code in a notepad and save it as .htaccess. Then upload it to /wp-content/uploads/ folders. 

<Files *.php>

deny from all

  1. Put Limit on Login Attempts

WordPress offers unlimited turns to try to log in, which makes it vulnerable to the Brute Force attacks. Using WAFcan solve this issue automatically. But, if you are not using WAF, you can use plugins like Login LockDown and others.

  1. Change WordPress Database Prefix

The WordPress users, by default, carry the “wp_” WordPress database prefix. Unfortunately, using this default prefix almost reveals your table name to the hackers. Therefore, we strongly suggest you change WordPress Database Prefix.

  1. Disable Directory Indexing and Browsing

Hackers can use directory browsing to identify any files the admin keeps that have known vulnerabilities. Then, hackers could use this file with vulnerabilities to access the website. To disable directory indexing, you must add the following texts to the .htaccess file.

Options -Indexes
  1. Use Password Protect WP-Admin and Login

The hackers can access the wp-admin folder and login page without any hindrances. However, using password-protected WP-Admin and logging in can block these requests.

  1. Automatically log out Idle Users.

The idle User Logout plugin can use to log out when the site is idle, and the user is not working. With this plugin, you can set an ideal time, after which the site is automatically closed.

  1. Disable XML-RPC in WordPress

The XML-RPC is a popular plugin connecting WordPress sites with the web and mobile apps. On the other hand, XML-RPC can also cause brute-force attacks. While XML-RPC is active, the hackers can use hundreds of passwords by using the system.multi-call function. Therefore, we strongly recommend disabling this feature.

  1. Fixing a Hacked WordPress Site

When or if your website is hacked, hackers set (instead of install!) a backdoor. Another hacking incident is possible if the maintenance provider fails to fix this backdoor. So, while fixing your WordPress website, be careful.

  1. Add Security Questions to WordPress Login

This simple but effective method makes it harder for hackers to hack your website. You can set a security question with the help of the WP Security Questions plugin. It would help if you did not ask any question which has an obvious answer, and the hacker can easily find it. Instead, offer personal and odd questions to perplex the hacker.

Thought Summary

If you have a WordPress website, you must consider its security issues sincerely. Many features of WordPress make it vulnerable to hackers. However, by taking several precautions and using appropriate plugins, the vulnerabilities could be reduced. Try the suggestions we listed for you. If you like our tips, stay tuned for further updates!

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