Technology

9 Ways to Easily Secure Your WordPress Website in 2021

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Written by Quentin Hack

WordPress is one of the fastest-growing content management systems, and it offers plenty of customization options through plugins and coding.

However, with its popularity, there also comes an element of risk. WordPress becomes a common target for hackers, malware, cyberattacks, or anyone wanting to exploit your site. If you don’t take any safety precautions, you could be the victim of their next attack.

Luckily, there are various ways to secure your WordPress website quickly. One of the methods is to work with an excellent hosting company. You can check out Hostinger.in as an example of an excellent hosting company with a great reputation.

Now let’s get to the nine simple ways.

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  1. Use Two-Factor Authentication

This is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent unauthorized logins as well as brute-force attacks. The way it works is that you provide two different components as your login details. This can be your regular password followed by a generated code or a secret question.

So even if someone manages to get access to your login credentials, like a password, they’ll still need to enter an additional code or answer before gaining access to your site’s admin area.

Here are some great plugins which you can add to your site:

  • Google Authenticator – sends a secret code to your phone, which changes after a certain period.
  • Two Factor – Enables multiple options for two-factor authentication. It can be through email codes, time-based one-time passwords, or backup codes.
  1. Change Your Password Often

Another form of primary and straightforward security measure is by regularly changing your password. To help you come up with different passwords, here are some tips:

  • Use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters in your password.
  • Try to have it longer than ten characters.
  • Don’t reuse your old passwords.
  • When in doubt, use a password generator, then secure and save it with a password manager. This way, you don’t need to remember all passwords for your different sites and accounts but only one master password.

  1. Work With a Well Known Hosting Company

You need a hosting company to publish your site online, and they don’t just host your website, but they are also responsible for your site’s performance and security. So you should choose a hosting company that has an excellent reputation and is reliable, especially when it comes to safety.

The most basic security measure that every hosting provider should have is an SSL certificate, which provides a string of codes on your webserver to secure your online communication.

Here are some other security features that you should look out for when choosing a hosting provider:

  • Antivirus and malware scanning, as well as removal.
  • Automatic and frequent backups of your data.
  • Advanced firewall protection.
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection.
  1. Renaming the URL

By default, your login URL that is used to get into your dashboard will be either wp-login.php or wp-admin, which is added after your site’s main URL. Those two are the most accessed URLs by hackers to try to get into your site. There are even automated brute force attacks to attack those admin URL pages.

A way to avoid those attacks is by changing the URL. There is a plugin called iThemes security that helps change your site’s login URL and has plenty of more security features. You can also use the WPS Hide Login, which lets you rename the URL to whatever you want.

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  1. Adjust Your File Editing Options

When setting up your website, a code editor in your dashboard gives you access to edit your themes and plugins. The code editor can be accessed through Appearance > Editor or Plugins > Editor.

Once your website is up and running, it’s best if you disable the edit feature. This is because if hackers manage to get to your dashboard, they can place malicious code on your theme and plugin.

Luckily, it is effortless to disable the ability to edit themes and plugin files. You just need to input this code define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true); into your wp-config.php.

  1. Incorporating WordPress Backup Plugins

No matter how secure your website is, it can never be 100% safe. Thus you need to have backups in case the worst-case scenario happens.

Nowadays, most hosting providers already provide backups included in your hosting plan. But should the web host you are using don’t have any backup options, WordPress has a few plugins that help with the backup process. They’ll allow you to collect your backups via file transfer protocol or external storage like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Here are some of the backup plugins for WordPress:

  • Duplicator – gives you the ability to copy, move, or clone a site from a location to another while also serving as a backup tool.
  • BackUpBuddy – Backs up your entire WordPress installation so you can rerun your WordPress website.
  1. Use a WAF (Web Application Firewall)

WordPress firewall identifies possible malware by using a list of previously known attacks, known as signatures. When there is an HTTP request that matches the signatures, then it is deemed as malicious. It acts as a shield between your website and incoming traffic.

In case you don’t have any firewall protection from your hosting provider, there are plenty of plugins available that are very affordable. Those plugins also usually have malware scanners built-in. Some of the plugins are:

  • Sucuri – Offers a DNS level firewall, brute force prevention, and malware removal.
  • StackPath – Adds level three and four DDoS protection on all of their plans.
  1. Encrypt Data with SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

An SSL certificate ensures that your data is transferred securely to your user’s browsers from your server, making it difficult for hackers to breach.

SSL also helps your website rank higher since Google ranks sites with SSL certificates higher than those without one.

If your hosting provider doesn’t provide an SSL certificate, you can get one for your WordPress website with ease. There are third-party companies that sell SSL certificates like Comodo SSL or DigiCert.

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  1. Keep Track of Audit Logs

If you have multiple websites or have a site with multiple authors, you should understand what activities are going on. You should monitor everyone on your site. Are they doing what they are supposed to, or are they changing passwords or themes? Do they need hep logging in?

When you check the audit logs, you can ensure that no one tries to change anything without your approval first. There is a WordPress plugin called the WP Security Audit Log, where it gives you a full list of activities and gives you email notifications.

Why Is it Important to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe?

An unprotected WordPress site will be prone to:

  1. Hackers stealing your personal information and passwords.
  2. Malware can be inserted into your unsafe site that will damage your website and spread to your users.
  3. Receiving thousands of spam emails.
  4. A drop in SERP ranking due to being unsafe for users to visit.

Conclusion

You should always secure your WordPress site. It’s straightforward to do, and reduce the chances of your site being compromised. Follow these nine easy steps, and you should be confident when running your site.

About the author

Quentin Hack