If you’re a website owner, you know how important it is to keep your website secure. A hacked website can be a nightmare, causing you to lose valuable data, money, and credibility. WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems, powering over 40% of all websites on the internet. But with that popularity comes the risk of being targeted by hackers.
In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on keeping your WordPress website secure. We’ll cover everything from keeping plugins up to date to removing unused themes and plugins. Whether you are a seasoned WordPress user or starting, these tips will help safeguard your website against potential threats.
So get ready to learn how to protect your website from cyber threats!
Keep Plugins up to Date
One of the most important steps you can take to keep your WordPress site secure is to ensure that all of your plugins are up to date. Because they might have security flaws that malicious actors can exploit, outdated plugins can be a security risk. Hackers and other malicious parties are adept at exploiting weak spots in software, apps, and plugins.
Updates are the only way to stay one step ahead of hackers and reduce security risks. Updates don’t just contain patches and fixes for security vulnerabilities. They often come with added features and functionality, which could be great for your website. Regularly check for updates and install them as soon as possible to keep your website secure.
Install WordPress and Scan, Resolving Any Issues
It is essential to regularly scan your site for security issues and resolve any identified problems. Tools such as Wordfence and Sucuri can help you identify and fix potential security issues, so using one of these plugins to scan your site regularly is a good idea. Wordfence is a comprehensive security plugin that scans anything WordPress-related on your website, including source code and image files.
If you enable the option, it’ll also scan non-WordPress related files. Their Threat Defense Feed is constantly updated, and scanners use it to identify suspicious software. Sucuri is a well known name in website security and compiles regular and comprehensive vulnerability reports. SiteCheck will scan all websites for errors. You’ll also know your blacklist status with services like Google, AVG antivirus, McAfee, and Norton.
Check the PHP Version and Update in cPanel
The PHP version your site is running on can also impact its security. The latest version of PHP is more secure and will help protect your site from potential security threats. If you have a WordPress website, you might have encountered a situation where WordPress applications, plugins, or themes may need a specific PHP version to function properly.
Moreover, each new version of PHP includes the most recent security patches, which are essential for enhancing the security of your website. Therefore, it is advised that you update the PHP version on your server. You can easily update the PHP version in cPanel.
Backup – On the Cloud (Using Updraftplus)
Backing up your site is another step in keeping it secure. If anything goes wrong, having a backup will allow you to restore your site to its previous state quickly. We recommend using a cloud-based backup solution, such as UpdraftPlus, to keep your backups safe and secure.
UpdraftPlus is the most highly rated and popular plugin—and for a good reason. Not only is it comprehensive in terms of its features, but it’s also easy and intuitive. And its vast user base means it’s been tried and tested in a range of different scenarios. Unlike many other plugins, UpdraftPlus can restore and back up to more cloud options than any others. It also allows you to set up automatic backup schedules for ultimate convenience.
Check for Theme Updates
Like plugins, it’s essential to keep your theme updated. Outdated themes can also pose a security risk, so checking for updates and installing them as soon as they become available is essential. You can streamline the software upgrade process by enabling the auto-update feature.
When you do this, your themes will immediately update when new versions are released. Since there are some downsides to enabling auto-updates, you can upgrade your themes manually. You can avoid initial bugs that might crash your website by waiting a short time before installing new versions.
WordPress will notify you if your themes need to be updated. Making updates and keeping your themes well-maintained is the best way to get the most out of these powerful WordPress components and ensure your WordPress site stays secure and continues to operate smoothly.
Rename Table Prefix
By default, WordPress uses the prefix “wp_” for its database tables. However, this can make it easier for malicious actors to target your site. For security reasons, it is suggested that you create a custom table prefix. Using the default table prefix makes your website more vulnerable to hacker attacks. The common attack that utilises the default table prefix is SQL injection.
To improve your site’s security, consider renaming the table prefix to something more unique. In the WordPress system, wp-config.php is the main configuration file. This file determines what database name, username, address, and so on are used by your website. and change it with the prefix you want. Make sure to use a more secure prefix.
The combination of uppercase, lowercase, and numbers would be great. Example: wp_A1b2C3d4. The prefix cannot contain special characters (such as “#,” “$,” and “&”). You can only use letters, numbers, and underscores.
Don’t Use ‘Admin’ as the Username
Using the username “admin” is a common practise, but it can also make it easier for malicious actors to target your site. To improve security, consider using a different username for the administrator account. Regarding security on a WordPress website and choosing usernames for admin accounts, a few things can go wrong if you use admin as your username.
The first reason why having the admin username is bad for security purposes has to do with brute force attacks. Hackers use brute-force attacks to access passwords or sensitive user data on any website by attempting various combinations.
These hackers frequently have high success rates because the attackers have everything they need to gain access to the site right from the start. Many people choose admin as their password due to its simple structure (admin).
Rename the Default WordPress Path
The default WordPress path can make it easier for malicious actors to target your site. To improve security, consider renaming the default path to something more unique. You should manually change these paths and file names to fix this vulnerability. Change the default URL path for the admin page. Anyone can easily reach the admin login page and use bots to activate the brute force attack.
But if your admin URL is unique, only the person with the exact URL can access your login page. Change the default database table name; by default, the table name in your WordPress database has a wp-prefix. All your login credentials, user searches, transaction details, audit logs, and other important data types are stored in these tables. That’s why it’s common for hackers to target these types of databases.
Attackers use bots to search for and break into your WordPress database and change the location of your wp_config.php file. Your wp-config.ph file stores information about your website’s important settings, configurations, WordPress authentication keys, and databases.
The wp-config.php file is, by default, stored in the root directory and can be accessible to hackers. Move the wp-config.php file to any folder above the root directory that’s not a subdirectory of your public_html or WWW folder.
Remove Unused Themes and Plugin
Removing unused themes and plugins from your site is important. Not only do they take up valuable disk space, but they can also pose a security risk if they are not kept up to date. Security is the number one reason you should remove old themes and plugins.
From a security point of view, a malicious individual might discover an exploit that leverages those unused themes and plugins. In addition to the security aspect, removing the unused plugins and themes helps in several other subsidiary areas: reducing complexity and confusion when other people work on your WordPress website, reducing the size of your backups, maintaining a clean website database and file system, and maybe even a nominal performance improvement.
Install an SSL certificate
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a global standard security technology. This enables encrypted communication between a web browser and a web server. When you want to protect your users while simultaneously improving the search ranking of your pages, installing a WordPress SSL certificate is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways.
Installation of the WordPress SSL certificate is relatively simple. There needs to be more coding or change involved on your side. In a very short time, you can offer secure pages to your visitors while improving your online authority. While you could manually make changes for redirects, it’s much simpler if you utilise the right plugin.
Install a recaptcha on your contact form
Finally, having a contact form is one of the most important pages a web site can have. It enables you to receive communication from your audience or customers without having to provide a specific email address. While simple to implement and low-tech, publishing an email address on your site makes it easy for the email address to be harvested by site scraping tools used by spammers.
A web based contact form solves this, but it too can be exploited by automated bots or malicious visitors unless you implement an interactive mechanism like reCAPTCHA to validate form submissions. Installing reCAPTCHA on your forms means you can block automated software from infiltrating your site while allowing human users acc
Stay Secure with These WordPress Security Measures
Securing your WordPress website is essential for protecting your data, reputation, and online presence. Following the tips we’ve shared can significantly reduce the risk of your website being hacked or compromised. Keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugins up-to-date and implement security measures.
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