Top 12 ways to secure your WordPress site

Safalta Expert Published by: Aryan Rana Updated Tue, 22 Nov 2022 12:25 AM IST

Highlights

Any website can be attacked by bots and other nefarious individuals. A server can become overloaded during a distributed denial of service (DDoS) assault, crashing and rendering the website unreachable.

Table of Content
Why WordPress security matters
Add a firewall at the CDN level
Alter the URL of your login page frequently
Your login page should include a JavaScript challenge

Fewer attempts at login
Enable two-factor authentication and secure all passwords
Get rid of XML-RPC.php
Delete the plugin and WP versions
Turn off comments
Fewer plugins
Set up automatic plugin updates
On the server, look for open ports
Be sure SSL is configured correctly

You are aware of how crucial it is to maintain your WordPress site secure as a marketer, SEO specialist, or web developer.

These suggestions can assist you in preventing hackers from accessing your site, from using secure passwords and updating plugins to setting up a security plugin and tracking traffic.

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Why WordPress security matters

WordPress is a popular target for hackers due to its vast user base.

According to Sucuri, the three most common types of assaults against WordPress are malware, backdoors, and SEO spam.

The way that hackers use WordPress websites to steal traffic for their own nefarious purposes is what's most important to SEO. The typical tactic is to inject spam links into your website or divert traffic to a rogue website.

This not only helps the attacker, but it also has the ability to hurt your website's reputation and user base.


Add a firewall at the CDN level

Any website can be attacked by bots and other nefarious individuals. A server can become overloaded during a distributed denial of service (DDoS) assault, crashing and rendering the website unreachable.

By detecting and removing suspect traffic before it reaches the server, a CDN-level firewall adds an additional degree of security. This can assist in defending your website against DDoS and other bot assaults.

A CDN-level firewall can also boost your website's performance by caching static material and delivering it to users more rapidly. As a result, enhancing your website's performance and security by implementing a CDN-level firewall is a good idea.


Alter the URL of your login page frequently

It may seem like a minor security precaution to routinely change your login URL, but doing so can actually discourage hackers from gaining quick access to your website.

You may make it more challenging for hackers to guess or brute force their way into your website by frequently altering your login URL.

Although there are methods for changing the URL manually, the majority of hosting companies advise doing it with plugins.


Your login page should include a JavaScript challenge

You can prevent bots from accessing your website by incorporating a JavaScript (JS) challenge into your login page.

It functions as a security check to ensure that the request is coming from a browser that can execute JavaScript when it is enabled on the page.

Although the user is not required to participate, the challenge adds a little delay (less than five seconds) as the browser processes the JavaScript.


Fewer attempts at login

Limiting the number of permitted login attempts is essential to preventing hackers from employing brute force techniques to access accounts.

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By doing this, even if hackers know your username, it will be more difficult for them to guess your password and they won't be able to log into your account.

Limiting login attempts also helps to prevent account lockouts in the event that someone else tries to guess your password.


Enable two-factor authentication and secure all passwords

Increasing the complexity of your passwords and turning on two-factor authentication are two additional ways to make your WordPress site more secure.

Since passwords are frequently the first line of defence against hackers, it's critical to pick ones that are challenging to decipher. A strong password should include at least eight characters and be a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use words like "password" or your birthdate that are easily guessed.

By requiring a second form of identities, such as a code given to your mobile phone, email address, or authenticator app before you can log in, two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of protection. Even if hackers know your password, it will now be considerably more difficult for them to access your website.


Get rid of XML-RPC.php

Simply deleting the XML-RPC.php file is a quick and easy way to safeguard your WordPress website. The ability to remotely access your WordPress website thanks to this file gives hackers the chance to insert harmful code or completely take over your website.

Even if your login page is protected, attackers can still access it using this file because they can use brute-force login attempts there.

Thankfully, deleting the XML-RPC file is a rather simple procedure. Simply use an FTP connection to your website to remove the file from your server. To stop any future access to the file after you've done this, make sure to update your.htaccess file.


Delete the plugin and WP versions

Hackers continuously develop new techniques to use weaknesses to access websites. Examining your WordPress and plugin versions is part of it.

The version you are using can have known security flaws that are simple to exploit if it is outdated. You must update both your WordPress installation and all of your plugins because of this.

Nevertheless, there are zero-day vulnerabilities, and letting hackers know what plugin or WordPress core version you're using can help them break into your website.


Turn off comments

One of a website's most vulnerable areas is the comments section. Since this section is frequently left unmoderated, it is simple for hackers to sneak dangerous code into comments that otherwise appear innocent.

As a result, website administrators must exercise extreme caution when filtering the comment section and making sure that only appropriate content is permitted.


Fewer plugins

In fact, having too many plugins, or worse, duplicate and underused plugins, might compromise a WordPress site's security. This is because every plugin poses a possible entry point for hackers.

The number of plugins on a WordPress site can be decreased by the owner to assist lower security threats. Lowering the volume of requests the server must handle, can also help to enhance site speed.


Set up automatic plugin updates

A simple approach to guarantee that all installed plugins and themes are current is to use WordPress' inbuilt auto-update capability.

This is particularly crucial for plugins and themes that deal with private information like credit card numbers or personal records. Auto-updates not only provide security benefits but also make sure that all installed software is compatible with the most recent version of WordPress, increasing the reliability of your website.


On the server, look for open ports

Open ports on a web server may have some benefits, but they also provide security holes that could be used by hackers.

Run a Nmap scan to check for any vulnerable ports on your server. Work with your web hosting company to block or filter any open ports you find.

Working with a reputable WP-managed hosting company that locks down its ports might be a safer choice.


Be sure SSL is configured correctly

The security of websites depends in large part on SSL certificates. They protect data transmission between a website and its users by encrypting it, making it more difficult for hackers to access it.

However, if improperly set, SSL certificates might be security flaws in and of themselves. Hackers may take advantage of SSL certificates that are out-of-date or that lack security patches to access sensitive data. Regular SSL certificate renewal keeps them current and reduces their vulnerability.

Additionally, potential vulnerabilities can be avoided by properly configuring SSL certificates in the first place. For instance, using only powerful cypher suites can make it more challenging for hackers to break the encryption.

How many WordPress websites are actually hacked?

SiteCheck, a well-known website security scanner, found that 4.3% of WordPress websites it assessed in 2021 had been compromised (infected). In relation to every 25 websites, that is.

Can someone hack my WordPress?

Finding out that their website has been compromised is every website owner's worst nightmare. Despite the fact that WordPress is a secure platform, all websites are susceptible to attacks, particularly if they haven't taken the essential precautions to safeguard and protect their site from hackers.

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