The last thing you want to find out when you wake up is that your WordPress site has been hacked. You are always afraid that your site may have vulnerabilities that hackers may use to bring down your blog or website. Well, there are a lot of security checks you can put in place to enhance the security of your WordPress website. So, we are sharing some tips, techniques and strategies with you that you need to try to increase your WordPress security and keep your website safe.
Use SSL Certificate for Encrypted connections
In the earlier days of SSL certificates, it was perceived that HTTPS is needed only for securing websites during certain transactions, like payment processing. However, nowadays, all kinds of websites install an SSL certificate for many reasons. One of the main motivations for this has come from Google giving more weight in SERPs ranking to sites who install an SSL certificate to secure their traffic.
SSL becomes mandatory for any website that processes sensitive information like credit card details, passwords and social security numbers. In the absence of an SSL certificate, data transmission between the web browser and web server happens in plain text. This makes it prone to eavesdropping by hackers. Making use of SSL certificates ensures that the sensitive data is encrypted while it is being transmitted between the WordPress site and web browser, which makes it difficult for hackers to intercept the information thus making your WordPress website more secure.
Choose a secure web hosting company
You may be tempted to work with cheap web hosting platforms to save money on web hosting, so you can use the money elsewhere. Do not be tempted into taking this route. It potentially can, and often does lead to nightmares down the road. You can end up with your URL being redirected to some other site or all your data could be erased. The most important thing that you need to do to keep your WordPress site safe is to pick a hosting provider who can ensure the security of your website by providing multiple layers of security.
Make use of a WordPress Security plugin
It takes time to keep checking your website regularly for malware. Not only that, you may not even recognize malware hidden in a piece of code unless you have been regularly updating your knowledge of software coding. Well, there are people out there who have realized this problem and have written WordPress security problems to assist you. Security plugins monitor your WordPress site around the clock and keep an eye on any security anomalies. A security plugin can help you with things like monitoring file integrity, auditing security activity, scanning remote malware, blacklist monitoring, security hardening, security notifications, actions to be taken in a post-hack scenario and even a website firewall.
Use strong passwords
Passwords make up for one of the most important aspects of securing your website and often get overlooked. If you are in the habit of using plain, easy to remember passwords like 12345678, abcd1234, password123, you need to drop everything you are doing and go change your password to something harder to guess. It is easy for hackers to crack your simple password and get access to your website without much trouble.
It is critical that you enforce strong passwords on your website. It is best to use an auto-generated password for your admin account, something which is a mix of numbers, special characters and nonsensical combinations of letters.
Disable the file editing features
You may find it handy to use the code editing features from your WordPress dashboard to edit your plugins and themes easily. You can access these features by going to Appearanceà Editor and PluginsàEditor.
We recommend that you disable the file editing features once your WordPress site is live. Not doing so will allow any hackers who gain access to your admin panel to inject clever, malicious code to your plugins and themes. Most times, these code changes are so subtle that you do not notice anything wrong till it is too late.
You can disable editing of the theme and plugins file by adding the following code to your
define (‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);
Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files
While this may seem a bit too geeky for improving the security of your WordPress site, you may want to take this route if you are serious about it. It is a well-documented best practice to hide your website’s wp-config.php and .htaccess files so the hackers cannot get to them.
You need to be extremely careful while making these changes as any mistake may make your website inaccessible. It is recommended that you take a backup of your website before proceeding and get experienced developers to make this change carefully.
There are two things to be done:
First, add the following code to your wp-config.php file:
deny from all
Similarly, add this code to your .htaccess file:
deny from all
Keep WordPress site updated
Always keep your WordPress software, plugins and themes updated to keep your site secure. WordPress developers keep plugging the identified exploits and loopholes that hackers use to gain access to your website. Keeping updated means that you have the latest security patches installed.
Keeping your WordPress site secure is one of the most critical aspects of running your website. If you do not take steps to keep your site secure, hackers will find it easy to attack your website. Most times, it is not hard to maintain the security of your site and can be done without incurring any cost.