Top Tips For WordPress Security

Gary Green
Gary Green
August 6, 2023

Locking down your website in order to keep it safe from hackers couldn’t be more important, especially in these times where more companies and websites than ever before are falling prey to cybercriminals. With this in mind, here are a few top tips to improve your WordPress security.

Choose A Secure WordPress Hosting 

Locking your site down is important, but there’s more to security than simply that. You should also make sure that your site is secure at the web server level. Choosing a trusted hosting service is, therefore, crucial. 

It takes many layers of software and hardware level security to make sure that the infrastructure that hosts WordPress websites can defend against today’s virtual and physical threats. That means you need to do your research well and only choose a hosting that is up to date and that uses the most recent operating systems and software that have been thoroughly scanned and tested for malware and vulnerabilities. 

There should also be an intrusion detection system and server level firewall in place so your site will be optimally protected, even when you’re constructing and installing your WordPress site. Of course, it also goes without saying that the server must also use file transfer and secure networking encryption protocols. 

Use The Most Up To Date PHP Version

Your WordPress website has PHP at its heart, so you need to be sure you’re using the most up to date version. All major PHP releases have full support in most cases for 2 years following their release. In that time, security issues and bugs are patched and fixed regularly.

Use A Clever Password And Username

Choosing an inventive username and password is one of the simplest and best ways of improving your security. Unbelievably, there are still many people out there who are choosing ridiculously easy passwords to guess such as “123456” or “password”.  You also need to be sure you’re using different passwords on every website, storing them in a local encrypted database. 

Whatever you do, when it comes to installing WordPress, never opt for the default username “admin”. Make your own unique username and delete “admin” as a user. 

Make Sure To Use The Most Recent Version Of WordPress, Themes, And Plugins 

Always ensuring your WordPress site is fully up to date is a key way to improve its security. That doesn’t just mean the WordPress core itself, it also includes the themes and plugins (both premium and WordPress repository ones). These are regularly updated and often include bug fixes and security enhancements. 

It’s surprising how many users fail to update their WordPress plugins and software on a regular basis. Websites can easily break due to bugs in older versions of WordPress, so you should always make sure to stay up to date with those updates, especially as they often include vital security patches as well as the extra functionality that is needed to operate the most up to date plugins. 

Plugin vulnerabilities are responsible for over half of known hacker entry points, so by keeping yours updated, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

It’s also important to be careful about which plugins you’re downloading and installing. You’re safe with any plugin from either the popular or featured categories of WordPress’s own repository, or if you prefer, you can download your chosen plugin directly from its developer website. 

It’s always advisable to avoid using nulled WordPress themes and plugins, though. Modified code could contain anything, and that could lead to your website being hacked. 

Lock Down WordPress Admin

One of the top WordPress security strategies is to make it very difficult for prospective hackers to find backdoors into the site. This is an extremely effective strategy to adopt in most cases. Making it more difficult for a hacker to locate a way in will reduce your chances of getting attacked significantly. 

One way to improve your site’s security is simply to lock down the WordPress admin login and area. You can achieve this by both changing the default admin login URL and by limiting the number of login attempts. 

Two-factor authentication is another key inclusion to boost your website’s security. However secure the password you’ve chosen, there’s always a chance that somebody will discover it. If you add two-factor authentication, the two-step process will make it far harder for anyone with your password to actually get into your site. 

Not only is the password required to login, another method is required too. Usually, this will be a TOTP (time-based one-time password), phone call, or text. This is almost always 100% effective when it comes to preventing attacks since attackers are highly unlikely to have access to both your phone and your password at the same time. 

Using HTTPS For Encryption

Installing an SSL certificate on your WordPress site and running your website over HTTPS is a very simple way of improving your site’s security, and yet it’s frequently overlooked. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (or HTTPS) allows your web application or browser to connect securely with the website in question. 

While many people believe that if your site doesn’t accept payments with credit cards there is no need for an SSL certificate, that is certainly not the case. Users today are more conscious of security online than ever before and actively seek to only use sites that are run over HTTPS, so it makes sense to obtain SSL. 

Boosting WordPress Security

There are lots of ways of improving your WordPress website’s security, and many of them are surprisingly quick and simple to do. Just by choosing a clever password, keeping your plugins and core up to date, choosing a trustworthy WordPress hosting, and using HTTPS, you can ensure your site stays as safe as possible from any attempted attacks. 

With this in mind, it makes sense to invest some time and effort in making your WordPress site as secure as you possibly can, since it can be crucial to the success of your operation. 

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