Being a power-packed Content Management System, WordPress offers all the functionalities that a website owner requires; it has 2,600+ themes, 51,000+ plugins, and is catering to the unique and customized needs of more than 75 million website owners. Despite the huge popularity and support, WordPress still has a few vulnerabilities when it comes to protecting the website from hackers and other brute forces in the dangerous online world.
The unlimited attempts for wrong login, open directory browsing, and malicious redirects are some of the weaknesses that nag the WordPress website owners. However, holding WordPress responsible for the hacking of your site will not bring any positive change. As a website owner, you need to take the front seat and become proactive towards the security of your site. It’s your responsibility to make your site secure from the brute forces, hackers, and any such security threat.
That said; let’s focus our attention on the five easy security practices to secure your WordPress website in the online ecosystem that is always susceptible to security attacks and threats.
- Avoid Using The Default ‘Admin’ Username
One mistake that a majority of WordPress users make is to use ‘Admin’ as a username while setting their WordPress site. This can cause a security threat to your site as ‘Admin’ or other common names like ‘Administrator’ are most commonly used by the bots or hackers to crash into your website. Avoid the use of ‘Admin’ as the username for administrator account while installing WordPress. This username can be easily guessed and all that the hackers would require is your password and your site will be breached.
Secure It Right
Change the username from the default ‘Admin’ to a custom made name by tweaking your database. You can input SQL query in phpMyAdmin to make the necessary changes in the username. By changing the user_login field in the phpMyAdmin of the cPanel, you can easily add a custom username.
- Limit The Number Of Login Attempts
WordPress has a default setup of allowing any number of login attempts. This may be beneficial for the users but it also makes the WordPress site vulnerable to hackers’ brute login attempts. This feature of WordPress gives the hackers an opportunity to make several attempts for guessing your username and password combination. Ensure that your site gets locked whenever someone tries to make continuous brute force attempts with repetitive wrong passwords.
Secure It Right
You can either set up a firewall to protect your WordPress site from repetitive brute login attempts or use security plugins to restrict the login attempts. iThemes Security, WP Limit Login Attempts, and Login Lockdown are three of the most effective plugins to limit the number of login attempts to secure your site.
- Opt For Two-Factor Authentication
Securing a WordPress site with the most complex password would no longer suffice when it comes to its security. Hackers have started trying brute force to penetrate the site with an endless number of username and password combinations. You can safeguard your site from such brute attempts by taking your security to the next level with Two-Factor Authentication. An authorization code would be required in addition to the login credentials in this TFA. This restricts the hacker’s entry into the website even if they discover your username and password as it is impossible for them to get their hands on the authorization code sent to your mobile phone.
Secure It Right
Like Bank accounts, Facebook, and Google you can also use this Two-Factor Authorization in your WordPress site to secure it from any type of security threat. Plugins like Google Authenticator, Duo Two-Factor Authentication, and Clef can be used to add this security functionality to your WordPress site.
- Automate The Updates
Regularly updating the WordPress core as well as its themes and plugins to the latest version is one of the key security steps for your website. While many minor updates take place regularly on WordPress, the major updates still require your approval. For those who don’t log into their WordPress site regularly or do not keep a track of the site maintenance, automating the updates can be a great way to ease out the process of securing the site from hackers.
Secure It Right
By adding some specific codes into your wp-config.php file, you can automate even the major core updates on your WordPress site. These automatic updates will not only add security patches but also secure it from being susceptible to security threats because of older versions and bugs.
- Disable Directory Browsing & Indexing
Directory browsing and indexing are enabled on your WordPress website by default. This enables the hackers to get information about any vulnerable files or structure. These files can then be used by the hacker to get access to your site and all its data. They can not only get a peek into your data files but also copy images and know the directory structure if they get access. By disabling the directory browsing or indexing, you can prevent any hacker from accessing your site by getting knowledge of your vulnerable files.
Secure It Right
Locate the .htaccess file in your website’s root directory by connecting with cPanel or FTP file manager. Add the line ‘Options –Indexes’ at the end of the .htaccess file. Save the file and upload it again and directory indexing or browsing would be disabled on your website.
WordPress security is no more just about installing a security plugin after taking the WordPress web development services; there’s a lot that goes behind securing a WordPress site. These were five of the easy ways that would help you secure your WordPress site from any unauthorized access. Keep them in mind and follow them on your site to ensure 100% security from any hacker.
Anurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in WeblinkIndia.net an acclaimed Web Designing & Development Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development.