Most people don’t consider website security an interesting subject. But, if you run a WordPress (WP) site, you need to be concerned. Since WordPress is so popular, hackers all over the world spend their time trying to find new loopholes and security flaws in it. Your site needs to be protected from both old and new (Zeroday) exploits. Here is how you can enhance the security for your WordPress website.
- Don’t use the default “admin” username.
Currently, installing WP in any server is so easy that people neglect this fundamental step during the installation process. Whether you use the default WP installer or the one-click installer available in your server control panel, ensure you change the default admin username to your preferred username. Doing this is vital for WordPress security since hackers use brute force attack tools that use a random username and password combination hoping for a successful login. If your admin username is “admin,” then your site is at risk and cracking your password won’t take very long.
- Use strong passwords.
The security of passwords is basic knowledge for every computer user. But, not everyone does it when they need to. To be assured of reasonable security for your WordPress website, ensure your passwords are made up of:
- Upper-case letters such as “JKLM”
- Lower-case letters such as “jklm”
- Alphanumeric characters such as “!@#$”
- At least nine characters
Using these rules will ensure that a hacker who tries to decrypt your password has a hard time.
- Keep WP themes, core, and plugins updated.
Updates are a common problem for most website owners. Some people update the WP but they fail to update the plugins and themes for fear that they may break down their operational site. On the other hand, other people update the WP core and plugins but fail to update the themes for the same reason. It is true that updating your WP core, plugins and themes may break your website occasionally, but this only happens in 0.001 percent of the cases that use badly coded plugins and themes. This malfunctioning may occur because the plugin you are using, or the developer of the theme, stopped supporting or updating its code. Thus, when WP deprecates any functions, the plugins or themes still try to access it, causing multiple PHP errors in the process.
It is recommended to use backup utilities such as BackupBuddy or UpdraftPlus Premium to create a backup of the entire website before updating it. If it causes a malfunction, you can revert to the previous working version of your site. You can then hire a developer to check for the reasons of the breakdown, or you can do it yourself if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and can do some coding. By all means, keep your website updated to the latest version of WP, plugins, and themes because developers always release patches to fix new vulnerabilities.
- Only install trusted plugins and themes.
Never install stuff to your website from spoofy marketing websites or marketing videos. The reason is, though they may be free, there is a high probability that these items contain malicious code that can compromise WordPress security . If you are installing themes and plugins, do so through your WP plugin repository or WP plugin installer. You can buy or download plugins and themes from trusted sites such as Codecanyon, Themeforest, etc.
- Use proper permissions on folders and files.
If you have cPanel access, log into your file manager and ensure the permissions of all files in your site are set to 644, and permissions for folders are set to 755, except only if a particular plugin requests you to give it special permissions to certain folders. For instance, some cache plugins require users to set the permissions of the folder named /wp-contents/cache/ to 777. But the rest of the files should follow the above rule.
Security for your WordPress website is paramount. You need to put these ideas into practice to ensure that your WP site remains protected from most of the hacker attacks that are carried out by cyber-criminals.