Importance of WordPress Security

WordPress security

There is no doubt on WordPress that it is the most popular CMS platform because it provides easy to understand options with a huge online community and anyone can easily maintain and create a website in WordPress. In addition, WordPress provides lots of ready to use themes with thousands of plugins that means we can easily build our website using WordPress.

Just because of its features and functionality, it is growing day by day not only in small business but also big brands (FaceBook Newsroom, Sony Music, BBC America, Microsoft News, etc…) has accepted WordPress to develop their websites.

Why WordPress security is Important?

WordPress security

If we look at the Forbes & Sucuri reports, around 30,000 websites are hacked every day but not all of those are WordPress websites but according to reports, it is quite easy to hack websites, which has not implemented security steps.

There are many chances to hack WordPress website easily by hackers because they know the weak parts of our website and how easily they can hack it. However, as we all know that, how security matter for any website and for WordPress it is important that we are aware how we can secure our website.

So maybe it happens that one day we will type URL of our website, hit enter, and it shows “Warning You Have Been Hacked…” if we don’t want this situation in our life then we have to implement strong security.

We all know that if we developed a website and if it is not secure then we compromise with customer’s security. Because there may be some private information about customer’s users like email ids, numbers, passwords, etc…

What can we do?

To avoid hacking we need to follow and implement some simple steps in our WordPress then there are fewer chances to hack it and it will surely not easy to hack it.

Change login URL

The major and common way of hackers to hack website is “Brute force”. In this type of hacking, hackers are trying to go inside of website or blog by using various username and password.

In this case, you can change login URL from site URL/wp-admin to site URL/systemlogin or site URL/adminaccess or whatever we would like to use.

We can also make username and password strong so that no one can easily identify our details.

You can use readymade plugins for that which provides you to change login URL.

Implement two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is a strong way to secure WordPress website. WordPress provides us plugin for that with below functionality:

  1. A strong password (OTP) sent by SMS
  2. Code sent by e-mail
  3. QR code
  4. Push notifications

In short, this will not allow any hacker to login without authenticating code.

Always keep WordPress up to date

WordPress frequently releases an update for its core file so we need to update it on regular basis. Team of WordPress regularly check core files and if they found any issues/glitches in it they immediately jump into it and solve those glitches and release an updated version. Therefore, we have to keep WordPress up to date.

Note: Before updating WordPress, please take a backup of the current stage of the website with Database.

Keep themes and plugins up to date

As a standard practice, this is a good way to secure more WordPress websites by keeping themes and plugins up to date like WordPress. This will stop backdoor activities, which generally prevent in old themes/plugins or if we have not made themes/plugins updated. We can also set automatically update themes and plugins.

In addition, we have to delete unused themes and plugins, which we actually installed it but those are not in use.

Plugin vulnerabilities and brute force attacks are the most common ways to hack WordPress website for hackers.

Implement security keys

It is good if we have added security keys, which will protect passwords and sensitive information. These keys will be used to store information inside wp-config.php file.

We have to add these keys manually in “wp-config.php” file as below:

define(‘AUTH_KEY’,         ‘B[@U>pM$/Kz%_@{x:a=A[e|*1TzbZ+q9tnO.2&z(anq]AMwYRTdz!>/#{K<-Na%x’);

define(‘SECURE_AUTH_KEY’,  ‘* 9gMXW[BuqW0:9#V8g*p*>4,zQ_Me:[viDK.M;Gu;#b>OAc:,Fjko6e;UN^AWa)’);

define(‘LOGGED_IN_KEY’,    ‘L:+>531X=rt%4YajdhGs%vw7?9Bxny}kT>7g}A5}8(G,`g:2jU)p=%U|Q=Nd!b!y’);

define(‘NONCE_KEY’,        ‘,<+|36lH>gsNBoWF<93eEn(m|-9,5e{$sc(]+!|QpJxTGH(( ]Q+ve3DT9m#9Ffk’);

define(‘AUTH_SALT’,        ‘sYE=et?YFdnH|3|`};o@xy$db0oO+.3@^[wZUep6@pYd_6d-KXTKMf|dJA]X=e!-‘);

define(‘SECURE_AUTH_SALT’, ‘ Vn?<Mq5G~TjT=34hc0{y@:kcyMn$q2l6g2mX+|o#(rA}uXE-Y?1%m!{DD6s(Vp-‘);

define(‘LOGGED_IN_SALT’,   ‘>*wJ|5W#cc4&%^NXtUV5+gs*0tcf?Z*R{d#r!|7SKuj|Tr.7RrK5LmX9[sFKn+?x’);

define(‘NONCE_SALT’,       ‘d|O|eubLs:I_05 q;ow5t@D*nN}4-l(!.[Hv6#B0U|Zp_X kXlu{(%4>$Lmj734n’);

We can generate a key from WordPress URL below:

https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/

Always disable theme and plugins editor

The WordPress admin area is a very sensitive area from where user can easily edit themes and plugins file. There is a risk that if we shared credentials to the client and if the client did not know that how to handle WordPress so that will be great that we protect our editor in advance before handover to the client.

To disable theme and plugin editor we only write small code in “wp-config.php” file as below:

define (‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);

Always disable browsing indexing

This is one of the standard ways, which protect your indexing of WordPress indexing. We can simply add one small code in “.htaccess” file in the last line as below:

Options –Indexes

WordPress security

Disable XML-RPC

XML-RPC is one way, which hackers use for trackbacks and pingbacks in blogging client. Hackers can connect remotely to WordPress and this functionality if we disable it then hackers cannot access.

Change WordPress table prefix

To change default WordPress prefix is one of safe side to stop hacking. Because we are basically stopping SQL injections

We can rename it at the time of WordPress installation from “wp_” to something “1^d!kh5264”.

Use trusted hosting providers

The hosting provider will play a major role to secure any website from hacking. So, always go for trusted hosting providers so that we can at least secure hacking from hosting panels.

Install security plugins

WordPress itself provide plugins, which helps us to secure our website by one click, so please install standard security plugin and implement necessary settings like below:

  1. Enable notification on file change
  2. Block those users/hackers who are trying to login in WordPress by using various username and password
  3. Enable away mode (this will logout automatic if we will not do any activity on screen for a few minutes)
  4. Change permission of file access
  5. Hide version of WordPress
  6. Hide version of JS and CSS
  7. Change the theme name and default path like wp-content, upload, etc…

Always take backup

This is the best practice that we will always take a backup of our websites regular basis with not only data but also database. This will help whenever website may hack and we can restore it immediately.

Because if we will be able to restore website within few minutes then our client will always feel safe and we will surely win the trust of theme and because of this kind of support they can give reference to other for our service.

These steps will protect our website from backdoor activities and from hacking of the website.

If we follow and implement the above steps in WordPress then it will show clients that we care about their data and we are professionals.

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Manish Upadhyay
I am Sr. UI Developer by profession at Dev Information Technology Ltd. since 2012 and love photography by passion. I like to create creative layouts with creative ideas. I love challenges in work-related HTML and CSS.
Manish Upadhyay

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