It’s easy to start a website with WordPress. However, it’s not easy to keep it secure from cyberattacks. Since WordPress powers as many as 30% of all websites, it has become a target of choice for cybercriminals around the world.
Every year thousands of hackers try to target the websites based on WordPress platform in various attacks.
And if you want to keep your site protected from those attacks, you must follow certain best practices.
Here we’re going to tell you about eight of those best practices. Let’s get started:
#1. Enable login lockdown functionality
Protecting your WordPress login page from brute force attacks is one of the first things that you should do to ensure the security of your site. And the way to do that is by enabling login lockdown functionality.
What this functionality does is that whenever someone tries to forcibly enter the WordPress administration area of your site by launching a brute force attack on the login page, it locks down the access of that person to the login page.
You are also notified of this activity at the same time so you can be alert. WordPress Plugins are available to help you to enable this feature.
#2. Enable two-factor authentication
While login lockdown functionality prevents someone from forcibly accessing your WordPress dashboard, two-factor authentication prevents unauthorized access from those culprits who may somehow get their hands on your login credentials.
These people may not necessarily have to brute force their way into your web server, because they may somehow already have obtained a set of username or password needed to access the admin area of your site.
In such a situation if you’ve enabled two-factor authentication (2FA) for signing into your WordPress based site, you may be able to prevent them from signing in without your permission.
Just like login lockdown functionality two-factor authentication can also be enabled by help of plugins.
#3. Change default login URL
By default, the login page of your site resides at wp-login.php, and the administration dashboard at wp-admin. These are default URLs, and anyone can access the login page of your site by going to them.
If you change these two URLs to something else, you can further secure your site from all sort of cyberattacks. There are plugins available to help you achieve this, and I would highly recommend you do this for making your WordPress site even more secure.
#4. Automate your backups
Backing up your site regularly is also a part of the security essentials that are required to protect your site from cyberattacks.
A backup allows you to easily revert any changes that might have been done by a hacker in case of a security breach, so it’s of critical importance that your site is backed up regularly.
Now, manually backing up your site after every few days is a cumbersome task. You may forget to do it many times, which means that your site may be relying on an outdated backup for the cases of emergency.
In such a situation, if your site is hacked and you decide to revert the changes by restoring a backup, you may lose crucial data and information of your site because of the backup not being recent.
On the other hand, if your backups are automated, there’s a very good chance that you’ll have a recent backup from which you can restore your site with minimal loss of content.
#5. Install SSL certificate
An SSL certificate is also one of the basic security requirements for any website in today’s era, and your WordPress site is no different. Not only it protects the data from being stolen while in transit, but also it gives a boost to your rankings in Google. If you have no. of different domains or subdomains then, you must install a multi domain SSL certificate on your site.
A multi-domain SSL will be able to protect all those multi-level subdomains and domains, which means that by using this type of certificates you’ll be better off from a scalability point of view.
#6. Use strong passwords
This is a very basic requirement for security of any accounts that you create online, and this applies to your WordPress account too.
Always use strong password for your WordPress account and FTP account.
Simple passwords that can be easily guessed or brute-forced are the worst enemies of cybersecurity, and they can minimize the impact of every other step that you’ve taken to ensure the security of your WordPress site.
#7. Use sFTP
Whoever edits the files of your website for development purpose should use sFTP instead of the traditional FTP protocol. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and sFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. If we want to compare the difference between both, the analogy of HTTP and HTTPS is a perfect one.
Both HTTP and FTP send the data in plain text, which allows anyone to view the data being sent by capturing the data packets in transit. HTTPS and sFTP, on the other hand, send data only after it has been encrypted.
That way even if someone tries to steal your server files by capturing the data packets in transit, he won’t be successful in doing so because the packets will be encrypted.
#8. Keep everything up to date
Keeping things up to date is also an important part of cybersecurity. Your WordPress installation, themes and plugins – all should remain up to date if you want to avoid being targeted in a cyberattack.
Many times, it happens that some security loopholes are found in themes, plugins or WordPress CMS itself by the developers, and they try to fix them as soon as possible by rolling out updates.
If you don’t install those updates in time, you put your site on the risk of being hacked by someone who knows about those loopholes. So, it’s better if you keep your site up to date.
WordPress security is no easy task, but these 8 best practices can help you do it in a proper manner. Implementing them is easy, so you should not put them off for too long.
Implement them today, and if you also know about some other WordPress security best practices then share them in the comments section below.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook