There is no doubt that WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMSs) out there. Around 35% of the web uses WordPress, including the world’s popular websites such as Etsy Journal, TechCrunch, Microsoft News, and more.
WordPress is reliable, SEO-friendly, and easy to use. However, it is also true that it is vulnerable to cyber-attacks and various other security risks.
According to a report, in 2018, about 90% of all website cleanup requests belonged to WordPress, which was around a 7% increase from 2017. Fortunately, there are plenty of things website owners can do to keep their sites safe and secure.
This post will make you familiar with eight tested and trusted techniques to enhance the security of your website.
1. Invest in a Reliable Web Host
To keep your WordPress site secure, you must go with a hosting provider that is capable of providing different layers of security. A cheap web host may sound appealing, but it may cost you a lot more at the end.
In the absence of adequate security features, you may lose all your data, and your site could be redirected to somewhere else. This is where a robust host comes into play.
For your convenience, we have put together a few essential security features you should look for.
- Your prospect hosting provider should be able to back up your website data quickly and accurately. Check out if they provide automated backup.
- Look for Malware and antivirus scanning options. Check out whether or not you can access scan reports.
- Find out if your hosting provider offers protection against DDoS attacks.
- Make sure you’re given the SSL certificate.
- 24/7 customer support is also essential.
2. Consider Going Passwordless
Passwords are a crucial part of website security. However, they are often overlooked.
A brute force attack is one of the oldest techniques hackers use to gain access to your WordPress dashboard. The technique relies on guessing possible passwords until the correct one is found.
Fortunately, now you can prevent this situation without needing to set up and remember complex passwords.
Nowadays, you can go password less and keep your WordPress protected. UNLOQ is a powerful plugin that enables you to replace your password with your phone. Using this plugin, you will be able to authenticate your site using your phone. It also provides two-factor authentication. So consider using it.
3. Install a Security Plugin
It can be quite a time-consuming process to check your site manually for possible security issues. Moreover, not everyone is technically savvy enough to go through various technical processes of determining security threats.
Luckily, installing a security plugin can help you take care of your site’s security and identify possible security threats.
Sucuri is a popular security plugin that helps you with malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, file monitoring, and conducting post hack security actions. It’s free to all WordPress users. However, if you want to unlock features like a website firewall, you will need to buy its premium version.
4. Install SSL Certificate
As per the Google update that came in July 2018, all the websites without SSL will be marked as unsafe in Chrome.
It’s a no brainer that no one will like to visit your site if it is showing it’s not safe. For those who don’t know, SSL is a secure socket layer certificate installed in a web server to ensure a secure connection between a web browser and the server.
If your site processes sensitive information such as user passwords or credit card details, you must get this certificate to protect the crucial data of your customers.
Choose the SSL certificate as per your requirement. A single name certificate protects a single domain, whereas a wildcard SSL certificate enables you to secure an unlimited number of subdomains available under a single root domain. And if you have multiple websites, you can go for a multi-domain SSL certificate that can serve up to 210 domains.
Two things that you must check when purchasing an SSL certificate include:
- Whether or not the provider has a valid EV SSL certificate themselves.
- You must get at least a 128-BIT encryption level.
5. Leverage Firewall & VPN
A firewall helps you monitor, filter, and block HTTP traffic. Thus you prevent your site from security flaws such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and more.
If privacy and data security are your primary concerns, consider investing in a reliable VPN provider as well. A VPN or virtual private network protects your browsing information by building a layer between public and private networks. Since it makes you anonymous on the internet by hiding your actual IP address, it protects your identity on the World Wide Web.
6. Secure .htaccess and wp-config.php files
Protecting these two files can enhance your website security a great deal;. After all, they contain the complete configuration of your site.
If you’re not sure how to do that, take your developer’s help. It’s advisable to take the backup of your site before you proceed with the process.
To hide these files, you need to take the following two steps:
1. Find your wp-config.php file and add the following code:
order allow, deny
deny from all
2. Similarly, you have to add the below code to your .htaccess file.
order allow, deny
deny from all
Although the process is straightforward, you must take a backup so that you can get all the lost files back in case anything goes wrong.
7. Update Your WordPress Version
You must upgrade your WordPress version as soon as you get a notification for the same. With each update, WordPress developers make some critical changes to enhance the functionality and security.
When you update the version, you protect your website against Malware, hackers, and various other security threats. Along with WordPress, don’t forget to upgrade plugins and themes from time and time.
Though WordPress automatically downloads minor updates, for major ones, you can go to the admin dashboard and update them manually.
8. Protect Your Database by Setting up Strong Passwords
It’s not only your site that needs password protection; your database requires one too. God forbid, if your database gets hacked, you will lose all your valuable data. Consequently, make sure to set up a robust password for your database as well. Also, keep changing it from time to time.
WordPress is one of the most reliable CMSs available, but if you neglect its security, it can cause significant damage to your revenue and reputation. Cybercriminals can gain access to your personal information and use it for illegal activities. Moreover, they can also distribute malicious software to your users.
If you have a site or are planning to launch soon, it’s advisable to pay attention to its security right from the beginning. These are a few things you can do immediately to enhance the security of your site. If you find out them helpful, let us know in the following comment section.