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12 Bulletproof Ways to Secure Your WordPress Site in 2024

WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms, powering over 40% of websites on the internet. While its ease of use and flexibility are major advantages, this popularity also makes it an attractive target for hackers and cybercriminals.

This article explores why website security is crucial and what steps you can take to safeguard your WordPress website.

Why WordPress Security Matters?

Hackers and malicious actors relentlessly pursue access to websites and their sensitive data. The result? A staggering rise in cybersecurity attacks.

For instance, Wordfence blocked over 100 billion password spray attacks in 2023, and an estimated 30,000 new websites are hacked every single day.

This issue impacts businesses of all sizes. While large companies are targeted for bigger ransoms in ransomware attacks, small and medium businesses (SMBs) are easier targets due to a lack of resources and security expertise.

In fact, 43% of current online attacks target SMBs, with a disheartening 14% of those businesses prepared to defend themselves.

The good news is there are numerous steps you can take to protect your WordPress website.

How To Secure Your WordPress Site?

When establishing your WordPress site’s security, some fundamental actions can significantly bolster your protection. Here, we’ll delve into some of the initial measures you should take to safeguard your website:

1. Implement SSL Certificates

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are a standard technology that establishes an encrypted connection between a web server (host) and a web browser (client). This connection guarantees all data passed between the two remains private and confidential.

SSL certificates are an industry standard employed by millions of websites to safeguard online transactions with their customers. Obtaining an SSL certificate should be one of the first actions you take to secure your website.

2. Require & Use Strong Passwords

Along with obtaining an SSL certificate, one of the most crucial steps you can take to protect your site is using strong passwords for all your logins.

It might be tempting to create or reuse a familiar or easy-to-remember password, but doing so puts both you and your website at risk. Stronger password strength and security lessen your vulnerability to hacking. The more robust your password, the less likely you are to be a victim of a cyberattack.

When creating a password, there are some general password best practices to follow. If you’re unsure about your password strength, you can utilize a free tool like a Password Strength Checker.

3. Install A Security Plugin

WordPress plugins are a fantastic way to swiftly add valuable features to your website, and there are several excellent security plugins available. Installing a security plugin can add additional layers of protection to your website without requiring significant effort.

To get you started, here are a few recommended WordPress security plugins:

      • Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
      • All-in-One WP Security & Firewall
      • Sucuri Security

With their robust feature sets and regular updates, these plugins can significantly enhance the security posture of your WordPress site. Let 42Works handle the implementation and ongoing management, allowing you to focus on your core business while ensuring your website remains secure and protected.

4. Keep WordPress Core Files Updated

As of 2024, there are an estimated 1.09 billion total websites on the web, with more than 810 million of those sites using WordPress.

Due to its popularity, WordPress websites are often targeted by hackers, malware attacks, and data thieves. Keeping your WordPress installation up-to-date at all times is essential to maintaining the security and stability of your website.

Every time a WordPress security vulnerability is discovered, the core team starts working on an update to fix the issue.

If you’re not updating your WordPress website, you’re likely using a version with known vulnerabilities. There’s particularly no excuse for using an outdated version of WordPress since the introduction of automatic updates.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable by using an old version of WordPress. Enable automatic updates and forget about it.

If you prefer an even more convenient way to handle updates, consider a Managed WordPress solution that has automatic updates built-in.

5. Pay Attention To Themes & Plugins

While keeping WordPress updated ensures your core files are secure, there are other areas where WordPress might be vulnerable that core updates won’t necessarily protect, such as themes and plugins.

First and foremost, only install plugins and themes from trusted developers. If a plugin or theme wasn’t developed by a reputable source, it’s probably safer not to use it.

On top of that, make sure to update your WordPress plugins and themes regularly. Just like using an outdated version of WordPress, using outdated plugins and themes makes your website more susceptible to attacks. Here’s where a custom WordPress theme and plugin development company like 42Works can be valuable.

6. Run Frequent Website Backups

Disasters can strike at any time, and your website is no exception. Having a recent backup of your WordPress site is crucial for swift recovery in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Regular backups create a safety net for your website. Whether it’s a malfunction, a security breach, or an accidental user error, a backup allows you to restore your site to a previous, functional state. This minimizes downtime and gets your website back online quickly, preventing potential revenue loss or damage to your reputation.

Schedule backups to become a routine part of your website maintenance. With a backup readily available, you can address website issues with confidence, knowing you can restore your site if necessary.

7. Never Use The “Admin” Username

Avoid using the username “admin.” Doing so makes you susceptible to brute-force attacks and social engineering scams. Because “admin” is such a common username, it’s easily guessed and simplifies things for scammers to trick people into giving away their login credentials.

Similar to having a strong password, using a unique username for your logins is a wise idea because it makes it considerably more challenging for hackers to crack your login information.

If you’re currently using the username “admin,” change your WordPress admin username immediately.

8. Hide Your WP Admin Login Page

In addition to using a unique username, you can further protect your login credentials by hiding your WordPress admin login page with a plugin like WPS Hide Login.

By default, most WordPress login pages can be accessed by adding “/wp-admin” or “/wp-login.php” to the end of a URL. Once a hacker or scammer has identified your login page, they can then attempt to guess your username and password to gain access to your admin dashboard.

Hiding your WordPress login page is a great way to make yourself a less appealing target.

9. Disable XML-RPC

WordPress utilizes an XML-RPC protocol implementation to extend functionality to software clients. Most users don’t require WordPress XML-RPC functionality, and it’s one of the most common vulnerabilities that exposes users to exploits.

That’s why it’s a good idea to disable it. Fortunately, the Wordfence Security plugin makes this process very straightforward.

10. Harden wp-config.php File

The process of adding extra security features to your WordPress site is sometimes referred to as “hardening” because you’re essentially giving your site some additional armor against hackers.

You can “harden” your website by protecting your wp-config.php file via your .htaccess file. Your WordPress wp-config.php file contains highly sensitive information about your WordPress installation, including your WordPress security keys and database connection details, which is precisely why you don’t want it to be easily accessible.

There are many website development agencies and WordPress website builders who can assist you with this process if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. However, we recommend working with our expert WordPress developers, who will harden your wp-config.php file and implement other best practices

11. Run A Security Scanning Tool

Occasionally, your WordPress website might have a vulnerability you weren’t aware of. That’s why it’s wise to use tools that can identify vulnerabilities and potentially even fix them for you.

The WPScan plugin scans for known vulnerabilities in WordPress core files, plugins, and themes. The plugin also informs you via email whenever new security vulnerabilities are discovered.

12. Look For A Hosting Company That Prioritizes Security

One of the most effective things you can do to protect your site from the outset is to choose the right hosting company for your WordPress website.

When searching for a hosting company, you want to find one that is fast, reliable, secure, and offers exceptional customer service. This translates to robust resources, uptime exceeding 99.5%, and the use of server-level security measures.

If a hosting provider can’t meet these basic requirements, they’re not worth your investment.

That’s where 42Works comes in, we understand the importance of website security and partner with top-tier hosting providers that prioritize security.

Conclusion: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

If your WordPress website isn’t secure, you could be vulnerable to a cyberattack.

The good news is that securing a WordPress website doesn’t necessitate extensive technical knowledge, provided you have the appropriate tools and hosting plan aligned with your needs.

42Works offers Managed WordPress Hosting solutions that prioritize security. Our plans include features like:

  • Server-level security measures: Our servers are equipped with the latest security features to help prevent malware attacks and data breaches.
  • Automatic updates: We keep your WordPress core, plugins, and themes updated with the latest security patches.
  • Regular backups: We back up your website regularly so you can easily restore it in case of an emergency.
  • WAF (Web Application Firewall): Our plans include a built-in WAF to help block malicious traffic.

Instead of waiting to react to threats after they occur, you should proactively secure your website to prevent security issues.

By following these steps and partnering with a security-focused website development company like 42Works, you can create a safe and secure online environment for your website and its visitors. Contact 42Works today to discuss your website security needs and explore how we can help you achieve peace of mind!

Take action today and safeguard your website! Contact us now.

FAQs on Securing Your WordPress Website

What Security Threats Should I Be Aware Of?

The digital world can be a dangerous place for websites. Malicious actors employ various tactics like malware, phishing attacks, brute-force login attempts, and exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated plugins or themes. Recognizing these threats is the first step towards building a robust defense for your WordPress site.

How Can I Fortify My WordPress Login Page?

Since your login page acts as the gateway to your entire website, it’s crucial to strengthen it. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Strong, Unique Passwords: This is a fundamental security principle. Avoid weak or reused passwords and consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords.
  • Limit Login Attempts: Thwart brute-force attacks by limiting the number of login attempts allowed within a specific timeframe.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary login factor, like a code from your phone, in addition to your password. 42Works can help you implement 2FA on your WordPress website.
  • Change Default Login URL: Consider changing the default “/wp-admin” login URL to something more obscure.

Why Are Regular Updates Crucial for WordPress Security?

WordPress updates are more than just improvements – they’re vital security patches. Regularly updating your WordPress core, plugins, and themes ensures you benefit from the latest security fixes and minimize vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit.

How Can I Secure WordPress Plugins and Themes?

Your website’s security is only as strong as its weakest link. Here’s how to secure your plugins and themes:

  • Install from Reputable Sources: Only use plugins and themes from trusted developers with a good reputation for security.
  • Regular Updates: Keep your plugins and themes updated just like your WordPress core to benefit from the latest security patches.
  • Declutter Unused Plugins: Remove any plugins or themes you don’t actively use. Unused plugins can create vulnerabilities.

How Can I Guard Against Brute Force Attacks?

Brute-force attacks involve attackers repeatedly trying to guess your password. Here are some ways to defend against them:

  • Limit Login Attempts: Thwart these attacks by setting a limit on the number of login attempts allowed within a specific timeframe.
  • Strong Passwords: Encourage users to create strong, unique passwords that are difficult to guess.
  • IP Blocking: Explore options for blocking IP addresses associated with repeated failed login attempts.

Is a WordPress Security Plugin Necessary?

Absolutely! Security plugins are like vigilant guards for your website. They offer features like:

  • Malware scanning: Detects and removes malicious code.
  • Firewall protection: Blocks suspicious traffic from reaching your website.
  • Real-time monitoring: Alerts you to potential threats.

A security plugin is a valuable addition to your website’s security arsenal. 42Works can recommend and help you configure a security plugin for your WordPress site.

Is SSL Important for WordPress Security?

Absolutely! SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts data transmitted between your website and visitors, ensuring a secure connection. This is especially important if your site collects sensitive information like credit card details or login credentials. SSL not only protects your users’ data, but it also builds trust in your website.

How Can I Monitor and Respond to Security Incidents?

Proactive monitoring is key. Consider setting up security tools or services to alert you of suspicious activity on your website. Additionally, have a response plan in place that includes procedures for addressing security incidents promptly, such as isolating your site, removing malicious code, and restoring from a clean backup. 42Works can help you develop a security response plan for your WordPress website.

What If My WordPress Site Is Hacked?

If the unfortunate event of a breach occurs, act swiftly. Isolate your site to prevent further damage, remove any malicious code, and restore from a clean backup. Conduct a thorough security audit to identify and address vulnerabilities, preventing future incidents.

Remember, WordPress security is an ongoing commitment. By staying informed, implementing best practices, and embracing a proactive mindset, you can navigate the digital landscape with confidence. Safeguarding your WordPress website is not just a necessity; it’s a responsibility in the ever-evolving digital era. 42Works offers comprehensive WordPress website security solutions – contact us today to learn more!

 

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