Many WordPress website users would complain a lot about security problems with their websites or blogs.
As a web consultant, I also get to hear from many of my clients that they want to switch over from WordPress to other CMS tools however I always explain to them that no matter whichever platform we choose, there could always be some chances of security breaches if we don’t take precautionary measures against them.
So is the case with WordPress too. If the web developers make sure to follow security guidelines, I don’t see any reason for a WordPress website to confront security issues like hacking, malicious code attacks, etc.
In this blog post, I am going to share a few steps that a WordPress developer can follow to minimize the chances of security breaches.
#1 Use 2-factor authentication
Using 2-factor authentication for the WP login page is a first and great security measure. It asks the user to provide login details for two different components. The webmaster can decide what these two components are. It can be a regular password followed by a secret question, a secret code, a set of characters, etc.
The plugins like WP Google Authenticator can make your job easier by integrating a 2-factor authenticator.
#2 Rename your login URL
Hackers already know and can attempt to reach your admin page through URLs like wp-login.php or wp-admin/. Since these login page URLs are given by default (upon WordPress installation) and at the same time it’s very easy to guess these links, it’s always a good idea to rename the login URL to something that no hacker or iThemes Security can do this job very well.
#3 Set up website lockdown to ban suspicious users
Another great way to reduce the chances of brutal attacks on your WordPress website is to set up a website lockdown that will stop failed login attempts and ban those users who attempt to log in. Again, iTheme Security can help you to solve the problem.
#4 Protecting the WP-admin directory
Do you know that the WP-admin directory is the backbone of any WordPress website and is prone to brutal attacks by hackers? Therefore, it would be a good idea to password-protect this directory so that it’s no longer accessible to hackers because it will always prompt them to ask for the password.
Plugins like AskApache Password Protect can protect your WP-admin directory by automatically generating a .htpasswd file & encrypting the password and finally configuring the correct security-enhanced file permissions. You don’t need to play around with your .htaccess or .htpasswd files because these plugins do everything for you in just a few clicks.
#5 Using SSL
Implementing SSL (Secured Socket Layer) is another way to protect the wp-admin area as we already know how important it is to protect wp-admin from hackers.SSL ensures secured data transfer between client browsers & your web server, making it difficult for hackers to breach the connection or scan your information.
Once you get the SSL certificate enabled on your server, you can use plugins like WP Force SLL to redirect all admin URLs of your WordPress website from HTTP to HTTPS.
#6 Change the WordPress database table prefix
When you install WordPress on your server, by default the prefix provided to your database tables is wp_ Again, every hacker knows about this and it becomes easier for them to attempt access to your database tables. By using helpful plugins like WP-DBManager, you can rename the prefix of your database tables from wp_ to something tough-to-guess prefix like wpnew10_ can spoil the whole game of hackers.
#7 Stop allowing editing files from the admin
When you use WordPress for your website design, you can edit all the files from the admin area (Appearance>Editor). These could be any of the themes or plugin files. By disallowing the editing of files from the backend, you make sure that even if a hacker can enter your admin area, he won’t be allowed to change any of the files. To disallow editing of files, simply use the below script in your wp-config.php file:
#8 Update Plugins and Themes
Outdated plugins and themes are vulnerable to attacks and hacks because most of the hackers rely on the fact that several plugins/themes have been used by thousands of websites and they never got updated.
It becomes easier for hackers to crack outdated plugins and themes. Therefore, it is always recommended that all WordPress developers use only reliable plugins and themes to develop websites for their clients, and at the same time, they must advise the clients to update plugins and themes regularly.
Even if the website owners don’t have time to regularly update plugins and themes, they must hire a WordPress designer to do this job because it’s worth paying for it.
#9 Directory permissions
It’s very important to check that every directory of your WordPress website on the server has appropriate permissions. Especially, the directories like WP Content, etc. Make sure to set the directory permissions to “755” and files to “644” which will protect the whole filesystem – directories, subdirectories, and individual files.
To make this job easier, you can also use some great plugins like Permission Scheme of WordPress.
#10 Use strong passwords for your database
It is important to use a strong password for the database that your WordPress website uses. Using easy-to-crack passwords for your database can create a lot of security problems. You can take help of the tools like Password Generator to create secured passwords and use them for your WordPress database, admin, and FTP.