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With WordPress at the top of the Content Management Systems (CMS) available, there is no doubt that it is also the number one target for malicious hackers. As the website owner, your job is to make sure that you secure your site.
But why should you do it? Hackers, once in control of your site, can do irreparable damage to your site. Indeed, you do not want that to happen to your site.
That’s why we will go with seven tips that will help you secure your WordPress site. Let’s get started.
1) Choose the right hosting company
The backbone of any site is its hosting provider. Choose a good hosting provider, and you will relish it for a long time, and choose a bad hosting provider, and you can start having headaches from the very first day.
Your goal is to choose a hosting provider that is not only feature-rich but also secure. In most cases, businesses do not give importance to hosting as they try to work with cheap hosting, only to find out that it costs more to manage your site.
There are plenty of good hosting providers for WordPress, including the likes of BlueHost and Vebsiko Hosting. This quality hosting offers excellent levels of security. They also offer managed WordPress hosting that provides customized and managed services for your WordPress site. For example, these hosting do server hardening that utilizes several layers of software and hardware-level security. On top of that, they also utilize server-level firewalls.
2) Use a WordPress security plugin
Considering that you now have a good hosting provider, you now need to make your WordPress site secure from your side. That’s where the WordPress security plugins come in. Managing your website security is an ongoing process, and WordPress security plugins make it easy for you to manage and automate security. These plugins are easy to use and, once set up, generally do not require any interference. Some of the core functions of WordPress security plugins include monitoring, server hardening, firewall, and much more!
We recommend checking out WordFence as it is a free-to-use plugin that provides excellent protection out of the box. You can also check out Sucuri; a paid alternative.
3) Disable file editing
Your WordPress files store the code to run your site. If a hacker gets access to the files, he can quickly edit the files, either crash the site or inject malicious code. That’s why you need to disable file editing.
To disable file editing, you need to add the following line of code in your wp-config.php file.
4) Keep the latest version of WordPress, themes, and plugins always
WordPress is an ever-evolving content management system. That means that it is constantly patched for new features. The new patches also come with security fixes. However, not all sites update their WordPress or the installed plugins or themes, making them open to attacks from malicious hackers.
This means that you always need to keep your WordPress updated so that it is protected from threats. The same is true for themes and plugins. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is to remove themes and plugins that you are not using. This will keep your installation clean and reduce the risk of exploitation that comes from these files.
5) Strong passwords and Two-factor authentication
A strong password can go a long way as it helps you to harden your site’s security. There are plenty of random password generators that you can use. However, if you are setting up a new website, WordPress automatically generates a strong password for you.
WordPress utilizes its core wp_hash_password function to generate the password. The function, in return, uses the PHPass hashing password framework, which generates the password by sending eight MD5-based hashing passes.
Try to choose the password WordPress suggested or use your custom password that is at least eight characters long using capital letters, special characters, and digits.
Apart from that, you also need to use Two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is designed to provide an extra layer of protection by making the login process a two-step process. So, when you try to log in to your site, the 2FA will send an extra code to your email or SMS. The one-time password is crucial and protects your account in case your password gets leaked.
6) Use an SSL certificate
SSL certificate is another crucial security layer for your website. The SSL certificate runs on top of HTTPS. It protects your site’s data that is transferred between you and your customers. Generally, every site should utilize HTTPS as it generates trust among visitors. However, if you are running an eCommerce site or a site that accepts payments, you must run an SSL certificate over HTTPS. SSL certificate provides many benefits, including security, SEO, referral data, credibility, and trust. You can use a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. There are also paid options out there that you can try.
7) Disable XML-RPC
The last tip that we want to share is to disable XML-RPC. It is a popular way to brute force a WordPress site. That’s why you need to make sure that you disable XML-RPC on your site. But why is it available or enabled on the WordPress site? Well, it is used to pass multiple commands via a single HTTP request. This provides efficiency but can also be harmful when used with malicious intent.
To disable XML-RPC, you need to use the Disable XML-RPC plugin or ask your developer to do it for you.
This leads us to the end of our seven tips to secure your WordPress site. So, which tips are you going to deploy when creating new WordPress websites? Also, do share your tips below in the comment section!
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