How to Secure Your WordPress Website?
WordPress powers more than 41% of the websites on the internet (this figure rises every day). This certainly makes it the most popular website platform on the internet. WordPress is free, easy to use, and can be customized in many different ways. There’s no surprise that many professionals are turning to this platform. However, a WordPress website’s security is certainly a topic of huge importance for every website owner. Google blacklists thousands of websites for malware and phishing every day.
So, if you’re serious about your website, then you need to pay utmost attention to the WordPress security best practices. In this guide, we will share tips on securing your WordPress website; these tips will help you protect your WordPress website against hackers and malware. But before that, let’s take a look at why website security is important.
Why is Website Security Important?
Undoubtedly, a hacked website can cause some serious damage to your business’ revenue and reputation. Hackers can steal your user information, passwords, install malicious software, and they can even distribute malware to your users. And the worst-case scenario could be you paying ransomware to hackers just to regain access to your website.
It was estimated that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021.
If you have a business website, then you must pay extra attention to its security. Just like it’s a business owner’s responsibility to protect their physical store, as an online business owner, it’s your responsibility to protect your business website.
Tips to Secure your WordPress Website
Improving WordPress website security may seem like a difficult task, especially if you don’t have a technical background. But trust us, it is not rocket science. Below are some tips for protecting your WordPress site without coding.
Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Company
The simplest way to keep your website secure is using a website hosting provider that provides multiple layers of security. Though it may seem tempting to go for the cheaper hosting provider, it can and often does lead to nightmares down the road. Your website data could be completely erased, and your URL might just redirect somewhere else.
Thus, it is better to pay a little extra for a quality hosting company where additional layers of security come as an added feature for your website. An additional benefit of using a good WordPress hosting provider is you can significantly speed up your WordPress website’s performance.
Use a Strong Password
Passwords are very crucial for website security, and unfortunately, they’re often overlooked. If you are using a plain password like ‘45678, abc123, etc.’, you must immediately change it. While these types of passwords are quite easy to remember, they are also very easy to guess. An advanced user can easily crack such passwords and get in without much hassle.
Thus, it is important that you use a complex password, or you can also go with the auto-generated ones with a variety of numbers, random letter combinations, and special characters like ^ or %.
Install a WordPress Backup Solution
Website backups are your first defence against any website attack. Remember, nothing can be 100% secure. Installing a backup solution enables you to quickly restore your website in case something bad happens. The most important thing that you should keep in mind for backups is that you must regularly save full website backups to a remote location (not your hosting account).
We at BigRock offer an online backup solution, CodeGuard. This solution automatically takes a backup of your website at regular intervals. Here are some of the advantages of using CodeGuard.
Advantages of CodeGuard:
- CodeGuard is an automatic cloud backup solution that backs up your website daily, weekly, monthly, or based on whenever you want.
- It enables you to restore your website backup at any point in time.
- It has a simple and hassle-free setup process, which is easy to use with little manual user involvement.
- With CodeGuard, you get regular backup updates as it monitors your website’s files & databases for changes and notifies you about them.
- Lastly, your website data is secured and encrypted using AES 256 bit techniques and stored in the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
WordPress Security Plugin
After the backup solution, the next thing you need to do is set up an auditing and monitoring system to keep track of everything that happens on your website. This typically includes file integrity monitoring, failed login attempts, malware scanning, etc.
WordPress Security Plugins help to ease the needs of a website by adding functionalities to it without the hassle of coding. Moreover, installing a WordPress plugin is a simple procedure. However, with there being over 58,000 free and premium WordPress Plugins available, the task of choosing the best amongst them can be quite difficult.
We have simplified this task for you, and you can check out our article on Top 5 Plugins for WordPress.
Enable Web Application Firewall (WAF)
Another highly recommended way to protect your WordPress website and be confident about its security is by using a Web Application Firewall (WAF). It blocks all malicious traffic before it even reaches your website. The two types of firewall plugins are:
DNS Level Website Firewall: These firewall plugins route your WordPress website traffic through their cloud proxy servers. This enables them to only send genuine traffic to your web server.
Application Level Firewall: This firewall plugin examines the traffic once it reaches your server but before loading most of the WordPress scripts. This method is practically not as efficient as the DNS level firewall in reducing the server load.
Install SSL Certificate
Nowadays, SSL or Single Sockets Layer is crucial for all kinds of websites. Initially, SSL was required in order to make a website secure for specific transactions, such as processing payments. In the past few years, however, Google has recognized its importance and provides websites with an SSL certificate, a higher positioning within its search results.
Having an SSL certificate is mandatory for any website that processes sensitive information, such as passwords or payment credentials. Without an SSL certificate, all the data exchanged between the web browser of the user and your web server are delivered in plain text, which can be easily read by hackers. With an SSL certificate, all the sensitive information is encrypted before it is transferred between the user’s browser and your server, making it more difficult to read by any third party; this makes your website more secure.
Limit Login Attempts
Don’t let your login form allow unlimited username and password attempts, as this helps a hacker succeed. If you allow users (potential hackers) to try an infinite number of times, they’ll eventually discover your website’s login data. Thus, limiting the available login attempts is the first thing you should do to prevent such hackers.
By limiting the number of login attempts, users can only try a limited number of times until they’re temporarily blocked. It limits the chances of a brute force attempt as the hacker gets blocked before they can finish their attack.
Website Security is not an option, it’s mandatory if you want your website to be secure and run efficiently. It is required to limit the risks associated with hacking attempts, spamming, and malware attacks, and to keep your website running securely.
The following tips will help you secure your WordPress site:
- Limit login attempts and use secure passwords
- Enable a backup solution and perform regular backups
- Use WordPress Security Plugins such as WP Defender, WordFence, BulletProof Security, iThemes Security etc.
- Enable Web Application Firewall (WAF)
- Install SSL Certificate to encrypt all data passed between the browser and server.
- Choosing a reliable web hosting provider is the key to securing your website and keeping it online, in case of any unforeseen circumstances such as a malware attack or an unsuccessful upgrade.
We at BigRock provide hosting plans with specifically designed security solutions for the WordPress environment. Also, if you ever do encounter a security issue, we’ve got you covered with our automatic backups, malware scan, and our support team of WordPress experts.