WordPress security is a subject that every website owner should take extremely seriously. Google adds around 10,000 domains to its blacklist for malware every day, and 50,000 for phishing every week.
Despite being a secure content management system, WordPress has a number of significant security issues because it’s an open-source software. You need to take some actions to make your WordPress website safer. And fortunately, achieving WordPress security is easy if you follow the appropriate procedures.
I recommend following as many of these best practices as you reasonably can in order to maintain your site as secure as possible. We’ll start by discussing the fundamental best practices. Then, if your site is particularly vulnerable or if you want to take things a step further, I’ll offer other actions you can take.
Start With These Simple Security Fundamentals
Here are a few of the initial steps you should take to protect your website.
1. Install SSL certificate to Your Website
Millions of websites employ Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, an industry standard, to secure their online transactions with clients.
One of the initial actions you should do to secure your website is to acquire one.
Although you can buy SSL certificates, the majority of hosting companies give them away for free.
This recognized technology creates a secure connection between a web browser and a web server (client).
You may make sure that all information transmitted between the two remains truly confidential by adding this encrypted connection.
2. Update WordPress core files
You are probably using a version of WordPress that has known vulnerabilities if you aren’t updating your WordPress website regularly.
The core team starts working on a solution the moment a security vulnerability is discovered in WordPress, which happens frequently.
Don’t expose yourself to exploitation by using an outdated WordPress version. Enable automatic updates and forget about it.
3. Pay Attention To Themes & Plugins
In fact, nulled premium plugins and themes frequently contain malware threats. For instance, only nulled plugins and themes have been used to distribute the WP-VCD virus.
wp-vcd. php is a very common malware that affects WordPress websites. Websites are usually infected because of the installation of nulled themes or plugins. The wp-vcd. php virus starts off in the nulled software and then spreads to the rest of the website, and also to other websites on shared hosting.Source
If you use these plugins and themes for professional projects, there’s a chance that the website may be hacked or that spamware random ads will ruin your reputation.
Install plugins and themes from reputable developers only at first.
Additionally, make sure to update any WordPress themes and plugins.
4. Run Regular Backups
The last thing you want is for your website to experience a problem without having a backup.
Run Daily Backups.
In this way, you can quickly restore an earlier version of your website and get it back up and running if something happens to it.
5. Change Admin Login URL (wp-admin)
It is simple to locate the default URL for the WordPress login page on any WordPress website.
You can change the URL of this login page using plugins like WPS Hide Login to protect your WordPress website from hackers.
Best Practices for Advanced WordPress Security
1. Filter out Special Characters from User Input.
An XSS or database injection attack is possible whenever any part of your website asks for user input, such as a payment form, contact form, or even a blog post’s comment section. Any of these text boxes could be used by attackers to inject malicious code, which would break your website’s backend.
Make sure to remove special characters from user input before it is processed by your website and stored in a database to avoid this issue.
A plugin can also be used to find malicious code.
As an alternative, you may automatically filter out these characters using a WordPress form plugin.
2. Disable File Editing in the WordPress Dashboard.
WordPress administrators can directly change the code of their files using the code editor by default. If an attacker manages to access your account, they will have a simple way to change your files thanks to this.
You can disable this functionality yourself with a little light coding if a plugin hasn’t already done so. Add the following code at the end of the wp-config.php file:
// Disallow file edits define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );
3. Change your Database File Prefix.
Change the prefix to another one, such as “wptable_” or “wpdb_.”
This can be set during WordPress CMS installation.
You can rename these files if your site is already working with this option.
Since your database holds all of your content in this situation and a misconfiguration will cause your website to break, I strongly advise using a plugin to manage this process.
Among the features of your desired security plugin, look for the option to alter table prefixes.
4. Disable your xmlrpc.php File.
What is XML-RPC?
It’s a spec and a set of implementations that allow software running on disparate operating systems, running in different environments to make procedure calls over the Internet.
It’s remote procedure calling using HTTP as the transport and XML as the encoding. XML-RPC is designed to be as simple as possible, while allowing complex data structures to be transmitted, processed and returned.Source
You can disable the xmlrpc.php file if you’re not using XML-RPC.
Check to see if the file is being used on your website first.
Use this XML-RPC validator to see if your website is currently using the protocol by entering your URL.
If not, a plugin like Disable XML-RPC-API makes it simple to disable this file.
You might also be able to accomplish this using the security plugin for WordPress.
5. Limit WordPress User Permissions.
If your WordPress site includes many user accounts, I advise modifying each user’s permissions to grant them only the access they require.
Each WordPress user can select one of six roles.
By restricting the number of users with administrator privileges, you lower the likelihood that an attacker will brute-force their way into an admin account and reduce the potential damage if they do successfully guess a user’s credentials.
6. Monitor WordPress
Any unusual behavior that takes place on your website will be brought to your attention if you have a monitoring system in place.
Though ideally your other precautions would have stopped such behavior, it’s better to learn about it now rather than later.
If there is a penetration, you can use a WordPress monitoring plugin to receive an alert.
7. Hide your WordPress Version
Hackers won’t be aware that your site is vulnerable if you hide the WordPress version.
You must always update WordPress to the most recent version, as was previously discussed.
However, it’s essential to hide the possible vulnerability if you haven’t had the chance to do so yet.
Server-Side Security for WordPress
You have already taken all of the mentioned precautions to protect your website.
You might still wonder if there is anything else you can do to make it as secure as possible though.
The remaining security measures you can implement must be carried out on the website’s server side.
1. Find a Reliable Hosting Company
You should look for a hosting provider that is fast, reliable, secure, and will provide you with excellent customer service.
They must, therefore, have sufficient, powerful resources, guarantee uptime of at least 99.5%, and implement server-level security measures.
A host is not worth your time or money if they cannot check those fundamental boxes.
Selecting the right hosting provider for your WordPress website is one of the best things you can do to protect it pretty quickly.
2. Use A Fully Isolated Server for Hosting
A private cloud runs on particular physical machines, making its physical security easier to maintain and guarantee. All cloud environments need a strong combination of antivirus and firewall protection.
A fully isolated server offers additional benefits in addition to security, such as very high uptime and simple managed hosting integration.
3. Use A Web Application Firewall
An additional layer of protection for your website is provided by a WAF, which is typically a cloud-based security system.
In addition to blocking all hacking efforts, it also filters out spammers and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attempts.
If you value the security of your WordPress website, implementing a WAF will likely cost you a monthly subscription charge. But trust me, it is worth it.
4. Update to the Latest Version of PHP
One of the most crucial actions you can take to keep your WordPress website secure is to upgrade to the most recent version of PHP.
Contact your web developer to upgrade if you are unable to log into your hosting account.
To avoid security problems, you should proactively secure your website rather than waiting to react to threats after they have already occurred.
That way, if someone targets your website, you’ll be ready to limit the risk and continue doing business as usual rather than racing to find a recent backup.