The Designer’s Guide to WordPress Security

4 Steps to Start a WordPress Blog

WordPress is considered to be one of the most widely used CMS in today’s era. Due to some common and overlooked factors, WordPress sites are often left venerable for attacks by hackers. WordPress Security is something that should never be compromised on. Bad security means risk of malware and hack-attacks that can lead to a costly catastrophe which can spiral a business from its revenues. Securing WordPress page itself is not sufficient, the WordPress site has to be fortified by limiting access to valuable files and user data. Making a few essential updates can significantly reduce the chances of the site being attacked by invaders. These changes will modify the way that WordPress runs on a server and the level of access users will have to the platform. No room for error should be left and every basis should be covered. It’s better to hire a WordPress web designer to secure and safeguard your site against malicious external intruders.

Following are some tips and tricks for securing WordPress.

Securing WordPress Login Page

Username and Password

WordPress has a default username “admin” set for the primary admin account, however this username can be changed. Changing the username to either an email ID or an actual name makes the site more secure. The less predictable the username is, the more difficult it is for hackers to break-in.
When deciding on a password, choose a series of random numbers and letters that hold no particular meaning. Try using a blend of upper and lowercase alphabets along with numbers and punctuation marks. The more random the password, the harder it is to crack. Keep the length of the password from 8-10 characters so that it is harder to decipher. Change the password on a regular basis to ensure the WordPress security of the delicate information on the servers.

Limited Login Attempts

Brute force attacks use numerous alphameric combinations to breach into the WordPress websites. Even if these sort of persistent attacks go unsuccessful, they require an immense amount of processing power and server memory, causing the site to become slow. The simplest method to fend off brute force attacks is to restrict the number of login attempts. By installing login protection plugins, IP addresses that are constantly trying to login can be tracked. Upon multiple failed login attempts, the IP address is blocked from visiting the site’s login page.

Login Authentication

Going that extra mile and setting up a two-step login authentication further fortifies the WordPress server from any external threats. By employing login authentication plugins, logging into a WordPress site will require a code that will be sent to the admin/user’s mobile. Anyone attempting to login in by force will either be redirected or blocked.

Changing The WordPress Login Page URL

A site can fall victim to a brute force attack only if the URL of the login page is known by the hackers. WordPress Security via obscurity is a method of hiding or changing the login page by changing the login page’s URL, making the wp-admin directory and wp-login.pho pages undetectable. Changing the page’s URL to something unique will make the login page impenetrable to potential breaches.

Securing WordPress Admin Control Panel and Database

Wp-admin Directory

Wp-admin directory is the core of WordPress websites; it has control over every other part of the site. If this area of the site gets infiltrated by a hacker, the entire site can be brought down. Taking security measures such as password protecting the wp-admin directory can make breaking into it a lot harder. The website owner will have two passwords, one to access the WordPress admin area and the other for the login page. In this way, the website owner can either grant access or restrict access to specific areas to the users. It’s better to hire a WordPress web designer to

SSL

Employing SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is extremely important for any page that holds confidential information. It gives the page an extra level of security by turning the http to https. SSL safely transfers data between the user browsers and the server. It consists of a private key and a public key. SSL jumbles up sensitive information into something random and unreadable for anyone who tries to get a hold of the information. The private key is used at the browser end to make sense of the scrambled information once again.

Obtaining an SSL certificate has an effect of the site’s Google rankings, it has been observed that sites with an SSL certificate rank higher than those without it. Furthermore, majority of the browsers restrict access to sites without an SSL certificate.

Back-up

An off-site back-up should always be kept in case the WordPress site’s security does not hold up, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Automatic back-ups are the backbone of any WordPress site. Think of back-ups as a last resort or the last line of defense, when all the security plugins are breached, and all the data is compromised, the site can rise stronger and better than before without the loss of any essential data.

Multiple copies of the site should be kept in a physical drive that isn’t connected to the internet in any way. In this way, there is always an assurance that the site’s data is always safe.

WordPress Database Table Prefix

Keeping the default wp-table prefix used by the WordPress database makes the site susceptible to SQL injection attacks. Changing the prefix to something original and distinct makes the site immune to such attacks. Plugins can be used to change the default prefix into an original one.

Wp-config.php

Wp-config.php is one of the most vital files in the root directory as it holds data that WordPress uses to communicate with the database. By moving this file to a higher level of the root directory makes this file inaccessible for hackers.

Restrict Directory Listing Using .htaccess

Neglecting to put the code line ‘.htaccess’ in the ‘Option All –Indexes’ file allows the users to view the entire directory listing. By using this simple line of code, the site can be protected from intruders.

Disabling File Editing

The WordPress File Editor, located inside the dashboard allows the admin to edit themes and files. If an intruder gets access to the Editor, they can change the code of the website bring the entire site down. Removing the Editor from the dashboard further fortifies the site.

Conclusion

Absolute WordPress security does not exist, but exercising the above stated steps brings the site as close to it as possible. Getting SSL certified, creating unique usernames and passwords and adding a few extra lines of code are some prerequisites that ensure the safety of the WordPress site against malicious external intruders.

Written by Asad Ali

Asad Ali is a digital marketing specialist who perfectly understands how to maximize customer reach in competitive markets. He has more than 7 years of experience, and currently serving at Go-Gulf Dubai Web Design, which is one of the leading website design and development agencies.

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