Security Tips to Secure your WordPress Website in 2021?

Wordpress Security
17 Apr 2021

WordPress is viewed as the most mainstream Content Management System present in the market, engaging over 35% of total sites over the web. Not just that. If you take a look at the top 100 websites in the world, 14.7% is powered by WordPress. Simplicity is the main reason why the CMS (Content Management System) -WordPress became popular among web-savvy users.

The developing fame of WordPress has drawn the consideration of hackers, and now they are working explicitly toward the path to attack these sites. You need to realize that they are not affected by the sort of content that you are offering on the WordPress site. This implies if you are not taking the needed precautions, you increase the chances of your website getting hacked.

Why is it necessary to secure your WordPress Site?

If your WordPress website has been hacked this will definitely affect your business revenue in a serious manner. Then there is possibility that hackers can install malicious software, steal important data and send malware to the users visiting the website. It is even possible that the businesses may end up paying a ransom to the hackers to regain access to their sites after a ransomware attack.

This implies in the event that your website is identified with your business, you should give in more consideration to its security aspect to protect everything. In brief, if the website owner is liable for dealing with the physical store, at that point, the online store has to be secured by the online store owner.

Below are some security steps which you can take to secure your WordPress website:

Steps to Secure WordPress Websites

1. Install a WordPress security plugin

Testing for malware in your website code consistently may appear to be a time-consuming process. Presently on the off chance that you have no appropriate knowledge of the codes which are written on your website, you will not be able to know that you have found some malware in the law. Now, this issue can be resolved when you make use of WordPress security plugins as not everyone is a developer and expert at coding.

A security plugin does various things for you like filtering your site 24*7 for issues, searching for malware and protecting your website from malware.

Some of the best WordPress security plugins are

  • BulletProof Security
  • Wordfence Security
  • Jetpack
  • SecuPress
  • All In One WP Security & Firewall
  • Sucuri Security

2. Hide .htaccess files and wp-config.php

If the website security is more crucial to you, then you should plan to go for this advanced process. By hiding the .htaccess and wp-config.php files, you will be able to create a good practice of securing your website from hackers and other security threats.

You must select experienced developers to get this task done. This step has to be carried out with caution, and you need to take the backup of your website first. In case you end up making some big mistakes, you will lose access to your site.

You need to do two things after you take the backup to hide the files and they are:

Go to the wp-config.php file and get this code added in there:

Now, in the same manner, you should add in this code in your .htaccess file:

No doubt the process is easy but to be sure nothing goes wrong, you need to be sure you are taking the backup in the first place.

3. Make use of strong password

Passwords seem to be an important aspect for and website and many a time they are overlooked. If you are creating very simple passwords for your website, which consists of numbers or texts, it is right time you make the change quickly. These simple passwords can be easy for users to remember, but at the same time is also easy for hackers to guess. An advanced user can easily crack the password without having to put in much effort and enter it into your website’s admin section. The best solution to avoid such a situation is to use a strong and complex password that can be auto-generated. The password should contains a combination of numbers, alphabets, and special characters.

4. Go for a good hosting company

Deciding to proceed with the hosting provider who is equipped for offering you various layers of security is the most ideal approach to keep your website secure. With regards to controlling spending, it might appear to be wise to go with a cheap hosting provider as you will save enough money to be spent elsewhere. However, you must stay away from such temptations as they may end you up in more issues than the good things it can bring in. Your website URL may be redirected to somewhere else, and your data may get completely erased.

At the point when you go for a quality hosting company, you should pay somewhat more, however at that point, it welcomes on the table some extra layers of security consequently to your website. So you will actually want to speed up your WordPress website significantly by choosing the best WordPress hosting services.

WPEngine is one of the highly suggested arrangements around here. It offers you day by day malware filters, better security includes and nonstop help. Again, it comes at reasonable rates.

5. Protect the WP-admin directory

WP-admin directory is a very crucial element for any WordPress website. This implies your total site can get destroyed and imploded in the event that it gets penetrated. One of the best way to prevention is keeping the WP-admin password protected. When done that, the website owner will only get to access the dashboard of the website once; he or she enters the two passwords. Now one of these passwords protects the login page while the other one will protect the admin area in WordPress.

Normally, this cycle is tied in with making changes in the hosting setup through the cPanel. In any case you figure out how to follow the right steps, it won’t be a lot of hard to achieve.

Login to cPanel and explore to the Security section.

Click the Password Protect Directories

6. Logout idle users automatically out of the site

With regards to WordPress security threat, if the users leave the WP-admin board of the site open on the screens of the users, it can genuinely represent a major threat. Any individual who comes before the screen finds the opportunity to alter the information of the account user, change the information present on the website or even wreck the website. This situation can be avoided on your WordPress site by ensuring you log out the users from the website after they remain idle for a certain timeframe.

BulletProof Security is one such plugin that is used for getting those tasks done. By utilizing this module, the site admin can fix a period limit for the idle users, thus once that time passes, the users will be logged out of the site automatically.

Assuming you don’t wish to use Bulletproof Security Plugin, there is one all the more popular alternative named Idle User Logout Plugin.

All you needed to install it and then activate it. After activation, go to Settings>>Idle User Logout and the plugin configuration page will appear. There is not much to do.

7. Make Strong WordPress security using two-factor authentication

Another great safety measure that you can take in this field is the intro of the two-factor validation module inside the login page. In such a circumstance, the user is supposed to address two different segments by giving the right login details. The website owner can choose two of the components. One of them can be the overall general password, and the second one can be a secret code, a bunch of characters, a secret question or the Google Authenticator application. Such an application sends in a secret code to the phone, and the user can sign in into the website by using the same phone.

8. Login using the email

At the point when you attempt to login to the WordPress site, you will have to insert the username on a default premise. You can proceed with to a greater extent a protected methodology by picking an email address to be used as the username. The primary reason for using such a methodology is that it is feasible for the hackers to guess the username yet not the email addresses. Once more, with the email address, it turns out to be not difficult to login into the account as the email address remains unique, so it’s easy to validate and sign in. Various WordPress security plugins come up with login pages where the users can log in using their email addresses.

9. Be careful while adding user accounts

In case that you are using WordPress to run a blogging website where numerous writers post their blogs and articles, at that point the admin panel of your website should manage multiple individuals getting to the scene. So as far as WordPress security threats, such a stage will make your website more at risk. To be certain that the passwords entered by the users into the admin panel are sufficiently secure, you can utilize Force Strong Passwords like a plugin.  No doubt this is just a precautionary measure to be taken for your website, but in the end, this will help you avoid having many users with weak passwords.

10. Limit login attempts

Normally, you can log in as many times as you want on your WordPress website. Now, if you are a frequent user, this service can help you for sure. However, it also increases the chances of an attack from hackers.

But if you have a limited number of login attempts, it will restrict you to try for a specific number of attempts to login then will automatically block you on a temporary basis. This will also control the number of attempts made by the hackers, and so they will eventually get locked outside after a few wrong attempts. You can utilize WordPress login limit attempts plugin and enable it in your project. Once you have installed the plugin, the number of login attempts can be changed and set using Settings>Login Limit Attempts. Moreover, you can also change the number of attempts without having to make use of any plugins.

11. Change the database table prefix in WordPress

Whenever install your WordPress, you must have seen that the WordPress database must be having the table prefix of WP-. It is highly advised that you change it to a unique one. If you follow the default prefix for your database present in the website, you increase the chances of SQL injection attacks.

In case you already have your WordPress website installed using the default prefix then you can anytime modify it using numerous plugins available out there. Such plugins can help you get the work done using a few clicks.

12. Secure your WordPress site by renaming your URL

It is very simple to change the login URL. On the default situation, you can simply access the login page of your WordPress website by using “yoursite.com/wp-admin” or “yoursite.com/wp-login.php” added to the primary URL of your website. Hackers will attempt to brute force into your website in case if that they know the direct URL of your login page. They will make use the GWDb (Guess Work Database) to attempts logins into your website. Such a database accompanies a millions of combinations using distinctive usernames and passwords.

You will receive a large number of spam registrations when you accept the users for subscription account registrations. To make sure this thing does not happen, you can come up with a security question for your login and registration page or change the admin login URL

It is now that the usernames must be swapped with email IDs after the user login attempts have been limited. Whenever it is done, the login URL can be replaced and so it will become possible to stop around 99% of direct brute force attacks.

This way every kind of unauthorized persons will restrict the access to the login page. For login, the person will require to provide the exact URL.

13. Set up a website lockdown feature

By enabling a lockdown feature, you can secure your website from continuous brute force attempts. This feature is used for resolving the issue of occurring failed login attempts. In case repetitively wrong passwords are used as a part of a hacking attempt, the site will get locked, and you will get a notification for such unauthorized attempts on your website.

14. Install SSL Certificate

Today a wide range of websites can benefit by Single Sockets Layer – SSL. First and foremost, SSL was used for specific undertakings, just like carrying our transactions, yet things have changed today after Google recognized its significance. This implies the websites which have the SSL certificate enjoys more of a prominent place in the search results of Google.

Any website which processes sensitive information seems to have SSL compulsory. In case the SSL certificate is not present, then the data moving between your web server and the browser of the user will be in plain text. Hackers can easily read such information. Any sensitive information gets encrypted before it gets moved between the server and browser when you have an SSL certificate. Such information will be secure and will be difficult to be read.

The websites need to pay the price for using SSL to pass on and accept sensitive information. If you are looking for something free, you can go for Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and install it on your website.

15. Change the username of admin

When you are up to installing your WordPress website, you need to be clear about one thing that the main administrator account should never be “admin” as the username. Such a username is very simple to figure, and the hackers can easily get into the website. The moment they will know the password, whole your business, and your work will be gone forever.

17. Keep file editing disabled

While working on to set up your WordPress site, in your dashboard section, you can see a code editor function.

This function can be used to edit your plugin and theme. You can follow this path to access it: Appearance>Editor. Going through Plugins>Editor can be another path you can choose to access plugin editor.

It is suggested that you disable this feature once the website goes live. The hackers can add some malicious codes into the plugin and theme if they get access to the admin panel of your WordPress site. Such codes are so simple that you will not even notice any changes in it till it is too late.

18. Monitoring the audit logs

If you are running a multi-site or the one which has numerous authors then in such a circumstance, it gets vital to understand what sort of activity the user is doing on the website. Chances are there that the contributors are making changes to the passwords. Presently, this can be disregarded, however what might be said about the scene where they are making changes in the website theme itself. Presently, this sort of change ought to be confined to the administrator all alone. Such sort of changes needs the endorsement of the administrator. You can use a plugin like WP Security Audit Log to know the sort of the multitude of activities completed on the site. Aside from that, it can likewise be used to follow any malicious action that is occurring between the users.

19. Carry out regular backups for your WordPress site

Keeping your website secure is the best thing you can do. Still, you can have some improvements made. One of the best things you can do in this direction is to have regular backups made for your site. Make sure to take backup in smarter way as there is congestion issue occur with number of backups. If you backup frequently, you will end up taking up more space in your drive.

20. Update the version of WordPress          

With regards to keeping your website secure, keeping your WordPress site updated is a decent practice. A few numbers of changes are made by the developers each time a new update is made, and this likewise incorporates the ones identified with security. At the point when you keep your website update constantly, you almost nullify the chance of getting exposed to the people who are looking for some loopholes to get into your website and destroy everything. You should also be updating themes and plugins on your website. Most of the plugins and themes for the WordPress site come from third-party developers and so such plugins and themes are regularly updated with regular releases.

Naturally, minor updates are done automatically on your site by WordPress. Nonetheless, you should do manually from the admin dashboard of WordPress in significant updates.

21. Avoid using nulled themes

The premium themes from WordPress are more professional and compared to the free themes. They come with customizable options. The premium themes are developed by skilled developers and tested properly multiple times. Such themes can be customized as many times as you want and in case something goes wrong, you don’t have to worry as they offer you full support to bring your site back on track. Again, regular theme updates will be offered to the website owners.

Now, some websites offer cracked or nulled themes. Such themes are in actual the hacked version of a premium theme and are available in the market illegally. For the site, using such themes is not recommended as such themes may come with malicious codes which, when used, can destroy the website, login credentials of admin as well as the database. So it would be best you avoid such themes completely.

Final thoughts

For a WordPress website, security plays a very important role. If you are not maintaining the safety of your WordPress website regularly, the chances of hackers attacking your website and stealing your important data can increase. It is not difficult to maintain the security of your website and the best part is that you can get it done without spending even a single dollar.