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15 Innovative Ways To Harden The Security Of WordPress Website

13th Dec 2018
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“THERE ARE ONLY TWO TYPES OF COMPANIES: THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN HACKED, AND THOSE THAT WILL BE. EVEN THAT IS MERGING INTO ONE CATEGORY: THOSE THAT WILL BE HACKED AND WILL BE AGAIN.”

- ROBERT MULLER

 

The above quote beautifully captures the essence of security and how difficult it has become to achieve it in today’s era. In fact, the issue of web security has become a global issue and it is giving sleepless nights to many website owners.

Even after the invention of so many technologies, no one has been able to stack the claim of having a 100% secure website. From this statement, you can understand the kind of challenge security has been imposing for the website owners.

Now, according to a survey carried out by W3Techs, WordPress now powers almost 32% of the web and as per the research conducted by WP White Security, 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacker attacks.

If you club both these statistics, then you will realize that WordPress websites have been affected the most by security issues. Now, you all will be thinking that, How To Secure WordPress Website From Hackers or How To Harden WordPress Security, isn’t it?

Taking this scenario into perspective, today we’re going to provide you with a list of innovative ways which will help you to harden the security of your WordPress website.

So, let’s set the ball rolling.!


Ways To Harden Security Of WordPress Website

 

1. Use Tough Username & Password

 

2. Keep Your Plugins Updated

 

3. Use Security Plugins

 

4. Always Backup Your Website

 

5. Remove Unused Plugins & Themes

 

6. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

 

7. Limit Login Attempts

 

8. Disable File Editing

 

9. Utilize SSL Certificate

 

10. Hide PHP Errors

 

11. One Site = One Container

 

12. Sensible User Access

 

13. Choose Your Extensions Wisely

 

14. Watch Out For The File Permissions

 

15. Block Bad Bots

 

1. Use Tough Username & Password

Username & Password of the WordPress website getting detect by the hackers is one of the most Common WordPress Security Issues.

What most of the WordPress website owners do is that they keep the default username & password which comes with the installation of WordPress i.e. admin.

Now, if you do that mistake, it becomes really easy for hackers to crack your website. Therefore, avoid using the default username & password given by WordPress ecosystem.

Don’t use a combination of your first name, last name, birth date or ‘1234’ as your password. Instead of that, utilize a combination of uppercase & lowercase alphabets, numbers & special characters to set the password.

Always keep on changing your password on a frequent basis. If you follow this practices, then it will definitely reap you rich rewards in terms of security.

 

2. Keep Your Plugins Updated

If you search on the web about the best WordPress Security Tips for the year 2019, then you will found that most of the experts will tell you to keep your plugins updated and never use any outdated plugin or the plugin which is no longer supported by WordPress ecosystem.

The reason WordPress updates all its plugins on a regular basis is that they want to fix any kind of bugs or the security issues that were present in the previous version. Now, if you don’t use the updated plugins, then you’re making your WordPress website vulnerable to security attacks.

Therefore, whenever any update becomes available for a plugin, you should download & install it immediately. Taking this type of prevention measure will help you in the long run.

 

3. Use Security Plugins

The WordPress ecosystem provides you with a wide range of security plugins which will help you to maintain privacy as well as the security of your WordPress website. Here’s the list of Best WordPress Security Plugins for the year 2019 which you can utilize for your website.

All these plugins will help you to add an extra layer of security to your website and take all the precautionary measures for any kind of WordPress Security Vulnerabilities.

Always choose the security plugin which is proven and tested in the market. You can also opt for a combination of multiple security plugins if you feel that one plugin is not good enough.    

 

4. Always Backup Your Website

If the experts are to be believed, then taking the backup of your website on regular interval should be on your WordPress Security Checklist. In fact, this one of the most important steps that you should take in order to protect your website data.

In case of a data breach, the backup can restore everything to the last version that you backed up. This type of approach will help you to save time as well as the money that you need to invest in a website recreation. In addition to that, it also helps you to preserve your search engine ranking.  

Many of you won’t be considering this step seriously. However, many companies have gone out of business in case of a data breach due to the lack of backup. They haven’t been able to establish themselves back in the market. Therefore, you should focus on taking regular backups.

 

5. Remove Unused Plugins & Themes

If you search on the Google about How To Secure WordPress Site From Malware? Then, most of the solutions would advise you to remove any unused or unnecessary plugins and themes from your WordPress website. Only keep those plugins or themes which are useful for your website.

Once you get rid of these unused plugins & themes, it will only help you to improve the security of but also help you to Increase Performance Of WordPress Website. A plugin or a theme which is sitting on your website for no reason can invite major security threats.  

 

6. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Nowadays you must have seen many WordPress websites making use of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) technique for doubling their website security.

For those don’t know, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a security measure which requires double authentication (Regular Password + OTP which is messaged on your registered number).

As you know that, OTP keeps on changing every time and therefore, it becomes difficult for the hackers to guess the password of your website in Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) scenario.

So, you should focus on implementing this technique on your WordPress website. Here’s a Step-By-Step Guide To Add Two-Factor Authentication In WordPress.

Once you implement this technique, it will prevent unauthorized login attempts which will obviously help you to secure your WordPress website.  

 

7. Limit Login Attempts

While devising a security plan for your website you must have once thought that, How Secure Is WordPress, isn’t it? Let us clarify that WordPress gives you an in-depth level of flexibility to harden the security.

In the end, it solely depends on the individual how he/she can use these features to their advantage. One of the ways to take advantage of this feature is by limiting the login attempts.

Whenever any hacker attempts to break your site security, he/she will make multiple login attempts. That’s where this approach can be really useful, as it won’t allow them to make login attempts greater than the login limit you've set on your WordPress website.

 

For limiting the login attempts, you can utilize any of the following plugins:

 

● WP Limit Login Attempts

● Jetpack

● Limit Login Attempts

 

8. Disable File Editing

One of the easiest as well as effective ways to secure your WordPress website is by making a change in WordPress File Permissions. WordPress ecosystem allows you the facility to disable the file editing which will prevent the certain people from accessing your dashboard area.


For disabling file editing, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:

 

● Connect your website to the server using FTP or cPanel.

● Find the wp-config.php file & open it in editing mode.

● Add the line define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true ); just above the line /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ in the wp-config.php file.

● Save the wp-config.php file.

● Check your WordPress dashboard. You won’t find the editing option.

 

By following all these steps, you will be able to harden the security of your WordPress website. The reason behind that is, this type of approach will prevent the website from a brute force attack or any kind of unauthorized access.

  

9. Utilize SSL Certificate

This is one of the best WordPress Security Tips that you’ll ever receive. SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layer. An SSL Certificate will encrypt the information that is exchanged between the server and the browser which makes it impossible to crack your WordPress website.

If you don’t use SSL Certificate on your WordPress website, then all the information from the browser to server or vice-versa will go in the plain text format which can be easily understood by any hacker. So, there is every chance that your site may get hacked.

To prevent this type of scenario, you should start using SSL Certificate for your WordPress website. In fact, there are many SSL Certificate providers who provide you with the SSL Certificate at free of cost. So, connect with them and assure the security of your website.

 

10. Hide PHP Errors

If you’re someone who has been working as WordPress Developer for a long time, then you must be knowing about the importance WordPress Functions PHP Security.

As you all know that, in WordPress the whole coding is done in PHP programming language and therefore, in order to secure your WordPress website, you should be thinking about PHP security.

Those who’ve got the experience of working with PHP would know that the PHP errors can be displayed on the front-end of your website. You just have to add define ( ‘WP_DEBUG’; true); line in the wp-config.php file.

Although this is a very useful functionality for the developers, you should always hide this information for a security purpose. The reason behind that is, this type of data can help the experienced hackers to break your WordPress website.


11. One Site = One Container

We all know that hosting multiple websites on a single server can be an effective tactic, especially if you’ve ‘unlimited’ hosting plan. However, if you see this tactic from the security perspective, then this the worst thing that you’ve ever done.

The reason behind that is, hosting so many websites in the same location gives the attacker the opportunity to attack a bigger area. The Cross-Site Contamination scenario is very common when you opt for this type of approach.

What exactly happens in this type of scenario is that, when one site is negatively affected, all the other sites also have to pay their dues due to poor isolation on the server configuration.

For example, consider a server who is hosting only WordPress website with a theme & 10 plugins. When any data breach happens on the server, only this site will be affected. However, if you’ve hosted 5 sites on a single server, the all the 5 sites will be affected by the data breach.

Therefore, you should always follow ‘One Site = One Container’ rules which means you should host only one WordPress website on the server for hardening the security.

 

12. Sensible User Access

This rule is only applicable to the WordPress websites that have multiple users or logins. To maintain the security of your WordPress website, it’s very important that every user has appropriate permission or privileges they require to do a particular job.

If some user needs some extra permissions, then grant that permission for a specific time period and then, reduce it after the job is completed. This concept is known as Least Privileged. For example, if someone wants to write a guest post, don’t give him/her admin privileges. They should only be able to create new posts & edit their own posts.

By carefully defining the user roles and access, you can limit any kind of mistakes which can invite security threats to your WordPress website. If multiple people are sharing the same account, then it’s very important to keep an eye on their behaviour on a regular basis. For this purpose, keeping the audit log can be a very good solution for you.  


13. Choose Your Extensions Wisely

As you all know that, WordPress ecosystem provides you with plenty of options for themes, plugins, add-ons, etc. In fact, this is the reason why most of us love WordPress CMS. However, while choosing these extensions, you should be really careful.

There are some factors that you need to take into account while choosing an extension for your WordPress website. They are as listed below:

 

● When was the extension last updated: If the last update was more than a year ago, the author is not doing any work on it and therefore, you shouldn’t use that.

 

● Age Of Extension & Number Of Installs: If the extension is very old and it has thousands of active installs, you should opt for it. Otherwise, you shouldn’t use it.

 

● Legitimate & Trusted Sources: Always download your plugins, extensions & themes from the legitimate sources. Never opt for null or pirated version.  

 

14. Watch Out For The File Permissions

File Permissions is one of the critical factors as far as WordPress security is concerned. Therefore, as an owner of a WordPress website, it becomes extremely important to be aware of the file permissions.

Each file in the WordPress has 3 types of permissions and they’re represented by a specific number. [1.] Read (4) - view the file content, [2.] Write (2) - change the file contents. [3.] Execute (1) - run the program file or script.

If you want to allow multiple permissions on a file, then simply add the file permission numbers. For example, to allow read (4) & write (2) on a file, set the user permission to 6. If you want to allow read (4), write (2) & execute (1), set the user permission to 7.

There are three types of user roles which you also need to keep in mind: [1.] Owner - usually the creator of the file, [2.] Group - each file is assigned a group & a user who is part of that group will get those file permissions, [3.] Public - everyone else.

So, keeping both user roles as well as file permissions in mind, you need to set the appropriate user permission in such a manner that it doesn’t compromise your website security.  

 

15. Block Bad Bots

Bad bots are an automated system which always tries to break the rules. In fact, they are a malicious pattern which is originating from a single IP address in a very short time span and tries to steal the maximum amount of bandwidth.

Therefore, it becomes necessary for all the WordPress website owners to be aware of this thing and block bad bots. Otherwise, it may result in a decrease of the bandwidth and it will affect your Google search rankings.

 

Wrapping Up Things…

Security has been in major issue for website owners around the globe. In fact, the worry about the security of the WordPress website has given many WordPress Development Company In India & USA sleepless nights.

Taking the above scenario into consideration, here we have tried to provide you with a list of 15 innovative ways through which you can harden the security of the WordPress website.

If you’ve any questions or suggestions regarding this subject, then feel free to ask them in our comment section. We’ll try to respond to each of your queries. Thank You.!

 

 

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