In today’s time, there are millions of websites that are being developed and constructed on the WordPress platform. And, there would surely be a reason behind this huge number. Since WordPress is one of the most developer-friendly platforms, it allows you to do almost everything you want.
Despite the incessant demand for WordPress websites, its security is a matter that holds utmost importance for every owner. Statistically, Google blacklists approximately 50,000 websites for phishing and 20,000 for malware. And that too, only in a week. That is quite a huge number, isn’t it?
Talking about WordPress security, the concept is not only restricted to eliminating the risk but reducing it as well. Even if you are not a tech-savvy, there are several things that you can do to secure your WordPress website.
So, here are some of the best practices that would secure your website, but before that, let’s have a sneak peek of the importance of website security.
Why is it Important to have a Secured Website?
A WordPress website, if hacked, can lead to some repercussions, not only for your business but your reputation as well. Hackers may end up stealing confidential information about your users, such as passwords, saved credit card information, and more. They might install malevolent software on your website or can even spread malware among your users.
In the worst-case scenario, you may end up paying a huge amount to hackers, in the form of ransomware, just to attain website access back. Furthermore, Google has started warning people to avoid visiting such websites that are not secure. And then, Google blacklisting is always a threat.
So, unless you are not serious about your online business, you should be really cautious when it comes to keeping the website secure.
Here are some tactics to do so:
Secure Your Login Page
Those who are quite handy over the WordPress websites know the login page URL. Even those who are not much aware of it, the standardized URL can be easily found online. Since everyone knows the backend can be accessed from that URL, hackers try to instinctually force to log in. To prevent that, you can customize your login by adding something by the end of the domain name.
If not, there are several other methods as well through which you can secure your login page, such as:
- Installing lockdown feature to lock the website upon failed login attempts
- Using a 2-factor authentication is another system to secure the login page
- Using email ID instead of username is more secure
- Rename login URL
- Use LastPass to share passwords with your team
Role of Hosting
Out of all the important measures, WordPress hosting plays an important role in keeping your website secure. If you have selected well-known and reliable hosting companies, you wouldn’t have to be afraid of unnecessary threats as renowned companies always take an extra step to keep your server protected from hackers and viruses.
However, if you are using a shared hosting, then the risk might still be there, regardless of the hosting provider. The hacker can always attack your neighboring website to get into your site and steal all the necessary information. Therefore, it is recommended to be extra vigilant while playing a bet on shared hosting.
To be on the secured path, you can consider taking up managed hosting for WordPress. Such kind of hosting is more secure, in comparison with other types. Also, with managed hosting, you can even avail automatic updates for WordPress, automatic backups, and advanced configurations for security, based on how your hosting provider provides.
This might seem like a regular process and a simple one as well, but it actually has a huge impact on your website’s security. WordPress is known for bringing updates every now and then. So, whenever you log in to your dashboard, make sure you update your website whenever the notification for the same flashes on your screen.
If you are perplexed about breaking down or messing up with something, then keeping a backup while installing updates will take away all your worries. With every new update, WordPress fixes previous loopholes, which means that if you are leaving your website outdated, it will be more vulnerable to hackers.
Not just the overall website, but the same rule applies to themes and plugins. These are, in a way, an open door to all the personal information accessible on your website. So, unless you are keeping them inspected systematically and updated regularly, you have high chances of getting your website hacked because of these themes and plugins.
Switching Website to HTTPS
Moving forward, it is the time to talk about TLS/SSL certificate. Such certification will help you transfer your website to HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), which is a more secure form of HTTP. Chances are, you may already know about these concepts, but if you don’t, it’s time to put you through a knowledge coaster ride.
The process of transferring data between a website and a browser that is trying to access the site is done through HTTP protocol. Whenever a visitor clicks on the website’s home page, every bit of media, content, and website code is sent to the visitor’s location through this protocol. While the process is quite important, it does raises some security issues. Rogues may seize the data while it is in transfer mode and can utilize it for their own despicable purposes.
However, what can solve your problem is HTTPS. Although it follows the same process as that of HTTP; however, while transferring the data, it encrypts it, so that no one can access it easily. Therefore, to switch your website to HTTPS, you would need a TLS or SSL certificate. It helps the browser in understanding that your website is authentic, and the data is encrypted.
Once you have the certificate installed, you would have to implement HTTPS and your website will be secured from hackers.
Hide Version Number
There is no denying the fact that WordPress is a vulnerable platform and can be hacked very easily. However, there are some such versions of this platform that carry familiar and standard susceptibilities with themselves. Hackers, who are well-versed with such exposures will not take much time to get into your website.
Another thing is that every page’s head section, on your website, shows the version number of WordPress. And, for hackers to detect this version number is a child’s game. So, you can remove this information by adding the following code to the functions.phpfile of your theme:
Not just that, but the readme.html file in your WordPress website also contains the version number of WordPress. Therefore, you must consider removing that file as well to save the website once and for all.
Regular Backups are Important
Regardless of how many security measuring steps you have taken, there will always be a room for improvement. However, regardless of the situation, keeping an off-site backup of your entire website is another best remedy that can protect you from hackers and their unwanted attacks. Having a backup would always help you restoring your website anytime you may want.
It would prevent you the hassle of starting from the scratch. If it seems too tedious of a job, there are some WordPress plugins that would help you complete this job seamlessly. If you want, you can take up some premium plugins that will take backup of your website after every set period of time, be it 30 minutes or one week.
If not, then there are some free plugins as well. However, make sure that the one you are selecting and installing is worth the time and efforts. Also, ensure that the plugin is reliable enough to take your entire backup.
Enable Web Application Firewall (WAF)
Another easiest and best way through which you can secure your WordPress website is by utilizing web application firewall (WAF). This firewall helps in hindering susceptible traffic from reaching your website. There are different types of firewalls available out there. So, you can navigate through them, assess them, and choose the best one for your website.
There are some such firewalls as well that not only ensure security but blacklist removal, malware cleaning, and other amazing beneficial services. And then, even if you get hacked, while the firewall is running on your website, it will be their responsibility to fix your website back, regardless of the pages it has.
However, firewalls that guarantee recovery from hacking come with a significant amount. After all, nothing is for free out there, isn’t it? But, even if you can get your website back from the clutches of a hacker, paying a minimal amount will not bother you much, right?
At the end of the day, there are several ways through which you can keep your WordPress website secure. However, if nothing works out, you can constrain the number of IP addresses that would be able to visit your admin or login section of the website. This is obviously one of the easiest ways to block all the unwanted visitors and to access the website only with your IP address or that of your trusted team members.