WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. As of 2021, over 40% of websites are powered by WordPress. This popularity also makes it a prime target for hackers, who are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities to exploit.
If you’re running a WordPress website, it’s crucial to take security seriously. In this post, we’ll share 25 WordPress security best practices to help you keep your website safe and secure.
1. Keep Your WordPress Up-to-Date
Keeping your WordPress up-to-date is the easiest and most important step to ensure your website is secure. WordPress regularly releases updates to patch security vulnerabilities and improve performance. So, make sure to install the latest version of WordPress as soon as it’s released.
2. Use Strong Passwords
Using strong passwords for all your website’s user accounts is another easy step to enhance security. Avoid using simple passwords like “123456” or “password.” Instead, use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
3. Limit Login Attempts
Limiting login attempts can help prevent brute-force attacks. You can use a plugin like Limit Login Attempts to limit the number of login attempts from a specific IP address.
4. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your WordPress login process. You can use plugins like Google Authenticator or Authy to implement two-factor authentication.
5. Install Security Plugins
Security plugins can help you add an additional layer of security to your website. Some popular WordPress security plugins include Wordfence, Sucuri Security, and iThemes Security.
6. Use a Secure Hosting Provider
Choosing a secure hosting provider is crucial for your website’s security. Make sure your hosting provider offers SSL certificates, regular backups, and strong security measures.
7. Disable File Editing
By default, WordPress allows users to edit files like themes and plugins from the dashboard. However, it’s a good idea to disable this feature to prevent malicious users from accessing and modifying your website’s files.
8. Use SSL Certificates
An SSL certificate encrypts the data that’s transmitted between your website and its users. It’s essential to use SSL certificates to secure your website’s data, especially if it involves sensitive information like login credentials and payment information.
9. Monitor Your Website for Suspicious Activity
Monitoring your website for suspicious activity can help you detect security breaches before they cause significant damage. You can use tools like Jetpack Security or Google Analytics to monitor your website’s activity.
10. Backup Your Website Regularly
Regular backups can help you restore your website in case of a security breach. Make sure to schedule regular backups of your website’s files and database, either manually or using a backup plugin like UpdraftPlus.
11. Use the Latest Version of PHP
Using the latest version of PHP can improve your website’s performance and security. WordPress recommends using PHP version 7.4 or higher.
12. Use WordPress Security Keys
WordPress security keys are unique strings of characters that help secure cookies and passwords stored on a user’s browser. Make sure to use WordPress security keys by adding them to your website’s wp-config.php file.
13. Remove Unused Themes and Plugins
Unused themes and plugins can be a security risk as they can be exploited by hackers. Make sure to remove all unused themes and plugins from your website.
14. Restrict Access to wp-admin
Restricting access to wp-admin can prevent unauthorized users from accessing your website’s dashboard. You can use a plugin like WPS Hide Login to hide the wp-admin login page.
15. Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a security solution that filters traffic between your website and the Internet. It helps protect your website from attacks like SQL injection and cross-site scripting. There are several WAF plugins available for WordPress, including Sucuri Firewall and Cloudflare.
16. Secure Your File Permissions
Incorrect file permissions can give hackers access to your website’s files. Make sure to set the correct file permissions for all your website’s files and directories. For example, set file permissions to 644 for files and 755 for directories.
17. Disable XML-RPC
XML-RPC is a remote procedure call protocol that allows users to interact with WordPress remotely. However, it’s a common target for brute-force attacks, so it’s recommended to disable it if you don’t use it.
18. Use HTTPS
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, and it encrypts data transmitted between your website and its users. It’s essential to use HTTPS to protect your website’s data and improve its search engine rankings.
19. Remove WordPress Version Number
Your website’s WordPress version number can give hackers valuable information about vulnerabilities that exist in your website. So, it’s recommended to remove the WordPress version number from your website’s source code.
20. Use Captcha on Login and Registration Forms
Using Captcha on your website’s login and registration forms can help prevent automated bots from accessing your website. You can use plugins like Google Captcha (reCAPTCHA) to add Captcha to your website.
21. Use SFTP Instead of FTP
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a protocol used to transfer files between computers. However, it’s not secure, as all data is transmitted in plain text. So, it’s recommended to use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) to transfer files to and from your website’s server.
22. Disable Directory Listing
Directory listing allows users to see a list of files and directories on your website’s server. However, it can give hackers valuable information about your website’s structure and files. So, it’s recommended to disable directory listing.
23. Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) help improve your website’s performance and security by caching your website’s content on servers around the world. Some popular CDNs include Cloudflare and Amazon CloudFront.
24. Educate Your Users
Educating your users about the importance of security can help prevent security breaches. Make sure to educate your users about strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and how to detect phishing attacks.
25. Hire a Professional
If you’re not comfortable with implementing security measures on your own, it’s recommended to hire a professional. A professional can help you identify vulnerabilities and implement security measures to keep your website safe and secure.
In conclusion, WordPress security is essential to protect your website from hackers and security breaches. By following these 25 WordPress security best practices, you can enhance your website’s security and keep it safe from malicious attacks. Remember, security is an ongoing process, so make sure to regularly update your website’s security measures to stay protected.