How To Harden Your WordPress Site?
Let’s assume that you’re a hacker and are looking for out-of-the-box ideas to hack the best websites on the web. The main purpose behind it is to use them to bring huge traffic to a phishing scam.
Think from a hacker mindset, about how you would target the websites to achieve the best possible results. One of the ways that you could use is to identify and target a set of vulnerabilities that would be affecting many sites altogether.
Now, just give it a thought, if this type of thing could be easily found and exploited, it could give rise to digital terror. Isn’t it?
Do you now see why hardening your WordPress site is so important?
WordPress, being one of the most reliable CMS on the web, it is one prime target for hackers. But there is always a way that can help you from getting your site hacked.
Why WordPress website security is vital?
If you don’t work towards hardening your WordPress website’s security, it can impose complications on the revenue and reputation. Hackers can steal the user’s personal data, passwords, and more for phishing scams.
Do you want to expect the worst scenario now? You may be paying ransomware to hackers to gain access to your hacked website.
According to Google’s 2016 report, there were more than 20,000 websites that had a focus on hacking other websites for information or scams. So, if you run a website for business or personal reasons, you need to emphasize more on adding security to your WordPress site.
It is just as similar to the tangible or physical business store to protect it from thefts, a website needs to be protected too from online scams, thefts, and viruses.
Ways to Harden Your WordPress Website
Now, we’ve landed on the real stuff of this blog. Some of the below-mentioned ways need coding or development experience, or else the mistakes caused due to ignoring this factor can lead to crashes and breakdowns.
Let’s begin with these hardening ways with at least some caution. Before that, keep in mind that you keep a backup of your website such that unnecessary complications can be avoided.
1. Install an SSL Certificate:
SSL or Secure Socket Layer Certificate moves your site from the HTTP version to the most secure HTTPS version. It ensures that all the data that’s stored on the server (user’s and website’s data) remains encrypted and safe.
Even Google prefers websites that have an SSL certificate on their website since it ensures the security of the users. Now, it penalizes the websites that show “Not Secure” in the browser instead of the green lock that appears beside HTTPS.
2. Use Strong Passwords:
This is one of the easiest and quickest ways of hardening your WordPress site. You need to make sure that all your administrators configure passwords that are at least 8 characters long. It must also include upper and lower case alphabets, numerals, and special characters.
Fortunately, WordPress offers a built-in secure password generator that can help you generate a difficult-to-guess password for your system administrators. Thus, if you notice that your password is easy-to-guess or isn’t secure, consider changing it and filling up this security loophole.
3. Set up a WP Firewall:
By setting WordPress firewalls, you can block hackers from getting forced entry into your website. It can even track any malicious IP address used by the hackers and blocks them right away.
To set up a WP firewall, you can use a popular security plugin named MalCare. It can detect all the security issues on your site. It even has a built-in firewall that you can enable on your site. It can prevent future attacks on your WordPress site.
4. Use Two Factor Authentication:
The process of hardening your WordPress site isn’t over without protecting your site’s login from data thefts. Two-factor authentication is one of the ways of securing your WordPress site’s login page.
With this, visitors or users who’ll be trying to sign in to the account have to pass a 2 step process of verification, which includes:
- Enter the correct username and password
- Enter unique OTP sent to your device
5. Limit Login Attempts:
Do you why banks allow only three attempts to log in to their online portal? After the login attempts, you either get an option of ‘Forget Password’ or get logged out of your account. That’s an attempt to prevent forceful attacks from hackers.
By default, WordPress allows the users to attempt an unlimited number of login attempts which increases the chances of hacking. Thus, it is strongly advised that you limit the login attempts on your website such that hackers won’t be able to try many combinations to enter the site.
6. Disable File Editing:
WordPress offers a built-in code editor that allows us to edit the theme and files from the admin section. If it goes into the wrong hands, it can impose a security threat. Thus, it is recommended that you turn it off.
The process of disabling the file editor is simple and quick. You need to copy and paste the below-mentioned code into your wp-config.php file.
// Disallow file edit
define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );
7. Secure the wp-config File:
The wp-config file contains information related to your site’s configuration. It is recommended that you protect the file from the attack of hackers by adding the below-mentioned code in the .htaccess file.
deny from all
8. Apply Password in your Admin & Login Page:
Generally, hackers can easily gain access to your admin folder and login page without any issues. This can allow them to apply their hacking strategies and get full access to your WordPress site.
To prevent this situation from occurring, you can add a password on the server-side level since it will help you block random requests from malicious IP addresses. This is one of the best ways of hardening your WordPress site.
9. Automatically Log out Idle Users:
Most users who’re logged into a site sometimes wander away from their screen. This possess a great security threat to the site. Hackers can get into the admin section to make changes.
It is the main reason many financial institutions log out inactive users over time. This same functionality can be implemented on your WordPress site. For that, you need to install the Inactive Logout plugin on your site.
When it’s activated, visit Settings > Inactive Logout to make necessary changes to it. You can even set the time when it has to be logged out with a message. In the end, hit the save button to save this setting on your WordPress site.
You must remember that hardening the security of a WordPress site is a continuous process as hackers are always on the go to attack and rob vital information from the sites.
If you’re looking for one simplified and easy way of hardening the security of your WordPress site, you can use security plugins like MalCare since they can cover most of the ways mentioned in the blog and prevent your site from getting hacked.
We hope this blog helped you harden your website’s security. Let us know if you found it helpful or if you require additional help from us.