Securing your WordPress site is of utmost importance with the thousands of hackers and malicious code out trying to take advantage of all your hard work. Understanding additional steps you can take that are more out-of-the-box in terms of security, will keep your site secure from malicious hackers and your business running smoothly.
Below are a few security plugins you can use, along with some other popular tactics. On top of securing the core of your website, I’ll also guide you through a variety of steps you can take to secure your sites administration.
- Avoid Downloading Premium Plugins That Have Been Nulled: This may seem like a great idea when you’re on a tight budget but it could cause you more headaches in the long-run. Download plugins from the official sale site if at all possible. It’s possible that by the time these once legit plugins are offered on illegal download sites, they are often corrupted with malware. So, for the money you saved, a hacker now has a direct line to your site.
- Reduce Your Plugin Use: Upon initial installation, limit the number of plugins used. To run and maintain a secure site, you need to be over-cautious in how you select which plugins to use. This is also helpful for the speed and performance of your site as well as too many plugins can bog your site down. The fewer plugins you have, the fewer opportunities hackers have to access your site information.
- Use 2-Factor Authentication for Login: This combined method of providing login credentials to a service is quickly becoming a trend in WordPress security. Typically, in the form of something you have and something you know, such as a disposable string of numbers. To effectively implement this factor into your site, you should use only one of the many reputable plugins available. Some plugins use an email-based two-factor authentication and others use your phone’s camera.
- Use Correct Values for Your File and Folder Permissions: These permissions are a set of rules that regulate who and what can write, read, access and modify them on your WordPress website. A three-number value is provided to files and folders for permissions. As these values can regulate your files and folders they need to be set up with the follow values:
- Folders = 755
- Files = 644
Take special caution to never use a permission mode of 777 for any of your files or folders as this enables any user’s full access to them.
- Keep Your Plugins and WordPress Site Up-to-Date: It is essential to keep your plugins and your WordPress files updated to the latest version available as most of these new versions contain security patches.
- Only Use a Secured WordPress Host: Your WordPress website is only as secure as your hosting account. If a vulnerability in an old PHP version can be exploited by someone or another service on your hosting platform, it won’t matter whether you have the latest WordPress version or not. This is why it is of great importance to be hosted with a company whose priority is security. Features you should look for when seeking a secure hosting platform include:
- Account isolation
- Web application firewall
- Intrusion detecting system
- Support for the latest PHP and MySQL versions
- Obscure Your Login Page: Even though hiding this element on your site won’t prevent a hacker from accessing it, it will make it harder for a hacker to get access to. You can do this by renaming or relocating your login page. Typically, brute force attacks are automated. So, if your login page is anything but the typical www.websitename.com/wp-admin etc., hackers will have a really difficult time attacking it. There are several WordPress security plugins that make this possible.
As you can see, securing your WordPress site goes far beyond the simple installation of a security plugin. Sometimes it’s these simple tasks that can make the difference between an average security strategy and a remarkable one.