WordPress is the most used technology when it comes to website development! And why not, when you get outstanding design, superb performance, easy-to-use admin panel and unbelievable flexibility at the price of a static website, say a web development company in USA.
But, whenever we suggest WordPress to any of our clients, the first thing they question about is security. Well, it’s not a rumor that 6 websites out of 10 developed using WordPress get hacked now or later.
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In an era where online security threats are ever-present, protecting your WordPress website from hackers can be challenging — if you don’t know the right process, says a web development company in USA. WordPress, being one of the most popular content management systems (CMS), attracts the attention of cyber-criminals seeking vulnerabilities to exploit and mostly they get easy success on websites with lots of loopholes.
To ensure the safety and integrity of your website, it is essential to adopt robust security practices beyond what your developer has implemented in the basic version. In this blog, we will discuss effective measures said by the top web developers of Info9 Technologies to protect your WordPress website from potential hackers and cyber-attacks.
Keep WordPress Updated
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to enhance your website’s security is by keeping your PHP version, WordPress installation, themes, and plugins up to date, suggests an expert of a web development company in USA. Regular updates include security patches that address known vulnerabilities, making it harder for hackers to exploit your site.
It is strongly recommended to take a complete backup of your website along with its database before you make any kind of update. Though, mostly it is safe to update the PHP version, plugins or the theme, at times your website may not support some updates and can get crashed. So, take precautions and follow the golden rules.
Use Strong Login Credentials
Strengthening your login credentials is a fundamental step in preventing unauthorized access to your WordPress website. Most of the web development companies in USA delivers a website with common credentials like Admin as username and Admin@123 as password or so.
As per experts, avoid using such common usernames such as “admin” and choose unique and complex passwords, combining letters, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, consider implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) to add an extra layer of security.
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Install Reliable Security Plugins
WordPress offers a range of security plugins that can fortify your website against potential threats. Plugins like Wordfence, Sucuri, iThemes Security and so on can actively scan for malware, block suspicious IP addresses, unauthorized login trials, and provide a comprehensive firewall protection. Even if you can’t afford the premium version of the plugins, ensure that you install a reputable security plugin and regularly update it to benefit from the latest security features, says a web development company in USA.
Implement Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
Encrypting data transmitted between your website and your visitors is crucial for safeguarding sensitive information. SSL certificates establish a secure connection, preventing hackers from intercepting and deciphering data and misusing them to hack your website. Install an SSL certificate on your website to enable the HTTPS protocol, one of the must-have tools, providing reassurance to your users and enhancing your site’s credibility. As per digital marketing companies in USA, it can even help you getting higher rank on SERP as Google pays special value to SSL secured websites.
Hide Your Website’s Files
By default, any WordPress website shows the files and folders in it through specific URL (like: example.com/wp-includes). While there’s no use of it for a general website owner, it is highly useful for a hacker to know the file structure of your WordPress website and find out loopholes easily. So, use the following code in the .htaccess file to hide all these types of directory listing:
Options All -Indexes
Simply log into your cPanel and locate the .htaccess file under public_html directory. If you can’t find it, you can go to settings and check the ‘Show hidden files’ option and edit the file. Simply copy paste the code at the beginning of the codes and safe — you are done!
Don’t forget to take a backup of the file before you make any changes or else you can cause severe damage to your website if done any mistake. Do note, any changes in cPanel is not reversible.
Perform Regular Backups
Having up-to-date backups is a lifesaver in case of a successful hack or other disasters. It is one of the must follow safety measures to take backup your entire WordPress website regularly, including its database and files. Depending upon the type of your website (business website, classified, ecommerce etc.) set a safe backup frequency so that you can limit your data loss in case of any kind of cyber attack or even in case of a technical disaster. Various backup plugins like UpdraftPlus and BackupBuddy simplify the process by automating backups and storing them on remote servers or cloud storage platforms. You can do it from cPanel as well, if you have the basic understanding of File Manager and phpMyAdmin section.
Restrict File Permissions
Set appropriate file permissions on your server to limit access to sensitive files, says a senior developer of our web development company in India. Restrict write permissions to directories and files that don’t require frequent updates. Proper permission settings prevent malicious scripts from modifying critical files, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and potential website compromise.
Employ a Powerful Firewall
Deploying a web application firewall (WAF) acts as a protective barrier between your website and potential threats, explained one of our senior developers at Info9 Technologies. A WAF monitors incoming traffic, identifying and filtering out malicious requests before they reach your site. Services like Cloudflare and Sucuri offer WAF functionality for free, providing an additional layer of security and mitigating common attack vectors.
Modify The Default Login URL
Hackers first target the default methods to log into any account through various malicious ways. By modifying the default WordPress login URL, you can give a strong challenge to them at the very beginning. However, as per a senior developer of the best web development company in USA, it can permanently block your access to your website, if done wrong way or if you forget the new login URL.
How to change WordPress’ default login URL? Install Hide My Login plugin and set any custom URL as you wish and leave the rest unchanged. Now, if anyone wants to access the login page using the default wp-admin extension, it will show a 404 page not found error to the user/hacker.
Be Vigilant with Third-Party Themes and Plugins
Using themes and plugins from reputable sources is crucial, as poorly coded or outdated ones may contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Whenever you come across any plugin that seems to be useful for you, check whether it has a good number of downloads, what’s the rating and review, whether it’s compatible with your version of WordPress or not an so on.
Also, regularly update themes and plugins to ensure they receive security patches. Remove any unused or outdated themes and plugins, reducing potential attack vectors and minimizing the risk of exploitation.
One more thing! Never ever use any cracked or nulled WordPress theme or plugin! In addition to being illegal, they are the prime sources of malicious codes that creates a smooth path for hackers to intrude your website — now or later.
Securing your WordPress website against hackers requires a proactive approach and a combination of best practices, explained the Director of a web development company in USA.
By consistently updating your WordPress installation, employing strong login credentials, utilizing security plugins, implementing SSL, performing regular backups, setting proper file permissions, deploying a web application firewall, and being cautious with third-party themes and plugins, you significantly enhance your website’s security posture.
Remember, safeguarding your WordPress website is an ongoing process and thus you need to know how to do it the right way. It is essential to stay informed about emerging threats and security practices to ensure a safe online environment for you and your users.