It’s no secret that WordPress website security is extremely important for businesses. A security breach on your WordPress site can result in a lot of cleanup work for you. Even worse, it can make customers lose trust in your company.
WordPress is used by many businesses. In fact, more than 40% of all websites on the internet use WordPress. That’s over 800 million websites!
With such a huge number of people relying on them, it’s important for WordPress to make sure the platform is secure for users. And overall, they do a really good job.
However, internet hackers are getting better all the time, and most business owners find that it’s helpful to take increased security measures to protect their websites.
With that in mind, we’ve created a list of 10 tips for a more secure WordPress website.
10 Tips to Increase Website Security
1. Update WordPress regularly
WordPress releases new updates to the server anytime the developers find and fix bugs that cause issues for users, and vulnerabilities that could make it easier for hackers to breach the system.
Keeping WordPress updated is one of the easiest ways to make sure your website is secure.
2. Add website security plugins
Plugins are a user-friendly way to add functionality to your website without having to use code. Like phone apps, each plugin does something specific to make your website better. Some WordPress plugins are free, while others can be purchased.
If you’re new to using plugins, the WordPress website provides some great tips on how to install plugins on wordpress.com.
Some plugins are specifically designed to add security to WordPress websites. We recommend checking out the options for security plugins and picking a few that will make your website more secure.
Here are three of the most popular security plugins:
Wordfence – protects your website against cyber attacks
iThemes Security – works 24/7 to prevent hacks, security breaches, and malware
WPS Hide Login – this plugin allows you to change the WordPress login page URL to something else, so you can conceal the actual login page from potential hackers
Need more help understanding how to use plugins? Check out our list of the top 5 plugins that should be installed on every WordPress website.
3. Update plugins and themes regularly
Just like updating WordPress, updating your plugins and themes regularly is an easy way to keep your website secure.
The longer software goes without being updated, the more time hackers have to figure out a way to breach the system. Whenever a new update is available, it means that the software developers have identified ways to make their product more secure.
Take advantage of it and stay on top of those updates!
4. Remove old plugins, even if they’re deactivated
Even inactive plugins can pose a security risk if left on your system. Make sure to remove old plugins, even if they are deactivated.
If you need help removing deactivated plugins, check out this article on how to uninstall a WordPress plugin.
5. Review your website for malware at least once a year
Checking your website for malware is a great way to stay on top of security breaches.
Sometimes, you can tell just from how your website is running that there is a malware problem. If your site is running slower than usual, or if there are unwanted popups or links, you probably have some malware.
You should be reviewing your website for malware as often as possible. Once a year is the bare minimum, but most experts recommend checking for malware once a month.
Here’s a helpful resource on how to scan WordPress for malware.
6. Use two-factor authentication login for website security
As the name suggests, two-factor authentication is a login method where users are required to provide two types of authentication before gaining access to a website.
The benefit of two-factor authentication is that even if someone else knows your password, they still can’t gain access to the system without another piece of personal identification.
A few common examples of two-factor authentication include requiring a phone number, zip code, or PIN in addition to a password to gain access.
7. Look at users and change passwords regularly
Another great way to improve your website security is to keep track of users and require all users to change their passwords regularly.
Did you know that weak or stolen passwords are responsible for 80% of cyber security breaches? That’s why it is so important to change your passwords regularly. We recommend changing your passwords every three months for maximum security.
8. Lock the core files from the server
WordPress core files are files that contain the server’s core function. These core files are not meant to be modified, updated, or deleted.
Because these files are so important, locking them from the server is a great way to increase security. This basically means that users will not be able to edit these files from within WordPress.
The default setting on WordPress is to allow users to edit these files, so you will need to remove that option. For more information on how to lock files from the server, take a look at this helpful article.
9. Have limited login attempts
One common hacker tactic is to try hundreds (or even thousands) of password combinations to get into a system. This is even worse if the hacker is a bot, because they can come up with endless password combinations extremely quickly.
Having limited login attempts is an awesome way to improve your website security from the get-go and prevent hacks into the system.
Even if too many failed login attempts only lock a person out for a few hours, many hackers will be deterred by the inconvenience and move on.
10. Use SSL for website security
SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer.” It is a way to establish a secure connection between multiple systems.
If you have a WordPress website, it’s highly recommended that you have an SSL certificate. This certificate makes your online communications secure by encrypting the connection between your website and another browser.
If you’re not super techy, SSL might seem a little bit confusing. This page on WordPress SSL helps to explain what it is and how it works.
Need help with your WordPress account?
Don’t wait until you’ve been hacked to think about securing your website! The more you do now to increase website security, the better off your business will be down the road.
We understand that taking all the important steps to protect your WordPress website can be overwhelming as a business owner. At Lifedge, we offer a website maintenance service that keeps your website updated and secure.
Book a meeting with us today to learn how we can help you with website security!