One of the most popular and useful CMS tools, WordPress has a market share of around 58% leaving CMS tools like Joomla far behind. Sites developed on WordPress receive 22.17 billion page-views in just a month, and therefore it isn’t a surprise why business owners depend on the tool. With its numerous theme and plug-ins, WordPress is ahead of most other CMS platforms in terms of extensibility.
You can choose from a base of 47,000 plugins that are designed to meet all kinds of purposes. Flexibility is the best part of WordPress – it allows you to customise your site with features you like. Therefore, with so much banking on a WordPress site, it becomes vital that you do everything in your power or programming help to protect your site from a security breach.
Did you know that 73.2% of the most popular WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacking? It would take a hacker only a couple of minutes to detect a vulnerable site and attack its security. This makes it all the more imperative that you make sure your site cannot be hacked.
No WordPress website is 100% secure. So, what can be done to avoid third-party infringements? To protect your WordPress site, you can try out the following tricks so that your data does not fall into the wrong hands.
10 best ways to keep your WordPress site safe from hackers:
Technically speaking, the only way to keep hackers at bay is by strengthening your security barriers. Follow these tried and tested tips to keep your WordPress website’s security uncompromised.
1. Keep a strong password
This is a little given, and yet I repeat this. The password to your site is like the first layer of the security blanket. Therefore, you must keep the password strong with a minimum of 10 characters. Use uppercase letters along with a lowercase letter, a combination of digits and special characters.
While at it, try not to maintain any particular sequence. For example, PaSsWoRd has a sequence with a lowercase letter following an uppercase letter. This makes it easy to hack through a site. You can use digits and special characters to make it stronger.
2. Update your passwords often
Just keeping a strong password is not enough. To keep it hack-proof you must change it often. Moreover, it is recommended that you keep different passwords for multiple sites. This way you will be able to avoid the risk of having all your sites hacked at one go.
3. Try a two-phase authentication
Another great way to secure your website from hacking attacks is to use a dual-phase authentication system. The implementation of two-factor authentication will provide you with an extra layer of security when someone tries to log in to your site. You can link your mobile phone number with your website so that no one can access your site unless they know the passcode sent to your phone number. You can use plug-ins like Google Authenticator and Duo Two-factor authentication to activate this feature on your site.
4. Put a restriction limit on login attempts
Most amateur hackers guess the password and try to log in until they crack it. Another way to thwart their unethical effort is by restricting the number of times someone can log in to your site within a particular period. If the threshold limit is crossed, then the IP address of the user will be blocked immediately. You can use WordPress plugins like Restrict Content Pro and Private Content to set a restriction for your site.
5. Schedule your backups
In case your site is hacked, keep a management strategy ready to fight the immediate crisis. A scheduled backup plan can help you save your time and efforts to restore the previous site. As soon as you feel that something is wrong, you can use the backup to switch to the version of your site before it was hacked into. Plug-ins like Backup Buddy and Vault press are the best choice.
6. Change the username often
A major mistake that most WordPress users commit is not paying heed to the username. Most users stick with admin. Since it is a common practice, it becomes easy for hackers to guess the username without having to fish for it. Having a unique username can save you from quick break-ins into your site. It will buy you some extra time as they try to guess the username to the website. To select a username, you can use the same trick as of passwords and include digits and characters to make it difficult to guess.
7. Get a good hosting provider
All the above security tricks might fail to do its job if you do not have a reliable hosting provider that is difficult to break into. If the host itself can be breached easily, then no amount of security layers would be able to protect your site. So, make sure that you select the best hosting provider that is compatible with WordPress. Also, keep a check on whether the hosting provider includes WP firewall, Malware scanning, MySQL or not. Bluehost and HostGator Cloud can be your best choices.
8. Keep your WordPress updated
WordPress updates itself almost every other day. Every time the tool faces a security threat, the programmers come up with a more robust version of it. The last WordPress update was on the 21st February of 2019 – that is just a couple of days back – to the version WordPress 5.1 “Betty”. If you want to dodge such contraventions, then you must keep up with the pace. Whenever an update is launched, hackers realise that the previous version had a fault and try to cash in the opportunity by trying to hack sites that haven’t been updated. Updating the prevalent version can help you counter a security threat.
9. Update the themes and plugins
Themes and plugins use cache and mine personal information about the users. If you want to keep your site safe from the clutches of a hacker, invest time (and, if required, money) to update the themes and plugins you use on your site. To do so, just go to the admin dashboard and check for the plugins that need to be updated.
10. Get rid of inactive plugins
Inactive WordPress plugins are vulnerable to security breaches, and therefore it becomes all the more important to keep a check on the plug-ins and themes that you do not use. Many a time, users make the terrible mistake of deactivating them and end up facing a loss of data. Make sure that you delete them so that you leave no scope for a hacker to get access to your site.
At the end of the day, you must remember that protecting your WordPress site is not a one-time process. It is a continuous process, and you must keep yourself aware of the possible threats and learn how to avert them. Keep a check on what’s happening around you and do the needful immediately.