WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) and powers more than 40% websites. However as it grows, hackers have taken note and are beginning to specifically target WordPress sites. No matter what types of content your site provides, you are not an exception. If you don’t take certain precautions you could get hacked. Like everything technology related, you need to check your website security.
In this tutorial, we will share our 5 Best Tips to keep your WordPress website secure.
1. Don’t Use Nulled Themes
WordPress premium themes look more professional and have more customizable options than a free theme. But one could argue you get what you pay for. Premium themes are coded by highly skilled developers and are tested to pass multiple WordPress checks right out of the box. There are no restrictions on customizing your theme, and you will get full support if something does go wrong on your site. Most of all you will get regular theme updates. But, there are a few sites that provide nulled or cracked themes. A nulled or cracked theme is a hacked version of a premium theme, available via illegal means. They are also very dangerous for your site. Those themes contain hidden malicious codes, which could destroy your website and database or log your admin credentials. While it may be tempting to save a few bucks, always avoid nulled themes.
2. Install a WordPress Security Plugin
It’s a time-consuming work to regularly check your website security for malware and unless you regularly update your knowledge of coding practices you may not even realize you’re looking at a piece of malware written into the code. Luckily other’s have realized that not everyone is a developer and have put out WordPress security plugins to help. A security plugin takes care your site security, scans for malware and monitors your site 24/7 to regularly check what is happening on your site.
wordfence is a great WordPress security plugin. They offer security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, effective security hardening, post-hack security actions, security notifications, and even website firewall (for a premium.
3. Use a Strong Password
Passwords are a very important part of website security and unfortunately often overlooked. If you are using a plain password i.e. ‘123456, abc123, password’, you need to immediately change your password. While this password may be easy to remember it is also extremely easy to guess. An advanced user can easily crack your password and get in without much hassle.
It’s important you use a complex password, or better yet, one that is auto-generated with a variety of numbers, nonsensical letter combinations and special characters like % or ^.
4. Disable File Editing
When you are setting up your WordPress site there is a code editor function in your dashboard which allows you to edit your theme and plugin. It can be accessed by going to Appearance>Editor. Another way you can find the plugin editor is by going under Plugins>Editor.
Once your site is live we recommend that you disable this feature. If any hackers gain access to your WordPress admin panel, they can inject subtle, malicious code to your theme and plugin. Often times the code will be so subtle you may not notice anything is amiss until it is too late.
To disable the ability to edit plugins and the theme file, simply paste the following code in your wp-config.php file.
5. Update your WordPress version
Keeping your WordPress up to date is a good practice to keeping your website secure. With every update, developers make a few changes, often times including updates to security features. By staying updated with the latest version you are helping protect yourself against being a target for pre-identified loopholes and exploits hackers can use to gain access to your site.
It is also important to update your plugins and themes for the same reasons. By default, WordPress automatically downloads minor updates. For major updates, however, you will need to update it directly from your WordPress admin dashboard.