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WordPress security – 5 steps to keep your website safe from hackers

Posted on 22nd May, 2018 by Chris Stott

Web Design

WordPress is the most used content management system in the world. Thanks to its ease of use, the huge number of themes, and unsurpassed amount of plugins, it provides a user-friendly way for businesses to manage their website’s with ease. Powering approximately 27% of all websites, WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms around and thanks to its functionality it is easy to see why. But this popularity means that WordPress can also be a target for hackers and spammers.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what steps you can take to keep your WordPress site safe from hackers and keep your website secure. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Step 1 – Keep it updated

One of the simplest ways for keeping your website secure is by making sure you always update to the latest version of WordPress core and install plugin updates when they are available. Developers work to patch any security vulnerabilities in plugins and core updates also cover any security issues found in previous versions.

Rather than manually having to install updates you can enable automatic background updates which will ensure that your website is kept up to date with the latest core WordPress version. Also when choosing plugins for your website take a look at reviews and how often the plugin is updated, any which are not updated frequently could create vulnerabilities which could be exploited by hackers.

Step 2 – Login details

Changing the default login page location and administrator username are common sense precautions that can help make your website more secure. As well as removing the standard ‘admin’ username you should also force users to use strong passwords that must include capital letters, numbers, lowercase letters and special characters. The more secure your passwords are the less likely that a hacker will be able to use a bruteforce attack.

 

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Step 3 – Disable file editing and directory browsing

Don’t let users accidentally weaken the security of your website by editing the PHP files of your themes and plugins. Access can easily be disabled with just a couple of lines of code in your wp-config file, or for those with little coding experience, this can often be achieved using one of the security plugins in the next step.

As well as disabling file editing you’ll also want to disable directory indexing and browsing to stop hackers from searching your file directories for known weaknesses. Again this is an easy fix to make and simply involves editing your htaccess file with a single line of code.

Step 4– Install a security plugin

Security plugins offer an added layer of protection for your website and make it more difficult for hackers to gain access. They have a range of features but common ones include bruteforce protection, enhanced firewall settings, automatic backup scheduling and security scanning. By making it more difficult for hackers you are minimising the chances of your website being hacked. There are many security plugins on the market but some of the most popular ones include WordFence, BulletProof Security and All In One WP Security & Firewall.

 

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Step 5 – Choose a good hosting provider

As well as taking the time to secure your website don’t forget to upgrade to a decent hosting provider. Shared hosting is the most common option these days but this can cause problems as resources are shared with other customers. This can lead to potential cross-site issues where hackers can exploit other websites to gain access to shared hosting platforms. Your hosting plays one of the most important roles if protecting your website against hackers so make sure you choose a WordPress specific provider.

Following this advice should help to ensure your WordPress website is as secure as possible and will discourage hackers and spammers to move on to an easier target.

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