Today, WordPress has come to be associated with almost 65.2% of all the websites that use content management systems, and this constitutes about 42.5% of all the websites. This establishes that WordPress has created a special niche for itself among users. But, with such popularity comes certain pitfalls; WordPress also attracts most cyber threats from hackers.
Hackers use automated bots to exploit the vulnerabilities of the vast plug-ins associated with WordPress and some bad security practices adopted by the users, like using outdated versions of plug-ins, WordPress, and other software. So, it is crucial to protect your WordPress site from hackers and to achieve this, you must pay attention to some very effective security hacks, as discussed below.
Tighten Your WP Site Security With SSL Certificate
Secure your website with an SSL Certificate by encrypting all the in-transit communication between the user web browser and the webserver. This renders all the user information unreadable for any hackers trying to lay hands on crucial user information. An SSL secured site shifts its protocol from HTTP to secured HTTPS.
A visual symbol of trust, a padlock, is introduced before the URL of the website that elevates user trust to the next level. SSL Certificate also carries out authentication of the website and helps you gain improved ranking on the Google search engine results page.
Choose an SSL Certificate according to your security requirements and budget. Among various choices of SSL Certificates available with most reputed SSL Certificate providers, wildcard SSL Certificates are popular among users. A wildcard SSL Certificate truly gives you the best value for your invested money by securing the main root domain and all the subdomains one level below the main root domain with just a single certificate. It is represented with a wildcard character(*) in the domain field. e.g., a single wildcard SSL Certificate for *.yoursite.com can be used for the following domains and subdomains as shown in the image.
Go For A Reputed And Trusted Hosting Provider
Pay attention to getting a good and reliable hosting provider for your website and so research well. Choose a hosting provider that puts the most importance on the security of its clients and do a balanced evaluation among the plans offered by them, additional features, their reputation, customer services, etc.
Check for security features like regular backups and various software updates to eradicate any security lapses in the older version. This must include security software, operating systems, WordPress, uninterrupted malware scanning, DDOS protection, etc. Make sure that your hosting provider has full support for WordPress and has a stringent WordPress firewall in place.
The hosting service provider should have a good WordPress account and website management. See if its server offers an architecture that isolates each WordPress account and website from its adjoining one in the same server. This helps in preventing any cross-contamination among adjoining websites in case of any cyberattack infection.
Lastly, choose a trusted and well-reputed hosting provider. This will ensure good speed for your site, reliable uptime, fast and well-trained customer support in case of any technical issues. These reputed hosts usually provide SSL certificates for free as part of the plans offered by them.
Give Your WP website A Web Application Firewall Security
A firewall is essentially a code that blocks any malicious requests made at the very entry point to your site. A firewall forms the first layer of protection against any malware attack. So, a WordPress firewall keeps a continuous check on the requests made, each identified by a unique IP address. If any activity raises the alarm, e.g., you start getting too many similar order requests in a very short time, or if the requests mimic an abusive bot, then that IP address is immediately blocked by the firewall. A firewall plays a crucial role in protecting a WordPress site from malware attacks which, if it infiltrates into the configuration files, can cause real havoc.
Secure Your WP site By Using Latest PHP Version
Check the PHP version used by the Hosting provider for the hassle-free operation of your WordPress website. Using the latest PHP version secures your website against cyberattacks that try to exploit the vulnerabilities of older versions. In addition, it helps you to enhance the overall working of your WordPress website. The validity period for each PHP version extends to 2 years, during which you will receive support in case of any technical or security issues. Any security patch updates are fully taken care of during this period. On the other hand, if you are using PHP 7.1version or any lower versions, you are exposed to many security threats with no backups from PHP support teams.
A study conducted by WordPress stats observes that 57% of WordPress users are still using PHP version 5.6 or lower versions and along with PHP 7.0, it is alarming to see that 77.5% of WordPress users are using PHP versions which are not supported anymore as can be seen in the image above. This puts our WordPress websites at a huge risk of exposing to cyber threats. Hence you must switch to the latest version of PHP for your WP site.
Seal Your WP Account By Using Strong Passwords and Usernames
It is very important to use a strong password and username to protect your WordPress account from any cyber-attacks. This is crucial to the safety of the entire website. Any malicious attempt by hackers to break through the login account can leave the website configuration files exposed dangerously, causing serious damage.
It would help if you chose long passwords, which is a mix of lower and uppercase characters, numbers, and special characters, to protect your WP admin accounts. Also, it would be best to change the default username ‘admin’ to a new username that is strong to secure your WP site login credentials. Henceforth you must assign all the old posts to a new username and delete the older admin account.
It is also advisable to change passwords from time to time. Limit the number of login attempts so that the hackers cannot use brute force attacks to crack your login credentials.
In conclusion, we can say that you must continuously evaluate the security posture of your website so that you can proactively take necessary actions to avert any major cyber threats to your WordPress website. Now that you are aware of the most effective WordPress Security tips, go ahead and make them a part of your healthy security practices to achieve a WordPress site protected from hackers and raise your website’s user experience to the next level.