9 simple steps to a secure WordPress website

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Why Should You Care About Securing Your WordPress Site?

WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) on the web. It is a great tool for creating websites, blogs, and online stores.

However, by default, WordPress does not provide any security features. This means that your site can be hacked and your data stolen in just a few minutes.

In this article, I will teach you how to secure your WordPress site from hackers and other threats so that you can sleep better at night knowing that your site is safer.

1. Choose a good hosting provider

Your WordPress hosting service is the most important part of WordPress security. A good hosting provider like Cloudways, Bluehost or Siteground take extra measures to protect their servers against common threats.

This is some of the extra measures that a good web hosting company provides to protect your websites and data.

  • Continuously monitor their network for suspicious activity.
  • Good hosting companies have tools in place to prevent large scale DDOS attacks
  • They make sure to update their server software, software versions, and hardware every once in a while so that hackers can’t get into the site due to a security vulnerability that may exist in an older version.
  • They have disaster recovery and accident response plans, so you know your data is secured even in the event of a major accident.

When hosting your website on a shared server, you are more exposed to web attacks because the server is used by many other customers. For example, if one of your neighbors has security vulnerabilities in their site, then they can take over your website too.

A managed WordPress hosting service provides you with a more secure platform to launch your site on. They’ll offer automatic backups, automatic WordPress updates for you and also provide advanced security configurations to make sure your website is being looked after like it should be.

2. Install a SSL Certificate

SSL certificates are an important way to protect your website and its visitors. They encrypt the data that is being transferred between the server and the visitor’s browser. Most good web hosts include a free ssl certificate in your hosting package, but if your host does not, then there are multiple options available where you can easily get a free certificate. But this solution is usually a little bitt more advanced to install than a solution offered by your web host.

Some good free options are:

https://letsencrypt.org/

https://www.sslforfree.com/

3. Install a Security Plugin/Firewall

The first thing you should do is install a plugin called iThemes Security, which will protect your site from malicious attacks and also block any brute force login attempts. It also provides alerts on any changes made to your site by hackers or other intruders, which can help you prevent future attacks on your website. iThemes security is easy to install, and it only takes a few clicks to secure your website.

4. Require & Use Strong Passwords

It might be tempting to use an old or easy-to-remember password, but other people could easily find out the information and use it for themselves. Doing so puts you, your company’s users, and your website at risk. Make sure to create an extremely strong, original password. Maximum password length, special characters and a unique management system are all great ways to do that.

When creating a password, there are some general password best practices you should follow.

If you don’t know how to properly secure your data, check the strength of your password by using a free tool like this Password Strength Checker.

5. Set up two-factor authentication

Two Factor Authentication, or 2FA, is an extra layer of protection used to ensure the security of online accounts beyond just a username and password. With 2FA, users verify their identity with a second authentication factor, like a secret code sent to their phone via text message. When logging into an account from your computer, the website will ask you to provide the password and additional code.

To enable two-factor authentication in iThemes Security, just click on the “Security” link in the WordPress sidebar menu, click on settings, configure, and login security. Now just choose your authentication method and click save.

6. Install a backup plugin

There are many plugins that are geared towards backing up your site and keeping it safe. My favorite is the WordPress Backup Plugin Vivid. This plugin can be installed on any type of WordPress site and will backup your entire site to the cloud, including your database, files, themes and plugins. . It provides additional security by storing backups in multiple locations. The plugin will show you a backup schedule, so you can easily see when your site was last backed up and also when your next backup is scheduled to occur. This is helpful as many website owners tend to forget that they need to back up their site on time, or they might not have the bandwidth to do it manually. With this plugin, I am able to set it up and trust that my website is going to be safe at all

7. Install WP Reset

WP Reset has become the first plugin I install on every new WordPress website. This plugin allows you to make a snapshot of your website’s database before you update WordPress core or plugins. If anything goes wrong, the plugin can then automatically roll back to the last working state. This is a lot easier than restoring a full backup every time something happens, and believe me, something will eventually happen.

8. Keep your plugins and WordPress core updated

Keeping your WordPress core and plugins updated is crucial to avoid security risks.

Updating WordPress core and plugins is a must-do in order to keep your site secure. Updates are released constantly, and they are usually very important. This is because they fix bugs, security issues, or add new features that improve the user experience.

It’s not enough to just update WordPress itself, you should also update all the plugins that you use on your website as well. If there’s an update available for a plugin you’re using, it will show up in your dashboard under “Plugins” → “Updates.”

9. Never Use The “Admin” Username

The use of “admin” as a username makes it more likely to have your login information stolen by scammers. Never use the “admin” username. Doing so makes you more vulnerable to phishing attacks and brute force. You should always try to have a strong password and use a unique username – that way, when people try to hack into your account, they will have more trouble trying to find it.

If you are currently using the “admin” username, change your WordPress admin username.

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