WordPress Security in 8 Easy Steps (No Coding)
- 1.1 Invest in Secure Web Hosting
- 1.2 Install a WordPress Security Plugin
- 1.3 Update Your Themes and Plugins
- 1.4 Fortify Using Strong Passwords
- 1.5 Install WordPress Backup Solution
- 1.6 Enable Firewall
- 1.7 Enable Two-Factor Authentication
- 1.8 Limit Login Attempts
- 1.8.1 Conclusion
Having a secure website is essential for businesses and individuals who rely on their online presence. Studies have shown that around 29% of businesses that face a data breach end up losing revenue.
This is because your website can contain sensitive and valuable data, such as clients’ personal information. When that information is stolen by the wrong people, it can cause severe damage to your business’s reputation.
WordPress, as one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) worldwide, is famous for its versatility and relatively secure system. But even with a secure platform like WordPress, the risk of cyberattack exposure is still there. Therefore, fortifying your site’s security should be your top priority.
In this article, we will learn eight ways to protect your WordPress site against various potential cyberattacks. These steps are applicable even with minimum technical expertise since they don’t require any coding at all.
WordPress Security in 8 Easy Steps Without Coding
Invest in Secure Web Hosting
Web hosting is the foundation of your website. It allows your site to be accessible on the internet and stores all of the files required for your site to function correctly. Therefore, investing in quality web hosting with good security is the first step to protecting your WordPress website.
Pay attention to what security features your hosting provider has to offer. One of the essential security features your website needs to have is an SSL certificate. This feature helps establish authenticated and encrypted links between networked computers to further protect your site. It is wise to have a paid SSL certificate as the growth of a website may increase in the future. A paid SSL comes with many benefits either it is a standard SSL or multi domain wildcard or any other type of SSL certificate. It saves your data from MITM attacks and spying activities.
Other security features, such as firewall and anti-DDoS, are also important when choosing the right WordPress hosting provider. Make sure the provider also has easily accessible and responsive customer support, and don’t forget to check the reviews to find out customers’ experience with the hosting.
Install a WordPress Security Plugin
A plugin is software that improves your WordPress website’s performance or gives additional functionality to it. There are tons of WordPress plugins available to download and install with many different functions, including security features.
Some of the most popular security plugins you may want to consider include:
All In One WP Security & Firewall
A feature-packed plugin “All In One WP Security & Firewall” allows you to manage multiple factors of your WordPress security. It has an intuitive and highly visual interface that explains metrics, like security strength and what needs to be done to make your site stronger. This plugin is also completely free to use.
Jetpack is one of the most popular security plugins among WordPress users. It has various useful security features, such as backups, spam protection, and security scanning. Jetpack also offers additional functions, including downtime monitoring, site customization, and site optimization.
Wordfence has some powerful features, such as a robust login system and security incident recovery tools. It also monitors live traffic by viewing aspects like Google crawl activity, logins and logouts, human visitors, and bots.
There are countless other plugins, both free and premium, that may fit your needs. Keep in mind that some of these plugins may not be compatible with other plugins. Therefore, it is best to limit how many plugins you install and activate to get the best compatibility and site performance.
Update Your Themes and Plugins
Updating WordPress plugins and themes regularly lets the system patch any vulnerabilities and close off any chance for hackers to exploit your system.
In 2020, a vulnerability in File Manager, a popular plugin used by more than 700,000 sites, was exploited by hackers to upload malicious files on all sites running an older version of the plugin. In three days, the security company Defiant managed to block 1.7 million potential attacks exploiting this vulnerability.
That is why regularly updating themes and plugins should be a priority. We recommend activating the auto-update feature for all your plugins and themes to simplify the maintenance process.
Fortify Using Strong Passwords
Having a strong password is a prerequisite for every cybersecurity strategy, including securing your WordPress website. In 2020, Verizon reported that over 80% of breaches caused by hacking involve brute force or the use of lost or stolen credentials. That is why it is important to pay attention to your account passwords.
There are various arguments about the ideal length for a strong password, but the golden rule is to try making a password around six to 15 characters long. It is also essential to make it unique and complex by combining lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
The longer and more complicated your password is, the longer it will take to crack it. Since remembering multiple complex passwords might be difficult for most people, we recommend using password management tools such as LastPass and Bitwarden.
Install WordPress Backup Solution
Even with multiple security measures, the risk of a data breach is always present. Some attacks not only access your database but may also attempt to alter it by deleting the files it contains. That is why backing up your data is crucial for a secure website.
Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t come with a built-in backup feature. However, there are numerous plugins and third-party services that let you backup your WordPress data. Some examples include UpdraftPlus, Jetpack Backup, and BackupBuddy.
Make sure to regularly backup your website to keep it up to date. With this strategy, administrators can quickly restore your site’s data in the case of security issues.
A firewall is a tool that monitors the data sent and received through your network. Some web application firewalls (WAF) can also secure your site by routing traffic through proxy servers. As one of the first lines of defense against cyberattacks, WAF can protect your site from hacking, brute force, and DDoS attacks.
Some of the most popular WAF for WordPress include Sucuri, Wordfence, and SiteLock. Investing in a premium firewall application may help you protect your site better since it typically has more features.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication enhances your website’s security by adding a second layer of protection to your WordPress login module. It requires you to use a mobile phone or other devices to authenticate your login attempt.
Most two-factor authentication apps are easy to use and can be applied to custom WordPress login pages. There are many plugins allowing you to enable two-factor authentication, such as DUO Two-Factor Authentication and Google Authenticator.
Despite its simplicity, this method is highly effective against hackers who try to abuse your credentials and breach your site.
Limit Login Attempts
WordPress lets users make unlimited login attempts by default, exposing your site to various attacks, especially brute force and hacking. Therefore, it might be better to use plugins that limit the allowed login attempts to your website.
Plugins, such as Cerber Security or Login Lockdown, can protect your site by disabling all requests from a certain IP address if it reaches a certain number of login attempts within a short period of time.
Additionally, since 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error, we recommend limiting the number of people with administrative access to your WordPress site.
Protecting your WordPress website from cyberattacks involves multiple layers of security measures and tools. Since hackers have various methods to breach a website, using only one solution is certainly not enough.
In this article, we have looked at eight easy steps to securing your website from potential cyberattacks, including:
Invest in secure web hosting
Install a WordPress security plugin
Update your themes and plugins regularly
Fortify security by using strong passwords
Install WordPress backup solution
Enable two-factor authentication
Limit login attempts
We hope this article has helped you understand some of the simplest yet really effective ways to protect your website.
If you feel that maintaining your website security is too difficult, hiring an experienced person who monitors your site regularly can also be a good solution. Whichever method of protection you choose, investing in website security is sure to prove to be highly beneficial for you in the long run.