6 simple steps to strengthen your WordPress security
Hardening a website means adding layers of security to reduce the risk of attacks and hacks. You can secure your WordPress site by following these six simple steps:
1 – Keep WordPress up to date
It is important to keep up with the latest WordPress updates. Whether it’s a security version or a maintenance version, make sure your WordPress site is running on the latest version. You can view the releases on the official WordPress site.
The automatic WordPress update is activated by adding this simple line to your wp-config.php file:
define ('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true);
2 – Clean up your WordPress plugins
Step one – Less is more. Take a look at your inventory of WordPress plugins and make sure you only keep the ones that you actually use on your website. Remember that plugin you installed a while ago and never really used? Get rid of it! This means completely removing the plugin from the WordPress installation and not just deactivating it through the wp-admin interface.
Step Two – Now that you have only what you need, make sure all of your plugins are up to date. If there is a WordPress plugin that has not received any updates from its developer for over six months, consider removing it and looking for another plugin that does the job. Some developers stop paying attention to their plugins. When hackers get hold of it, these bad actors will use a vulnerable plugin to hack websites.
Step Three – Make sure that all the plugins you have installed on your WordPress site are in the official WordPress plugin repository. Some plugins are kicked out of the official repository for security concerns.
Once you have only updated and useful plugins in your website, it will be more difficult for malicious users to use a vulnerable plugin as a gateway into your WordPress installation.
3 – Not everyone needs to be a WordPress admin
If multiple people work on your website, you need to make sure that everyone has a user role that makes sense depending on the tasks they are doing. performs. It is a form of access control that is essential to secure an asset.
In WordPress itself, we can use the existing role-based access control system by assigning specific roles to our registered users. There are six user roles in WordPress. Each user role has its set of capabilities, including:
A – Super Admin: someone who has access to site network administration features
B – Administrator:someone who has access to the administration features of the site
C – Editor: someone who can post and make changes to all posts
D – Author: someone who can post and make changes to their own posts
E – Contributor: someone who can write and make changes to their own posts without being able to publish them
F – Subscriber: someone who only has access to their profile
When creating a new user in WordPress, think about tasks that this user will perform and what role will suit them best. For example, if a new copywriter joins your business, they may need an author or editor role.
If you already have more users in your WordPress installation, it is highly recommended that you audit their existing roles and make sure that they only have access to what is needed for their specific role.
4 – Use Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
There are many plugins that can offer you 2FA for a WordPress installation. The most common is the Google Authenticator plugin.
After downloading and activating the plugin in WordPress, it is very easy to use. All you need is to have the Google Authenticator app in your smartphone and scan a QR code.
Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of security to your website’s front door.
5 – Update All Your WordPress Passwords
Yes, no matter how hard you think your password is, hackers work around the clock to find ways to crack even the toughest passwords.
A few quick tips:
• Never use predictable passwords, like your birthday or your spouse’s name.
• Add as many characters as possible.
• Use a password manager, such as LastPass, to generate and store your passwords in a secure safe.
• Never reuse a password.
That said, the best practice is to change all of your passwords right now using a password manager. This way you only need to remember a single password – the LastPass master password, for example – and follow all password best practices.
6 – Behind a WordPress Firewall
Even following all of the best WordPress security practices, a website can still be hacked. However, if you have an active website firewall that filters out all the traffic your website receives, the chances of being affected by a WordPress hack are really minimal.