How To Secure a WordPress Site

encryption-03Powering over 77 million websites, WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). The free-to-use platform supports a massive library of “plugins” and “themes,” allowing webmasters to change elements of their site without messing with complicated code. But like all content management systems, WordPress is vulnerable to hacking and malicious attacks. To protect your site from these attacks, it’s recommended that you implement the following security measures.

Create a Complex Password

Your first line of defense against malicious attacks is a strong password. Using easy-to-remember passwords like “Myspace123” is just asking for trouble. Instead, choose a random password consisting of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, non-sequential numbers, and special characters. Of course, it should go without saying that you should never email or store this password in plain text format.

Avoid Using The ‘Admin’ Username

Hackers often attempt to infiltrate WordPress sites by using the admin username. Therefore, it’s recommended that you create a unique username for your website. During the initial installation/setup, WordPress will ask you to specify a username. In the event that your site is already set up with the admin username, you can change it by adding a new user in the dashboard (Users > Add New), giving it admin privileges, and deleting the old Admin user.

Block Admin Directory Access

A third tip to safeguard your WordPress site from attacks is to block access to the WP-Admin directory. Basically, this prevents anyone other than you (or anyone using your IP address) from logging into your site as the administrator. Simply add the following lines of code to your site’s .htaccess file:

“AuthUserFile /dev/null

AuthGroupFile /dev/null

AuthName “Access Control”

AuthType Basic

order deny,allow

deny from all

allow from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (enter your IP address here)

Update Your Files

Arguably, the single most important WordPress security tip is to keep your files updated. WordPress introduced automatic background updates several months ago, but this only affects major updates. Outdated WordPress installations, themes and plugins pose a serious security risk to your site, so make sure they are updated to the latest version.

Limit Login Attempts

Brute force attacks occur when hackers use automated programs or software to blast thousands of different usernames and combinations in an attempt to find the right one. This type of attack is easily prevented, however, by using the Limit Login Attempts plugin.

Have any other WordPress security tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

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