Website Security for WordPress Websites

Cybercrime continues to rise, with recent statistics showing significant impacts on businesses. According to the 2022 FBI Internet Crime Report, there were 847,376 reported complaints of cybercrime, resulting in potential losses exceeding $6.9 billion. Cyberattacks can lead to severe financial losses, operational downtime, and damage to your reputation. If you conduct business online, securing your website against hackers is crucial to protecting your assets and maintaining your clients’ trust.

WordPress website security should be a top priority, helping you keep your online operations going and ensuring the best experience for those doing business with you. What are some practical steps you can take to secure your WordPress website?

Choose a great hosting company

Many small businesses focus on finding the best prices when choosing a hosting company. For the purpose of website security, you should look for a host that monitors their servers for threats and boasts website uptime. Most cheap hosting plans are on shared servers, which can save you money, but cost you if a neighboring website on the same server is hacked. For the best WordPress web security, choose managed hosting or get a plan with a virtual private server. WP Engine is a highly recommended resource to keep your website secure, or find a company to host and manage your WordPress website.

Create strong usernames and passwords

Choosing an easy username and password may help you remember how to log into your website but it can make hacking attempts very easy. Rather than using “admin” as your username and an easy-to-guess string of numbers for your password, try using a combination of random upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to make your login harder to decipher. To help you remember your username and password, try using your email address as your username and after creating a difficult password, store and manage it using a service like Google Passwords or Last Pass.

Enable SSL Security

To encrypt your website data and make it harder for cybercriminals to detect, move your website to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). Your website host may already offer it for free. If not, you can obtain an SSL certificate for your WordPress website from Let’s Encrypt. The added plus is that Google favors websites with SSL.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

With a two-factor authentication plugin like Google Authenticator – WordPress Two Factor Authentication (2FA), you can help beef up your website security. Two-factor authentication requires you to access your website using two steps. The first step typically requires that you enter your username and password. The second step will prompt you enter a code generated by another app, another device or a code sent to your email or phone. This makes sure that only you–not a hacker–can get into your website.

Choose a good security plugin

help with hardening security on your website. wordpress specialists.

To protect your website from unauthorized access, install a WordPress security plugin. Choose a multipurpose one that protects from brute force attacks, monitors your site for malware and has a firewall. Some favorite security plugins include Wordfence or iThemes Security.

Update your website and plugins

WordPress and plugins in their directory are open source and are updated often. Frequently, there are bugs in these that can open up access to your website. By updating your WordPress version and plugins regularly, you access the patches that fix vulnerabilities that may have put your website in danger.

Back up your website

In case your site is ever hacked or locked up by ransomware, your best protection is to have maintained a backup of your website. If you keep a copy of your website on your desktop or cloud storage and your site is taken down, you can restore it without much hassle. Backup your website frequently, especially before and after any changes are made to your website. Your hosting service may provide backups, but the Jetpack plugin offers backups on their paid plans.

Additional Measures to Enhance WordPress Website Security

Regular Security Audits

Conduct regular security audits to identify and address vulnerabilities in your WordPress site. Use tools like WPScan to automate the process and ensure that your site complies with the latest security standards.

Implementing a Web Application Firewall (WAF)

A Web Application Firewall helps filter and monitor HTTP traffic between a web application and the Internet. Using a service like Cloudflare or Sucuri can protect your website from various cyber threats, including SQL injection and XSS attacks.

Limiting Login Attempts

To prevent brute force attacks, limit the number of login attempts through a plugin like Limit Login Attempts Reloaded. This adds an extra layer of security by blocking IP addresses that have too many failed login attempts.

Disabling File Editing

Disable the file editing feature within the WordPress dashboard to prevent hackers from accessing and modifying your theme and plugin files. Add the following line to your wp-config.php file:

define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);

Using Secure File Permissions

Set appropriate file permissions to ensure that only the necessary files are writable by the web server. Typically, directories should have 755 permissions and files should have 644 permissions.

Enabling Automatic Updates

Enable automatic updates for WordPress core, themes, and plugins to ensure your site is always running the latest, most secure versions.

By following these suggestions to protect your WordPress website you can significantly enhance the security of your WordPress website, keeping your online presence safe from hackers and other cybercrime threats. For expert assistance, feel free to reach out to us, a specialized WordPress agency. We offer comprehensive design, development, and web hosting services tailored to your security needs. Our WordPress maintenance plans provide ongoing support, regular updates, and continuous monitoring to ensure your site remains secure and performs optimally. Contact us today to learn how we can safeguard your digital investment.

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