Ultimate Guide To WordPress Security in 2017 [Updated]

Ever Wondered, how many websites are hacked in a day?

Nearly 50,000.

Also, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 websites for phishing every week.

The worst part of a site getting blacklisted by Google are:

  1. The website won’t be available for few days.
  2. Will damage your site’s reputation.
  3. Negative impact on SEO.

So, if you really care about your site’s ranking and it’s popularity then you should invest your time in improving security to your site.

In this article, you will learn how to secure your WordPress site from Hackers.

Before we start let’s have a look at the contents of this post.

wordpress security

So, now let’s directly dive in and discover how important WordPress security is and how to secure your site from bad guys.

Chapter 1

Why WordPress Security Is Needed

There are few factors which make WordPress more vulnerable to attacks and hence securing your WordPress site is very much needed.

Firstly, let’s see what are those factors:

1. High Popularity of WordPress

WordPress Powers about 60 percent of all sites using known Content Managment System and about WordPress is active on more than 23 percent of all sites.

This massive number of installations will make WordPress more likely target for bad guys.

2. WordPress is open environment

The core code of WordPress is maintained by a large group of volunteers.Whereas Plugins and themes are built by high-end developers.

The Plugins and themes undergo a testing process before they are publically made available.This ensures that Plugins and themes are secure.

But it is impossible to write a code without any security loop hole.

Whenever WordPress developers find these security loop holes, they try to fix it at the earliest through latest updates.

Chapter 2

Basic Security Fixes

1. Keep your site updated

In every core update, developers try to make WordPress more secure and increase its performance.

WordPress automatically installs minor updates. For major releases, you need to manually initiate the update.

WordPress also comes with tons of plugins and themes which can be installed on your site.They are maintained by the third party developers and are required to be updated regularly.

So, having your site, themes, and plugins updated is crucial for securing your site from latest WordPress security threats.

2. Use Strong Passwords

It is always a good practice to use strong passwords to secure your site.Consider using all types of charters while creating a password.

Pic from pantheon.io

You might wonder that: I already have an auto generated login password from WordPress which is strong.Why should I change it?

Answer: That is basic security, I’m talking about securing your wp-admin directory.

The wp-admin directory is the heart of any WordPress website. Therefore, if this part of your site gets breached then the entire site can get damaged.

I recommend you to use AskApache Password Protect Plugin which can help you in securing your wp-admin directory.

3. Host your site using secure hosting service

A trusted hosting providers like Hostgator or Bluehost take additional measures to secure their customer’s sites.

However, having a shared hosting will make your site more vulnerable to attacks because you share the server resources with other customers in shared hosting.

So, try investing in Managed WordPress Hosting where all technical aspects of running WordPress is managed by the host.

Pic from Aspgulf.com

When it comes to Managed WordPress hosting wp-engine has made its name appear on the top.So, try using wp-engine as your host.

Chapter 3

Secure Your Site With Security Plugin

Although WordPress security is good to an extent WP simply can’t fight against professional hackers on its own.

The most commonly exploited security issues by professional hackers are Dos attack, SQLI attack, and Brute force attack.

To fight against all these types of attacks and keep our site going we need someone.

That someone is: WordPress Security Plugin.WordPress security plugin will create a firewall and prevent your site from bad-guys.

There are many security plugins available today.

But, I recommend you to use Wordfence security plugin which is free and also the most downloaded security plugin.

The best part about this plugin is it fights against fake bots, unauthorized login attempts, Strong Brute force attack and even much more.

So, here is the Step-by-step guide to install Wordfence to your site.

Chapter 4

Best WordPress Security Practices

Here are few security practices that you might have to consider using them frequently in order to secure your Website.

1. Add Two-Factor Authentication

If you are using strong auto generated passwords to log in to your WordPress account, Brute force attacks can still be a problem.

So, try using Two-factor authentication for logging in to your WordPress dashboard.

A plugin called Google Authenticator can help you in adding two-factor authentication.

2. Disable file editing

If a hacker somehow manages to get into your site there is an easy way to change your files.It can be done by going to Apperance>Editor in WordPress dashboard.

To lift your WordPress security, you could disable writing of these files via that editor.Here is the complete guide to disable file editing on your site.

3. Limit login attempts

By default, WordPress doesn’t limit the number of times you can attempt to login or retrieve your password.This gives infinite tries to hack into your site.

Wordfence security plugin has this feature integrated.You can edit your settings by visiting Wordfence>Options>Login Security Options.

4. Be selective with plugins and themes

When adding a plugin (or theme for that matter), always check the rating of that plugin.

Also, check whether the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress and also check whether it is updated frequently.Don’t use a plugin which has been not updated since years.

5. Best you can do is Backup

No hosting company in the world can offer 100% uptime and reliability.Even the best hosting services will have the problem with their data centers.

Even if you use a security plugin on your website, there is still the risk of a malicious script injecting malware or a virus onto your website.So, having a backup can help you restore your site.

I recommend you to use UpdraftPlus backup plugin for backup.Here is the complete guide to install UpdarftPlus plugin in your site.

Chapter 5

Final Words

Many WordPress users don’t realize the importance of backups and website security until their own website is hacked.

pic from Host geek

Cleaning up a hacked is not an easy job and you need to get help from the professionals while cleaning up a hacked site.

Never try cleaning your site by yourself because hackers usually install backdoors to infected sites.Which won’t show up while cleaning up a hacked site.

You need a professional to find out all the backdoors and fix them.

So, consider calling a professional security company like Wordfence and get your site running again.

I hope this article helped you learn why WordPress security is important.Do leave the comments about this article.

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