Accounting for 25% of the current websites online today, WordPress has gained tremendous popularity for it's user friendliness while offering web developers a robust content management system ( CMS ) to work with. With that comes much attention, and unfortunately, the platform becomes a target for hackers. There are several best practices WordPress website owners should be applying to their sites to secure it, however it may not be practices that many are aware of. So to help keep those pesky hackers out, here are 8 tips to keeping your WordPress website secure in 2016.
Keep the Core Updated
The simple task of keeping WordPress updated can add a whole lot of reassurance to the security of your website. Although it is not the only task, it is something that should be completed every time WordPress has an update.
The moment a new version of WordPress is released, make sure not to waste any time and update your WordPress installation immediately.
In addition, make sure you make a backup of your WordPress website before updating its core.
Keep Your Theme & Plugins Updated
As with keeping your WordPress installation up-to-date, making sure your WordPress theme and WordPress plugins are kept up-to-date can add a great deal of security to your site overall.
As WordPress releases new versions, themes and plugins regularly release updates to assure that they work seamlessly with the latest version of WordPress as well as that there are no vulnerabilities or open doors left open for hackers.
Do Not Use “Admin” as Your Username
Most WordPress sites out there have “Admin” as a username with administrative access, and because of that, it makes it a target username for hackers to focus on.
Make sure that you do not use this username within your WordPress site. Lets not make it easy on them.
Use Strong Passwords
Passwords can be a pain to remember, but having to fix a hacked website due to a weak password is even more of a pain.
Make sure to include uppercase & lowercase letters, numbers and characters in your password.
Deny Multiple Login Attempts
Hackers in general use scripts that use several usernames and passwords in an attempt to gain access to a site. One of the best ways to stop hackers in their tracks using this method is by limiting the amount of login attempts per IP address.
This is a common option in most security WordPress plugins such as WordFence.
Once the user is locked out by reaching the amount of login attempts you set previously, the IP address will be logged so you can go ahead and block those users forever.
Install a SSL
Adding a SSL certificate to your WordPress site adds a layer of security and trust for users.
By installing an SSL, all the "objects" on your website are encrypted, which tells your users that your website is secure and free of any malicious content.
Choose a Good Hosting Service
It is tempting to build a bunch of websites on your shared hosting account, but it is definitely not the best idea. If one of your websites becomes infected, it puts all of your other websites in a vulnerable state and easily hackable.
No matter what, it is best to choose a good hosting provider that is optimized for WordPress websites, has top notch security, provides hosting accounts for individual websites and supports the latest versions of MySQL, PHP, Cpanel, etc.
Run Regular Backups
Running backups of your WordPress site is extremely important to making sure you can have your website up and running in the case of an infection. There are several ways on how to do this.
Many hosting providers offer the ability to backup both the database and files on the server.
In addition, there are also many WordPress backup plugins that can be used to backup your entire site.
Whichever method you choose, make sure to make this task a priority.