Wordpress is a wondrous platform for web content creators. It revolutionized a rather HTML based CMS field with features like widespread themes, expansive plugins, and a universal WYSIWYG editor. Today, it’s the largest content management system on the internet and powers an estimated 30% of all websites.
However, with such widespread usage, it makes it more convenient for hackers to understand the underlying methods to intrude upon your site. In order to protect yourself and WordPress site, here are some methods to defend yourself.
Safeguard Your Logins
A lot of times, hackers will simply create a bot to brute force their way into your WordPress account by using easy combinations for Admin passwords. If you haven’t managed to change anything from a default setup, this could prove successful.
Using a plugin like iThemes Security gives you a few options to protect your site and login process. The plugin will notify you of suspicious activity and lockdown the login access to prevent intrusion. You also have a number of options to proceed from there, such as banning IPs that are clearly hostile in their attempts to force a login.
iThemes Security also allows you to rename your login page to prevent hackers from automatically brute forcing your site. By changing common accesses like wp-login.php and wp-admin.php to “my_new_login” and “my_new_admin” you reduce the risk of being targeted casually.
Protect Your Database at Its Core
Where your WordPress installation is installed is just as important as how you’ve set it up. First off, you should really consider getting an SSL certificate for your website. It allows you to directly secure the communication channel between browsers and your server without any interference. It’s become a popular practice recently and is highly recommended. It’s especially useful for eCommerce shops to protect users credit card and other personal information.
Your database should also receive special consideration. All your WordPress configurations are housed within an MySQL database. Off the bat, they’re configured in a standard way with a “wp-” table prefix attached. With a plugin like WP DB Manager, you can change this prefix and make it more secure. You should also use a very strong password for your database with a good mix of upper and lowercase letters.
Keep All Files Updated
Your plugins, themes, and WordPress itself should always be kept updated. New updates tend to close existing security loopholes. It can become a hassle, but usually, you can just click the update tab to see which versions are the latest. In some cases with themes or plugins you may need to add in a license key from the vendor to allow for automatic updates so keep that in mind.
When you are updating manually or changing any WordPress files, it’s best to use a secure login to access your server. SFTP is the preferred method for connecting, as it keeps your transfer of files secure between your machine and the server. Also during this time, it’s possible to change access permissions for key files and folders. A list of best methods of doing this for WordPress can be found in the official codex.