10 Quick Things Business Owners Can Do to Make Their WordPress Website More Secure

Securing your website

Websites get attacked all the time with armies of bots roaming the internet looking for vulnerable code and weak websites to exploit. Making sure your WordPress website is able to combat those attacks is easier than you might think and by installing some plugins and checking your WordPress website or WooCommerce website‘s most likely weak spots, you’ll be on your way to having a safer website.

Whilst the list of the 10 things you can do as a business owner below will help protect your website and certainly make it more difficult for most hackers to access your website, there are further, more difficult to implement measures you can take to make your website even harder to hack. Ask your site’s developer for more advice on securing your website or contact our team of WordPress security experts today and we can help lock your website down or recover it if the horse has bolted!

How you can Secure your WordPress Website:

Install a Security Plugin like Wordfence

Guide to Protecting Your Website with Wordfence: Benefits and Proper Setup

One of the easiest and most effective ways to enhance your WordPress website’s security is by installing a reputable security plugin such as Wordfence. This powerful tool provides a range of features, including firewall protection, malware scanning, and real-time threat defense. By activating and configuring Wordfence, you can establish a robust security framework for your website.

Scan Your Website for Vulnerabilities

Scan WordFence

Regularly scanning your website is crucial to identify potential vulnerabilities. Utilise the scanning feature provided by your security plugin to check for outdated plugins, themes, and WordPress core files. Additionally, be on the lookout for abandoned plugins and any suspicious code or file warnings. Taking immediate action on these findings will help you mitigate security risks.

Update Themes, Plugins, and WordPress Core

WordPress Dashboard Updates

Outdated themes, plugins, and WordPress core files are a common entry point for hackers. Keeping them up to date is essential to address security vulnerabilities and ensure compatibility with the latest security patches. Regularly check for available updates and promptly install them to maintain a secure environment.

Manage Site Users and Access

wordpress users

Review the list of site users and remove any unfamiliar or unnecessary accounts. It’s crucial to grant access only to individuals who require it. By limiting the number of active user accounts, you reduce the chances of unauthorized access to your website’s backend. Regularly monitoring and managing site users is an essential security practice.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

WordFence Login Security Options

Two-Factor Authentication adds an extra layer of security to your WordPress website by requiring users to provide a second form of verification in addition to their password. By enabling 2FA, even if an attacker manages to obtain a user’s password, they would still need the secondary authentication method to gain access. Implementing a reliable 2FA plugin strengthens your website’s defenses against unauthorized logins.

Force Password Changes for Admins

WP Force Password

Passwords are often the weakest link in website security. Encourage all administrators to change their passwords regularly and use strong, unique combinations. Employing a plugin like WP Force Password  that enforces password changes for admins ensures that password hygiene is maintained across your user base, significantly reducing the risk of a successful brute-force attack.

Check and Remove File Manager Plugins

File Manager

Plugins like WP File Manager may provide convenient functionality, but they also introduce potential security risks. These plugins allow users to view and manipulate files directly within the WordPress dashboard, potentially granting unauthorized individuals access to sensitive files. Check for the presence of such plugins and promptly deactivate and remove them to eliminate this security loophole.

Disable WordPress Default Theme and Plugin Editors

Theme File Editor

WordPress provides a built-in feature that allows you to edit theme and plugin files directly from the admin dashboard. While this feature may seem convenient, it also poses a significant security risk. Malicious actors can exploit this functionality to inject malicious code into your website. To mitigate this risk, it is recommended to disable the default theme and plugin editors.

One reliable plugin that can help you achieve this is Really Simple SSL. Apart from its primary function of enabling SSL on your website, Really Simple SSL offers additional security features, including site hardening settings. By utilizing this plugin, you can easily disable the theme and plugin editors, further fortifying your website’s security.

Set Up Security Email Alerts

WordFence Email Alerts

Staying informed about potential security threats is crucial for proactive website management. By configuring security email alerts, you can receive notifications whenever something suspicious occurs on your WordPress website. These alerts can notify you of login attempts, changes in file integrity, or when a plugin or theme requires a security update. This way, you can take immediate action to address any potential security issues promptly.

Implement Automatic Off-Site Backups

UpdraftPlus Plugin

No security measure is foolproof, and in the event of a security breach or technical failure, having reliable backups is essential for quick recovery. Implementing a robust backup solution such as Updraft Plus is highly recommended. This plugin allows you to create automatic backups of your WordPress website and securely store them on a cloud server. In case of any unforeseen circumstances, you can easily restore your website to a previous working state, minimizing downtime and potential data loss.

Conclusion

Ensuring the security of your WordPress website is a critical responsibility for business owners. By implementing the ten quick and straightforward measures outlined in this article, you can significantly enhance the security posture of your website. From installing a security plugin like Wordfence to enabling two-factor authentication and setting up automatic off-site backups, each step plays a vital role in safeguarding your online presence. Remember, protecting your website is an ongoing process, so it’s essential to stay vigilant and keep up with the latest security practices.

FAQs

Q1: Do I need coding knowledge to implement these security measures?

No, these security measures can be implemented without any coding knowledge. They involve utilizing reliable plugins and following step-by-step instructions to configure and activate the necessary settings.

Q2: How often should I scan my website for vulnerabilities?

It is recommended to scan your website for vulnerabilities at least once a week. Regular scanning ensures that any potential security risks are identified and addressed promptly.

Q3: Can I use any security plugin instead of Wordfence?

While Wordfence is a popular and reliable security plugin, there are other reputable options available as well. It’s important to choose a security plugin that suits your specific requirements and has a good track record of providing robust protection.

Q4: Are off-site backups necessary if I already have backups stored on my server?

Yes, having off-site backups is crucial for comprehensive data protection. Storing backups on a cloud server ensures that even in the event of a server failure or security breach, you can easily access and restore your website data.

Q5: Can I rely solely on automatic security measures, or should I take additional precautions?

While automatic security measures provide a strong foundation, it’s advisable to adopt a layered approach to security. This includes educating yourself and your team about safe online practices, using strong passwords, and regularly monitoring your website’s activity for any signs of unauthorized access.

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