3 Steps to a more secure WordPress website

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There are over 76 million WordPress websites in the world (at the time of this post) and that number is constantly growing. Many seek out WordPress for the simple fact that it is a blogging platform and website in one, but there are many other reasons to choose WordPress for a website redesign:

  • Highly customizable
  • Responsive design
  • Extremely large library of plugins for additional functionality

Unfortunately, using a popular platform like WordPress for website development comes with it’s setbacks. WordPress websites have become increasingly popular targets for Internet hackers.

An article from Tech News World speaks to the ease of hacking WordPress and why it is so appealing to hackers: “the benefit of hacking such a website is huge, because once you find a vulnerability, you can hack into millions of websites.”

The problem is that many people managing their own WordPress websites are unaware of these vulnerabilities until their site ends up getting hacked. Rather than waiting for the inevitable to happen, take these preventative measures to keep your site more secure and less vulnerable to attacks:

Don’t use the default “admin” username.

It may seem easy to leave the default username login as “admin” but the truth is that using this default can leave your website more perceptible to a Brute Force Attack. WordPress addresses this issue directly on its website: “a Brute Force Attack aims at being the simplest kind of method to gain access to a site: it tries usernames and passwords, over and over again, until it gets in. Often deemed ‘inelegant’, they can be very successful when people use passwords like ‘123456’ and usernames like ‘admin.’” If you are already using the admin username, visit this page to learn ways to remove it.

Keep your version of WordPress up to date.

This is especially important, as hackers tend to target older versions of WordPress more frequently. Don’t forget about your plugins, either. If you’re still not convinced, this article from Dojo Digital addresses what could potentially happen to your site after an attack: “When your website is hacked you may instantly lose your position in search engine rankings. Google for example de-indexes websites with malicious scripts and will even place a warning to advise users to stay away. Hacked sites can not only cost you prospects and clients, but in some cases your content can be lost.”

Utilize plugins.

WordPress has a huge library of plugins available that are designed to add more functionality to your website. Security is no exception. There are tons of available plugins to help secure your website such as Better WP Security and All in One WP Security & Firewall. Additionally, consider adding CAPTCHA codes to forms on your website or even obtain an Akismet WordPress Key to cut down on spam.

These steps are only a guide to get you started with increased website security. Whether you already have a WordPress website and want to increase security, or if you are shopping around to find a web developer, always make sure that security is implemented into the design process. The more steps taken to secure your site, the less susceptible to attacks your website will be. At ijenti, we implement a 17-step WordPress security plan for each website we design and develop. This plan goes beyond the typical security measures, like those presented in this post, to ensure that your site is as secure as possible.

What steps or preventative measures have you taken to increase the security of your WordPress site? Share your tips in the comments below!

Stephanie Patterson

Stephanie Patterson is the Vice President of Operations at ijenti. She enjoys interfacing with clients to design and manage marketing strategies that suit the unique needs of each business.

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