Submit a enquiry

    Back to all posts

    How to reduce the chances of your WordPress site being hacked

    by Kishan Kotecha Partnership Manager

    Having your WordPress site hacked can be at best annoying, but at worst, it can jeopardise your entire business. While it’s generally considered a secure platform, that security does need to be nurtured, and you need to stay on top of new developments in the security landscape. If you follow the tips below, you should be able to eliminate 99.99% of all online threats, and with vigilance and a good backup regime, the risks of hacking can be close to zero.

    Keep WordPress updated

    Regularly update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins to include the latest security patches and fixes. Outdated versions can have vulnerabilities that hackers exploit.

    Use strong and unique passwords

    Create strong and complex passwords with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using common or easily guessable passwords. Additionally, consider using a password manager to securely store and generate strong passwords for your site.

    Two-factor authentication (2FA)

    Enable 2FA for an extra layer of security. This requires users to provide a second form of verification, typically a code sent to a mobile device, along with their username and password.

    Limit login attempts

    Implement a plugin that limits the number of login attempts from a single IP address. This prevents brute force attacks by blocking repeated failed login attempts.

    Disable file editing

    In your WordPress configuration file (wp-config.php), add the following line to disable file editing:

    define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );

    This prevents hackers who gain access to your site from modifying your theme and plugin files.

    Use a secure hosting provider

    Choose a reliable and secure hosting provider that takes security measures seriously. They should offer firewalls, malware scanning, regular backups and other security features.

    Install a security plugin

    Use reputable security plugins, such as Wordfence, Sucuri or iThemes Security, to improve your site’s security. These plugins offer features like malware scanning, firewall protection and login security.

    Regular backups

    Schedule regular backups of your WordPress site, including the database and files. Store backups securely offsite, and ensure they can be easily restored if needed.

    Use HTTPS (SSL)

    Implement an SSL certificate to enable secure HTTPS communication between your site and users’ browsers. This helps encrypt sensitive data and enhances user trust. It’s more or less default nowadays, but occasionally certain assets that your site relies on might not have been updated.

    Remove unused themes and plugins

    Delete any inactive or unused themes and plugins from your WordPress installation. These can introduce vulnerabilities if not kept up to date.

    Be selective with theme and plugin sources

    Download themes and plugins only from reputable sources like the official WordPress repository or trusted premium providers. Be cautious of third-party websites that may offer pirated or compromised versions.

    Regularly scan for malware

    Perform regular malware scans using security plugins or online services to identify any malicious code or potential vulnerabilities.

    Strong database security

    Change the database table prefix during WordPress installation to something other than the default “wp_”. This makes it harder for hackers to identify database tables.

    Implement a web application firewall (WAF)

    A WAF can filter and block malicious traffic before it reaches your server, protecting your site from various attacks.

    Disable directory browsing

    Prevent visitors from accessing your directories and files by adding a line containing “Options -Indexes” to your site’s .htaccess file.

    Change login page

    By default, the login page is /wp-login.php or /wp-admin. You can visit pretty much any WordPress site and suffix the URL with these, and you’ll reach the login prompt. Changing that page makes it harder for a criminal to guess, and puts one more hurdle in front of them.

    Remember, no security measure is foolproof, but by following these steps, you significantly reduce the likelihood of your WordPress site being hacked. If you’re looking to outsource your WordPress development to a trusted and security-conscious agency, please get in touch.