WordPress Security: List of Essential Plugins and Tips

wordpress security

WordPress is one of the most dominant CMS available in the market today and almost 27% of the Internet is powered by WordPress, which means an estimated 75,000,000 websites are using this unique platform.

It is one of the most popular blogging platforms available today which supports all kinds of websites right from a simple blog to fully featured websites. With the growing popularity of WordPress, the security threats have also increased with hackers and spammers showing keen interest in breaking the security of the WordPress based sites.

In this article, we have discussed about the different types of plugins that may be used to enhance greater security for WordPress sites.

How to secure your WordPress site?

WordPress is a secure site but prone to hacking if its hosted across an unsecure server or when new codes are added in the form of plugins or themes. In addition, most developers lack awareness about security issues and write vulnerable code and release updates after they discover some of these issues. Hackers attack these sites by adding backlinks to spammy sites or even redirect WordPress to other websites using sophisticated methods.Wordfence Security, Ninja Firewall, Jetpack, Log cleaner, iThemes Security and Sucuri Security are some of the security plugin options which may be used for WordPress.

Thus, it’s important to safeguard your WordPress site and take necessary steps to prevent misuse by hackers. Let’s look at some useful security tips below:

Use powerful usernames and passwords

One of the most common mistakes that people often commit is not changing their admin username especially while installing WordPress. At the time of setup, WordPress usually sends update alerts to users prompting them to choose their own admin names. It’s good to pick up strong username and password using password generation tools. Make sure to enable two factor authentication using plugins such as I-themes security making it easy to login to your site easily with less effort.

Install the latest version of WordPress

It’s recommended to update your WordPress site and keep it up to date to make use of the latest features and enhancements made by the site. You can avail of the security updates and use one click update for upgrading your blog.It’s important to check if your themes and plugins are compatible with the latest version of WordPress. If an update has been rolled out recently and it’s not a security update, it’s best to wait for a few days until other users stop reporting about bugs using the latest version.

Use updated plugins

Sometimes, a vulnerable plugin may create security holes in your website which was observed in the case of ThimThumb in the past where plugins which were using the script became vulnerable as well. Although its hard to avoid such vulnerabilities, you can limit the number of plugins and scripts to make your WordPress site secure. Always use plugins which are updated continuously and have solid backing.

Improve security for your login screen

Despite securing your username and password, sometimes hackers can have access to your dashboards if it lacks enough protection. The best way to prevent such attacks is by reducing the number of login attempts through a single source. It’s important that your login screen alerts your users if they have failed to provide the right information. Captchas can be great tool for securing login screens against attacks through bots and they can be used as roadblocks to prevent hacking attempts.

Install web application firewall

There is a firewall that is present between your network server and hosting server and its main purpose is to filter out some of the common threats by the time it reaches the machine where your WordPress site is hosted. You can use firewall solutions at different levels such as the network level or the machine level. However, this might prove to be an expensive option and mainly used by enterprises. There is a host level firewall but may not be the ideal option.

The best option would be to use cloud based WAF that filters most of the common threats before it attacks your WordPress server.

Use Google alerts for indexed pages

It’s a good idea to use Google alerts to signal alerts when Google indexes a new page on over your domain name. Most hackers tend to add new pages and posts to WordPress which is not visible through the front end or the back end, but they get indexed in Google. By setting alerts, you can be aware if something is happening without your knowledge and it’s free and takes about 2-3 minutes to set up.

Install SSL to encrypt data

One of the best things that you can do to secure your WordPress site is to use an SSL certificate for securing the admin panel. SSL makes it difficult for hackers to breach the connection by ensuring secure transfer of data between the server and your user’s browser. As there are many types of SSL certificates are available but in case of unlimited subdomains’ protection, a wildcard SSL certificate is an important solution as you can secure all your subdomains under a single domain and using an SSL certificate can boost your site’s SEO rankings as well.

Take regular backups for your WordPress site

It’s recommended that you take an off-site backup for your WordPress site so that you can restore it quickly to the working state as soon as possible. There are some premium solutions such as VaultPress that allow you to take back ups every week which allows you to restore your site easily. A weekly or monthly back up should be ideal for most websites and they may be automated using plugins if required.

Conclusion

Each software requires patches from time to time and WordPress also is vulnerable to attacks from hackers, but the key lies in taking preventive steps to ensure greater website security. There are also security plugins available for this purpose which have real time blocking features from malicious sources with tracking options. Website owners can implement security measures and use appropriate security software to safeguard their WordPress website and attain better results.

Melissa Crooks is Content Writer who writes for Hyperlink Infosystem, a mobile app development company based in USA & India that holds the best team of skilled and expert app developers. She is a versatile tech writer and loves exploring latest technology trends, entrepreneur and startup column. She also writes for top app development companies.
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