WordPress was initially a blog-publishing system, but over the years, it has emerged as a support for other contents of the web, including mailing lists and forums, learning management systems, online stores, galleries, etc.
As of April 2022, WordPress is used by 43.0% of all websites, and it is a content management system market share of 64.4%.
WordPress has, since 2003, been a hot topic for webmasters and the blogging community. Not to mention its utilization by various government agencies and large corporations for their websites due to its flexibility and impressionable ease.
With great power comes responsibility, and so is the case with the security systems of WordPress. Considering the numerous benefits of WordPress and an excellent CMS, more than 74 million sites use WordPress blog services, making security a common threat.
To counter this customary issue and if you are serious about the security of your website against malware attacks and hackers, you must follow the safety instructions of our WordPress security guide discussed below.
WordPress Security Guide 2023
Security, Update, and Permissions
The security of your website must be of supreme importance for your business since attacks can cause you some severe damage, putting the reputation of your business at risk. In addition, it puts you and your business at risk and is a significant threat to your customers.
Hackers steal and withdraw some private information by breaking through the walls. They look for sensitive information such as your passwords and banking information, install malicious software and affect the users of your website by distributing malware.
Such cases devastate customer trust in your company, ultimately leading you to revenue and reputation problems.
An excellent approach would be building a solid wall around your admin area as an external security layer. Google provides you with a feature named Two-Factor Authentication. This authentication process helps you add another significant security blanket to your website’s walls.
Whenever you’re trying to login into your website, Google authentication will ping your provided phone number or send you an email informing you of the login with place and time.
Due to WordPress’s marketability and immense admiration, it has become the most tempting target for cybercriminals. Once a hacker gets hold of your potential security holes, they can easily barge in and manipulate your vulnerabilities and control your site.
They can then access your data, sell it, misuse it, and can even get access to your laptops, eventually leading you to dire consequences.
It’s a climacteric approach to know the possible threats to your WordPress site and be prepared to defend yourself against malware attacks and hacking.
The most common security measure you can take is making your passwords as complex and robust as possible. Since most hackings attempt to steal passwords, your passwords must be unique and private for your websites.
A good practice would be to never put your website at risk by keeping your login information to yourself and not sharing it with anyone to access your WordPress admin account.
Following are a few things to keep in mind when picking out your passwords:
- Use both numeric and alphabet keys.
- Use both upper and lower case letters.
- Include symbols like &%£”!.
- Keep your password lengthy.
Themes and Plugins
People with online businesses are prone to more damage due to all the information exchanged over their websites. It puts them at a greater risk. The owners’ responsibility is to maintain a secure environment for their customers and their private information to build trust.
There are several things to keep in mind when talking about the stability of your websites. Since WordPress updates are crucial for the security of your linked WordPress site. To maintain this, your plugins, cores, and themes must always be up-to-date.
By default, WordPress does the minor work for you by automatically installing minor updates to sync perfectly. However, you must remain vigilant, watch for any new significant updates, and manually initiate them.
The WordPress security plugins are well-reputed, there are several to choose from, but Sucuri, iThemes, or Wordfence are more trusted. These plugins include many features such as login alerts, malware scans, database backups, etc.
Securing Your WordPress Site and Blog
The usage of cracked themes by limited-budget bloggers puts them at risk. Since no support is available, there are no updates to be followed in a cracked theme, making it easier for the hackers to sneak in.
Budget constraints force users to use several free WordPress themes, though they are not customizable but still serve the purpose. Moreover, they are better than the cracked versions that could easily create vulnerabilities for you and are backed by WordPress.org.
So if you go for a free theme, we recommend you use a theme from the WordPress repository
WordPress security keys are another way for layering your website to protect the user’s cookies and make it difficult for cybercriminals to attack.
However, since hackers can break in through the cookies, it is well advised to take necessary measures to encrypt that information stored via the web browser into small pieces of information known as cookies.
Cloudflare and Backups
Google considers websites protected with SSL by giving them a boost in search rankings.
Cloudflare offers an SSL certificate, a certificate to implant another layer to secure your website. The customer’s data is protected with SSL, such as credit card numbers.
Cloudflare also helps improve the capability of your website and lends more weight to WordPress security. Their free DDOS protection helps add more security layers. You can also go for their premium plans.
Just as humans need routine check-ups, creating frequent backups for your business websites is advisable. You must create backups provided by the host and invest in third-party backups to remain stress-free of constraints on the number of backups and restorations.
VaultPress, BackupBuddy, and Updraftplus are reputable backup plugins for WordPress site backups. Some do not offer free services, but their premium services are up to the mark to create whole site backups. You can schedule your backups and create copies to retain with these plugins.
Limit Logins and Security Scanners
Limiting the number of logins for the logging-in dashboard is good. It is a very effective security measure against brute-force attacks. However, there are certain login attempts after those if the wrong password for the username is entered, the specific IP is blocked for some time.
You can enable the “limit login attempts” option with the WordPress Limit Login Attempts Reloaded plugin.
Tools like the Sucuri Security Scanner scan your websites and discover possible security threats. They check your website for Spam, malware, firewall, etc. They also provide possible recommendations for security risks so you can be prepared in advance.
Some of the best scanners are listed below:
How To Identify If Your Site Is Hacked?
You can identify your threat by using WordPress security plugins or one of your other security scanners. If you have the necessary security plugins installed, then their routine check-up will point out the threats of malware and security breaches.
A manual scan is recommended if you experience sudden changes, such as drop-in traffic or search rankings. In addition, there are some indicators listed below to help you better if your website is hacked:
- The hosting provider will disable your account.
- Alert messages by Google search console
- Blocklist status by Google and security scanners.
- “This site may be hacked” messages on the Google search result page.
How Do You Fix Your Hacked WordPress Website?
In case of a hacking attack, firstly, find out if you still have access to the WordPress dashboard. If yes, immediately change your login information and web hosting account details.
After you’ve successfully identified that your website has been hacked, here’s what you can do as first aid:
- Change your user names and passwords immediately.
- Change your WordPress secret key.
- Restore Backups.
- Malware scanning and removal.
- Contact your hosting provider.
- Scan for plugins and themes.
- Take professional help to clean up your website.
I hope you enjoyed our WordPress Security Guide for 2023.
It is recommended that you always stay up-to-date with your updates by the provider to adopt the latest and most sustainable versions of your WordPress core, plugins, and themes to enhance login security. In addition, always keep an eye out for threats.
Keeping all the administrative rights in your hands is advisable. If you hire someone online and find anything suspicious regarding them, don’t waste another minute and delete that person.
The security scanners show you pop-up messages. That’s why you suggest that you keep your site frequently updated about the site security status.
If you have more security tips for our WordPress security guide, leave your tips in a comment below and we might add your valuable tips to our post.