5 Simple Tips for Securing Your WordPress Site

WordPress security is a hot topic in the blogosphere, especially after the recent botnet attacks on numerous WordPress sites. If you want to protect your data, you need to act quickly and harden your WordPress security. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to make your site a tough cookie and reduce the likelihood of being hacked.

Step 1: Update Everything

Outdated items on your site represent potential security risks as they can be used by hackers to gain access to your site’s backend. Therefore, it is crucial to keep everything up to date, including the WordPress Core, themes, and plugins. Even deactivated themes and plugins should be updated as their presence on your site makes them a potential security risk. You can use a plugin like Easy Updates Manager to enable automatic updates for your WordPress core, theme, and plugins. Additionally, consider removing any themes and plugins that have not been updated recently.

Step 2: Backup Everything (And Regularly)

Few things are more important to the safety of your site than regular backups. If your site is subject to a destructive hack, your last line of defense is a recent backup. Choose a hosting provider that includes automatic backups within their service or use premium backup solutions like VaultPress and BackupBuddy.

Step 3: Change Your Default Username

If you’re still using the default “admin” profile that came with your WordPress installation, now is the time to change it. Hackers often try to log in with the “admin” username and run through an enormous number of password attempts to gain entry. By creating a unique username, you can stop this hacking attempt in its tracks.

Step 4: Create a Unique Strong Password (and Change it Regularly)

Brute force hacking attempts will try an astonishing number of password combinations to access websites. Therefore, it is crucial to generate truly random and unique passwords that are used only once and changed periodically. Use a free online generator or sign up for a free account with LastPass to generate and store all your passwords.

Step 5: Install Plugin Protection

Wordfence is a popular and highly-rated free plugin that includes a wide variety of security features, including a firewall, malicious IP protection, backdoor scans, malware scans, and enhanced login security. Although Wordfence has a paid version with more options, the plugin itself and the basic service costs you nothing.

In conclusion, while there is no such thing as a 100% secure site, you can make the likelihood of being hacked far smaller by dedicating a small amount of time to making your site more secure than 99% of others out there. By following these simple steps, you can harden your WordPress security and protect your precious data. If you want to learn more, check out the official WordPress security page over at the WordPress.org Codex.

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