18 Ways to Protect Your WordPress Site from Hackers

WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular content management system in the world. Nearly 25% of sites worldwide run on WordPress. Just about everyone uses it from brick and mortar stores to Fortune 500 company blogs. Though WordPress is hailed as the King of CMS, it’s not impregnable. Research shows that more than 70% of popular WordPress sites are vulnerable. Hackers continue to exploit flaws and vulnerabilities in the core files and themes.

To protect your site, here are couple of things you can do to enhance the security of WordPress and keep hackers at bay.

1. Update WordPress

One of the smartest things you can do to protect your site from hackers is to update the WordPress framework. From time to time, updates are rolled out to fix bugs and flaws. Newer versions are more secure than preceding ones.

You can update your WordPress framework by logging into the admin panel and clicking on the update link.  By updating your WordPress site, you will make it safe for you as well as the visitors and individuals
who have delegated users.

2.Never keep defaults

Some people use default passwords when accessing their  WP hosting accounts and admin panel. That’s not advisable. Using default usernames and passwords makes you vulnerable to
brute-force attacks.  So change the default passwords immediately you account is created.

3. Choose a trusted hosting service

Server security is a very important aspect of web hosting. So sign up with  a host who has a good reputation when it comes to securing customer files and data. If possible, avoid shared hosting and opt for Managed WordPress VPS. And if you can’t afford dedicated hosting at least settle for VPS hosting.

4.Change passwords every 2 Months

Don’t use a single password for several months or even a year as it increases the vulnerability of your website. Change your password at least every two months. If you have problems creating strong passwords, consider using a password generator. Write down the password in somewhere if you are forgetful and keep it in a place that is out of reach.

5. Enable 2-step authentication

Don’t just depend on your normal password for protection. It’s not enough. Make use of two-step authentication. This will add an extra layer of protection which will make your site hackerproof.  With a two step authentication, you will be required to enter a code once your login with your password. You will receive the code via email or SMS. That means only you can access your administration panel because you’re the only one who will receive the code.

6. Update plugins & themes regularly

Everytime you update the WordPress framework, remember to update plugins and the theme as well. Why is that important? Plugins and themes act as the window to your website. If they are
outdated, hackers can find loopholes and exploit them to access your website. So be on the lookout for updates to ensure your WordPress site and plugins are always up to date.

7. Download from Premium Sources

Sometimes, people are tempted to download free themes and plugins and use it on their websites. That’s not a good idea. Whenever you want to download themes or plugins, go to premium sites like Themeforest or Theme Isle. These are trusted sources for WordPress themes and plugins. And they take the issue of user security very seriously. All their themes and plugins are bug-free. Members get support and themes and plugins are patched regularly.

8. Uninstall inactive plugins & themes

Remove any inactive plugins and themes on your site. They do not add any value. And since they’re not updated, they act as backdoors to hackers. You would do better to delete them entirely from your WordPress site and the remnants from the core files.

9.Change the file and directory permissions

If you have a WordPress site, it’s very important for you to change file permissions as a security measure. Using the default configuration is akin to inviting hackers to enter and do whatever they want with the file content. So set the file permissions to 750 or 755 instead of the normal 777 permissions.

10. Limit access for freelancers

If you are the administrator of a site that is built on WordPress, it’s very important for you to set access levels for freelancers. Restrict authorization to just publishing content and not editing files. This will limit what a freelancer can do in the site. It’s also advisable that you assign random passwords and never share the superuser password  used by the webmaster.  Remove site access to freelancers once your working relationship ends.

11. Limit the number of logins

Hackers will stop at nothing until they crack your password. They will use brute force and try as many password combinations as possible in their quest access your website.  To discourage them, limit the number of login attempts to your WordPress. You can easily do that by
installing login plugins and blocking access from suspicious IP addresses.

12. SSL encryption

Consider adding SSL encryption when signing up for a hosting plan. SSL allows you to access your WordPress in a secure manner. The protection extends to visitors who land on your site. Most hosting services provide SSL certificates with premium hosting plans. With SSL, you will worry less about hackers intercepting your passwords or security breaches.

13. Regular backup of WordPress site

Just in case you forgot, make sure that you create a regular back of your site. Back the entire site plus the database. Don’t worry if this is a grey area for you. There is a good number of plugins that you can use to backup your files. It’s even possible to automate backups. Simply install and configure the plugin. By scheduling backups, you’ll never worry about losing your important files.

14. Invest in security plugins

You’ve probably read or heard someone talk about WordPress security plugins. Don’t overlook them as they can be the game changer. Plugins such as WordFence, BulletProof Security, and iThemes Security can add another layer of protection to your WordPress site.

15. Enable Firewall

As a website owner, it’s highly recommended that you bolster the security of your site using Firewall. This will create an extra layer of security and  stop hackers as well as security breaches on your site.

16. Workstation security

Computer security is key to safeguarding your WordPress site. The best thing you can do is to enhance the security of your workstation. Make sure that you update your operating system and use an antivirus. Update your softwares and browsers regularly to keep them abreast of any threats. That way, you will make your system less vulnerable to hackers and security breaches.

17. Install a security scanner

From time to time, you should scan your WordPress site for bugs or flaws. Scanning will help you find malicious codes in your plugins and all the core files.

18. Complex password

Passwords are very important as far security WordPress concerned. So you cannot afford to be sloppy when creating one. Avoid short or easy words. Make sure that you create and use longer
passwords. Ideally,  combine several letters and special or alphanumeric characters. The more complex your password is the harder it is for hackers to crack.