As the frequency and intensity of cybersecurity attacks continue to rise, it has become more important than ever to prioritize website security. This is especially true for websites that involve online transactions, such as e-commerce platforms, as well as those that operate on widely popular platforms such as WordPress Content Management System (CMS). To protect your website from malicious hackers and cyber threats, it is crucial to implement WordPress security measures.
In this article, we will explore ten effective ways to secure your WordPress website, including best practices, tools, and other tactics to enhance the security of your website.
Why is website security important?
Imagine logging into your website one day only to find that it’s been hacked. Panic sets in as you realize that your precious data may be in the hands of a stranger, or worse, gone forever. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many website owners. Hackers are always on the prowl, looking for vulnerabilities to exploit.
Although hacked websites may appear differently, there are some common indicators to watch out for. Cybercriminals can infiltrate websites in various ways, such as using ransomware, the Gibberish hack, or the Cloaked Keywords hack. They may create auto-generated pages with keyword-stuffed content or implant malicious code that can bring your website crashing down.
Another technique hackers use is the Denial of Service (DoS) attack, where they use bots to bombard your website with requests, overloading it and causing it to crash.
Small businesses in finance or retail should be extra cautious when it comes to DDoS attacks because they could lose up to $120,000. It’s not just these industries that are vulnerable, as Cloudflare noted an alarming 109% increase in network-layer DDoS attacks in Q2 of 2022 compared to the previous year, indicating that everyone is at risk.
Phishing is also a common tactic, where scammers impersonate your business and use your branding to trick your clients into revealing personal information.
Lastly, failing to update your website’s software regularly is an open invitation for hackers. Cybercriminals use bots to scan for vulnerable websites and if they find yours, they can easily exploit it. It’s crucial to stay on top of updates to WordPress, CMS, plugins, and other tools. Not doing so puts your website at risk of being compromised.
Being aware of the signs of a hack is the first step towards preventing it. By implementing preventive security measures and regularly updating your website, you can protect it from malicious attacks and safeguard your valuable data.
10 ways to enhance WordPress security
- Install SSL Certificate
One of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your site is by installing an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.You may have already noticed SSL in action while browsing the web. It’s what makes the “s” in “https” and displays the padlock icon in the address bar. SSL encrypts data transmitted between your website and its visitors, providing a secure and private browsing experience. E-commerce websites processing payment details should use advanced SSL versions.
The benefits of an SSL certificate are numerous.
– It protects your visitors’ data, which is crucial for building trust and credibility.
– It boosts your website’s SEO ranking – a fact that Google announced a few years back.
– An SSL certificate also safeguards against phishing attacks by making it impossible for hackers to impersonate your site.
Trust indicators like the green address bar that comes with an EV SSL certificate improve customer trust and enhance your business’s online identity. Furthermore, SSL helps businesses meet PCI/DSS requirements, which are crucial for online transactions.
You can easily purchase an SSL certificate from the ZNetLive website, and the installation process is quick and hassle-free. With ZNetLive, you get free installation, and the SSL process is expedited, requiring only a few simple steps.
- Remove unused plugins
Do you have a habit of hoarding unused WordPress plugins and themes on your website? Well, it’s time to declutter for the sake of your website’s security.Just like you clear out your closet and get rid of clothes you no longer wear, removing unused plugins and themes from your website can help improve its overall health and security. These unused plugins and themes can be a potential entry point for hackers, who can exploit their vulnerabilities to gain access to your website.
Plus, it can help improve your website’s performance and speed.
- Install security plugins
Boost your website’s security without doing all the heavy lifting by using a security plugin! Trustworthy security plugins do the tedious manual work of securing your website for you. They scan your website for infiltration attempts, fix vulnerable source files, restore your WordPress site, and prevent content theft like hotlinking. Some security plugins can even take care of all these tasks for you.By installing one or more reputable WordPress security plugins for your website, you can have peace of mind knowing that your site is being protected. Just be sure to choose a trusted and legitimate plugin, whether it’s security-related or not, to keep your website secure and sound.
- Regularly backup your site
You’ve put in endless hours of work building and designing your website. But what if disaster strikes? What if a hacker infiltrates your site and wreaks havoc on everything you’ve created? This is where backups come in to save the day.Backups are a safety net for your website. They allow you to make a copy of your website data, from files to content to media, and store it in a safe location. That way, if anything were to happen to your site, you can easily restore it to a recent, uncorrupted version.
But why stop at manual backups? Take advantage of an automatic site backup service. With daily backups, you won’t have to worry about missing out on potential customers or revenue due to an unexpected crash or hack.
- Update your site regularly
Keeping your website software up-to-date ensures that your website is running smoothly and efficiently, and secure from hackers and malware. The developers of your website software are constantly releasing updates that fix security vulnerabilities, bugs, and performance issues. To avoid getting caught with an outdated website, make sure you’re regularly checking for any updates or setting up auto-updates.You can easily enable auto-updates for your WordPress core, themes, and plugins to improve WordPress security.
- Manage File Permissions
Block potential hackers by managing the file and folder permissions on your WordPress site. File and folder permissions refer to the access rights given to users, determining who can read, write, or execute files or folders on your website.Most web hosts provide tools to manage file and folder permissions, such as File Manager, FTP client, or via command line. By accessing these tools, you can control who can access your WordPress site’s files and folders. It’s important to note that default permissions may vary depending on the file or folder, and you should take the time to review and adjust them accordingly.
When it comes to specific files and folders like the wp-admin folder and wp-config file, it’s crucial to be extra cautious. These files contain important information about your website, and hackers will try to target them to gain access to your admin account. To protect them, make sure only the Owner has permission to write them. By doing so, you can prevent unauthorized users from accessing your WordPress site and keep your site secure.
- Scan for malware
One of the most significant risks to your WordPress website’s security is malware. Cybercriminals are constantly inventing new ways to hack websites and infect them with malicious software, and it’s essential to stay ahead of them. That’s why regular malware scans are critical to maintaining the security of your WordPress site.There are many WordPress malware scanner plugins available that can help you detect and remove malware from your website. These plugins use advanced algorithms to scan your website’s files and directories for any malicious code or other security threats. They also perform regular security checks to ensure your website stays safe from future attacks.
- Hide your WordPress version
Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities to exploit, and knowing the WordPress version you’re using can make their job much easier. This is especially true if you’re using an older version of WordPress, which may have known security weaknesses that hackers can take advantage of. However, you can easily hide this information from prying eyes using the WordPress Theme Editor.
- Prevent Hotlinking
Hotlinking is a common problem for website owners where other sites embed their content, often images, without permission or proper credit. Not only is it unethical, but it also puts a strain on your server, using up resources and slowing down your website. Hotlinking can also be illegal, making it essential to prevent this practice.You can take several measures, including using FTP clients, WordPress security plugins, CDNs, or adjusting your control panel settings, to prevent hotlinking and protect your website’s content. By taking these steps, you can ensure your website’s integrity and avoid any legal or financial repercussions from unauthorized content use.
- Choose a secure web host for your WordPress site
Protecting your website from cyberattacks is critical, and one of the most important steps is choosing a secure web hosting provider. If your current provider isn’t up to the task, it’s time to consider migrating to a more secure platform. Look for hosting options that offer VPS or dedicated hosting to isolate your resources and a provider that prioritizes security, with regular updates and network monitoring to prevent suspicious activity.Additionally, automatic backups and malware prevention tools are essential features for any hosting plan. And, don’t forget about support – a 24/7 team of technical experts can help you navigate any safety or technical issues that arise, ensuring your data stays safe and secure.
Secure your websites with ZNetLive’s managed WordPress Hosting
ZNetLive is the perfect hosting solution for your WordPress website. It offers optimized WordPress hosting plans that cater to businesses of all sizes.
Whether you’re a blogger just starting out or an established e-commerce business, our WordPress hosting plans are tailored to meet your specific requirements, ensuring you receive the best performance and reliability.
If you’re running an online store using WooCommerce, our Managed WooCommerce hosting is the ideal choice for you. We’ve designed it to help you focus solely on sales and revenue growth.
For SMBs, our managed WordPress hosting plans are built with scalability in mind, ensuring that your website can grow along with your business.
Benefits of managed WordPress hosting from ZNetLive:
- Launch your website quickly
Launch your website quickly with the best WordPress hosting. Get access to tools like SSH, GIT integration, Dev/Stage/Prod environments, FTP access, and 1-click staging to speed up the WordPress website development process.
- Publish quality content and scale fast
With the fastest WordPress hosting, you can publish quality content and easily share it on social media, interact with customers online, and scale your website globally with the help of GlobalCDN.
- Improve SEO and boost revenue
Improve your website’s performance with an SSD, HTTP2, and PHP7-ready platform that can boost your organic traffic. Utilize an SEO kit, rank tracker, and analytics tools to improve your website’s SEO and conversions, leading to faster revenue growth.
- Round-the-clock security
Protect your website with automated SSL certificates, daily backups, automatic theme-plugin updates, DDoS protection, WAF, daily malware scanning, and more tools that ensure the safety of your website.
With ZNetLive, you also get,
- 24/7 Chat and Ticket Support from WordPress Experts
- Dedicated Account Manager for one-to-one support
- Up-to-date, user-friendly WordPress Knowledgebase
- SLA-backed Moneyback Guarantee
Drop a message to know more about ZNetLive’s WordPress hosting.