WordPress, the most popular content management system so far, powers millions of websites that we visit. A big chunk of online websites is based on WordPress CMS. This open source platform is popular for many reasons. It is user friendly and even an end-user can easily manage and run it without prior technical knowledge. But, this benefit has its downsides too. There are cases reported when WordPress websites have been hacked and compromised. Hackers out there leave no chance untapped to intrude websites with vulnerabilities.
Preventive Measures to Boost WordPress Website Safety
Recently, Google has blocked over 100,000 WordPress websites that have been malware affected. According to the Fox News Network, attackers exploited vulnerability in a WordPress plugin called RevSlider.
So, if you too have a WordPress website, follow few security measures to keep your website safe -
Regular Backup of Your Website
I never suggest regular backups but having it on frequent intervals is a good idea. Website backup is something that becomes crucial when you have lost your data due to hacking. It helps to restore your website content including posts, pages, images and videos. You never know when an unexpected error or venerability could open up your website for the hackers. After all, prevention is better than cure. For that purpose, you can use free or paid versions of backup plug-ins available with WordPress plug-in gallery.
Limit the Login Attempts
To crack the website password, hackers test multiple login attempts using numerous login combinations. This is called Brute Force. To prevent it, use plug-ins that limit failed login attempts from the single IP. These plug-in track the IP address that executes these attempts and bans it after a certain number of failed login attempts.
Avoid Using Admin As User Name
Most of the website owners choose 'Admin' as user name. This makes hackers' task even easier as they now just need to manipulate password combinations. On the contrary, if you choose a names other than 'Admin', you reduce the chances of your website being hacked. If you already have chosen 'Admin' as user name, WordPress development gives you the option to change it right from the dashboard.
Add another Admin User
To prevent your site from hacking, you should register one more user with Admin role. If the old Admin account is hacked or compromised, login with the new account and delete that has been hacked.
Strengthen Up Your Password
With Brute force attack, hackers keep guessing the user id and password combinations to break into your website. If you use user name as 'Admin' with weaker passwords, your website could be hacked. Internet experts believe that almost 8% of websites come under threat due to the passwords that are weak or easy to guess. Change your habit to have simple or easy to remember passwords. Keep them complex using different alpha-numeric combinations. You should change your password to one that's tough to crack.
Don't Allow File Edit via Dashboard
You must have noticed that admin panel of WordPress gives direct access to the 'file editor', where codes of the theme files can be changed. Despite all your efforts, if hacker managed to access the admin panel, he can inject malware to the file. You may disable this method of file editing by adding the following code to your wp-config.php file.
Define (‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);
Avoid Using Free Themes
I'm not of the thought that free themes compromise with quality and security. However, I'll not suggest going for them unless they are developed by a reliable and renowned theme developer. These free themes are loosely coded and prone to get altered with malicious codes. If you still look for a free theme for website, get one from trusted provider or choose from the official WordPress.org theme repository.
Use Security Plug-ins
Beyond all, you may also go for the WordPress security plug-ins to keep your website safe. These plug-ins offer several key security settings to prevent your website / blog against malicious threats and malware. Choose among the thousands of the plug-ins available in WordPress plug-in library. These plug-ins perform key functions to add more to your site security, such as:
- Blocking malicious networks
- Scans for file changes
- Malware scanning
- Disk space monitoring
- IP blocking
Don't Panic - WordPress Knows It All
If you have just started your own site / blog, you might have concerns about its online security and safety. But needn't to worry, as WordPress already has almost unbreakable security mechanism that will keep your website safe. All that I have discussed here is to give you knowledge about possible online hacking threats and their respective remedies.