WordPress security is vital for every website owner. Every week, Google blacklists approx. 50,000 for phishing and 20,000 websites for malware. If you are serious about your website, then you need to pay attention to the WordPress security best practices. In this article, we will share all the top WordPress security guide & tips to help you protect your website against hackers and malware.
While WordPress core software is very secure, and hundreds of developers check it regularly, there is many things that can be done to harden your WordPress website.
We believe that security is not just about risk elimination. It is also about risk reduction. As a website owner, there are many things you can do improve your WordPress security (even if you are not good with technology).
We have many actionable steps that you can take to enhance your WordPress security. To make it easy, we have created a table of content to help you easily navigate through our ultimate WordPress security guide.
Let us get started!
Why WordPress security is vital?
Hacked WordPress site can cause serious damage to your business revenue and reputations. Hackers can steal your important data like passwords, confidential documents etc. they can install malicious software, and can even send malware to your users.
Worst, you may find yourself paying ransomware to hackers just to regain access to your website.
In March 2016, Google reported that more than 50 million websites have been warned about information theft and malware on the website they are visiting.
Moreover, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing every week.
If you have a business website, then you need to pay more attention to your WordPress security. Similar to how the business owner protects its physical store, as an online business owner it is your responsibility to protect your business website.
Keep Your WordPress Updated
WordPress is an open source software, which is been regularly handled and updated by the developers. By default, WordPress automatically installs minor updates. For major releases, you need to start manually the update.
WordPress also comes with numbers of plugins and themes that you can install on your website. Third party developers maintains these themes and plugins, which releases regular updates as well.
These WordPress updates are important for the security and stability of your WordPress site. You need to make sure that you WordPress core, plugins, and theme are up to date.
Strong Password and Users Permission
The most common WordPress hacking attempts use stolen passwords. You can make that difficult by using stronger passwords that are unique for your website. Not only for WordPress area, but also for FTP accounts, database, WordPress hosting account, and your professional email address.
The main reason why beginners do not like using strong password is that they are difficult to remember. The best thing is you do not need to remember your passwords anymore. You can use a password manager.
Another way to low the risk is by not giving any one access to your WordPress admin account until it is very important. If you have a big team, then make sure that you understand user roles and capabilities in WordPress before you add new user and authors to your WordPress site.
The Role of WordPress Hosting
WordPress hosting service plays vital role in the security of your WordPress site. The best shared hosting provider like BlueHost or Siteground take the extra measures to protect their servers against common threats.
However, on shared hosting you share the server resource with many other customers. This open the risk of cross-site contamination where a hacker can use a neighboring site to attack your website.
Using a managed WordPress Hosting service provides a more secure platform for your website. Managed WordPress hosting companies offer automatic backup, automatic WordPress updates, and more advanced security configuration to protect your website.
We recommend WPEngine as our preferred managed WordPress managed WordPress hosting.
Let’s talk about WordPress.org VS WordPress.com
The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is probably one of the most common sources of confusions for beginners.
Which to choose when developing a website.
Both have the same name and are based on the same software.
Still, there are noticeable differences. So that opting the wrong one will have serious problems for your site and its future.
To make it easy and to make a right choice, in this article we will take a detailed look at WordPress.Org vs WordPress.com and the difference between them.
After reading about WordPress you know why using WordPress is a good idea, let’s look at which version of WordPress you should use.
People often get confused between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Due to that, it makes sense to explain the difference between them. After that, we will move on to what that means for your website.
I know you all are confused, what is the difference? Which to use? Which is better?
Well, to keep the “WordPress.com vs WordPress.org” battle simple, here are their key differentiators:
- WordPress.org is customizable, WordPress.com is less so.
- WordPress.org is self-hosted, WordPress.com is not.
Ok, let us take a closer look below.
Let us see 4 major difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
- You get a full domain on WordPress.org but only a sub-domain on WordPress.com
Sub-domain is a part of larger domain. For instance, my site name is starbloggingonline.com
If my subdomain is myfreeblog, then my full domain name will be myfreeblog.startbloggingonline.com see the difference.
Before we move ahead, I just want to tell you where else you can start a free blog on a subdomain beside WordPress.com
When you go and sign up on WordPress.com, you will get a domain name like:
When you go with self-hosted WordPress. You will have your own domain name like – YourNewBlog.com
On the downside; your blog address will cost you around $10 per year. It is not much, but still some money.
- WordPress.com has more limitations than WordPress.org
WordPress.com has approx. 100 free themes to choose from, WordPress.org (self-hosted) has around 1500 free theme to choose.
The same goes for plugins and different add-ons. In short, you will have some limits, which do not allow you to really customize your blog.
You will not be able to add AWeber, GetResponse or Mailchimp applications to gather emails and build lists for business purposes.
You will not be able to add different plugins and themes that can make your blog look attractive and unique.
Your blog will be in limited size. If you go too frequent on posting videos and images, you might need to sign up for a premium plan which costs $99/year.
Do you know what the downside for avoiding limits on WordPress is? You will need to sign up for a hosting plan, which is roughly $3 per month.
- You are the owner of the content on WordPress.org but not on WordPress.com
Yes, you caught it right. You do not own the content nor the blog you are posting on. WordPress is the owner for it, thus they can shut it down whenever they want to.
That’s the reason it’s free.
On a self-hosted WordPress, you will own your content and you can even sell it as a website or blog without any permission. You can post ads and even monetize your blog – you cannot do that on a free WordPress platform.
- Viewers take you more seriously when you are on WordPress.org rather than WordPress.com
Do not take me in a wrong way. WordPress.com is perfect for classroom blogs or blogs that will not be used more than 2 months.
However, when you want to be a dedicated blogger, you need to have your own domain name as well as a great hosting plan.
WordPress Security Plugins
Why WordPress Needs Security Plugins?
The most popular and widely used blogging platform is WordPress. Millions of people around the world are using it. Around 81 million of all Web sites globally uses WordPress. Therefore, hackers and spammers have also taken interest in breaking the security of the WordPress websites.
WordPress security plugins are one of the easiest ways to improve security on a WordPress site. WordPress is very secure by itself and is frequently updated to fix any vulnerabilities that are found. However, it never too much have plugins that can detect security problems as soon as possible.
We already know that a major reason behinds the vulnerability of WordPress websites is abandoned or unmaintained plugins.
Security plugins can address some important vulnerabilities or at least harden the aspects of your WordPress site that are prone to manipulation by hackers.
If you go to the official WordPress plugins and do a quick search for Security, you will find over 4,594 plugins with distinct categorizations and feature sets.
By default, WordPress core has some security measures in place, but it is nothing compared to what a reputable security plugin does for you. For example, the top WordPress security plugins deliver the following:
- File scanning
- Notifications for when a security threat is detected
- Post-hack actions
- Malware scanning
- Active security monitoring
- Security hardening
- Blacklist monitoring
- Brute force attack protection
- Much more
As it is being said prevention is better than cure, you should follow it too for your website. If you have a question how to secure your website from these hackers, do not bother we have a solution for that. You can secure your WordPress site by using the following WordPress security plugins.
These plugins will provide maximum security to your site. Here we are providing you with a list of selected plugins from which you can choose the best security plugin for WordPress.
Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
The WordFence plugin provides user login security, IP blocking, security scanning, and Web firewall and monitoring. This plugin allows mobile sign in that saves your WordPress site from brute force hacks. It provides real time threat defense feed. Wordfence Scan leverages the same proprietary feed, alerting you in the event your site is compromised. This plugin is offered in both free and pro version.
- Wordfence plugin is the easiest one to use. You can use it without any difficulty.
- It shows you live traffic, which helps you in identifying the coming threats.
- It provides you different tools, which you can customize too.
- Wordfence provides firewall protection to your website. You can customize it as per your requirements.
- Apart from this, you can secure multiple websites with this plugin.
- Additionally, you will get access of Wordfence learning center, which will be helpful for you.
Get Wordfence Security Plugin
Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening
The Sucuri Security plugin provides several security services like malware scanning, security activity auditing, blacklist monitoring, effective security hardening, file integrity monitoring, and a Website firewall.
It is a free plugin and they do offer some premium services.
- This WordPress security plugin will audit your site’s security and will compare it to ideal security. This comparison will help you to know the exact position.
- The customer service is available in the form of instant chat and email.
- You receive instant notifications when something is wrong with your website.
- It also helps you in accessing the hacked sites.
Get Sucuri Security Plugin
All In One WP Security & Firewall
The All In One WP Security & Firewall plugin checks for security vulnerabilities. It implements and enforces the latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques. One if its useful features is a meter on your dashboard that gives your site a score of how secure it is. It can detect malicious code in your WordPress site.
It is free plugin but they offer paid consultancy for your site’s security.
- The WordPress security plugin has a blacklist tool where you can set certain requirements to block a user.
- You can backup .htaccess and .wp-config files. There is also a tool to restore them if anything goes wrong.
- It has password strength tool, which will help you and your visitors to create strong passwords.
- It has a firewall.
Get All In One WP Security Plugin
Shield Security for WordPress
Shield Security is a powerful WordPress security plugin that handles a number of security issues of your WordPress website. This plugin allows only safe traffic to your website. It will block all the harmful traffic to keep your site away from threats.
- Its special feature is that it locks itself at the time of the attack. Anyone will need an access key to make further changes.
- It guards your site against brute force attacks.
- It blocks malicious URLs.
- It will automatically spam the comments by bots.
Get Shield Security Plugin
iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)
The iThemes Security Plugin supposedly provides more than 30 ways to secure WordPress site. It enhances user credentials by fixing common vulnerabilities and automated attacks. iThemes Security Plugin offers both Free and Pro versions of the plugin.
- Scans your site and instantly reports where the vulnerabilities exist and fixes them in seconds
- Bans troublesome user agents, bots and other hosts
- Strengthens server security
- Enforces strong passwords for all accounts of a configurable minimum role
- It will automatically reports IP addresses of failed login attempts and blocks them so that your website is protected.
Get iThemes Security Plugin
The BulletProof Security plugin secures your WordPress directories with a single click. It provides protection against CSRF, Base64, XSS, RFI, SQL injections. It also provides login security firewalls, database security and backup services.
It is available as a free and Pro version with more advanced features.
- Limits failed login attempts, checks for fake traffic, IP blocking and code scanners.
- Keeps on checking the code of WordPress core files, themes and plugins.
- Optimizes the performance of your website by adding caching.
- You can take full or partial backups of your data.
- This plugin has firewall feature, which prevents your website from malicious scripts.
Get BulletProof Security Plugin
Protecting your WordPress website should be your first priority and without security plugins, it can prove to be a challenge. Having an easy-going approach towards website security is nothing short of foolishness.
The content on your website is a result of your hard work and the people working with you. It is obviously sad to see it go down the drain in a matter of minutes.
These plugins will provide you maximum safety from threats, but for additional security, you can also opt for their premium versions.