WordPress Security Checklist: Protect Your Website from Being Hacked

WordPress is a favored Content Management System (CMS)-it is the easiest mean to build a blog or website. Approximately 40.0% of the web is empowered by WordPress. There is a large community that is responsible for its success.

These aspects make it the main target of hackers. So, the WordPress website security should not be overlooked and considered carelessly. It can get hacked in no time; therefore, it is essential to perceive the security checklist so that you can protect it from vulnerabilities. 

Consider the fact that hackers are unlikely to attack every website. They target the weak WordPress websites and those that can be hacked easily. When the WordPress websites are secured properly then it will not be simple for the hackers to get the small security hold that can provide the access to the server and get the WordPress website. 

Also, because of the large association of the contributors and many themes/plugins, it is challenging to keep security in the first place. There are WordPress Theme Customization Services that if implemented helps in the website security.

Table of Contents

  • Major reasons of WordPress website getting hacked
  • How to Protect the WordPress website from Hacking
  • WordPress security keys configuration
  • Update the WordPress Website
  • Use powerful username and password
  • Change the salts and security keys with the plugin
  • Protect the WordPress Admin Panel
  • Prefer the two-factor authentication
  • Use the HTTPS website
  • Schedule Constant WordPress Backups
  • Save the website from DDoS attacks
  • Build the WordPress Website Security Level

Major reasons of WordPress website getting hacked

In addition to that, several reasons integrated the WordPress website vulnerability. Below are some:

  • Several WordPress website owners do not update WordPress constantly.
  • The plugins and themes bought from third-party are not updated; even though it is not simple to get it updated.
  • Practice third-party for the invalid plugins and themes.
  • Considering the user name as “admin” which is developed in the WordPress installation.
  • Likely to use the vulnerable Login details that could be cracked easily by the hackers after using some different combinations.
  • Website URLs incorporate HTTP notwithstanding HTTPS for reliable data transfer.
  • Use the inadequate network connections for the user communications.
  • The hosting company does not offer customer support and dependable security solutions.
  • The user roles are not properly defined.
  • The store owners do not maintain the website activity tracking.
  • Not getting proper security measures and with plugins for the same.
  • The attackers use spiteful software for harming the websites.

Knowing why the WordPress website requires a definite security checklist assuring the website is safe and secure from hackers.

How to Protect the WordPress website from Hacking

WordPress security keys configuration

For the configuration of the security keys with the “wp-config.php” file, the below steps will be followed:

  • First and foremost, open the “wp-config.php” file.
  • Choose the unique keys for the salts and authentication. The section has to be right after the database details except you need to move the details to the wp-config.php file.
  • Mention the arbitrary value of approximately 60 simple configurations for every key. And, for salting, use different phrases. The Online Security Generator can also be used for the Automatic Key Generation.
  • When you are considering the online security key generator, copy the overall block of code and follow the eight default values in the wp-config.php file.
  • In the end, save the wp-config.php file.

Update the WordPress Website

The websites are not updated with the advanced WordPress and PHP functionalities that can be targeted easily. Several WordPress updates are not adaptable with the existing themes and plugins.

Hence, you are not needed to verify the harmony of the themes and plugins with the advanced WordPress version. While installing the new version without examining the compatibility with the themes and the plugins, then it could harm the website, and you are asked to restore the existing version in a manual manner.

Therefore, creating the website backup and verifying compatibility is essential while updating WordPress.

Use powerful username and password

WordPress generates a Username by default while installing is “Admin”. Indeed, it is not a secure website name. If you have to void the vulnerabilities that may happen because of the login details, then, it is better to install the WordPress plugin that can assist you to change the username simply.

Not just the username, however, the passwords have to be powerful enough that no hacker should guess the credentials even after making different combinations. Do not use a single password for several websites, it can be risky. Using the password protecting tools, such as LastPass to create a powerful and secure password is beneficial.  

Change the salts and security keys with the plugin

If you prefer to improve the security keys regularly, then, consider the WordPress Security Key Generator plugin, such as Salt Shaker to assist you while changing the keys. 

When the plugin is installed, you will check that it could be configured by the Tools->Salt Shaker page in the WordPress dashboard for configuring the plugin. There are two generators, as; Secret Key Generator for WordPress by MD5.me and WordPress Secret Key Generator that could be used.

Protect the WordPress Admin Panel

Six predefined user roles are there in WordPress. Every role could be performed with a particular set of tasks termed capabilities. The user roles are known as Subscriber, Contributor, Author, Editor, Administrator, and Super Admin.

If the user roles are not accurately defined, then, it can hurt the website. Most of the users may perform the activities that are offered by them. So, it is better to describe the user role for restricting the Admin access and save the WordPress website from getting hacked. Also, you can choose if you like to develop the user role and predefined user roles. In addition, always remember to adjust the login details and then, remove the user roles when the staff leaves the workplace. It is another way with which you can save the WordPress website.

Prefer the two-factor authentication

The aim of two-factor authentication is to make the second protection layer on the login pages. In any case, when the attacker gets successful in cracking the login credentials; then they cannot enter in the WordPress Admin Panel.  When the 2FA is enabled for the users, then, they need to enter the code generated or secret key on the portable device. 

It creates the OTP (One-Time Password) that should be entered in a particular time period.  In addition, the code changes each time anyone tries to access the website. Hence, it maintains the website and assures safety. Accept the Google Authenticator for enabling the 2FA functionalities.

When the Google Authenticator is enabled, the users are needed to enter the secret key for entering the website.  They have not entered the right secret key; they cannot enter the WordPress Admin Panel if the credentials are correct. 

Use the HTTPS website 

The HTTPS website assures that the information is encrypted in the browser and server. When unauthorized users try to access the shared information, they will not get anything. Besides, Google favors ranking the websites that hold the HTTPS in the URL.  When you do not own the SSL certificate, then, Google will confer it is not a security warning in the URL website.  Therefore, you should integrate HTTPS in the URL, because it can gain the customer’s attention and trust towards the website. 

Do not forget that the visitors need a secure and fast solution, therefore, you can just not ignore adding the additional ‘s’ in the URL. Once,  the SSL certificate purchase was approximately $80.  Buying the SSL certificate was non-affordable and therefore, several store owners could not gain the advantages of the HTTPS website.  After learning the SSL certificate importance for store owners, several hosting companies have confirmed it for free.  Moreover, you can possess the free SSL Certificate from WPEngine, InMotion, Kinsta, Kinsta,  and Bluehost.

Schedule Constant WordPress Backups

If you lose the information somehow, or the hackers try to affect the website security, later, then, you might consider the backups for restoring the earlier version. The backups make an accurate copy of the current WordPress website to restore the error-free version and save the brand image. As per the business, you can choose if you require to take the hourly or weekly backups. 

If you regularly make and publish the content on the website, then, it is recommended to get hourly backups. Particularly, if you are owning an eCommerce or online store, then, you can frequently take the backup. However, if the website rarely provides content or makes the change, then, you can backup every week. It relies on the business model. 

Many advanced WordPress backup plugins are there. Check out the list for choosing the backup plugin that might assist in improving the website whenever needed. The plugin assists in maintaining the online presence between the leads, visitors, and customers.  

If in any case, any issue persists, you can restore the previous version with the backup plugin in seconds, therefore, the customer’s experience on the website is not getting affected, and you should not miss the possible sale.

Save the website from DDoS attacks

The hackers consider different systems for hacking the website in the DDoS attacks. Though the DDoS attack cannot harm the website, it slows the website performance for days and hours. For the protection of the website from DDoS attacks, take the benefit from the WordPress security plugin such as Sucuri. When you encounter unusual activities, you can approach the WordPress Development Firm and allow them to manage the website problems.

Build the WordPress Website Security Level 

WordPress is flexible and powerful. When you prefer to use WordPress, then, you cannot ignore performing the WordPress security checklist. It is adtvisable to follow the steps mentioned in the write-up to maintain security and safety. Every tip will include a layer to prevent hackers away from the WordPress website.

If you have any query in your mind about WordPress problems, then, ask us in the comment section below. We are here to help! Thanks for reading!

Guest article written by: Emma Watson is a custom WordPress developer and passionate blogger. Currently, She is associated with WordSuccor – WordPress Development Company in the USA. She is well known for her professional writings and technical blogs. She loves to share useful information regarding WordPress. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram

1 thought on “WordPress Security Checklist: Protect Your Website from Being Hacked”

  1. Protecting your website from being hacked is ultra important, so reading a security checklist like this is always good. Thank you for this content!


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