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How To Make Your WordPress Website Secure

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Are you ready to learn how to make a website secure?

In this article, you will learn how to make your WordPress website secure and safe from hackers, malware, or viruses.

Every day thousands of websites around the world are hacked. According to webarxsecurity, there is an attack every 39 seconds on average on the web.

As a blogger, it's imperative to prioritize security to protect your site from external threats.

But still many bloggers and business websites failed to take corrective measures to ensure that their blog is safe from hackers or viruses.

Some think that installing an SSL certificate on a site is the only thing required to make a website secure.

If you are one of those, your site is as vulnerable to security threats as a site without an SSL certificate.

Let's see why your blog's security is essential and what you can do to make your site safe from hackers, viruses, or malware.

Why Security Of Your Website Is Important?

You must ensure the security of your website from the day it became live on the internet.

Let's see some of the reasons why it is crucial to secure your website.

  • To protect your website from hackers and prevent them from stealing vital information such as credit card details or other bank account information.
  • To protect your website from viruses and malware.
    Once affected by these, it will be challenging to recover from it. Even if it is possible, you may have to pay a considerable amount of money.
  • To protect users from phishing emails that can be sent using the website.
  • If your website has an SSL certificate and opens with HTTPS, your website may rank higher in the search engines than your competitor sites that do not have an SSL certificate.

How To Make Your WordPress Website Secure

Keep reading, as I'm covering the seven-step important process of creating a secure website for your blog.

1. Update WordPress Regularly

Hackers may use any loopholes in the WordPress platform to secure access to your site.

WordPress regularly releases new updates to plug those loopholes in the code. The update also contains new features and performance enhancements.

So, whenever a WordPress update is available, we must update it to its latest version.

2. Use Compatible Plugins

Plugins allow us to customize and enhance the functionality of a WordPress website.

However, make sure that you install plugins that are compatible with the latest WordPress version. 

Don't use plugins that are not compatible with the latest WordPress version.

Hackers are often on the lookout for such an opportunity.

If a site uses a plugin that has not been updated for a long time, hackers may use it to hack your site.

See the example below.

Compatible plugins

Check compatibility of plugins before installing

Like WordPress, plugin developers also releases new updates to a plugin providing new features or fixes to bugs and vulnerabilities.

So, always update your plugins as soon as an update is available. 

Please Note: Before updating plugins, always check if any WordPress update to its newest version is available. If an update is available, update WordPress first, then update the plugins.

3. Take Backup Regularly

Take a backup of your site regularly. If ever your site is hacked or any malware injected, a backup will help you to restore your site to normal.

You can use plugins like UpDraftPlus or BlogVault to backup your website. This blog uses BlogVault to take regular backup. 

BlogVault Dashboard

You can schedule BlogVault to take backup of your website daily, weekly or monthly. 

It also has an option to store your backup to cloud or third party sites like Google Drive, etc.

BlogVault offer one-click option to restore your website. One of the best feature of BlogVault is that it keeps 90-days archive of your site backup.

In case anything goes wrong and your website is not functioning normally you can always restore your website by using your working version of your website from backup files.

You can try BlogVault for free without requiring any credit card.

Please Note. Before updating your website to the latest version of WordPress, make sure to take a backup of your site as an additional security measure. 

If an update goes wrong, a backup will help to restore your website.

4. Add SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate makes your website secure by encrypting the information shared between your user's browser and your server. 

Business websites accept payment from users via credit card, net banking and information such as bank account details, user id, email or password.

An SSL certificate installed on a site helps to encrypt this information which makes it difficult for a hacker to steal.

If a website doesn't have an SSL certificate installed, Google Chrome will display an error message saying your connection is not private or your site is insecure.

These security warnings may cause distrust among your site visitors.

Thus, to build your user's trust, an SSL certificate must be installed in your site. 

After adding an SSL certificate to your website, a padlock sign is added just before your site address in a web browser like Google Chrome. 

Also, now your blog or website will open with HTTPS instead of HTTP - for example, https://technicalwall.com.

Many popular hosting companies provide free SSL certificate to their users. 

This blog is hosted on A2 Hosting.com and it already has an SSL certificate. 

You can see on the address bar that there is a lock sign. When you click on it, it will give a message saying "Connection is Secure".

If your current host doesn't provide the SSL certificate, then you can consider moving to a web host like Bluehost or A2 Hosting or any other popular web hosting provider.

Alternatively, you can yourself install the free SSL certificate provided by Let's Encrypt in your blog.

To know how to install a free SSL certificate yourself read one of our article - How to create free SSL certificate?

5. Create Strong Password

Non-secure username and password are more prone to security threats. It increases the risk of unauthorized access to your site.

Don't use simple words like the name of any person, city or place. Always use a combination of special characters (like @, *, /, !), numbers and letters.

Also, use a combination of capital and small letters in your password.

Don't store your password online as it can get leaked.

Ideal password length should be between 8 to 12 characters. 

Also use 2-factor authentication (2FA) for login. For example, I use always use 2-factor authentication for each of my websites.

6. Install Security Plugins

When you start a WordPress blog, it needs investment in purchasing a hosting plan, domain name and a premium theme.

So, it is recommended to start using a security plugin from day one to protect your site and investment, of course.

To prevent any hacking attempts on your site, you can use the following popular WordPress security plugins-

  • Wordfence
  • Sucuri
  • iThemes Security
  • Bulletproof Security

These security plugins address the security vulnerabilities that are inherent in each platform. It will foil any additional types of hacking attempts that could threaten your website.

These security plugins will help you in

  • limit login attempts
  • setup FireWall to block brute force and malicious attacks
  • setup 2FA for login
  • regularly scan your site for malware or other threats
  • track file changes, last logins, and failed login attempts

7. Secure The .htaccess File

Users can have unauthorized access to your .htaccess file and they must be stopped from misusing it. To do this, we just need to add a security code to this file. 

To perform this step, log in to Cpanel and open File Manager.

File Manager

File Manager in a2hosting cPanel

When you open the File Manager, it may be possible that you do not see any .htaccess file under the public_html directory.

Sometimes it is kept hidden by your web host for security purposes. If you want to see the hidden files, in the File Manager, select Setting at the top right and select the checkbox to enable Show Hidden Files (dotfiles).

Enable hidden files in File Manager

Enable hidden files in File Manager

After enabling this option, now you can see the .htaccess file in the public_html folder.

.htaccess file

.htaccess file

Now select the .htaccess file and select Edit. Now add the following code before #End WordPress and click on SaveChanges.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

Adding security code in htaccess file

Adding security code in htaccess file

The above code will restrict any unauthorized access to your .htaccess file.

Only you can access it because you know the login credentials of your web hosting cPanel account.

Learn more about securing .htaccess here.

Conclusion

When a site's security is comprised, it is most often the site owners fault.

The security measures mentioned above aren't that tough and is enough to protect your site from hackers or malware.

Implement the security tips as mentioned above and your site will always remain secure.

If your existing web host is not capable of protecting your site against denial-of-service (DDoS) threat and others, then you may consider moving your site to a more secure host like SiteGround.

If I have missed any crucial tips on securing a website, please comment below.

Sharing is Caring! If you like this article, please comment below.

  • Hi Mamta, great article.
    Well I do know some of these tips but regarding securing .htaccess is new to me. I will definitely add it to my to-do list.
    Thanks for this informative article

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