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
Below I have covered seven important steps to secure a website from crash, bug or external threats.
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.
Like WordPress, plugin developers also releases new updates to a plugin providing new features or fixes to bugs and vulnerabilities.
So, always make sure to update your plugins as soon as a new 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 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".
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, I would recommended you use a good security plugin from day one to protect your site.
To prevent any hacking attempts on your site, you can use any one of the following popular WordPress security plugins-
- 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
Also, if you or your collaborators work remotely (from home or a different location), look for reliable cloud VPN services, like the ones available on goodaccess.com, to keep your connection secure.
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.
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).
After enabling this option, now you can see the .htaccess file in the public_html folder.
Now select the .htaccess file and select Edit. Now add the following code before #End WordPress and click on SaveChanges.
#Deny access to .htaccess
Deny from all
The above code will restrict any unauthorized access to your .htaccess file.
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 WPX Hosting.
If I have missed any crucial tips on securing a website, please comment below.
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