Protect Your WordPress Website With Basic Security Practices

If you want to protect your WordPress website, get started with these basic security practices in this article and secure your WordPress site

Updated on November 16, 2022
Protect Your WordPress Website With Basic Security Practices

If you want to secure your WordPress site, start with these basic security practices in this article and learn why security is essential for you to protect your WordPress website.

Every website owner’s worst nightmare – a hacker has gained access to your WordPress site. All the time, effort, and revenue you’ve put into that site slowly go down the drain as you desperately try to regain control. The good news is that this situation is easy to avoid. The bad news is that you might not do everything necessary to prevent it.

Security Practices

Protect Your WordPress Website With Basic Security Practices
Protect Your WordPress Website With Basic Security Practices

Most website owners don’t do enough to protect their assets with basic WordPress security practices.

It’s easy to cower in fear at the idea of the sophisticated black hat, equipped with an arsenal of unstoppable hacking tools that allow them to break into whatever system they choose. Such organized experts comprise the minority of digital criminals, however. And even the sophisticated ones will more often than not choose the path of least resistance over an unnecessarily complicated approach.

To put it another way, why bother scaling the side of a building when you can walk through an unlocked door?

On its own, WordPress is a relatively secure platform. The team regularly releases security patches and updates. Moreover, they provide users with a wealth of first-party plugins and tools to help them protect their sites against everything from spam and malware to brute-force attacks.

Protect Your WordPress
Protect Your WordPress Website With Basic Security Practices

Why WordPress Security is Important

Are your customers’ and visitors’ passwords, cards, and personal data protected against increasing cybersecurity attacks?

Hackers are doing their best, and it’s up to you to protect your website even more. A website is often hacked because its owner ignored something or didn’t use basic WordPress security practices.

They installed a plugin they shouldn’t have. Failed to install a security patch, leaving their site with a known vulnerability. They used a weak username or password or installed a theme from an untested, unauthorized third party and also worked with a host that wasn’t serious enough about security.

In other words, they ignored basic WordPress cyber security best practices, which cost them dearly. If you still aren’t sold, WP Template recently published an infographic detailing the most common avenues through which sites are compromised. The results are quite telling:

  • 41% of hacks are the result of a vulnerability in the hosting platform.
  • 29% are due to an insecure theme.
  • 22% are because of a vulnerable plugin.
  • 8% are due to weak usernames/passwords.

That’s it. No complicated hacking campaigns, no government-sponsored black hat agencies. Simple, exploitable vulnerabilities – Most of them are fixed right after discovery.

Basic WordPress Security Practices You Need

That’s good news because protecting yourself against these attacks is actually pretty easy using these basic WordPress security practices:

  • Run regular malware scans on your WordPress site.
  • Install an antispam tool such as Akismet.
  • When a new security patch is released for a plugin or your WordPress installation, update immediately – don’t wait.
  • Only install plugins and themes from trusted sources and marketplaces – and never install a premium theme if someone tries to offer it for ‘free.’
  • Change your username and password away from the default, and use something strong and memorable. GREATd0nkeyMAHOGANYavenue is an excellent example of a strong password. “Password” is not.
  • Make sure you know who has access to your site and that they aren’t doing anything to compromise your data.
  • Maintain regular backups of your WordPress installation.
  • Use two-factor authentication – with the built-in authenticator, not SMS.
  • Make sure wp-config.php and .htaccess are hidden.
  • Limit login attempts to your site.
  • Ensure the host you’ve chosen is secure.
Basic Security Practices
Basic Security Practices

Sure, if your site gets targeted by a highly-sophisticated criminal enterprise, there’s probably little you can do. But the chances of that happening are infinitesimally small. You’re far likelier to run afoul of an opportunist who doesn’t know your website from a hole in the ground – a criminal who’s just looking for something vulnerable to attack with WordPress basic security practices.

Make Sure Your Site is Secure

Fortunately, securing a WordPress site doesn’t require much technical knowledge as long as you have the right tools and hosting plan to suit your needs. Rather than waiting to respond to threats as soon as they occur, you should proactively protect your site to avoid security issues with WordPress basic security practices.

Following the advice here, you can ensure you’re an unattractive target for such crooks and that they will ultimately look for victims elsewhere.