WordPress is one of the most popular content management platforms available for individual bloggers and businesses; it powers over 30% of websites on the internet, according to W3Techs.
Due to the popularity, it’s no wonder that websites with the famous WordPress logo are often targeted by malicious hackers from around the world. Sometimes, these hackers just want to get in and mess around with the website’s owner. Other times, they may try to do something more sinister, like steal your customers’ credit card information.
Sometimes, hackers aren’t looking for customers’ credit card information or to mess around with your site. In my experience, one of the most common reasons hackers try to get into WordPress websites is that they can provide easy access to an email list — like the ones you use to send out your newsletters or promotions.
Hackers can get their hands on your email lists and send them spam. The goal is that someone will “bite” and respond to the emails. The potential money they can get from hacking customers’ credit cards is nothing compared to a 10,000-person email list.
There’s no question that you have to make sure your business’s website is secure. I work with multiple WordPress sites as a chief technology officer and have found that there are numerous precautions you can take that will help keep your WordPress page airtight and free from harmful hackers.
We’re going to look at five of the best ways you can increase the security of your website. Let’s dive in.
Use Password Precautions
There are multiple ways you can secure your password. The first — and most important, in my opinion — is to pick a password for your WordPress login that is complicated. Try to use multiple words or string a phrase together. You can replace letters with numbers; for example, change “o” to “0” and “e” to “3.”
Combine your passphrase with more numbers at the end and symbols scattered throughout the phrase or at the end. You never want to use just letters, and sometimes letters and numbers can still put you at risk. Play it safe and make your password as complicated — but memorable — as possible.
Aside from making complicated passwords, I believe you should always change your password biweekly, or at the very least monthly. Constantly changing passwords might seem cumbersome, but it’s better than losing your website (and customer information) to hackers.
When you change your password, write it down in a physical notebook so you don’t have to worry about remembering your newest password.
Implement Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is a popular way to ensure that important accounts remain protected.
The way that it works is simple. First, you enter your password as you normally would. After you enter your password, you have to get past a second level of security to access your account. Depending on the plugin you use for your page, you can use multiple ways to verify your account.
Many people link their account to their mobile phone. When you log in, you’ll get a text message with a secret code. You enter the secret code into the box, and then you have access to your account. You can also use a secret question or email verification.
The extra step may seem like a pain at first, but it sure beats losing your business account to a hacker.
Use An SSL Certificate
When you’re working on your website, data is transferred between your network and the WordPress server. If a savvy hacker gets their hands on your data, they can intercept the data and cause havoc on your WordPress site.
An SSL certificate can help protect your data. In a nutshell, an SSL creates an encrypted link between your network and the WordPress server. Due to the encryption, hackers are unable to take the data during the transfer.
It’s also important to note that an SSL certificate gives you a secure HTTP, which is a stat that Google reportedly takes into consideration for their ranking algorithm.
Turn On Automatic Core Updates
WordPress is a constantly changing platform. The team always seems to be adding new updates, and that includes new security measures to keep hackers out.
I believe you should always make sure you have automatic core updates on. As long as you have the updates coming in regularly, you’ll always have the latest and greatest on-site protection against hackers.
When you create a website, automatic updates are on by default. If you’re unsure whether you turned them off by accident, check your settings under your WordPress login homepage.
Hide Your Login Page
Normally, when you sign in to your WordPress account, you’ll go to a page that ends in wp-admin or wp-login.php. A simple change to your login page can make your site very difficult to hack.
It’s possible to mask your login page with a variety of plugins. In my experience, one of the most popular plugins for this task is Lockdown WP Admin, and Hide My WP is another lightweight plugin you can use to protect your WordPress website. This plugin allows you to hide common paths, such as wp-admin, wp-login, and more. Plugins like these can make it so that if anyone goes to your old sign-in page, they will simply see a 404 screen.
You can take advantage of these tools if you have multiple users on your website, too. Only the employees who have the link can get there, ensuring those pesky scam artists stay away from your prized business website.
When you use a platform as prominent as WordPress, you run the risk of dealing with toxic individuals such as hackers and phishers. Luckily, the team at WordPress and individual developers have worked overtime to ensure that good users can have some extra protection for their websites.
There are plenty of ways that you can beef up the security for your company’s WordPress page. If you follow these tips, you’ll have no problem keeping your site safe and secure.