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How to boost your WordPress website security

Common WordPress problems and how to fix them
Last updated: Tuesday August 21st 2018
Reading time: 5 minutes

There’s no foolproof way to completely make your site secure, but there are some simple steps you can take to boost security and put up a good fight. This ebook will teach you why WordPress websites get hacked in the first place and then walk you through 11 easy ways to increase security. Ready? Let’s toughen up your site!

Why do websites get hacked?

To help you understand how to keep your site safe, it’s important to first understand why hackers attack websites in the first place. Especially if you only run a personal blog or tiny eCommerce shop, no one should want to mess with it, right?

Not necessarily. Hackers go after websites for three main reasons:

  • They want to use your site to send spam email.
  • They want to steal access to your data, mailing list, credit card information, etc.
  • They want to cause your site to download malware onto your user’s machines or your own machine.

Malware, or malicious software, can be installed in a way that makes it very hard to tell it’s even there. Great for the hackers, not so great for your site. Hackers will often do this to use your machine in larger scale attacks, such as a Denial of Service attack.

Why are WordPress websites targetted specifically?

The short answer – because it’s popular. Put yourself in the mindset of a hacker for just a second. If you want to take over a lot of websites for your own nefarious purposes, would you spend all of your time trying to find vulnerabilities on a platform only used by 500 websites, or would you try to break the platform with hundreds of millions of sites? WordPress powers over 30% of all websites online, making it an extremely popular target for website hackers.

Don’t fret though; the open-source nature of the code is also what makes it strong. It is what allows hackers to find vulnerabilities and report them easily so security gaps can be patched up. It is what allows developers to help improve security over time. It is what allows third parties to create even stronger security applications that can be configured from within WordPress.

The bottom line is that your WordPress site could get hacked at any moment (that’s true for any site). But there are several things you can do to increase security and make it a little harder for hackers to mess things up.

Here’s a list of some of those extra ways to enhance your site’s security, starting with the most basic (and essential), working up to the more advanced options that may not be necessary or practical for everyone.

  1. Use smart usernames and passwords
  2. Keep themes, plugins, and WordPress updated
  3. Uninstall inactive plugins and themes
  4. Add Captcha
  5. Limit the number of login attempts
  6. Add an SSL certificate
  7. Add two-factor authentication
  8. Move your WordPress login screen
  9. Use CloudFlare
  10. Back up your site regularly

Let us take care of website security and website support

Having your website hacked is a horrible feeling. If this does ever happen to you, our team of WordPress website support experts can work hard and fast to make sure your site is malware-free. In addition to our suite of security features, we offer you a professionally managed WordPress hosting platform that’s packed with the latest web hosting technologies. The outcome is a completely unique, fast and efficient hosting platform that allows you to quickly and easily manage and grow your WordPress website.

About the author

I am a 28-year-old WordPress web designer and SEO consultant based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK. I have designed and maintained sites with over 20,000 pages on large corporate websites, smaller small business sites, and tiny personal websites and blogs. I provide freelance WordPress web design services in my evenings and weekends and also work full time for a local design agency in Banbury. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and on Google+.