WordPress Website Security

Top 8 Ways to Improve your WordPress Website Security

With more than one billion websites online today and over 20% of all websites powered by WordPress, this CMS is an obvious target for hackers. And while you may think your site isn’t important or high-profile enough to be a hacker’s target, the unfortunate truth is that no website is immune to cyberattacks. If your website doesn’t have the right security measures in place, it doesn’t take much for a hacker to gain access to your site, install malware and expose your users to malicious viruses.

But don’t panic! Keeping hackers out of your site is easier than you might think. As the most widely used CMS in the world today, WordPress has released many security updates with new ways to protect your site from being hacked again. Implementing these measures will not only protect your blog but also increase its performance and speed. Keeping hackers out of your site requires vigilance and some technical know-how, but if you follow our top 10 tips below, you can make sure that they stay out forever.

1. Change your WordPress Password Regularly

As the very first step in securing your WordPress site, you should change both your administrator username and password as soon as you set up your blog. Your password should be strong, with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. If your password is easy to crack, hackers can easily gain access to your site, modify content and steal your readers’ data. There are several plugins you can use to randomly generate and change your passwords regularly, such as the VaultPress plugin. This is an especially important factor if you have a blog that deals with sensitive information such as healthcare, finance, or government. If you write about these topics, you’re required by HIPAA, PCI, or other regulatory compliance standards to keep the information you collect safe and secure.

2. Install a WordPress Security Plugin

When you install a WordPress security plugin, it adds another layer of security to your site’s WordPress core by monitoring user login attempts, scanning your site’s content, blocking suspicious traffic, and restricting access to malicious users. When choosing a security plugin, look for one that offers a free or premium version you can activate. Many free plugins offer limited or no protection for your site, so you should only use them as a last resort. Some of the most popular security plugin solutions include Sucuri, Wordfence, and Norton. These plugins have millions of users worldwide, are regularly updated, and provide several layers of protection for your WordPress site.

3. Update your WordPress Core

One of the most important steps towards protecting your WordPress site is keeping it up-to-date. With millions of sites and users relying on this CMS, WordPress is constantly updating its software to patch newly discovered security vulnerabilities. It’s important to regularly check for updates to your WordPress CMS and other installed plugins. If WordPress offers a new update, it’s recommended that you install it as soon as possible because hackers will likely discover the same loopholes at the same time and attempt to exploit them before an update is available. In order to receive automatic updates, you must have the following settings enabled in your WordPress administration panel: – WordPress core updates: Yes – Plugin updates: Yes – Theme updates: Yes – Automatic core updates: Yes – Automatic theme updates: Yes

4. Use a Secure Software

When you download free or open-source software, you’re operating in a grey area where you don’t know who made the software, what their security policy is, or if the software has been compromised by hackers. To be honest, there are many advantages to using open-source software, but safety is not one of them. If you want to protect your site from hackers and malicious software, it’s best to only download commercial software, and make sure that the software code/scripts must be signed with a Code Signing Certificate. You should also be careful about installing too many third-party plug-ins and extensions on your site. Although plug-ins are a great way to expand the functionality and features of your blog, you don’t want to overload your site with too many extras that might contain vulnerabilities.

5. Don’t Reuse Passwords for WordPress and other services

This one might sound like common sense, but many people make the mistake of reusing passwords across multiple services, including their WordPress login information. This is a huge mistake, as a breach at one service could lead to all of your accounts being compromised. If you have to use the same login information for multiple services, it’s best to use a password manager to generate, store and manage your accounts. You can, of course, create a new account and use a unique password for your site, but then you’ll have to log into each site separately and the functionality will be limited. With WordPress Multisite, it’s easy to create a central login for all your sites.

6. Use SSL (and an SSL Certificate) When Possible

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is a standard protocol used to encrypt your site’s connection and data. It’s the green padlock you see in the URL, and it’s a sign that your site is protected by SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). Some countries, such as Australia, France and Germany, have even passed laws making it illegal to run a site without an SSL certificate. If your WordPress site is unprotected, you can expect a lower search engine ranking and a higher bounce rate. For a slight increase in your server cost, you can protect your site, your readers, and your traffic with an SSL certificate. Most WordPress websites carry multiple sub-domains, and to secure them all under a single SSL Certificate can be easily done with a cheap Wildcard SSL Certificate. 

7. Disable XML-RPC and Remote Blogging Services You’re not using

XML-RPC and Remote Blogging are two features that are great for developers and site owners, but they can be a security risk. These features allow third-party applications to log into your site and make changes to content. In the wrong hands, they can also be used to change your admin credentials, delete posts and even install malware on your site. If you’re not using these features, we recommend disabling them. You can do so by editing your wp-config.php file and adding the following line of code: define( ‘WP_ALLOW_REMOTE_LOGIN’, false );

8. Avoid Third-party Extensions and Libraries you don’t know or trust

When you install a new WordPress plugin or download a third-party library, you’ll see a message that says the extension is activated but not activated. This simply means that it’s active and available for installation, but you have yet to take action to activate it. To avoid unwanted and unknown software from being installed on your site, we recommend reading the full extension description and reviews before you decide to install it.


WordPress powers up to 20% of the web, which makes it a huge target for hackers. A hacked WordPress site can wreak havoc on your site’s trustworthiness and search engine rankings. To keep hackers out, change your login credentials frequently, keep your software up-to-date, avoid reusing passwords across services, and take advantage of SSL certificates when possible. Finally, when installing plugins, extensions, and other third-party libraries, make sure to read the description and reviews first.