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How to Secure a WordPress Site

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From our partners at SiteLock®

There are a few ways bad actors go about sneaking into a WordPress site. These methods involve picking the locked digital doors to a site. In other words, hackers will try different keys until they find a key that opens one of the doors (often referred to as a backdoor). Once a door is open and a hacker gets inside, they can obtain your data, put their own code on your site, and/or do irreparable damage.

It's important to keep your WordPress site secure so cybercriminals can't access it in the first place. This means taking precautions to make sure that your site is sealed up tight. Below are four digital “doors” hackers can attempt to enter, and your best option for keeping them “locked.”

Keep Your WordPress Site Secure

Door #1: WordPress Dashboard

Hackers are always looking for ways to hack into WordPress sites, which is why the content management system (CMS) often releases updates that have enhanced security features such as code that is written to stave off the latest attacks.

If you have an outdated version of WordPress, you likely have old code that leaves your site vulnerable with a door that's easier for hackers to break into.

Door #2: Plugins

Similar to the CMS itself, new updates become available for plugins as developers alter their respective codes to secure them from attacks. It's important to stay on top plugin updates to patch vulnerabilities when new versions are released.

Door #3: Theme

The theme provides the main design or layout builder for a WordPress site. Because a theme consists of code, it too has a digital door that hackers can unlock if they figure out the right key. Your most secure setup is a parent/child theme because it consists of two themes built to work in tandem.

A child theme is a duplicate copy of the parent theme, with all the same features and functions, but the child theme lets you design the site and make changes without changing the main parent theme. Developers often release updated versions of their themes, with the latest security updates and WordPress version compatibility. Making sure you keep your theme updated will help to secure the safety of your site.

Door #4: User Roles

WordPress gives website owners the option to create user roles. The site owner is usually the administrator, and that role has the most power to make changes, delete content, and add things to the site. But there are many user roles that can be created for team members and freelancers to access the backend of the site and have different permissions.

The more user roles you have, the more logins and passwords there are available leave a door open to your website. Keep user roles to an absolute minimum, and remove users as soon as they become redundant. To increase your security further, add two-factor or multi factor authentication to log in credentials, and use stronger passwords.

What’s Next?

The tips above are just the beginning of keeping your digital doors locked to keep hackers away. Prevention is always better than a cure as you never know how much damage a hacker will cause and if you will be able to fix it. That said, click here to learn more about how you can put your website security on autopilot.

Protect your WordPress website today: 

Image credit: Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash