How to Secured a Website Using WordPress Security Settings

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Securing a website is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining a successful online presence. WordPress, being the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, offers various security settings that can help protect your site from threats. This comprehensive guide will show you how to secured a website using WordPress security settings, ensuring your website remains safe and operational.


Website security is not optional; it’s essential. Cyber threats can compromise sensitive information, disrupt operations, and damage reputations. Fortunately, WordPress provides robust security settings that, when properly configured, can significantly reduce the risk of attacks. In this guide, we’ll explore how to secured a website using WordPress security settings effectively.

Understanding WordPress Security

Importance of Website Security

Website security is paramount in protecting your site from various cyber threats such as hacking, malware, and data breaches. A secure website ensures the trust of your visitors, safeguards personal data, and maintains the integrity of your online presence.

Common Threats to WordPress Websites

  1. Brute Force Attacks: Automated attempts to gain access by trying numerous username and password combinations. Preventing these attacks is crucial for securing your website.
  2. SQL Injections: Malicious SQL code is used to manipulate your database and extract sensitive information. This can lead to data breaches and compromised user data.
  3. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): Injects malicious scripts into your site, affecting users who visit the compromised pages. This can harm your website’s functionality and user experience.
  4. Malware: Malicious software designed to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to your website. Regular scanning and prevention are necessary to avoid such threats.
  5. DDoS Attacks: Overwhelm your server with traffic, causing your site to crash or become inaccessible. Mitigating these attacks helps keep your site running smoothly.

The Role of WordPress Security Settings

WordPress security settings play a critical role in defending against these threats. Properly configuring these settings can create a robust barrier, making it difficult for malicious actors to penetrate your defenses.

Basic Security Settings

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are the first line of defense. Ensure that all user accounts, especially those with administrative privileges, use complex passwords that include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Weak passwords are easy targets for brute force attacks, so it’s essential to use a strong, unique password for each account.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring not just a password but also a second form of verification, such as a code sent to a mobile device. This makes it significantly harder for attackers to gain access to your site, even if they have your password.

Limit Login Attempts

Limiting login attempts helps prevent brute force attacks by locking out users after a certain number of failed login attempts. This can be configured through security plugins or custom settings. By restricting the number of login attempts, you reduce the risk of unauthorized access through brute force methods.

Regularly Update WordPress Core, Themes, and Plugins

Keeping your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins updated is crucial. Updates often include security patches that address known vulnerabilities. Outdated software can be an easy target for hackers, so ensure all components of your website are up-to-date.

Change the Default Username

The default username for the admin account is often “admin.” Changing this to a unique username makes it harder for attackers to guess login credentials. Avoid using easily guessable usernames, and opt for something unique and not related to your website’s name.

Advanced Security Settings

Disable File Editing

WordPress allows file editing from the dashboard, which can be a security risk if an attacker gains access. Disabling file editing prevents this vulnerability. You can disable file editing by adding the following line to your wp-config.php file:

define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);

Configure SSL for Data Encryption

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encrypts data transmitted between your site and its users, protecting sensitive information. Ensure your site uses HTTPS by obtaining and installing an SSL certificate. SSL not only secures data but also improves your site’s SEO ranking and user trust.

Implement a Web Application Firewall (WAF)

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) filters and blocks malicious traffic before it reaches your website. WAFs can be implemented through security plugins or external services. A WAF provides an additional layer of protection, ensuring that harmful traffic is blocked before it can cause damage.

Secure Your wp-config.php File

The wp-config.php file contains critical configuration settings for your WordPress site. Securing this file by moving it to a non-public directory and restricting access can prevent unauthorized modifications. You can also add rules to your .htaccess file to deny access to this file.

Modify File Permissions

Incorrect file permissions can expose your site to attacks. Set appropriate permissions to restrict access:

  • Folders: 755
  • Files: 644

Hide WordPress Version

Displaying your WordPress version can provide valuable information to attackers. Hide this information to reduce the risk of targeted attacks. You can remove the WordPress version from your site’s HTML by adding the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator');

Essential Security Plugins

Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security offers comprehensive protection with features like firewall, malware scanning, and login security. It provides real-time threat defense and monitoring, making it a powerful tool for securing your WordPress website.

Sucuri Security

Sucuri Security specializes in website protection, offering malware detection, blacklist monitoring, and a powerful firewall. It also includes post-hack security actions to clean up and restore your site if it gets compromised.

iThemes Security

iThemes Security enhances your site’s security by addressing common vulnerabilities. Features include two-factor authentication, password enforcement, and database backups. It’s a user-friendly solution that provides a robust layer of protection.

All In One WP Security & Firewall

This plugin provides a range of security features, including user account security, login lockdown, and a file change detection scanner. It’s user-friendly and comprehensive, offering a simple way to secure your WordPress website.

Jetpack Security

Jetpack Security offers protection against brute force attacks, malware scanning, and downtime monitoring. It also includes site backups and activity logging, providing an all-in-one solution for securing your WordPress site.

Regular Maintenance and Monitoring

Perform Regular Backups

Regular backups ensure that you can restore your site quickly in case of a security breach. Use reliable backup plugins and store backups in multiple locations. Regular backups are crucial for disaster recovery, ensuring you always have a recent copy of your site to restore from.

Monitor Activity Logs

Monitoring activity logs helps you track changes and detect suspicious behavior. Plugins like WP Activity Log can provide detailed logs of user activities. Regularly reviewing these logs helps you identify and respond to potential security threats quickly.

Conduct Security Audits

Regular security audits help identify and fix vulnerabilities. Perform audits periodically and after any significant changes to your site. Security audits ensure that your site remains secure and up-to-date with the latest security practices.

Scan for Malware

Malware scanning detects and removes malicious code. Use security plugins that offer regular and on-demand scanning capabilities. Regular scans help ensure your site remains free from malicious software.

Broken links can affect your site’s credibility and SEO. Regularly check for and fix broken links to maintain site integrity. Broken links can also be a sign of compromised content, so keeping them in check is important.

Backup Strategies

Full Backups

Full backups include all files and the database, providing a complete snapshot of your site. Schedule regular full backups to ensure comprehensive coverage. Full backups are essential for a complete recovery in case of a severe security incident.

Incremental Backups

Incremental backups save changes made since the last backup, reducing storage space and time required. Use incremental backups for more frequent updates. Incremental backups are efficient and ensure minimal data loss between backups.

Remote Storage

Store backups in remote locations such as cloud services or external servers to ensure they remain accessible even if your site is compromised. Remote storage provides an additional layer of security, protecting your backups from local threats.

Automated Backups

Automate your backup process using plugins or hosting services that offer scheduled backups. This ensures regular and consistent backups without manual intervention. Automated backups reduce the risk of human error and ensure your site is always backed up.

Verify Backup Integrity

Regularly test your backups to ensure they can be restored successfully. This prevents issues during actual recovery scenarios. Backup integrity checks ensure that your backups are reliable and can be used when needed.

Secure User Management

Assign Appropriate User Roles

Assign user roles based on necessity. Limit administrative access to trusted individuals and use lower-level roles for regular users. Proper user role assignment reduces the risk of unauthorized access and actions on your site.

Implement Account Lockout Policies

Account lockout policies help prevent brute force attacks by locking accounts after multiple failed login attempts. Configure this through security plugins or settings. Lockout policies provide an additional layer of protection against unauthorized access attempts.

Monitor User Activities

Track user activities to detect unusual behavior. Monitoring plugins provide detailed logs of user actions, helping you identify potential security issues. Regular monitoring helps maintain control over user actions and detect any suspicious activity.

Enforce Strong Password Policies

Enforce strong password policies for all users. Require passwords to meet complexity criteria

and expire periodically for added security. Strong password policies help ensure that all user accounts are protected by robust passwords.

Disable Inactive Accounts

Inactive accounts can be a security risk. Regularly review and disable accounts that are no longer in use. Disabling inactive accounts reduces the number of potential entry points for attackers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I update my WordPress plugins and themes?

You should update your WordPress plugins and themes as soon as new versions are available. Regular updates ensure you have the latest security patches and features. Keeping your software up-to-date helps protect against known vulnerabilities.

Is two-factor authentication necessary for my WordPress site?

Yes, two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security, making it significantly harder for attackers to gain access to your site. 2FA is a simple yet powerful way to enhance the security of your WordPress site.

Can security plugins slow down my website?

While security plugins may introduce some overhead, the impact is typically minimal compared to the security benefits they provide. Choose well-optimized plugins to minimize performance issues. The added security far outweighs any minor performance impacts.

How do I choose a reliable backup solution?

Choose a backup solution that offers regular automated backups, remote storage options, and easy restoration processes. Verify its reliability through reviews and user feedback. A good backup solution is essential for effective disaster recovery.

What should I do if my WordPress site is hacked?

If your WordPress site is hacked, immediately take it offline to prevent further damage. Restore from a clean backup, identify and fix the vulnerability, and conduct a thorough security audit before bringing the site back online. Quick action and thorough cleanup are crucial in such situations.

Why is SSL important for my website?

SSL encrypts data transmitted between your site and its users, protecting sensitive information and ensuring data integrity. It also improves your site’s SEO ranking and builds trust with visitors. SSL is a must-have for any secure website.

How can I monitor my website for security issues?

Use security plugins that offer monitoring features, regularly check activity logs, and conduct periodic security audits to stay informed about your site’s security status. Regular monitoring helps you stay ahead of potential security threats.

By implementing these strategies and understanding how to secured a website using WordPress security settings, you can significantly enhance your site’s protection against various cyber threats. Regularly update your security measures and stay vigilant to maintain a secure online presence.

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