WordPress is the go-to choice for many irrespective of the nature of the business. This is possible due to the immense flexibility that it has to offer for us. Did you know that over 810 million websites are built using WordPress and over 500 websites are being built every day as we talk? Interesting stats, yes?!
Unfortunately, there are other less interesting stats that we should be aware of. On an estimate, over 4.7 Million WordPress websites are being hacked every year. This equates to 13,000 WordPress websites everyday! That is just staggering. WordPress websites can become an easy target because of the lack of strong security to plugin vulnerabilities many of which we’ll see later on.
But, hey, don’t you worry! As an authorized WordPress Development Company, our updated blog on the WordPress Security Checklist for 2024 will help you efficiently secure your WordPress website.
Before we jump into the WordPress Security Checklist, let’s discuss a few things to get started with.
Why Should You Care About the Security of your WordPress Site?
It's fairly easy to stress the importance of the security of your site. You should treat your website as you will your house or any other physical property. What would you do for those? You'll double-check if your house or car has been locked, and you'll put cameras around the house for the security of your property and so on and so forth.
You can think of the importance of your WordPress security just like that! Protecting your website is not just about preserving your data but also about safeguarding your visitor's information and maintaining your online credibility and the overall goodwill of your brand or image.
How Secure Your WordPress Site is Now?
For security purposes WordPress does offer some basic security measures. For example, to access your WordPress dashboard, you'd need a valid username and password. Moreover, WordPress does get regular updates to tackle the known security issues/vulnerabilities if there are any.
It's a given fact that you have to keep safe of your user credentials since there are many cases where people would've given away their password either by using it in public or sharing their credentials without their knowledge.
WordPress Security Checklist 2024 - Getting The Basics Right!
Ensuring that your WordPress website is safe and secure is no rocket science by any means. It is just about getting the basics right, doing small things that goes a long way to protect your site. Here are some things that you have to nail for sure to make your site strong.
Use Strong Passwords
It's no wonder. You should use a unique password that only you can know. Avoid common mistakes while setting up your password like, using your name, birth date, or any common known facts about yourself or your organization. To make it even more secure, make sure to change your password from time to time.
The best way to create a strong password is to generate strong passwords provided by WordPress and storing them in your vault.
Keep Your WordPress, Themes & Plugins Up-to-date
Regular updates are one of the major pillars of defense against vulnerabilities. hackers often exploit outdated software, making it essential to stay up to date with the latest versions of WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
Limit Your Login Attempts
We're all humans and we tend to forget the credentials for a bit, ain't gonna lie. But if someone tries too many attempts, let's say more than 5 for instance, it could be a sign that they're trying to breach into your WordPress site. To make sure this doesn't happen again, limit the number of login attempts a user can do in your WordPress during a specified period.
Install SSL Certificate
Having the SSL certificate and HTTPS on your website can assure visitors your site is secure enough. You can get a free SSL certificate with many reliable Hosting providers like Hostinger, Siteground, Hostgator, and so on. If your host provider doesn't provide you one you can install an SSL certificate by relying on the expertise of a Web Development Company.
Delete Unwanted Plugins
What's the use of having unwanted plugins installed on your website if you ain't gonna use it? Make sure to keep your WordPress website as clean as you can. Even outdated plugins might open the doors of vulnerabilities.
Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Relying on a Content Delivery Network (CDN) not only makes your page speed faster and in terms the user experience but it also helps in securing your website. Having a reliable CDN by CloudFare, Azure or Amazon could prevent you from DDoS attacks where the hacker could flood your server with traffic to make your website inaccessible.
We know that you're well aware of two-factor authentication! Two-factor authentication aims to make sure no user logs in to your account without your knowledge. Nice one, yea? But you don't get this feature by default on WordPress. You can enable 2FA with third-party plugins like MiniOrange, WP-2F, or any plugin of your choice.
4 Advanced WordPress Security Checklist You Should Tick
Implement Web Application Firewalls (WAF)
Before we get technical, let us give you a bit of a story to chew along. In 2019, Fortnite, a popular multiplayer game site experienced Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability. One of the retired, unsecured pages hasn't been noticed by the developers. This allowed attackers to get unauthorized access to gain the data of all of the Fortnite users. This could've been protected by Web Application Firewalls (WAF). To give you another story, the popular online marketplace, eBay, has suffered the same Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in 2014. The story doesn't end with these two and it unfortunately goes on and on.
To prevent your website from falling under this category, implementing Web Application Firewall is mandatory. It protects your site by monitoring and limiting the traffic to your site. WAF also protects your web application from attacks including cross-site forgery, cross-site scripting (XSS), and so on. Some of the best WAFs you can rely on are offered by CloudFare, Azure, Amazon, and many other players.
You can always give us a call if you need any assistance in choosing and implementing a Web Application Firewall for you!
Disable PHP File Execution
In WordPress, certain core directories are writeable by default, so that you can install your desired themes and plugins easily without diving deep into technical matters. But this leaves the door open for vulnerabilities. Because it's writeable, if this goes into the wrong hands, the attackers might upload malicious and unauthorized scripts to your WordPress site.
The scary thing is that you wouldn't know where to find it as it is often disguised as your PHP file on your site. To tackle this you can disable PHP execution by creating a .htaccess file in a directory you want to protect.
Implement Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
You can act on a problem only if you know the presence of the problem in the first place. Just like a house would have security cameras to detect and notify their house has been breached, the Intrusion Detection System (IDS) acts similar to that.
Hackers often use automated WordPress attacks to get their hands on your site. To prevent this, the Intrusion Detection System (IDS) actively monitors network traffic and system activities for malicious or suspicious behavior.
You can implement IDS in WordPress by default using the dashboard settings and WP activity plugin. It would be much more technical and that's a whole different blog for another day! If you don't wanna get your hands dirty with tech stuff, you can always reach out and let us implement IDS for your site without any hassle!
Automatically Log Out Idle Users
When a user sits for too long at your site without any actions or doing anything, it could lead to session hijacking. Session hijacking is when an attacker sends an impersonated request to the server. This is why many banking applications have automated session log-out intervals.
The probability of this happening to your site is less, but hey, we are not here to make any mistakes! We shouldn't leave any door open when it comes to your WordPress security. You can log out idle users using the inactive logout plugin available for free in WordPress.
Don't wanna install third-party plugins? Don't worry! You can also log out inactive users via script. But, it would be much more technical to explain everything here. If you wish to embed this in your site you can always reach out to us!
Your site is never too little to go unnoticed by the hackers. Securing your WordPress website is a must and a continuous process that requires vigilance, proactive measures, and a comprehensive approach. In our detailed blog on the WordPress security checklist for 2024, we have explained essential security checkpoints ranging from fundamental to advanced strategies, ensuring a robust defense against potential threats to your site.
It's important to note that these are just some of the strategies for securing your site. Our WordPress security checklist for 2024 goes much beyond the mentioned ones above. We didn't mention everything here, because, hey, you're here to read a blog, not a dictionary! 😂
If you need any kind of help with your WordPress security, you can reach out to us without any hesitation! Our effective and cost-efficient approach ensures your site is secure enough to stand the test of time.