The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide

WordPress Security Guide

WordPress website security is of immense importance because this popular CMS backs nearly 43% of global websites. The larger the number of websites, the more the chance of them getting infected with cyberattacks.

Statistics suggest that nearly 30,000 to 100,000 websites are attacked on a daily basis. In 2021, experts were able to block 86 billion password attack attempts on global websites. This is just a glimpse of how vulnerable websites are. Nearly 43% of attacks were made on SME websites, and only 14% of them were fully prepared to deal with such threats.

Large enterprises are also on the target, but normally they maintain high-security standards and, therefore, save themselves by a fair margin.

Is WordPress Really Secure?

Being an open-source CMS, WordPress is quite susceptible to threats and cyberattacks. The easiest ways to attract them are by using outdated software, plugins, and themes. Poor site administration, lack of maintaining security protocols, etc. are some of the reasons that make the site vulnerable. As per the stats of web application security company Sucuri, nearly 4.3% of WordPress websites, or 1 in every 25 sites, were infected with some or other form of threat. In fact, WordPress is the CMS with the highest percentage of infections.

CMS Infections 2021

Source: SUCURi

Most Common WordPress Vulnerabilities


As the name suggests, these are threats that enter from backdoors or hidden passages or loopholes in the site. They even bypass the security fences and enter the site through treacherous means like wp-Admin, FTP, SFTP, and more. With such access, cybercriminals can inject scripts into the site and take advantage of the data and payment gateways. To prevent this, use tools like SiteCheck to uproot backdoor threats. Using two-factor authentication for logins, restricting access to PHP files, safeguarding the admin dashboard, etc. are some other ways to block Backdoors.

Pharma Hacks

In this kind of attack, pharma company hackers insert illicit code in WordPress versions that were not updated enough to combat such threats. They are more spam that would cause search engines to play pharma ads into the site. These could also be vicious codes and therefore, need to be washed out. The best way is to ask the hosting provider to update versions of WordPress, themes, plugins, etc. Regular updates and backups are another way to deal with pharma hacks.

Brute Force Login Attempts

These are threats that lodge automated scripts to possess weak passwords and gain login access to your site. The best way to address this is through two-factor authentication. Block the IPs, and encourage keeping strong, long passwords are some of the ways.

Malicious Redirects

Injecting malicious code during WordPress installation through FTP, SFTP, and wp-admin are some of the ways to enter the website.

Cross-site Scripting

Most common threats that target the end user through browser-side scripts. These snippets of code are injected to get cookie or session data.

Denial of Service

DoS attacks are codes that exploit the memory of the operating system of the website. This happens to sites with outdated versions.

WordPress Security Guide

This WordPress security guide covers the most underestimated website security parameters to be maintained by all website owners. They need to be upfront in arranging all these aspects as part of their unavoidable WordPress website security measures.

Check out these 17 website security parameters…

1. SSL Certificate is a Must!

SSL (Secure Socket Layers) certificates are the de-facto standard for secure online transactions of all kinds. Hosting providers offer them for free, and you can even buy them to maintain highly secure web transactions. Another important plugin is HTTPS redirection, which ensures encryption technology between server and client. Therefore, all data exchange between your website and the customer browser is encrypted.

2. Focus on Password Strength

Website owners should use strong passwords for all logins and even encourage customers to choose a likely untraceable password for their logins. Apply free tools like Password Strength Checker to make sure that logins are actually robust. Also, follow best practices for passwords to save your site from brute force attacks or dictionary attacks. Avoid using the same passwords and go for longer strings as passwords. No saving of passwords on browsers, etc. are some of the common yet powerful practices.

3. Install Security Plugin

WordPress website security can be implemented through various available plugins that focus entirely on keeping the site secure. As per your requirements, choose the best WordPress security plugins and install them on the site.

Some of the most common WordPress site security plugins are:

  • All In One WordPress website Security and Firewall
  • Defender
  • WordFence
  • UpdraftPlus
  • iThemes Security
  • WP Security Audit Log Plugin

4. Ensure Database Security

WordPress database security is of utmost importance. Make it safe by choosing a smart, unimaginable database name. Most of them have the prefix “wp” in the name. Change it to something like “12ab_” to skip the eyes of the hackers. Let database security be managed by a technical expert or WordPress developer.

5. Update WordPress Core File

The WordPress core team releases updates that resolve the new vulnerabilities. For this, website owners should update their WordPress site regularly. Use the latest version of the platform. Otherwise, your site exists on a platform with unresolved bugs, which is definitely not affordable for any business. One way to manage things is to turn on auto-updates. Or, choose a managed hosting service with a built-in auto-updates feature.

6. Use Trusted Themes and Plugins

WordPress has numerous themes and plugins, which are also the prime areas of threat. Website owners should install plugins after thorough research and even buy them from trusted developers. Keep updating themes and plugins on regular basis to avoid any threats. Outdated components are a strict no for any website. Regular backups for the whole site are urgent and important for all WordPress websites.

7. Choose the Best Web Hosting Service Provider

For efficient server-side security, it is significant to choose a web hosting service that takes care of backups, uptime, server-level security, and more. Enterprises should choose WordPress VIP, as it offers everything from coding support to security measures. Smaller websites should also choose an effective hosting provider that takes care of security at the server end.

8. Rely on the Web Application Firewall

Web Application Firewall blocks mischiefs of any kind including hacking and monitors traffic to filter out anything fishy on the block. Spammers and hackers are kept at bay with this firewall. You need to pay a monthly subscription for this WordPress website security measure, but it is totally worth it.

9. Ensure Secure Connections on the WP Site

File transfers or data transfers of any kind should be done with highly secure connections. For this, ask your hosting provider to offer SFTP or SSH protocols. They are better than FTP.

10. Hide the Admin Login Page

Attackers can easily track your WordPress login page by the common URL string “/wp-admin” or “/wp-login.php”. The best way to stop them from entering your site is by hiding the admin login page through plugins like WPS Hide Login.

11. Harden the Config File from Attackers

Protect the wp-config.php file to keep away sensitive information and security keys from any kind of potential threats.

12. Use Scanning Plugins

Use tools like WPScan to scan core files, plugins, and themes. This is a basic security measure, but very effective for small sites.

13. Disable XML-RPC

XML-RPC allows the system.multicall method to run numerous methods through a single request. It can be used to execute malicious code and therefore, it should be disabled. Recently, it is used for many brute attacks. So, pay attention to whether XML-RPC is enabled on your site. Website owners can check the status through the XML-RPC validator.

14. Hide the WordPress Version

Keeping the version of your WordPress site out of the reach of hackers is the best way to save it. If they know the version is outdated, they start their criminal activities and therefore, it’d vital to hide it. For sites that are running on any versions that are prior to WordPress 5.0, the following tips are useful.

The version appears in the header of the source code. You can add the following function in it to hide the version.

function wp_version_remove_version() {

return '';
add_filter('the_generator', 'wp_version_remove_version');

However, it should be done by a technically sound team to avoid any bottlenecks in the future. Guard your source code with finesse.

The version of the WordPress site is also stored in the readme.html file, which can be deleted through FTP.

15. Rely on HTTP Security Headers

Security headers store the information to guide browsers on handling the site content. They are configured at the server level, some of the most significant ones are:

  • Content Security Policy
  • X-XSS-Protection
  • X-Content-Type

Scan your website with the help of the tool to know which HTTP Security headers are on the site. Implementing them can be best done by the hosting provider.

16. Harden File and Server Permissions

For absolute WordPress website security, tighten the permissions given to files for installation and server. If permissions are loose, the files can be accessed by hackers and strong permissions may hamper the function of your website. So, be careful with the read, write, and execute permissions to the user. The user can either perform read, write, or execute a file or directory as a script. To prevent this, use free WordPress extensions like iThemes Security to monitor the permissions.

17. Be Regular with Backups

Backups play a vital role to keep the site up-to-date. Make sure that you have switched on auto updates. Your team or hosting provider can do this for the site. If the hosting service does not provide backups, then choose WordPress Backup services by paying some monthly fees. VaultPress, CodeGuard, and BlogVault are some of the popular WP backup services.

WordPress backup plugins let you store backups on third-party storage services. The most popular plugins for efficient backups are:

  • Duplicator
  • BackupBuddy
  • UpdraftPlus
  • BackWPup
  • BackUpWordPress

Install any of them on your site to make sure that the site data is backed up on a regular basis.

Final Thoughts on WordPress Security Guide

These are some of the standard methods that we suggest as part of our WordPress Security Guide. They are a must-have for any website, irrespective of the size or domain. If your site is missing out on any of these, then fix them NOW! Apart from all these, it’s vital to keep good knowledge about WordPress vulnerabilities to avoid them or fix them.

KrishaWeb is a leading WordPress development company that offers everything from site development to revamping or adding new functionality to existing sites and more. Being a WordPress VIP Silver Agency Partner, we offer enterprise application development services to global clients.

Feel free to connect with us for anything that deals with WordPress or Enterprise Applications.

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