8 WordPress tips to make your website secure

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By Julian Hooks – Community Manager at  MobileSignalBoosters,

For anyone running a modern website, one common problem that you are likely to run into is website security. Keeping a website safe and secure should be your aim at all times – and this should mean putting in plenty of work and planning. If you wish to do this right, though, you need to make sure that you take the right steps to making your website as safe as it possibly can be. For example, if you use WordPress, you are joining some 75m other websites.

This is one of the most popular and commonly used platforms for running a website on the internet, bar none. It has become so popular for various reasons, not least the fact that it is so easy to keep secure. However, despite being easy to fortify and keep safe, many people have issues when it comes to running a WordPress site. Given the fact it’s so easy to use, it’s also easy to break into for the right (wrong) person.

For that reason, we recommend that you keep the following tips and tricks in mind. When used in the right way, these tips should go a long way to making sure you can keep your WordPress site from being damaged or compromised in any way, shape, or form. With research from Mobilesignalboosters showing how the introduction of GDPR has meant that businesses now face the possibility of huge fines in the event of data breaches, it is more important than ever to secure sites.

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So, if you are not sure where you should start, let us take a look at the best ways to keep your WordPress website nice and secure. What do you need to do if you wish to keep that WordPress website running to the same standard that you would expect?

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Choose a good hosting company

For one, make sure that you always choose a hosting company that you can trust. Many people make the mistake of hiring a hosting company that has limited credentials and/or a poor collection of features. Instead of going down that route, we recommend that you spend more time looking for a hosting company that you know can do the job that you had intended in the first place.

Many of us choose a hosting platform based almost entirely on cost. While value is always a useful part of having a hosting package, it is not the decisive factor. It is better to be paying a bit more for a service standard that you can rely upon. If you need to pay a bit more for a dedicated hosting system as your WordPress site needs it, do so.

There is nothing more important to the safe running of your website than good, high quality hosting.

Disable file editing

Another important part of running a good WordPress website is making sure that it is secure and safe enough to be used. For example, this often means turning off some features that would normally be left on in the back-end of the site. Have you, for instance, taken a look at disabling file editing? If you have not, you most certainly should.

Disabling filing editing is very important, and it will make sure that key files cannot be edited and adjusted. This means that people cannot mess around with the theme or plugins, and ruin their ability to work as you had needed them. If you wish to make sure that your website is going to be harder to edit, then you can turn off your filed editing feature. To do that, you need to navigate to the wp-config.phpfile. Then, you need to add this into the code: ‘define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);

Add that in, and you will no longer be able to edit files.

Change your WP-login URL

One of the most common mistakes made by WP site owners is that they forget to turn off the WP basic login details. For example, most WP sites are run by logging into the /wp-admin section. You can find out a lazy website if you add /wp-admin to the end of any site. While it means that you still need login credentials to get in, you do make it easier for people to access the back-end.

You can easily change and edit all of these features by using a plugin. This allows you to remove the feature and make sure that your login process is going to feel far more unique to your website. It also stops anyone from being able to log-in from the back-end when you would rather they could not.

Update your WordPress version

Another big error is that you might not have updated WordPress in a while. As soon as you log into the WordPress dashboard, it will alert you as to whether or not you have made the change that you would have expected. If you are not updated, then it will tell you to get the update. Instead of holding off or waiting, we recommend that you update the WordPress version now.

If you do this, you make it far more likely that your WordPress is less likely to be broken into. A secured and strong WP page is going to be less likely to be a target for those who choose to target your website. If you are using an old version, then you have a lot of security flaws that could be broken into and thus used to hurt your website. Keep that in mind, as many users see updating WordPress as secondary: it’s a major part of security.

Protect the wp-admin directory

Another major part of running your website and keeping it properly safe is to start making use of WP-admin adjustments. We mentioned above how you should be changing the wp-admin login page, and that is true. You also need to protect the wp-admin directory that is at the core of your website. If this is attacked, it could mean the whole site is under threat.

You should look to encrypt this folder as much as you can, and add a password that is very hard to crack. Either use a very high level password manager, such as BitWarden, or use a very personal password that would never be guessed. By making sure that you can add a new level of protection to this part of the site, you make it far less likely that this crucial site function could be compromised or damaged.
Switching to HTTPs (SSL/TLS)

The next crucial step to making sure your site is super-safe is to make the make to a HTTPS system. This is vital, especially if you wish to make any kind of selling potential through the site possible. If you have an HTTPS system, then people feel much more confident and comfortable that you cannot leave access to their personal data and payment information.

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To do this, you need to get an SSL certificate. Most hosting sites will be able to help with this, and it will also make sure that you are using a link that keeps the browser and the web server in tandem with one another. This virtually removes any potential for ruining your site security. If people do not see that little padlock in the top left-hand corner of the URL, they will be less likely to stick around. Deal with that ASAP, then, for added confidence in your site.

Set directory permissions carefully

Another important thing that we think you should look at is to make sure that you handle directory permissions perfectly. Many people make the mistake of having the wrong permissions – often being too lax with security – which can cause more than a few problems along the way. If you are using a shared hosting system especially, get directory permissions spot-on.

Make sure that you use a file manager to help make changes to the directory permissions. If your permissions on directories are set to 755, and permissions on files set to 644, you make sure that your files are protected, secured, and kept safe. This is so important, and we cannot recommend that you do this any sooner. It’s such an important part of keeping a WP site secure, and will make sure that you have total control and command over the safety and security of your directories.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many things to think about when you wish to make your site as safe as you possibly can. You should look to make more decisions about your site security based on the ideas we have suggested here. If you do that, you are much more likely to be building a site that is modern, robust, and serious about security. In the modern world, people have so many choices about the sites that they use that they have no real need to use your site if it is not 100% secure and safe.

With that in mind, then, you would do well to take a look at the features above. Put in place accordingly, these will become hallmarks of a safe, modern, professional website that is safe for everyone who uses your site to engage with and to put their trust within.

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