WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems used to create websites.
While web security tools and plugins can help secure a website, there are other methods that website owners can use to protect their WordPress site.
In this blog post, we'll discuss how to secure your WordPress website without them.
Keep WordPress and plugins up to date
WordPress is a popular target for cyberattacks, and one of the easiest ways to prevent a security breach is by keeping WordPress and plugins up to date.
When website software becomes outdated, it can create security vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.
These vulnerabilities can range from minor bugs to serious security flaws, and can be used to gain access to the website, steal sensitive data, or carry out other malicious activities.
Outdated plugins and themes can also create vulnerabilities, as they may contain code that is no longer compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
To prevent security vulnerabilities, it's important to check for updates regularly and apply them promptly.
WordPress and plugins often release updates that include security patches, which can fix known vulnerabilities and prevent them from being exploited.
Website owners can check for updates through the WordPress dashboard, which will display any available updates for WordPress core, plugins, and themes.
It's also a good idea to keep a backup of the website before applying updates, in case something goes wrong during the update process.
Use strong passwords and limit login attempts
Using strong passwords is one of the easiest ways to prevent unauthorized access to a WordPress website.
A strong password is one that is difficult to guess or crack, and is made up of a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Weak passwords, such as “password123” or “123456”, can be easily guessed or cracked by attackers, leaving the website vulnerable to attack.
It's important to use a unique and complex password for each account, and to change passwords regularly.
Use a password manager and enable two-factor authentication
To help users create and manage strong passwords, a password manager can be used.
A password manager is a tool that generates and stores unique, complex passwords for each account.
With a password manager, users don't have to remember all their passwords, which makes it easier to use strong and unique passwords.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is another way to enhance login security.
2FA requires users to provide a second form of authentication, such as a fingerprint or a code sent to their phone, in addition to their password.
This provides an extra layer of security and helps prevent unauthorized access to the website.
How limiting login attempts can prevent brute force attacks
Limiting login attempts can prevent brute force attacks, which is when attackers try to guess a password by repeatedly trying different combinations until they find the correct one.
By limiting the number of login attempts, website owners can prevent these attacks from being successful.
WordPress plugins are available that can limit the number of login attempts, as well as block IPs after a certain number of failed attempts.
It's also important to choose a strong username, as common usernames like “admin” are often targeted by attackers.
Restrict access to the admin area
Restricting access to the admin area can prevent unauthorized logins and limit the exposure of the website to attacks.
The admin area is a high-value target for attackers, and by limiting access to it, website owners can protect their site from attacks such as brute force attacks, malware injection, and other malicious activities.
Restricting access can also prevent unauthorized users from modifying or deleting content on the website.
Website owners can also restrict access to the admin area manually by updating the .htaccess file.
The .htaccess file is a configuration file that controls access to the website's directories and files.
By updating the .htaccess file, website owners can restrict access to the admin area by IP address, user agent, or other criteria.
Remove unused themes and plugins
Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in these themes and plugins, and use them to gain access to the website.
Additionally, outdated and unmaintained themes and plugins can contain code that is no longer compatible with the latest version of WordPress, which can cause the website to crash or become vulnerable to attacks.
Unused themes and plugins can also consume disk space and slow down the website, which can impact user experience and search engine rankings.
Website owners should periodically review the themes and plugins installed on their website, and remove any that are not being used.
Before deleting a theme or plugin, it's important to check if any content or functionality is tied to it, and if so, to replace it with a suitable alternative.
By keeping only the necessary themes and plugins, website owners can improve website security, performance, and user experience.
Regular backups are essential to website security, as they can help restore the website in case of a security breach.
In the event of a cyber attack or other security incident, backups can be used to restore the website to a previous state, before the attack occurred.
This can help minimize the damage caused by the attack and reduce downtime for the website.
Backups can also be useful in case of accidental data loss or corruption, such as when a plugin or theme update goes wrong.
To ensure backups are effective, it's important to store them offsite and test them regularly.
Storing backups offsite, such as on a cloud storage service or an external hard drive, can prevent them from being lost or compromised in case of a security breach.
Testing backups regularly can ensure that they are working correctly and can be used to restore the website if needed.
It's important to verify that the backup files are complete and error-free, and that they can be used to restore the website successfully.
Securing a WordPress website without using web security tools may seem daunting, but it's achievable by following some simple steps.
Keeping WordPress and plugins up to date, using strong passwords and limiting login attempts, restricting access to the admin area, removing unused themes and plugins, and regular backups can help protect a website from security breaches and attacks.
By taking these steps, website owners can enhance their website security and protect their valuable data.
It's important to implement these measures on an ongoing basis, and to stay informed about new security threats and best practices.
With a little effort and vigilance, website owners can protect their website from cyber threats and maintain a secure and reliable online presence.