Security Guide: How to Secure WordPress Websites

With technology becoming increasingly advanced daily, the security threats to websites are also increasing. Today, people use the internet and websites not only for information and communication but also for conducting business. Online business includes purchases and digital transactions; hence, it is important to protect clients’ sensitive data from hackers and attackers. That is why all website owners should know how to secure WordPress websites. 

This article on How to Secure a WordPress Site will discuss a few security tips to ensure your WordPress website’s advanced security. At the end of this article, you will learn some advanced level security you can implement on your WordPress website and improve WordPress WooCommerce security.

Why and How to Secure WordPress Websites?

There are various types of web attacks can happen to your WordPress website. Among these harmful attacks, malware, phishing, and DDoS attacks are high. These attacks can steal sensitive information from your website, steal clients’ banking information to access bank accounts illegally, etc. 

It is of utmost importance to protect your valuable and sensitive data and protect your client’s private credentials. Besides using security plugins for WordPress websites, there are other effective measures you can take to harden your website’s security. These measures will ensure advanced security for your website. 

How to Secure a WordPress Site: Changing Your WordPress Database Prefix

Modifying the WordPress database table prefix gives your website extra security and makes hacking more difficult. Table prefix means a common syntax at the start of each WordPress database table. For example, in a database, table names will be like wp_students, wp_marks, wp_id, etc. This ‘wp_’ at the start of each table’s name is the table’s prefix.

WordPress’s default wp_prefix makes it easier for hackers to attack your website. This default prefix is the same for all WordPress websites; thus, the table prefix is already known to attackers and may lead to an SQL injection attack. 

So, instead of using the default wp_prefix, change the prefix to ‘wp_98761239_’ or something similar to this. This will break the common prefix structure and makes it difficult for attackers to hack. 

You can change the prefix in two easy ways. While running the WordPress installation wizard, you will see a field at the bottom displaying the default prefix. Simply change the prefix to your desired one. This process is the same for the best WooCommerce themes for WordPress to make better online stores. 

how to secure a wordpress site

The other way requires more attention to the WordPress core file and database. From your WordPress directory, open the wp-config.php file and replace the default prefix with your preferred one. For this tutorial, we will change the prefix to wp_98761239_. 

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The next step is to update the prefix of existing tables in the database. If you are using a PHP server, visit your PHPMyAdmin and select your website database. WordPress installs 12 default tables in the database. Instead of renaming the tables one by one, simply copy and paste the code given below into the SQL tab of your PHPMyAdimin area. 

RENAME table`wp_commentmeta`TO`wp_98761239_commentmeta`;

RENAME table`wp_comments`TO`wp_98761239_comments`;

RENAME table`wp_links`TO`wp_98761239_links`;

RENAME table`wp_options`TO`wp_98761239_options`;

RENAME table`wp_postmeta`TO`wp_98761239_postmeta`;

RENAME table`wp_posts`TO`twp_98761239_posts`;

RENAME table`wp_terms`TO`wp_98761239_terms`;

RENAME table`wp_termmeta`TO`wp_98761239_termmeta`;

RENAME table`wp_term_relationships`TO`wp_98761239_term_relationships`;

RENAME table`wp_term_taxonomy`TO`wp_98761239_term_taxonomy`;

RENAME table`wp_usermeta`TO`wp_98761239__usermeta`;

RENAME table`wp_users`TO`wp_98761239__users`;


This will update all the default tables to your customized prefix. As we have changed the default prefix to our customized one, it will be almost impossible for hackers to know them, thus reducing the chance of being affected by SQL injection attacks. 

how to secure a wordpress site

How to Secure a WordPress Site: Change the Default Username and Password

Changing and updating the default username and password increases the security of your WordPress website. WordPress sets a username and password by default at the time of installation. The default username of a WordPress account is ‘admin.’ Many of us don’t change this username and keep using it, which could cause a security risk. This default WordPress username is known to attackers, which can lead to a Brute Force attack. 

A Brute Force attack is simply guessing and trying the username and password to login to your website by attackers. So, it is important to use a unique username and password instead of the default ones. 

While creating a new user in WordPress or just editing the existing profile, you will see a button to general new strong passwords. Carefully choose a unique username and a strong password that might stop attackers from hacking you using Brute Force or other ways. You can perform this action with any best elementor themes for WooCommerce.

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How to Secure a WordPress Site: Create a Web Application Firewall 

Another layer of protection in your WordPress security can be adding a Web Application Firewall. This firewall can track IP addresses and block attackers from hacking your WordPress website. A WAF or Web Application firewall can track and identify those who are associated or involved with malicious internet activity. 

The WAF analyzes the traffic after it reaches your server and stops malicious IP addresses from gaining access to your website. Though the WAF can analyze traffics after reaching your server, it takes necessary action before the core WordPress script loads. To use a WAF service, you can use Sucuri, which provides various types of protection for your WordPress websites.

how to secure a wordpress site

How to Secure a WordPress Site: Limit Login Attempts and Implement Two-Factor Authentication

Another smart way to increase the security of your WordPress website is by limiting the number of login attempts and implementing two-factor authentication. Limiting the login attempt protects your website from a Brute Force attack since this attack is based on guessing and trying to login to your website. 

You can use the smart plugin WP Limit Login Attempts to limit the login attempt. This plugin is totally free and easy to use. Installing this plugin in your WordPress website will allow you to implement the limit login feature and protect your website from Brute Force or similar attacks. It is compatible with any top free SEO-friendly WordPress WooCommerce theme

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The two-factor authentication feature is considered one of the best security features for any website. Even the tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google offer users this two-factor authentication feature to keep their accounts secure. 

In the two-factor authentication feature, one can not login to your website or account even if they know the username and password. They will need your devices to authenticate the login to log in to your website. 

We suggest you use the Google Authentication method to implement the two-factor authentication on your website. Google has the most advanced two-factor authentication system that provides ultra-grade security to your website. It is easy to implement and manage login to the website. 

how to secure a wordpress site

How to Secure a WordPress Site: Monitor and Conduct Security Scans of Your Website

In addition to all the security measures you have taken, you should regularly monitor and conduct malware scans for infected links, files, and activities. There are various types of malware attacks a website can be affected by. Some of the most common malware attacks include Trojan Horse, Spyware, Ransomware, etc. 

We suggest you use the WordFence security plugin, which provides many security features, including malware scans. You can also use the malware detection tools of Sucuri to protect your website from various malware attacks. 

Conclusion

The importance of the website’s security is at its highest peak today as it contains sensitive personal data. If a website is hacked, the attacker can get through each bit of information that the website contains. As technology is improving, the risk of cyberattacks is also increasing. That is why you should take certain measures to protect your and your client’s valuable data from cyber criminals. 

This article on How to Secure a WordPress Site has discussed some in-depth security measures you can take for your WordPress website. We hope this article helps you to protect your website better. Feel free to check out our article on Blog vs Website comparison to get insight into the key facts of a blog and a website. 

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