When you want to protect your WordPress site, what is the first thing you need to do? Find the top five security plug-ins, consider their prices, and proceed to install one. You’re done, now you can sit back and relax, right? Incorrect!
Using a security plug-in does not ensure security. Safety is not absolute, and no one can guarantee absolute safety. The best thing we can do is to reduce the risk of hacker attacks. Contrary to popular belief, website owners need to participate in maintaining the security of the website. It is important to know what you should and should not do.
Although there are several guidelines that can explain what you should do to ensure the security of your WordPress site, we have provided you with a guide that tells you what to avoid. You will notice that the suggestions here conflict with popular belief. But in our experience, many suggestions are outdated and provide a false sense of security.
If WordPress security issues bother you as much as we do, please check the following.
1. Don’t use too many security plug-ins
Given the wide range of plugins available, with various feature sets, it is tempting to use multiple WordPress security plugins. Honestly, this is an overkill. It is normal to worry about the security of your website, but you must ask yourself whether you really need multiple security plug-ins? Which features are essential to your website requirements? Will these functions affect each other?
For example, when the plug-in starts to modify files such as wp-config.php or htaccess, conflicts may occur. Plug-ins can easily handle these files, but they will not modify them in a consistent way. This may create conflicts and slow down your website.
With a WordPress website, things sometimes go wrong. Everyone hates the terrible white screen of death. Having multiple plugins that have a profound impact on your website can make debugging problems difficult. Now, if there is only one plug-in, it is easier and simpler to find and fix the cause of the error.
2. Do not change the database prefix
There are several ways to break a WordPress website. Hackers may access the site’s database through SQL injection attacks.Vulnerabilities in plugins or themes can be used to break into the site’s database (that’s why we recommend that you use WordPress database backup plugin To avoid similar traps). A popular way to prevent hackers from digging into your website is to change the default table prefix. As shown in the figure below, in WordPress, the default table prefix is ”wp_”. WordPress allows you to change the table prefix (such as “xzy_”) to hide certain tables.
On the surface, this looks like a good idea. If the hacker does not know the table name, then they cannot retrieve data from it. However, this is a wrong reasoning. Once someone intrudes into your database, there are still ways to find these tables. Therefore it is useless to change the name of the prefix. In addition, modifying the default prefix can cause several plugins to misbehave.
In addition, changing the database prefix on the fly is difficult to implement and may cause your website to crash. This is because many changes are required at each level. Any errors in the process will prove to be disastrous for your website.
3. Avoid hiding your login page
There are always people trying to break into your website by cracking your password. During a brute force attack, hackers will try to log in to your website using popular username and password combinations. So what if we hide the login page? One stone can kill two birds, right? Hackers will not be able to find the login page, and the load on your server will be reduced.
WordPress has a default login page. The URL of this page is usually similar to example.com/wp-login.php. A well-known way to protect your website from brute force attacks is to hide or change the default login page to something else, such as example.com/mylogin.php. Although this sounds like a foolproof plan, let’s see how effective this method is in securing your WordPress site.
Server load reduction
After hiding or changing the location of the login page, every time someone tries to open it, they will get a 404 error. However, login attempts are a cumbersome process. Whenever a 404 error page loads, it will consume a lot of your server resources. Eventually it will slow down your website. Therefore, it is generally incorrect to believe that hiding the login page will reduce server load.
Alternative URL is not hard to guess
Part of the reason for the success of WordPress as a CMS is that plugins make it easier to modify the website. The popular way to hide the login page of a site is to use plugins, which is not surprising. These plugins come with a set of default alternative login URLs, such as xzy.com/wplogin.php, etc. We have been trained to use the default settings. Once we install the plugin and change our URL, we don’t think about it too much. But there are so many URLs that plugins can provide. It is not difficult to find out these preset login URLs. Therefore, in most cases, using an alternate URL may not work.
The beauty of WordPress is that it is easy to use. This is a familiar platform. For sites with a large number of users, changing or hiding the login page may cause some problems. Several times we encountered posts on WordPress forums where users were locked out of the site due to changes in the login URL. In most cases, the changes are made using plugins, and the user is not aware of the situation that caused the confusion.
4. Do not manually block the IP address
If you have a security plug-in installed on your website, you will receive a notification whenever someone tries to log in to your website.You can easily grasp the IP that sent these malicious requests, and Use .htaccess files to block them. This is a manual intensive task, not a very convenient approach.
Not user friendly
Non-technical people trying to modify the .htaccess file will cause disaster. Content management systems like WordPress have a very strict format. Even using the most popular tools, such as FTP/SFTP, is very risky. A small error or incorrect placement of commands can cause the site to crash.
Too many IPs to block
To avoid being blacklisted, hackers use IP addresses from all over the world. Earlier, we discussed manually blocking IP addresses that constantly try to break into your website. This work (as we mentioned before) requires a lot of time and energy, but it is not very efficient use of time. However, if you use any of the top WordPress security plugins, such as Malcare, you can automate the blocking process. Such security plug-ins can solve all WP security vulnerabilities.
5. Hide WordPress
There is a common assumption that hiding your CMS will make it more difficult for malicious people to break into your website. What if we could hide the fact that your website is running on WordPress. This will protect your website from hackers who want to exploit common vulnerabilities. An easy way is (you guessed it) to use plugins. But when the hacker doesn’t care which platform your website is running on, this method will fail. In addition, there are multiple ways to determine whether a website is running on WordPress.
In addition to using plug-ins, you can also choose to complete the work manually. But this is a time-consuming process. A WordPress update can undo all your work in a few seconds. This means that you either have to repeat the process over and over again, or avoid WP updates. Skipping WordPress updates is like opening the front door and letting hackers walk directly into your home.
6. Password protection wp-admin does not work
The default WordPress login page (looks like this-example.com/wp-admin) is the gateway to your website. A typical login page is shown in the figure below.
Here, you need to use your credentials to access the WordPress dashboard. Password protecting the login page helps to hide or protect this gateway of the dashboard. This is a good idea, but it is not without loopholes.
First, if you happen to lose your password, it will be difficult to maintain or even change the password. In addition to being ineffective in providing additional security, such modifications to your site may prove to be very dangerous. For example, when you password protect the management page, requests such as /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php cannot bypass the protection. Some plug-ins may depend on the Ajax functionality of your website. When they can’t access this feature, they start to misbehave. Therefore, this may cause the site to be interrupted.
here you are
If you have any questions or suggestions about what you need to avoid to protect your WordPress site, please let us know in the comments.