A Complete Guide to WordPress Security: Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Keeping Your Site Safe

A Complete Guide to WordPress Security

If you're running an online business, you should take security seriously. We all know that WordPress is the leading CMS platform out there with over 22% market share. It's also the most popular target for hackers. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover not just some quick tips and tricks but also some of the more advanced techniques available to keep your site safe. Let's get started!

1. Setting up your WordPress security: the basics

The first step in securing your WordPress site is to install a security plugin. There are many great plugins to choose from, but we recommend you pick WordFence. It’s free, secure, and very easy to use.

If you’re looking to protect other parts of your website, you can also pick the corresponding plugin. This not only includes your home page, but also categories, products, contact page, and custom post types.

Most plugins are compatible with 4.8+, but WordFence has been tested and works just as well on prior versions of WordPress. This not only protects the four most important pages but also makes it harder for hackers to install more infections behind the scenes. Some other important things to make your site safe are using a secure password manager and a password detox.

To detox your accounts, Google recommends a process where you generate and store 10 random passwords in a vault. Then, log in to your vault once per day and change all passwords. Doing this not only makes it harder for hackers to guess your new accounts but also reduces your chances of getting infected with a never-ending string of short passwords.

A word of caution, however. While it’s good practice to avoid using a common dictionary, numbers, and common names for your passwords, as long as the character set and context is all correct, this won’t help against security flaws. To circumvent this, search for passwords with common suffixes and names.

WordFence allows for two-factor authentication, which basically means you have to create a new username and password specifically for any website before you can log in. After implementing two-factor authentication, all logins will be instantly verified. A real master key exists only in your password manager, so it’s practically impossible to get it by guessing. Just make sure the website you’re logging into has the same password manager as your journal.

It’s always a good practice to make backups of your database.

2. Tools and plugins for WordPress security

When it comes to security, WordPress is often the target of malicious attacks. There are some great tools and plugins out there that can help you keep your site secure. Two of the best security plugins are WordFence and All In One WP Security. WordFence is a popular plugin with over a million downloads that are easy to use and can help prevent some common attacks. All In One WP Security is similar to tower fence, but it also comes with a whole suite of security plugins that will help you stay out of trouble.

Here's how these two security plugins can help keep your site and your visitors safe:

What are the most common hacking techniques and what can you do about them?

Campaign hacking: Exploiting vulnerabilities is one of the most common types of cyber fraud. You can break into a website and inject malware into a section of the website with the goal of causing unreasonable demand, lowering your competition, or spreading Conficker (the computer virus that causes costly data loss).

Campaign hacking is a process where you go into another website and attempt to manipulate traffic or resources.

Hack attacks: Any attack performed on a target computer system that the hacker hopes will harm or shut down the computer. Hackers may conduct these attacks by sending phishing emails to the target, sending an automated link request to steal a page or download file, or worms found on hacked computers to shut them down and then leave the victim machine as the infection begins.

Password reuse: A website that uses the same password for multiple websites is a target for hackers. Personally, I believe that the real challenge is finding a good password. Agile development techniques can make this easier to accomplish by improving the quality and length of the password.

Lack of a password: The site owner needs to create a username/password combo for every online account, but this doesn't always happen. If a user uses the same password for many different sites or services, unscrupulous hackers can click on the "Does this person have my email address" link and guess the password for them.

3. Using WordPress to host your email

The easiest way to get started with your email marketing is to use a service that has a built-in subscriber list, like MailChimp. You get a free account with MailChimp when you sign up for your email address with WordPress.com. You can also connect your WordPress.com account to a service like AWeber to send email through their servers. While there are plenty of email service providers out there, especially for freelancers, I use Substack for my clients. It allows you to make unlimited emails and link them together, rather than feeling overwhelmed by dozens of separate inboxes to manage. If you don’t use Substack, you can simply set up Gmail as your default for receiving emails or use SendingOnce to forward your Gmail emails to Substack and then handle the landing pages as they come in.

To set up your Google Ads account, go to the Account page in Google Ads and then click the Add Keywords button. Follow the instructions and add a few relevant keywords, such as “running” or “running gear.”

Now that you have your account set up, let's install a basic SMTP server to handle your incoming emails. All you need is a computer with a web browser (I keep this on my home Mbps), and you should be able to get an SMTP server up and running in no time. You can also use a service like SendGrid to connect your Gmail and MailChimp accounts. Keep in mind that sending emails through a service like SendGrid requires a subscription to that service in order to send an email. Once you get your account set up, just add your domain, and sending emails should be a snap.

But you’ll want to set up a Google Ads account first, just to make sure you understand how Google works and how the ads show up. Head over to your Google Ads Settings and make sure you’ve enabled advanced settings. You can click on Email Marketing and set the following options:

Review your landing pages for any errors.

4. Protecting yourself from brute force attacks and DDoS attacks

Brute force attacks are a common way for hackers to crack passwords. You can protect yourself from a brute force attack by using a password manager to create strong passwords and changing them on a regular basis. Another option is to use two-factor authentication to ensure that even if a hacker knows your password, they can’t get in unless they have your phone. Password managers give you a way to remember and store your passwords so you don’t have to type them in often. You can also use them to generate random passwords. Instead of re-entering your passwords into your password manager each time, just choose an option to generate a random password, such as an RNG (random number generator) or account name.

Using your phone at home is not a great option if your phone gets stolen or if it gets compromised. The solution is a Jarvis Password Generator. It’s generally the most secure way to prevent your phone from being used to store ridiculously easy logins like Facebook, Twitter, and Dropbox passwords as well as your password manager.

Two-factor authentication usually gives you additional pieces of information to prove that you are you. This authentication method involves both a username and an 8-digit password. You should also receive a text message with a link. Clicking on the link reveals your real username, which you can then verify by entering it into an internet browser. This gives extra assurance that the message is coming from you.

During the checkout process, the checkout URL could be exposed. This protects you in case the credit card information is subsequently used to make a purchase. To add additional security, you should use HTTPS for the checkout page.

If you have any information available on a site, enthusiasts may be able to view your contact information. This is often done by using stolen information to create an email address or to hijack the email address of someone else. However, you can prevent this by using two-factor authentication or storing your email securely.

5. How to secure your website against malware, viruses, and other threats

There are several ways to secure your website against malware, viruses, and other threats. First, you should always have the most updated versions of all your software. Second, you should have an antivirus program on your computer and make sure that it is always updated. Third, you should have an external hard drive and save a backup of your files on it. Finally, you should always use a unique username and password whenever possible.

Themes are a great way to convey the brand identity of your website. However, some website owners abuse themes to give their site an in-your-face and very different look. This is a sure-fire way to give your visitors a bad impression, which results in a negative result. If visitors can see what you’re about instead of what you’re offering, all of your hard work has been for naught.

I always avoid using bright, bold colors and instead opt for the much safer yellow, orange, or green. Always start with a clean coding style. Code is your digital signature. The cleaner your code, the harder it is for hackers to inject malicious links or code into your website.

Make sure all of your files and folders are backed up regularly. You don’t want to see an unsightly old backup sitting on your disk driving away with your site visitors’ precious documents! A decent backup solution is a BackUpNow service. While it does have a monthly fee, it’s cost-effective for most of our needs.

When your site is secure, you might find more visitors than before. This allows you to focus on making valuable content for them. However, there are still some things that you can improve for the overall experience. In this article, I discuss some tips such as different image resolutions, responsive images, and website speed upgrades.

Optimize mobile performance by switching to Instagram’s mobile app. While this tool is available for different platforms, it has been optimized for Instagram and it provides a much better user and website experience. When your website is mobile-friendly, it’s much easier to build engagelier and more enticing content for your audience.


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