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When you build a WordPress site, website security might not be something you think about very often. However, it is actually a very important aspect of your website that you should not take lightly.

We’re living in a day and age where cybersecurity plays an important role in our digital well-being. Nobody wants to visit or buy from a website where they are vulnerable to losing sensitive data. That’s why securing your website not only protects your customer’s data but also helps to uphold your brand reputation.

If you’ve just created a website on WordPress, congratulations! You’re joining the largest website-building platform, powering nearly 43% of all websites in the world. In this post, we’re going through a checklist of the things you should do to keep your new WordPress site secure. And it doesn’t matter what type of website you’ve created, the following tips and advice are applicable to all WordPress websites. Read on!

Is the WordPress platform secure?

You may be wondering yourself, “Is WordPress secure?”. Well, it is!

In fact, WordPress has a dedicated team of developers who monitor the platform for security vulnerabilities. They are responsible for developing patches as soon as an issue becomes known. But the fact that WordPress is a free and open-source software makes it especially vulnerable to any skilled hacker who can insert a snippet of malicious code into the WordPress core.

With that said, any website-building platform is vulnerable to attacks and security breaches. It is the job of website owners/managers to do everything they can to secure their websites. And this doesn’t have to be rocket science. There are numerous things you can do to secure your site and reduce the risk of security breaches.

Basic security checklist

As we mentioned earlier, securing your WordPress site is not rocket science. Any site owners can follow this checklist and apply our tips and advice on their site.

Use a reliable hosting provider

We need to start from the top: get a reliable hosting provider. In order for your website to exist on the internet, you need a host to provide you with a server. A server basically consists of a computer or network of computers that store the essential files of your website, like your user database.

Hosts have the responsibility to secure their servers with many different layers of protection. So using a reliable hosting provider ensures you won’t have to worry much about security issues from your web server.

The role of the hosting provider is even more prominent when you’re on a shared hosting plan. Shared hosting means you’re sharing your server resources with multiple websites on the same server. If one website is breached or infected with malicious codes or viruses, then all the websites on that server may suffer.

So, getting a trustworthy and reliable host is one of the first things you should do for your website security. If you’re hosting your site with Bluehost then you won’t have to worry about this! Bluehost is named one of the best hosting providers of 2022 by U.S. News 360 review!

Get an SSL certificate

One of the most basic things you can do for your website security is to secure the connection between your website and your visitor’s browser. You can do this by installing an SSL certificate on your web server.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s the authentication protocol that encrypts the information between the client (browser) and the server. When you visit a website with a secure connection, you’ll see a grey padlock icon at the beginning of the website’s URL. That’s the indication of a secure connection.

Having an SSL certificate is what enables websites to move from HTTP to HTTPS. A majority of websites nowadays use HTTPS, which you can see with the ‘https://’ at the beginning of a website URL.

Another important reason to having an SSL certificate is that it’s essential for SEO. In fact, search engines identify SSL certificates to be a ranking signal. That’s because search engines like Google want to serve their users (searchers) with the best possible result for their queries. So it’s definitely not a good idea for them to show sites with weak security, as doing so puts searchers in a position where they’re vulnerable to losing sensitive data.

Choose a reliable theme

The next step is to choose a reliable theme. Poorly coded themes not only make your site slow but also put your site at risk of security vulnerabilities.

There are a lot of options when it comes to WordPress themes, which is a blessing but also a burden for beginners. We recommend you choose themes from the official WordPress theme directory. Themes must pass certain requirements from WordPress before they can be uploaded here so they are your safe bet.

When in doubt, choose themes that are popular and well-reviewed by the community. If you want to purchase a theme from a third-party marketplace, you should do your research to make sure the marketplace as well as the theme maker are trustworthy.

Another tip is to pick a theme that comes with plenty of support and commitment from the theme maker. You want to know that your theme will receive continuous support and update in the future. That’s because an outdated theme is vulnerable to all kinds of security exploits. More often than not, hackers exploit bugs that have already been fixed.

Secure your login procedure

Another easy thing to do is to secure your WordPress login procedure, which keeps you safe from malicious login attempts. Many hackers use brute-force attacks in which they attempt to log into your site’s admin area by repeatedly submitting passwords until they eventually get it right. We don’t need to tell you how serious it is if a hacker can enter your admin area. Here are a few things you can do to prevent that:

No account with the name “admin”: This is the basic account name for WordPress, and it’s easy to understand why you should not do this. It’s likely that this will be the first username hacker will fill in during a brute-force attack.

Use a strong password: A strong password consists of many different types of characters. Nowadays when you create an account, you’ll notice that most websites ask you to include special characters, numbers, and capital letters in your password. This is effective against brute-force attacks as it’s more difficult for attackers to guess your password, as opposed to a simple one like “password123”. You can apply the same principle when creating a login password for your site’s backend.

Enable two-factor authentication: We’re all familiar with the concept of two-factor authentication by now. This is one of the easiest things to secure your login procedure. Even in the unfortunate event of your password being exposed, hackers will not be able to log in because they don’t have your second device to verify the attempt.

– Limit login attempts: Placing a limit on the number of times a user can enter the wrong credentials in a certain amount of time will prevent hackers from attempting brute-force attacks.

Limit access to your backend: The fewer people with access to your site’s backend, the less risk of being exposed to attacks.

Install WordPress security plugins

Having at least a security plugin in your plugin collection is a must for any WordPress website. Plugins are what make WordPress such a powerful platform, so you must leverage them.

There are many plugins for security and site monitoring available from WordPress and from numerous third-party designers and developers worldwide. Any security plugins that are installed to protect your site will need to be updated as recommended.

Security plugins can be broadly categorized into two groups: full security suites and single-issue security plugins. Full security suites encompass multiple security needs within a single plugin. Some popular options include:

JetPack for WordPress


Sucuri Monitor

These tools cover everything from bot-driven brute force attacks to manual blocking of malware injection attempts and other hacks. They represent a great choice for beginning WordPress owners who want a solution to cover multiple needs.

Backup your WordPress site

Regularly backing up your WordPress website is always a good idea. It’s also a sensible thing to do from a security standpoint. If a site is compromised with malicious code or viruses, a clean backup can be restored at any time. Or in another situation, the site can be moved to a new host using the backup versions.

There are many tools you can use to back up your WordPress website. Check with your current hosting provider to see if they offer a backup service. For example, Bluehost provides WordPress hosting and automatically creates backup files regularly so that you don’t have to.

Next to that, you should install a WordPress plugin to make the process of backing up your website easier. There are backup options using plugins that can make the file and download it for you to your computer. Or you can choose to upload your backup to cloud storage. Plugins should also work on hosted sites if you prefer not to use tools provided by the host.

Keep your WordPress updated

Last but not least, keep your WordPress website updated. That means updating your plugins, themes, and WordPress core to the latest version whenever possible. At the same time, remove unused and outdated plugins as well as those that no longer receive support from their creators.

Many cyber attacks on WordPress sites strike smaller ones. Next to that, those running older versions of WordPress that haven’t been updated are also vulnerable. That’s because hackers may exploit old security breaches that have not been patched.

Owners of these sites might not expect that their sites might be targets, but they may be even more vulnerable than larger sites. Installing all of the frequent updates released by WordPress, theme makers and plugin makers is a key step in keeping a website secure.

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