WordPress Website Security Tips in 2022

(2022 Updated) With 30,000 new websites hacked every day on average, the chances of our website being hacked are high if we are not following all the website security practices provided by industry experts.

In this article, we have compiled all the WordPress website security tips that you should be implementing to keep your website protected from vulnerabilities. 

Latest WordPress Website Security Tips in 2022

  1. Do not install null themes or plugins
  2. Use an unique username and password
  3. Use the latest WordPress version
  4. Update your plugin and themes regularly
  5. Use the latest and most stable PHP version
  6. Install SSL certificate
  7. Remove unused plugins and themes
  8. Weekly/daily website backup
  9. Use a reliable hosting provider
  10. Enable domain lock
  11. Enable brute force protection
  12. Disable file editing on the WordPress dashboard
  13. Setup WAF Protection

Do not install null themes or plugins

This is listed as number 1 for a reason, most of the websites that were infected by malware are mainly because of the installation of null themes or plugins.

Yes, it may be tempting for you to take the risk to buy null themes or plugins so that you can save a lot of money.

By installing null themes or plugins into your website, you will not be able to receive any updates and there is a high chance that the plugin/theme is corrupted with malware.

If you can’t afford the premium plugin, there is always a free alternative for the tool you are looking for.

You can check whether your current theme meets WordPress requirements, just copy your website URL (or the URL of the WordPress theme’s live demo) into any W3C Markup Validation Service.

If you find your theme isn’t compliant, search for a new theme in the official WordPress theme directory.

Use an unique username and password

By default, your WordPress username is most likely to be “admin”. You need to use a more unique username such as “kelvin-mycoolbrand”.

By doing so, it makes it harder for hackers to brute force your website as now, they have to guess your username too.

As for your password, try to have a strong password that fulfills all the following criteria:-

  • At least 12 characters long
  • At least 1 uppercase and 1 lowercase
  • At least 1 special character such as @, &, (
  • You’re not using this password on other websites

Having these 2 in place, it will be reasonably hard for a hacker to brute force into your WordPress dashboard.

You also can use one of the simplest and most effective tools to secure your WordPress by enabling two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires users to verify their sign-on with a second device in just a few simple steps.

If you’re interested in knowing how long it will take for a hacker to crack your password, you can use tools like How Secure Is My Password to find out more.

Use the latest WordPress version 

Keeping your WordPress version up to date is a good practice to keep your WordPress website protected from vulnerabilities.

Most of the time when there is a WordPress update, the updates are related to website security.

After each WordPress update announcement, it also gives hackers a better understanding of all the vulnerabilities in their previous version, then using the knowledge to target websites that are still using the outdated WordPress version. 

Therefore, it is important to ensure your WordPress version is up to date.

Update your plugin and themes regularly

The reason to make sure your WordPress plugins and themes are up to date is the same as updating your WordPress version.

Updates from plugins and themes are much more frequent compared with WordPress versions, some plugins even have new updates once a week.

Therefore, it is recommended that you at least check all your websites once a week to ensure all your plugins and themes are up to date.

If you have a lot of websites and do not have the time to do it one by one every week, you can enable auto-updates so that your plugins can be automatically updated when there is a new update.

Note: For plugins such as WooCommerce WordPress and Elementor, I do not recommend enabling auto-updates as there is always a small chance that the updates will cause your website to crash.

So, before updating plugins with major updates, you should perform a full website backup first.

Use the latest and most stable PHP version

The concept is the same as keeping your WordPress version, themes, and plugins up to date. If your PHP version is set as PHP 7.4, you’re all good.

While there is a newer PHP version released on 26 November 2020, PHP 8.0, it’s still not as stable as compared with PHP 7.4. 

In addition, if you are using plugins such as Oxygen Builder, using PHP 8.0 would cause your website to have issues as Oxygen Builder is still incompatible with PHP 8.0 at the moment.

Install SSL certificate

Installing an SSL certificate on your website, can help to ensure that all the data on your website is encrypted.

Making it hard for hackers to get access to all the sensitive information on your website, such as customers’ shipping addresses, contact numbers, and most importantly credit card details.

If you are using Exabytes WordPress Hosting, this would not be an issue for you as we are providing free SSL for websites hosted with us.

Remove unused plugins and themes

Another important thing to do to keep your WordPress website protected is to delete ALL the plugins that you are not using.

There is no point for us to keep the plugin there, making our website more bloated, slowing down your website speed, and also giving hackers another vulnerability opportunity.

Weekly/daily website backup

It is extremely important to backup your website on a weekly or daily basis. If something did go wrong on our website, say being infected by malware and losing control of our website, at least we have a backup version for us to recover our website.  

With Exabytes WordPress Hosting, we provide free daily auto backups for our users so that they can be well protected from unfortunate events.

Use a reliable hosting provider

One of the important WordPress website security tips is to choose to use a reliable hosting provider such as Exabytes comes with additional security benefits.

With Exabytes, you’ll have additional tools – Imunify 360 and Patchman to protect your websites from malware, fixing website vulnerabilities, and bad bots.

In addition, if you’re facing any issues with your website, our team is always ready to assist 24/7/355.

Enable domain lock

Another thing you should do to keep your website secure is to enable domain lock. With domain lock enabled, it can prevent others from transferring your domain name to another registrar by protecting your name servers.

If you are using Exabytes as your domain registrar, you can easily lock your domain by going to your Client Area > Domains > My Domains > Manage Domain > Registrar Lock.

Enable brute force protection

Enabling brute force protection is another good tips of WordPress website security to make it harder for hackers to get access to your WordPress account.

Whenever you log in to your WordPress dashboard, this will appear requesting you to fill up the characters shown in the picture. 

With this in place, your website will be protected from brute force attacks. To enable brute-force protection, you can install a free plugin – NinjaFirewall.

Once you’ve activated the plugin, go to NinjaFirewall > Login Protection and select the same settings as shown below, then click save.

Disable file editing on the WordPress dashboard

By default, file editing is enabled on all WordPress dashboards. Having this enabled on your WordPress dashboard is risky.

If a hacker has gained access to your WordPress dashboard, they can easily insert malicious scripts into your website without you noticing it, causing you to lose control of your website. 

Your file editor can be accessed by going to Plugins > Plugin Editor, or by going to Appearance > Editor.

To disable file editing on the WordPress dashboard, all you have to do is add the following line of code to your wp-config.php.

define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true);

Setup WAF Protection

WAF Protection or Web Application Firewall Protection is a must to keep your website protected. WAF helps to filter, monitor, and block HTTP traffic to and from a web service.

If you wish to set up WAF protection for your WordPress website, solution providers such as Sucuri and Cloudflare are a good choice for you. 

If you prefer to use a free WordPress plugin or do not want to change your name servers, NinjaFirewall (WP Edition) is a good choice for you too.

Thanks for spending your time reading the entire article about the latest WordPress website security tips I hope this article will provide some useful insights for you to improve your website security.

If you are looking for a new WordPress hosting provider, check out our WordPress Hosting plans for more information. 

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kelvin
Digital Marketer in Exabytes specialised in WordPress, write blogs on pet care tips during free times, and is trying out drop shipping.
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