12 Vital Ways to Increase WordPress Security

WordPress is one of the most popular website builders in the world. It’s used by millions of people, including some of the biggest brands and organizations in the world.

However, great responsibility comes with great power, which includes ensuring your WordPress site is as secure as possible. Several high-profile WordPress sites have been hacked in recent years, so it’s essential to take steps to protect your site.

A study by Sucuri found that 43% of WordPress sites are vulnerable to attack.

Here are some ways to increase WordPress security.

Keep WordPress Up to Date

One of the most important things you can do to increase WordPress security is to keep your WordPress site up to date.

That means updating WordPress itself, as well as any themes and plugins you have installed. New versions of WordPress are released regularly, and each new version includes security fixes for vulnerabilities that have been discovered.

To update WordPress, go to the Dashboard > Updates page and click the “Update Now” button.

It’s also important to update your themes and plugins. Most theme and plugin developers release updates regularly to fix security vulnerabilities.

You can update your themes and plugins from the Dashboard > Updates page or install the WP Updates Notifier plugin, which will email you when updates are available.

Hide the WordPress Version Number

As WordPress has become more popular, hackers have increasingly targeted it.

One of the things they look for is the WordPress version number, which is displayed in the source code of every WordPress site. Hackers can target specific vulnerabilities by knowing which version of WordPress you’re running. In addition, some WordPress security plugins will only work with specific versions of WordPress.

So, it’s essential to hide your WordPress version number. Most WordPress themes have an option to do this, or you can install a plugin like WP-Hardening Plugin.

You can also hide it manually by pasting this code in your functions.php file:

function remove_version_info() { return ''; } add_filter('the_generator', 'remove_version_info');

Use a Strong Password

Another important way to increase WordPress security is to use a strong password.


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A strong password should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Using a different password for each website you visit is also essential. That way, your other accounts will be safe if one site is hacked. You can use a password manager like LastPass or KeePass to help you generate and remember strong passwords.

A research study by Imperva found that using a strong password is the most effective way to prevent brute force attacks, a common WordPress hack.

Use a password generator website to generate a highly strong password. Here are some of the best password generators:

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (also known as two-step verification) is an additional layer of security that can help protect your WordPress site.

With two-factor authentication, you’re required to enter your password and a second code, usually generated by an app on your smartphone. That way, even if someone manages to guess your password, they won’t be able to log in unless they also have your smartphone.

WordPress doesn’t include two-factor authentication by default, but you can install a plugin like Google Authenticator or Duo Security.

Remember, though, that two-factor authentication won’t work if you lose your smartphone, so it’s essential to have a backup method, such as an alternate email address or phone number.

Limit Login Attempts

Another way to increase WordPress security is to limit login attempts.

By default, WordPress allows an unlimited number of login attempts, which gives hackers ample opportunity to guess your password. By limiting login attempts, you can help prevent brute-force attacks. Some plugins allow you to do this, such as Limit Login Attempts and Login Lockdown.

Research by Wordfence shows that limiting login attempts can block 99.99% of brute force attacks.

Also, choose a plugin that doesn’t lock out legitimate users, such as yourself, if you forget your password.


SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that encrypts data transmitted between a website and a user’s web browser. That means if someone tries to intercept the data, they won’t be able to read it. In the past, eCommerce websites primarily used SSL to protect credit card information.

But nowadays, more and more WordPress sites are using SSL to protect sensitive data, such as login credentials and contact form submissions. You can add SSL to your WordPress site in a few different ways. For example, some web hosting companies offer free SSL certificates, or you can purchase a certificate from a company like Symantec or Comodo. Once you have an SSL certificate, you’ll need to install and activate the WordPress SSL plugin.

Restrict Access to Your Plugins Directory

The WordPress plugins directory is a folder on your server that contains all the plugins you’ve installed on your site.

By default, anyone can access this folder and see which plugins they use. And if a hacker knows which plugins you’re using, they can target any vulnerabilities in those plugins. So, it’s essential to restrict access to your plugin’s directory. You can do this by adding a simple line of code to your .htaccess file.

If you’re not comfortable editing files on your server, you can install a plugin like iThemes Security, which will add the code for you. If you do edit your .htaccess file, make sure to create a backup before you make any changes.

Change the Admin Username

When you install WordPress, the default admin username is “admin.” That’s not very secure because it’s easy for hackers to guess.

So, one of the first things you should do after installing WordPress is to change the admin username. You can create a new user with administrator privileges and then delete the old “admin” user. Or, you can install a plugin like WP Security Scan, which will scan your site for any insecure settings, including the default admin username.

After changing the admin username, log out of your WordPress account and log back in with the new username. Many people forget to do this and wonder why they can’t access their WordPress site.

Use CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA on Your Login Screen

CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a challenge-response test used to ensure that only humans can access a website or perform certain actions. reCAPTCHA is a version of CAPTCHA that Google owns. It’s more secure than traditional CAPTCHA because it uses advanced risk analysis techniques to keep automated software from engaging in abusive activities on your website. To add CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA to your WordPress login screen, you can install a plugin like WP-reCAPTCHA.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll need to sign up for a free account with reCAPTCHA. You’ll then be given a Site Key and a Secret Key, which you’ll need to enter in the plugin settings.

Automatically Log Out Idle Users

When you’re logged in to your WordPress site, you can stay logged in indefinitely, even if you close the browser window or walk away from your computer. That’s not very secure because it means anyone with access to your computer can also access your WordPress site.

You can install a plugin like Idle User Logout to solve this problem. This plugin will automatically log out inactive users for a certain period.

For example, you can set it to log out users who haven’t been active for 15 minutes. That way, even if someone does have access to your computer, they won’t be able to stay logged in to your WordPress site. A plugin is essential if you have a shared computer or use public Wi-Fi.

Use SFTP to Connect to Your Server

When you connect to your WordPress site, you’re connecting to your server.

By default, most people connect to their server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol). But FTP is an insecure protocol because it doesn’t encrypt your data. That means anyone monitoring the connection can see your username and password.

So, using SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is essential. SFTP is a secure protocol that encrypts your data, so it’s much more difficult for someone to intercept your connection and steal your credentials. To use SFTP, you’ll need to generate an SSH key pair and add the public key to your server. Most hosting providers have instructions on how to do this.

Monitor for Malware

Malware is malicious software that can infect your WordPress site and cause many problems.

For example, malware can redirect your visitors to other websites, or it can display advertising on your site without your permission. Malware can also steal sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers. So, it’s important to regularly scan your WordPress site for malware and remove any that you find. There are a few different ways to do this. For example, you can use a plugin like Wordfence Security, which will scan your site for malware and automatically remove any that it finds.

Alternatively, you can use a service like Sucuri SiteCheck, which will scan your site and then provide you with a report of any malware it finds.


These are just a few of the many ways you can increase WordPress security. By taking these measures, you can help to protect your WordPress site from hackers and other malicious users. Many of these tips are easy to implement, so there’s no excuse not to take action. Remember, your WordPress site is only as secure as you make it. So, please don’t wait until it’s too late to start thinking about security. Take action now and help keep your WordPress site safe.

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