How to Secure WordPress Website From Hackers in 2024

André Ruud
Updated: 03/08/2024
4 min read

It’s a common issue: WordPress sites getting hacked. Why? Because attackers often go for the easiest targets like themes, core files, plugins, and even the login page. So, what can you do about it?

Your WordPress site, like any other, is constantly threatened. Imagine a hacker, not just targeting you but thousands of sites, scanning pages, and attempting logins relentlessly.

However, these assaults are usually committed by others. Cybercriminals utilize bots to search the internet for weaknesses. It’s important to distinguish hacker bots from scraper bots, which duplicate stuff.

How to Secure WordPress Website From Hackers
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Backing Up

Backing up your WordPress site daily is crucial. It’s like insurance – you hope you never need it, but you’ll be glad it’s there if disaster strikes.

How to Secure WordPress Website From Hackers?

There are tons of backup solutions out there, but one that stands out for its reliability and popularity is Blog Vault. Over two million people trust this plugin, making it reliable. It can automatically email or store backups in Dropbox. Think of it as your digital safety deposit box – always there, guarding your site’s data.

A Strong Defense Firewall

One of your best defenses against these hacker bots is a firewall. It monitors visitors to your site, checking if their behavior resembles that of a hacker bot. For instance, if a bot tries to access too many pages too quickly, the firewall steps in and blocks it. But don’t worry, Firewall knows the good guys too. It allows legitimate bots, like those from Google or Bing, to do their thing.

What’s more, Firewall isn’t just a gatekeeper. It’s also a detective. It lets you see which bots are causing trouble and where they’re coming from. Is it a shady bot from a known server farm? A Firewall gives you the power to block them by their IP address, a range of IP addresses, or even by the fake browser user agent they’re hiding behind.

Understanding User Agents

Think of a user agent as a digital ID card. Every time Chrome, Firefox, or Vivaldi visits a page, it transmits this ID. It gives the website its browser and OS, such as Windows 10 or Mac OS X.

Take, for example, this user agent string from a Safari browser on a Mac:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_11_6) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/11.1.2 Safari/605.1.15.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky: Bots, those little digital imposters, use various user agents to fool websites. Some even masquerade as outdated systems like Windows XP.

Since almost no real users are on Windows XP these days, you can set up a rule in Wordfence to block any user agent claiming to be from this OS. Just like that, you’ve outsmarted thousands of bots! But, these bots are cunning and might switch to another user agent. That’s why layering these rules is a smart move, especially with the free version of Wordfence.

Premium Wordfence

If you’re willing to invest a bit, the paid version of Wordfence lets you block entire countries. This is handy if you know you don’t have legitimate visitors from certain places.

More than that, the premium Wordfence gives you an early defense against vulnerabilities in themes and plugins. The moment Wordfence’s team learns about an exploit, they update their firewall. This can happen weeks before the affected theme or plugin is patched up by its developers.

Boosting Security with Sucuri

Another tool in your arsenal is the Sucuri Security plugin, also free and now a part of GoDaddy. Sucuri beefs up your WordPress security, putting up barriers against various attack methods and scanning for malware.

One of Sucuri’s handiest features is its alert system. It notifies you whenever someone logs into your site, helping you spot potential hacker activity. It also alerts you if a file has been tampered with, a common hacker move.

Control Access with Smart Login Limits

To protecting your WordPress site, limiting the logins to your website is also handy. This way you can block those pesky bots constantly trying to crack your login page. But if you want to zero in on controlling login attempts, there are many options available for that as well.

Stay Updated

Keeping your WordPress themes and plugins updated is crucial. Thankfully, WordPress lets you automate this process. This is especially handy for publishers or businesses who might not log in often to manually update. Turning on auto-updates means your site always has the latest software versions. This is important because outdated plugins are a common way hackers gain access.

Now, there are a few downsides to automatic updates. Sometimes, an updated plugin might not play nice with your other plugins. But generally, if your site doesn’t change much, enabling auto-updates is a smart move.

Watch Out for Unused Plugins

Here’s a heads-up about plugins that have been left in the digital dust by their creators. These abandoned plugins can be ticking time bombs. They might work fine for years, then bam! A vulnerability is discovered, and since no one’s maintaining the plugin, it stays unpatched.

Worse yet, sometimes hackers buy these forgotten plugins and turn them into malware delivery tools. Make sure to regularly check your plugins. Are they being updated? Have they been abandoned? Staying vigilant here is key.

Secure WordPress website from hackers

For many WordPress sites, just following these basic security steps is enough to keep hackers at bay. The free versions of security plugins offer great protection, and the premium versions add even more layers.

When choosing security plugins, be cautious. Ironically, some security plugins have had vulnerabilities themselves. The best and most used way of keeping your WordPress ready for any emergency is to back up all the data and what better platform than from BlogValut? So, try it today!

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