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Prevent WordPress Hacking: Top Security Measures Explained

Maintaining the security and reliability of your website necessitates taking steps to deter WordPress hacking. As a business owner, eCommerce expert, advertiser, business visionary or organizer, it is basic to stay up with the latest on approaches to guarantee that your site remains secure from noxious hackers. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to protect your WordPress site from malicious hackers by selecting a secure hosting provider and automating updates.

How WordPress websites get hacked

WordPress is a highly popular content management system (CMS) that unfortunately attracts the attention of hackers. Hackers often take advantage of security vulnerabilities, making automated attacks across the internet in search of weaknesses to exploit. Although larger brands may be specifically targeted, most hacking attempts are opportunistic rather than deliberate.

Attacks are often made via:

  • Website hosting that is not secure.
  • One way to gain access to an account is by trying various combinations of usernames and passwords until the correct one is found.
  • One of the common causes of security vulnerabilities in CMS, plugin or theme software is when they are not updated regularly.

Hackers have a multitude of reasons for their actions, but often it boils down to financial gain. By hacking websites and using them to distribute malware, steal user data, send spam emails or redirect visitors to other sites, they can make a significant amount of money. These security breaches can have severe consequences for your website and business – eroding trust among users, leading to legal violations and potentially costing you thousands of pounds. Therefore, safeguarding your WordPress site against hacking is crucial.

The importance of reducing the risk of being hacked

With the rise of website hacks, it is crucial to prioritize the health and security of your website. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a surge in online threats, which are now six times more prevalent than usual. To prevent such attacks, it is important to regularly update your CMS and plugins and ensure that everything is functioning properly. Shockingly, 56% of all CMS applications were out-of-date at the time they were hacked in 2019. This could have been easily avoided if these systems had been kept up-to-date with regular maintenance.

Is your WordPress site vulnerable to hacking?

Many people who are new to WordPress and own small websites tend to believe that their sites don’t need security measures. They assume that hackers won’t be interested in targeting their insignificant sites. However, this assumption is false as WordPress sites of all sizes can fall prey to hacking attempts. Hackers use automated bots to scan the internet for vulnerable websites and will exploit any opportunity they find. Moreover, it’s possible that you may not even realize when a hacker is attempting to break into your site until they succeed and cause damage or disruption on your website. Therefore, it’s crucial to take preventative measures against hacking by installing a reliable security plugin and implementing other security protocols. In summary, no website is immune from being hacked; hence prevention is always better than cure when it comes to securing your site from potential threats.

How to beat the WordPress hackers

To ensure the security of your WordPress website and prevent it from being hacked, we have compiled a list of top 10 measures that you can take. By following these guidelines, you can enhance the safety of your site and avoid any potential breaches. Although some of these steps may appear basic and straightforward, it is crucial to implement them as hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities in websites. So, let’s dive into our tips on how to tighten up your WordPress security and keep your site protected.

Choose a Secure Hosting Provider

To ensure your WordPress site is protected from hackers, begin by finding a secure hosting provider with robust security measures. Look for providers with strong security measures, including firewalls, malware scanning, and regular backups. In this part, we’ll examine the components to watch out for when picking a dependable hosting provider and how SSL certificates can be critical.

Features to Look for in a Secure Hosting Provider

A reliable hosting provider should offer robust security features that help safeguard your website against potential threats. Here are some essential elements you should consider when choosing a host:

  • Firewall protection: A web application firewall (WAF) helps block malicious traffic before it reaches your site.
  • Malware scanning: Regular scans detect any suspicious files or code on your server that could compromise its security.
  • Intrusion detection system (IDS): An IDS monitors network traffic and alerts you if any unusual activities are detected.
  • Data encryption: Ensure that data stored on the server is encrypted to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access.
  • Dedicated customer support: Choose a host with responsive customer service that can quickly address any security concerns or issues as they arise.

Install Security Plugins

Enhance your website’s protection by installing reliable security plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri. These tools help detect threats and block malicious activities on your site. By integrating these powerful solutions, you can significantly reduce the risk of hacking attempts and ensure a secure environment for both you and your visitors.

Popular Security Plugins Available

  • Wordfence: A comprehensive security plugin that offers malware scanning, firewall protection, login security features, and more.
  • Sucuri: A popular choice for its robust website firewall (WAF) service that blocks malicious traffic before it reaches your site. It also includes malware removal services in its premium plans.
  • iThemes Security Pro: A feature-rich plugin offering two-factor authentication (2FA), password expiration settings, file change detection, database backups, and other essential security measures to protect against hacks.

How These Plugins Protect Against Hacks

Security plugins seek out vulnerabilities in a website’s code or configuration that can be exploited by hackers, and work to prevent attacks through measures such as regular scans. They work proactively to prevent attacks by implementing various protective measures such as:

  • Frequent scans: Regularly scan files on your server for signs of suspicious activity or known malware signatures;
  • Login monitoring: Track failed login attempts and block IP addresses that repeatedly try to access your site;
  • Firewall protection: Implement a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to filter out malicious traffic and prevent unauthorized access;
  • File integrity monitoring: Detect any changes made to core WordPress files, themes, or plugins that could indicate a security breach.

Keep Your WordPress Site Up-to-date

Regularly updating your WordPress core files, themes, and plugins is crucial to prevent hacking attempts. Staying current with software is essential to thwarting cyber-attacks, as outdated programs may have weaknesses that malicious actors can exploit. In this section, we will discuss the importance of timely updates and how you can automate them for convenience.

The Importance of Timely Updates

Keeping your WordPress site up-to-date is essential in maintaining a secure environment for your website. Each update not only brings new features but also addresses security issues discovered in previous versions. By neglecting these updates, you leave your site exposed to potential attacks from hackers who are constantly looking for ways to exploit outdated software.

  • Core Updates: The main WordPress software should always be updated as soon as possible when a new version becomes available.
  • Theme Updates: Themes control the appearance of your website and may contain code that could become vulnerable if left unpatched.
  • Plugin Updates: Plugins add functionality to your site but can also introduce security risks if they’re not regularly updated.

In addition to enhancing security measures, regular updates ensure optimal performance and compatibility with other components on your website like themes or plugins.

Choose a secure theme

Selecting the appropriate theme for your website is of utmost importance. It should not only have a visually appealing appearance and necessary features that suit your organization, but it must also be strong and secure. A secure theme ensures that: – It is frequently updated and patched. – Adheres to high coding standards. – Has no association with bugs or compatibility issues. Since there are over 7,000 WordPress themes available, finding the right one can be challenging!

The best way to choose a secure theme is by looking at WordPress.org. If you’re looking for a secure WordPress theme, it’s important to do your research. One good place to start is the official WordPress Theme Directory, where you can read reviews of different themes and see how many people have installed them. You can also check when each theme was last updated, which is another good indicator of security. Another option is to ask your WordPress agency for recommendations on secure themes that would be a good fit for your website and organization. They may even be able to provide support with designing and developing a custom theme that meets all of your specific needs.

Use Strong Login Credentials

Strengthening the login process is a crucial step in protecting your WordPress site from hackers. Create an unpredictable combination of characters, numbers and symbols for your username and password to greatly reduce the chance of unauthorised access to your website’s admin dashboard. In this section, we will discuss tips for creating strong passwords and how password managers can provide an added layer of security.

Tips for Creating Strong Passwords

  • Length: Aim for at least 12 characters long as longer passwords are more difficult to crack.
  • Mix of Characters: Use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to make it harder for hackers to guess your password through brute force attacks.
  • Avoid Common Words: Refrain from using easily guessable words or phrases such as “password” or “123456”. Instead, opt for random combinations that do not follow any patterns.
  • No Personal Information: Do not include personal information like names or birthdates in your password since these details can be easily found online by cybercriminals.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Adding an extra layer of protection with two-factor authentication (2FA) during login attempts can help guarantee that only authorized individuals access the admin dashboard. By requiring users to provide additional verification beyond their password, you can ensure that only authorized individuals gain access to the admin dashboard.

Setting up 2FA on your WordPress site

To set up 2FA for your website, consider using a reliable security plugin like Wordfence. Follow these steps:

  • Activate the Wordfence plugin if you haven’t already, by accessing its settings in your WordPress admin area.
  • Navigate to the Wordfence settings within your WordPress dashboard.
  • Select “Login Security” from the menu options.
  • In this section, enable two-factor authentication by checking the box next to “Enable 2FA.”
  • Follow any additional prompts or instructions provided by Wordfence to complete setup and configuration for all user roles as necessary.

If you prefer not using Wordfence, other popular alternatives include plugins such as Two Factor, miniOrange OTP Verification, and Authy for WordPress.

Disable PHP File Execution 

Preventing WordPress hack attempts is crucial to keep your site secure. One way to do this is by disabling PHP file execution within specific folders, such as /wp-content/uploads/. This helps safeguard sensitive data from potential breaches caused by hackers exploiting vulnerable code. In this section, we will discuss the steps to disable PHP file execution and how it contributes to your website’s security.

Steps to Disable PHP File Execution

  • Create a new text file on your computer and name it .htaccess.
  • Add the following lines of code into the newly created .htaccess file:
  • <Files *.php>
    deny from all
  • Save the alterations made to the .htaccess document.
  • Using an FTP client or your hosting provider’s control panel, access your WordPress site’s root directory.
  • Navigate to the folder where you want to disable PHP execution (e.g., /wp-content/uploads/).
  • Upload the modified .htaccess file into that folder.

 Scan Your Website & Computer 

Schedule routine scans of your website and computer to detect malware, viruses, or suspicious code. Tools like Wordfence and Sucuri can help identify potential threats before they cause damage. Regular scanning not only keeps your site secure but also ensures a safe browsing experience for your visitors.

Recommended Scanning Tools

  • Wordfence: A comprehensive security plugin that offers real-time monitoring, firewall protection, and malware scanning for WordPress sites.
  • Sucuri: A popular website security platform that provides continuous monitoring, malware removal services, and DDoS protection.
  • iThemes Security Pro: An all-in-one security solution offering file change detection, brute force attack prevention, two-factor authentication support among other feature
  • Use HTTPS
    Encrypting communications between your website and users’ browsers is an essential step in preventing hacking. This can be achieved by having an HTTPS site, which ensures that all data transmitted is encrypted. If you don’t already have an HTTPS site, it’s a straightforward process to transfer. You need to obtain an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt, which is available for free on all websites. For those who already have an SSL certificate, it’s important to remember to renew it every two years. Failure to do so could result in the loss of your site’s HTTPS status and potentially compromise its security credentials. Setting a calendar reminder can help ensure this doesn’t happen.e.

Monitor Your Website’s Activity Logs

Keeping track of all activities happening on your website is essential for maintaining a secure WordPress site. By monitoring activity logs, you can detect unusual patterns early and prevent potential security breaches. In this section, we will discuss how activity logs enhance security measures and explore some top activity log monitoring plugins.

Top Activity Log Monitoring Plugins

To effectively monitor the activity logs on your WordPress site, consider using one of these popular plugins:

  1. WP Security Audit Log: A comprehensive solution that tracks over 400 different events across various areas such as posts, pages, custom post types, tags/categories/taxonomies management, and more. It also offers email notifications, reports, and integrations with popular third-party services.
  2. Activity Log: A simple yet powerful plugin that provides real-time monitoring of user actions on your site. It allows you to filter events by date range, user role, or specific action for easy analysis.
  3. Simple History: This plugin offers a clean and easy-to-read log of recent changes made on your website. You can observe the history through the WordPress dashboard or be notified via email/RSS.

FAQs in Relation to Prevent WordPress Hacking

WordPress, like any other CMS, can be vulnerable to hacking if not properly secured. However, by following best practices such as regular updates, strong login credentials, and using security plugins, you can significantly reduce the risk of your site being hacked.

One crucial best practice for securing your WordPress site is keeping it up-to-date. Regularly update the core software, themes, and plugins to ensure that potential vulnerabilities are patched. Additionally, use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for added protection.

It’s difficult to provide an exact percentage of hacked WordPress sites due to varying factors. However, Wordfence reported in 2018 that over 90% of all infected websites were running on WordPress; this highlights the importance of implementing proper security measures.

  • Select a secure hosting provider with SSL certificates support
  • Maintain updated versions of core software, themes, and plugins
  • Install reputable security plugins
  • Create strong login credentials and use password managers
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • Limited user access based on roles and responsibilities


Preventing WordPress hacking requires a combination of proactive measures, such as choosing a secure hosting provider, keeping your site up-to-date, installing security plugins, using strong login credentials, and enabling two-factor authentication. Additionally, disabling PHP file execution in sensitive folders, regularly scanning for malware, and making regular site backups can also help protect against potential hacks. Limiting user access and roles while monitoring website activity logs are other essential steps to enhance security measures.

At Amadeus Consulting, we specialize in creating custom websites that prioritize the highest level of security features available. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prevent WordPress hacking on your website.

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