How to keep your website design secure

Keeping your WordPress website secure is crucial to protect your data, maintain your online reputation, and ensure the safety of your visitors. WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world, but its popularity also makes it a frequent target for hackers. By following a comprehensive security strategy, you can significantly reduce the risk of your site being compromised. Here’s a how-to guide on keeping your WordPress website design secure:

1. Keep WordPress, Themes, and Plugins Updated

  • Regular Updates: WordPress frequently releases updates that patch security vulnerabilities and bugs. Always keep your WordPress core, themes, and plugins up to date.
  • Automatic Updates: Enable automatic updates for WordPress core and consider enabling them for themes and plugins as well.

2. Choose Secure Hosting

  • Reputable Host: Select a hosting provider known for its strong security measures.
  • Security Features: Look for features like regular backups, firewalls, malware scanning, and SSL certificates.

3. Use Strong Passwords and User Permissions

  • Strong Passwords: Ensure all user accounts, especially administrators, use strong, unique passwords. Consider using a password manager.
  • User Roles: Limit the number of admin accounts. Assign roles and permissions appropriately, giving users only the access they need.

4. Install a Security Plugin

  • Security Plugins: Use a reputable security plugin that covers a broad range of security features, including firewalls, malware scanning, and the ability to limit login attempts.

5. Implement SSL Encryption

  • SSL Certificate: Use an SSL certificate to encrypt data transferred between your website and its visitors, protecting sensitive information like login credentials and personal data.

6. Secure wp-config.php and .htaccess

  • Protect wp-config.php: Move your wp-config.php file to a non-www accessible directory or set file permissions to 400 or 440.
  • Secure .htaccess: Use your .htaccess file to enhance security by preventing directory browsing, protecting system files, and redirecting to secure connections.

7. Disable File Editing

  • Editor Feature: Disable the file editing feature in the WordPress dashboard to prevent attackers from modifying your theme and plugin code. Add define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true); to your wp-config.php file.

8. Backup Regularly

  • Regular Backups: Maintain regular backups of your website’s files and database. Use a solution that allows for easy restoration in case of an attack.

9. Limit Login Attempts

  • Login Attempts: Use a security plugin to limit the number of login attempts from a single IP address, reducing the risk of brute force attacks.

10. Monitor Your Site

  • Security Monitoring: Regularly monitor your website for unusual activity or unauthorised changes. Many security plugins offer monitoring services.

11. Educate Yourself and Your Users

  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest WordPress security news and practices. Educate your users, especially those with administrative access, on security best practices.

12. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

  • 2FA: Implement two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security on user accounts, making it harder for attackers to gain unauthorised access.

By implementing these steps, you can significantly enhance the security of your WordPress website. Remember, security is an ongoing process, not a one-time setup. Regularly review and update your security practices to protect against new threats.