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Securing Your WordPress Website: 3 Quick & Effective DIY Security Measures

Securing your WordPress website is crucial to protect it from cyberattacks. A website hack isn’t just frustrating; it can cost your business money, erode your clients’ trust, destroy your reputation, leak sensitive data, and even lead to legal issues. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked every day​ (source: Norton™)​​​. This alarming statistic underscores the importance of securing your website. In this guide, we’ll show you how to implement effective security measures in just 15 minutes to safeguard your digital presence and maintain the trust of your clients.

Step 1: Ensure Your Website Has SSL

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts the data transmitted between your website and its visitors, ensuring privacy and data integrity.

Having an SSL certificate is essential for securing sensitive information and improving your site’s trustworthiness. It’s also a ranking factor for search engines.

How to Check and Install SSL:

  1. Check for SSL: Look at your website’s URL. If it starts with https:// and shows a padlock icon, you have SSL. If not, you need to install it.
  2. Install a Free Let’s Encrypt SSL:
    • Good hosting providers offer a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Check your hosting dashboard for SSL options.
    • If not available, use the Certbot tool to install it manually.
  3. Verify Installation: After installation, ensure your site redirects from http:// to https://.

Step 2: Change the Default ‘Admin’ Username

Using ‘Admin’ as your username is a common vulnerability. It makes it easier for hackers to guess your login credentials through brute force attacks.

How to Change the Admin Username:

  1. Create a New Admin User:
    • Go to your WordPress dashboard > Users > Add New.
    • Create a new user with administrator privileges.
  2. Delete the Old ‘Admin’ Account:
    • Log in with the new admin account.
    • Go to Users > All Users, and delete the old ‘Admin’ account. Assign all content to the new user.

Step 3: Install WordFence Security Plugin

WordFence offers comprehensive security features, including firewall protection, malware scanning, and login security.

How to Install and Set Up WordFence:

  1. Install WordFence:
    • Go to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress dashboard.
    • Search for ‘WordFence’ and click ‘Install Now,’ then ‘Activate.’
  2. Initial Setup:
    • Follow the setup wizard to configure basic settings.
    • Enable the firewall and set up scheduled scans.

By implementing these three steps, you will significantly enhance your website’s security. For additional protection, consider the following measures:

  1. Regular Updates: Keep WordPress, themes, and plugins up-to-date to protect against vulnerabilities.
  2. Use Strong Passwords: Ensure all users have strong, unique passwords. Consider using a password manager.
  3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Adding 2FA provides an extra layer of security, making it harder for unauthorised users to access your site.

Following these quick and effective steps will make your WordPress website much more secure, protecting it from common threats and vulnerabilities.

WordPress security is at the core of what we provide for our clients, if you need help with your website or are looking to switch to a more secure hosting provider, please get in touch!

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By Eliot Webb