Top Strategies for WordPress Website Security in 2023

By Adam

Top Strategies for WordPress Website Security in 2023

Imagine spending countless hours creating an impressive website for your business and then discovering that it has been compromised. What a nightmare, right? The harsh reality is that cybercriminals are targeting WordPress websites at an alarming rate. In this digital age, we must acknowledge that security is a top priority to ensure that our hard work doesn’t go to waste.

So, how do we fortify our WordPress security? Fear not, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the top strategies to shield your site from potential threats, allowing you to focus on growing your business while maintaining a safe online experience for your visitors.

What We’ll Cover

  • Understand the importance of WordPress security and its risks.
  • Implement essential measures such as regular updates, secure passwords, backups & support plans for protection.
  • Maximize WordPress login page protections with 2-factor authentication & restrict the number of failed logins to combat brute force attacks.

Understanding WordPress Security and Its Significance

Man working on a web server or web application

Understanding the significance of WordPress security and the risks linked with an unprotected website is fundamental. Hacked WordPress sites can lead to substantial losses in revenue and reputation, making it essential to protect your site from cyberattacks. Some common WordPress hacking attempts involve stolen passwords, malware injection, and DDoS attacks. Frequent security vulnerabilities associated with WordPress sites include the use of weak passwords, outdated software, and vulnerable plugins.

Implementing security protocols, such as installing a WordPress security plugin, can help secure your website from these threats. In March 2022, SiteLock reported that approximately 4.1 million websites were infected with malware and phishing threats at any given time.

Monitoring user accounts and activity within the WordPress admin area is another essential aspect of maintaining security. By keeping an eye on user actions, you can identify any unauthorized activities and detect potential breaches, such as unauthorized access to the WordPress admin area.

Essential WordPress Security Measures

WordPress Logo on a Security Vault

Now that we’ve established the importance of securing your WordPress website, let’s discuss the essential security protocols that should be in place. These include:

  • Regular updates
  • Secure passwords
  • Regular backups
  • & Support plans

All of these measures play a crucial role in maintaining WordPress security.

The subsequent details will provide practical steps to incorporate these vital measures into your website for protection against possible threats.

Keep Everything Updated

Maintaining an updated WordPress website, inclusive of the WordPress version, plugins and themes, is a pivotal step toward security. Outdated software can leave your site vulnerable to various security vulnerabilities and risks, so it’s crucial to ensure that your site is always running the latest version of WordPress and any associated software.

Backing up your website and verifying that all plugins are compatible with the latest version of WordPress is essential before updating, a WordPress security plugin can help with this. Failing to do so could result in data loss or a malfunctioning website. In case an update is not successful, using a website firewall can help to virtually patch the issue and reduce the associated risks.

Strong Password Enforcement & Password Tools

Top 5 Worst Passwords Graphic

Another essential aspect of WordPress security is the implementation of strong passwords and password management tools. By using unique and random combinations of letters and numbers, you can create robust passwords that are difficult for attackers to crack.

Using a password manager like LastPass and Dashlane can help you generate and store hard to breach passwords, making it easier for you to manage and maintain the security of your user accounts.

Regular Backups: Your Safety Net

Regular backups are necessary to guarantee data recovery during security issues or system failures. The frequency of full-site backups depends on how often your website is updated, ranging from:

  • Hourly backups (this is what we use in our WordPress Support Plan Service)
  • Daily backups
  • Weekly backups
  • Monthly backups

To safeguard your data, you can use reliable WordPress plugins like UpdraftPlus Pro and Duplicator. For optimal security, store your backup files in multiple locations, like Google Drive and Dropbox. This is to ensure if your web hosting company is hacked, you won’t lose access to your backup files.

WordPress Support Plan

Incorporating a WordPress support plan is an effective strategy to uphold website security and functionality. A support plan offered by a WordPress security team typically includes:

  • Monitoring the website
  • Updating WordPress core, WordPress plugins, and WordPress themes
  • Performing human checks after updates
  • Backing up data regularly
  • Providing support and reports on website issues.

By having a support plan in place, you can ensure that your website is:

  • Secure
  • Backed up
  • Operating optimally
  • Providing an ideal user experience
  • Providing peace of mind regarding the security of your website.

Implementing Advanced Security Tactics

Depiction of a WordPress security team

Beyond the basic security protocols mentioned earlier, advanced security tactics can also be used for additional protection of your website. These tactics include hardening files and disabling file editing within the dashboard.

Examining these advanced tactics will reveal how they can enhance the comprehensive security of your WordPress website.

Harden wp-config.php and .htaccess Files

The wp-config.php and .htaccess files play a significant role in your website’s security. By strengthening these files, you can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and maintain the security of your website.

To harden the wp-config.php file, you can relocate it outside of the root folder, making it inaccessible from the internet. For the .htaccess file, updating it with specific rules can help strengthen the site’s security. Be very careful when editing the wp-config.php and .htaccess files as these edits can quickly break your site. The .htaccess file controls a ton about how your hosting company interacts with your website, so keep it safe.

Disable File Editing Within the Dashboard

Another advanced security tactic is disabling file editing within the WordPress dashboard (your WP Admin area). This measure reduces the potential damage of a security breach by preventing unauthorized users from altering vital files, such as theme and plugin files.

To disable file editing in WordPress, you can add a line of code to the wp-config.php file, effectively preventing users from modifying files through the dashboard and enhancing your website’s security.

Maximizing Login Page Protections

WordPress Logo on a laptop screen

A secure login page (often referred to as the WP Admin portal) is essential for protecting your website from unauthorized access. By implementing measures such as limiting login attempts and enabling two-factor authentication, you can significantly enhance the security of your login screen and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

The subsequent details will elaborate on these measures, offering practical steps to enhance your login page security and safeguard your website.

Limit Login Attempts to Combat Brute Force Attacks

One effective way to combat brute force hacks is to limit the number of login tries on your website to keep your site secure. A WordPress plugin like Limit Login Attempts, WP Limit Login Attempts, and Loginizer can help you restrict the number of attempts on your website, reducing the likelihood of a successful brute-force hack.

By reducing the number of login attempts in your WP Admin portal, you can effectively deter hackers from continually trying to guess your admin username and password, enhancing the security of your site and protecting your valuable data.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): An Extra Layer of Security

2FA adds an extra layer of security to your website which needs a unique code along with your password to gain access. This makes it more difficult for unauthorized users to access your website, even if they manage to obtain your login credentials it will help keep your WordPress secure.

To add 2FA to your site, you can use dedicated plugins such as the 2FA plugin or the Two-Factor plugin. Implementing this security measure can significantly improve the protection of your website and provide you with greater peace of mind while keeping your WordPress secure.

Choosing the Right Hosting Provider

Choosing a dependable and secure hosting service provider is another vital factor in guaranteeing your WordPress website’s safety and performance. A quality host can bolster WordPress security through features such as:

  • Web application firewall (WAF)
  • Malware scanner
  • Automatic backups
  • Automatic WordPress updates for your WordPress websites – Be careful with automatic updates as they can cause your site to break if the update is not compatible with your setup.

When choosing a hosting service provider, consider the various hosting environments available for a WordPress installation, such as:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
  • Dedicated server hosting
  • Managed WordPress hosting
  • Cloud or AWS Hosting

Each option has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, so it’s essential to assess your needs and choose the most suitable option for your website.

It’s also important to verify if your provider offers SSLs and HTTPS encryption to secure data transmission between your website and its visitors. This can further enhance your website’s security and provide a safe browsing experience for your users.

Best Options Hosting Companies

Kinsta Hosting Logo & Graphics

Kinsta – Starting Price $30/month

If you want to set up and manage your own hosting account we recommend Kinsta. They’re the best AWS-based hosting service we’ve found for WordPress sites. Our hosting is built around their agency plan as it handles traffic incredibly well and comes with a super-fast CDN. Check out the pricing here.

KISS Hosting – Starting Price $50/month

If you want a hands-off approach to your hosting and you want us to handle it for you, we recommend going with our sister company, KISS Hosting. They offer two options depending on the amount of traffic your site gets. Check out the pricing here.

Empowering Security With Plugins

WordPress Logo in a security vault

The use of WordPress security plugins can substantially boost the protection of your WordPress site. These plugins automate various security-related tasks, such as scanning for infiltration attempts, malicious code, monitoring user activity, and alerting you to potential issues.

The subsequent details will examine some of the most efficient security plugins for WordPress, such as web application firewalls and malware scanning tools. By implementing these plugins, you can further fortify your website against potential threats and maintain a secure online experience for your visitors.

Web Application Firewall (WAF) for Real-Time Protection

A Web Application Firewall is an essential tool for real-time protection against potential threats to your WordPress site. By deploying a WAF, you can safeguard your website from:

  • Malicious attempts
  • Software vulnerabilities
  • SQL injections
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
  • Effectively blocking anything perceived as a risk from connecting to your web server.

There are two types of website firewalls: DNS-level website firewalls and application-level firewalls. Popular WAF services for WordPress, such as Sucuri and WordFence, offer URL lockdown capabilities, helping to protect your login page from unauthorized access and attacks.

Malware Scanning and Removal Tools

Malware scanning and removal tools are essential for identifying and eliminating potential security risks on your WordPress site. By regularly scanning your website for malware, you can detect and remove any threats before they can cause significant damage to your site or compromise the security of your visitors.

There are several reliable malware scanning and removal tools available, such as the WordFence plugin, which offers audit logging, integrity checking, email alerts, malware scanning, audit logs, and failed login attempt tracking. Regularly using these tools can help you maintain a secure and safe WordPress experience for your visitors.

Proactive Monitoring and Incident Response

Active monitoring and incident response are vital for the upkeep of a secure WordPress site. By monitoring your website’s activity and preparing for potential security threats, you can ensure that your site remains protected and functional at all times.

The subsequent details will talk about the significance of user activity logging and the preparation for security threats. By implementing these strategies, you can stay one step ahead of potential threats and maintain a secure online environment for your visitors.

User Activity Logging

Monitoring user activity on your WordPress site is essential for identifying suspicious actions and maintaining security. By logging user activity, you can detect potential malicious activities and ensure that your system remains secure at all times.

There are several plugins available for logging user activity in WordPress, allowing you to stay informed about any changes made on your site and take appropriate action if necessary. By implementing user activity logging, you can maintain a high level of security and protection on your website.

Preparing for Security Breaches

Developing an incident response plan is an essential aspect of handling security threats and breaches effectively. A successful incident response plan includes the following steps:

  • Preparation
  • Detection and Analysis
  • Containment
  • Eradication
  • Recovery
  • Communication and Reporting
  • Documentation

By having a response and recovery plan in place, you can mitigate the risks of cyberattacks and prevent potential future attacks on your WordPress site. Additionally, conducting regular security audits can help you identify and address any vulnerabilities in your website, ensuring that your site remains protected and secure at all times.

Securing Data Transmission

HTTPS security lock on. browser

Securing data transmission between your website and visitors is another critical aspect of maintaining a safe online experience. Implementing SSL and HTTPS encryption can help protect sensitive information such as login credentials and personal data from being intercepted by unauthorized parties.

To secure data transmission on your WordPress site, ensure that your hosting service provider offers SSL certificates and that your site is configured to use HTTPS. By securing data transmission, you can provide a safe browsing experience for your WordPress users and protect their information from potential security breaches.

Optimizing WordPress Database Security

Optimizing your WordPress database security is essential for preventing unauthorized access and data breaches. By implementing measures such as changing the default database prefix and restricting database access, you can significantly enhance the security of your WordPress site.

In the following subsections, we will discuss how to change the database prefix and restrict database access in more detail, providing you with practical steps to optimize your database security and protect your website from potential threats.

Changing Database Prefix

By default, WordPress sets your database prefix to wp_. Changing the default prefix can help reduce the risk of SQL injection attacks by making it more difficult for attackers to guess the table names and structure of your database.

To change the default database prefix in WordPress, you can either manually edit the wp-config.php file or use a WordPress plugin like Brozzme or WP Staging, which provides an option to alter the prefix. Implementing this change can greatly enhance your website’s security and protect your website and valuable data from potential threats.

Restricting Database Access

Restricting access to your WordPress database is another crucial aspect of maintaining a secure website. By limiting access to authorized users and IP addresses, you can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and maintain the security of your site.

To restrict database access, you can implement the following measures:

  • Implement user roles and permissions
  • Use separate MySQL users
  • Keep WordPress version, plugins and themes up to date
  • Remove unused WordPress plugins and themes
  • Regularly back up the database
  • Limit access to the WordPress Login Page URL
  • Restrict login access to specific IP addresses

Implementing these measures can help you maintain the security and integrity of your website’s data.

Customizing WordPress Settings for Enhanced Security

Customizing your WordPress settings can further enhance your website’s security and minimize vulnerabilities. By implementing measures such as limiting the number of times a user can attempt a login, changing the default login URL, and regularly updating passwords, you can significantly improve the security of your site.

For a more secure experience, consider monitoring the implementation of essential security protocols using a Security Checklist. This can help you stay vigilant and ensure that your WordPress site security remains protected from potential threats at all times.

Additional WordPress Security Tips

In addition to the measures discussed earlier, there are several other tips you can follow to ensure a secure user experience. Monitoring user activity, conducting regular security audits, and implementing security best practices can all contribute to a safer and more secure online environment for your visitors.

By staying informed about potential security threats and keeping your website up to date with the latest security protocols, you can provide a safe and enjoyable experience for your visitors while safeguarding your valuable data and online presence.


To sum up, securing your WordPress website involves a combination of essential and advanced security measures, security plugins, and the right hosting provider. Regularly updating your software, using strong passwords, backing up your site, and monitoring user activity are crucial aspects of maintaining website security.

By implementing these strategies and customizing your WordPress settings, you can effectively protect your site from potential threats and ensure a safe online experience for your visitors. Stay vigilant, keep your site updated, and continue to learn about new security measures to maintain a secure WordPress site.

WordPress Security FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are WordPress websites secure?

Yes, WordPress is secure and can be further protected by following certain best practices. Its security measures are comparable to other platforms, making it a viable option for WordPress website owners who want protection.

How do I make my website secure on WordPress?

To make your WordPress website secure, ensure that you keep your themes and plugins up to date, use strong and unique passwords, restrict the number of attempted logins, use a security plugin like WordFence, enable two-factor authentication, use an SSL certificate, and regularly back up your site.

Does WordPress have built-in security?

WordPress offers some built-in security features, but it’s essential to add additional measures, such as strong passwords and updating regularly, for enhanced protection. also encrypts all sites, including custom domains hosted on, with no option to disable encryption to ensure your site’s security. We recommend getting a premium security plugin regardless of your setup. The best WordPress security plugins we’ve used are WordFence and Securi, they happen to be the two leaders in this space as well.

What are some common WordPress hacking attempts?

Common WordPress hacking attempts include stolen passwords, malware injection, and DDoS attacks. Hackers gain access to your WordPress core software and do all sorts of nonsense. Typically, this is through a form or injecting a PHP file into your web server.

How can I restrict login attempts on my WordPress site?

You can restrict login attempts on your WordPress site by using plugins such as Limit Login Attempts, WP Limit Login Attempts, and Loginizer. You can also use a plugin like WordFence to limit this as well.

About the author

I'm nobody's taxi service but I take pride in driving the bus! Upbeat, energetic serial entrepreneur on the quest to serve and help people. I enjoy long walks on short beaches and adventurous, adrenaline-pumping activities. I'm a normal bloke doing abnormal bloke things!
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