If you run and manage a business website you can relate how important its security is and the value it holds for your business, as it not only safeguards the brand value but also protects important business data. The significance of ensuring robust website security cant be understated as its directly related to a business’s integrity and its valuable information.

Hackers focus their attacks on vulnerable WordPress sites, rather than targeting all of them. By fortifying your WordPress site with proper security measures, you significantly reduce the chances of a hacker finding any potential security loopholes that could grant unauthorized access to your server and compromise your WordPress site.


As Sydney’s expert WordPress Developers, We have crafted our art over the years and adopted industry best practices to implement top-notch security measures for all our WordPress websites. To achieve this, we adhere to a strict set of precautionary measures that prioritize solid security right from the development stage.


Follow our recommendation of 10 WordPress security checklist to keep your WordPress website and its data secure :


1) Keep your WordPress core & Plugins updated

The primary task as a owner of any WordPress website is to ensure everything remains up-to-date. That includes the WordPress core, all the plugins used on the website, PHP version and various 3rd party installations. Try and minimize the number of plugins used and install only the themes you actually need.

Simply put, updated versions are just faster, robust and better. Regular updates often include significant security enhancements. It is crucial to stay current with the latest updates to prevent any potential vulnerabilities and protect your website.


2) Choose the right host 

Where your website is hosted is as important as how the website is coded and built and hence is significant important to carefully select a reliable web hosting service. With a good web hosting provider, you can rest assured and have peace of mind. On the other hand, opting for an unreliable one could be a source of constant misery and can put your WordPress website at risk.

In brief, for a hosting provider to qualify as a good one, it should offers the following features:

  1. Firewall protection
  2. DDos mitigations (protection against distributed denial-of-service attacks)
  3. Free SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for enhanced security
  4. Utilization of the latest PHP and MySQL versions for optimal performance
  5. Regular backups to safeguard your data
  6. Easy restore options for seamless recovery in case of issues.

3) Use SSL on your WordPress website

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol that encrypts data during transfer between your website and the web server where your website is hosted. This encryption significantly enhances security, making it impossible for anyone to eavesdrop on the data transfer and steal sensitive information. When SSL is enabled, your website switches from using HTTP to HTTPS, and a green padlock icon appears next to your website address in the browser.

SSL certificates came at a cost of anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars a year and as a result many website owners choose to keep their website insecure with HTTP but now  Let’s Encrypt, a non-profit organization, has started to issue free SSL certificates to website owners  and this initiative has made it incredibly easy for website owners to implement SSL on their WordPress websites. Nowadays, numerous hosting companies provide free SSL certificates for WordPress websites as well.


4) Use strong username and password combo

A recent study showed that a significant percentage of WordPress website hacks happen because of the use of easily guessable passwords and username combinations. You definitely don’t want your website to be included in the list, choose a strong username and make sure the password you select is a combination of uppercase, lowercase words along with numbers and symbols and absolutely avoid the use of generic terms like admin, password, abc, 123 etc.


5) Backup regularly

Imagine a scenario where you wakeup one day to find your website gone, it could be a result of data breaches, server failures, or malware attacks can wreak havoc on your website. But what would you do when you are looking at the possibility of your entire website and its data set gone. Backing up your WordPress website is of utmost importance to safeguard your hard work and to ensure business continuity. Having reliable and up-to-date backups serves as a safety net, allowing you to quickly restore your website to its previous state and minimize any potential losses.

Performing regular backups is essential to maintain an up-to-date copy of your website’s data. Depending on the frequency of updates and changes, it is recommended to perform backups at least once a month. This ensures that in the event of any issues, you have recent data to fall back on, reducing the risk of losing valuable content and customer information.

Multiple hosting companies offer robust backup plan included in their shared and virtual hosting plans: 

  1. Bluehost : Renowned for its user-friendly interface, Bluehost offers automated daily backups and easy restore options for hassle-free data recovery.

  2. SiteGround: With a focus on security, SiteGround includes free daily backups, and their backup system allows you to restore specific files or databases with ease.

  3. HostGator: Known for its scalable hosting services, HostGator offers automatic weekly backups for most plans, along with straightforward restoration procedures.

  4. WP Engine: As a managed WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine takes care of backups for you, offering daily automatic backups and one-click restore options.

6) Use 2FA (two factor authentication) for login

2FA or two factor authentication could be an extremely useful way to secure your website which requires login authentication through an additional channel like an authenticator code, a text or email OTP apart from your primary login credentials. If you prioritize the security of your website, incorporating 2-factor authentication to access your WordPress admin area is imperative. This robust security measure effectively manages and controls unauthorized access, providing an added layer of protection for your website against all unwanted login attempts, this also quickly informs you on such activity so that you could be are aware.


7) Manage user roles

WordPress allows multiple user roles with varying degree of features, understand and implement them properly. Admin users have complete access to the backend and can edit anything from a page or post to the theme files, so as a rule of thumb you want as few admin users as possible for your WordPress website. You can have subscribers and contributors with limited permissions on the backend allowing them still access to things that they need to contribute to the website’s content without playing around with the parts that maintain your website.


8) Block direct theme edits


Theme files are important and once your website is done being built, they rarely need to be accessed or modified, hence disable the default WordPress configuration that enables theme file edits from admin users. To address this vulnerability, you can achieve this and enhance security by making specific modifications to your website’s configuration.

First add this line to your wp-config.php file

define(‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true);

further improve the security of your wp-config.php and wp-includes folder by using this code in your .htaccess

<files wp-config.php>
order allow,deny
deny from all
# Block the include-only files.
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^wp-admin/includes/ - [F,L]
RewriteRule !^wp-includes/ - [S=3]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/[^/]+.php$ - [F,L]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/js/tinymce/langs/.+.php - [F,L]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/theme-compat/ - [F,L]

9) Disable XML-RPC

XML-RPC serves as an integral WordPress API, enabling users to connect their WordPress websites with external applications, tools, and services. However, in the past, malicious actors have identified vulnerabilities in XML-RPC, leading to potential exploitation and unauthorized access to WordPress websites. 

Most business WordPress website don’t use this feature and hence isn’t required to be activated by default, simply put switching it off would serve you better!


10) Avoid free plugins

The freedom WordPress plugins give is in building a website is immense, a variety of custom coded features at our disposal without having to take the time and effort to get it built through plugins for free or small fee at times.The WordPress repository offers a variety of excellent free plugins that can be utilized to add new functionalities. However, it is important you understand that these are 3rd party softwares you are installing in your website allowing them access to bits of your code that you might not know.

In our case we exercise extreme caution when selecting plugins, relying on our years of experience building custom WordPress websites to manage a well-curated plugin suite. Whether you opt for free or premium plugins, We recommend the following approach:

  1. Thoroughly read user reviews to gauge the plugin’s reliability and performance.
  2. Assess how responsive and helpful the support team is by checking their response to queries.
  3. Always test the plugin in a controlled environment before installing it on your live website.
  4. Invest in quality plugins, even if they come with a cost, as it supports the plugin developer in maintaining and improving the plugin’s functionality over time.