How to Make Your WordPress Site More Secure
WordPress is the #2 most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, reaching nearly 30 million downloads in 2019. This software is famous for being extremely user-friendly and for having a thriving community behind it.
Despite the popularity of WordPress, it is arguably one of the least secure content management systems. The WordPress community has been working hard to improve the security of their product, and they have released several major updates in the last year alone.
If you’re using WordPress for your web content, you really need to step up your game when it comes to security. Luckily, there are simple measures you can take to improve the security of your WordPress site. This article will teach you the best ways to secure your WordPress site so that you can rest assured your content is safe and private.
Use A Free Custom Domains With Cloudflare
One of the simplest things you can do to improve the security of your WordPress site is to use a free custom domains with Cloudflare. A custom domain is a domain name you buy for your website that is not already taken by another website. In most cases, you can simply install the WordPress plugin WPDemo and begin using the custom domain you bought.
This is extremely beneficial as it protects your site from scraping and caching, all of which may lead to a major loss of revenue. Using a free custom domain with Cloudflare also makes your site more accessible, as it is always easier for people to remember and visit a site that is easily accessible.
One minor downside to this is that Cloudflare slows down site speed a bit, as their CDN (content delivery network) needs to be physically hosted near to you. Even though Cloudflare’s servers are located in the U.S., sites that are using their services still need to be physically hosted in one of the 28 TLDs (top level domains).
Activate Two-Factor Authentication
Another great way to improve the security of your WordPress site is to activate two-factor authentication (2FA). When you activate 2FA for your WordPress site, you will be asked to provide a secondary password in addition to the ordinary password you use for logging into WordPress. This extra password can only be used in case your user account is compromised, and it adds an extra layer of security to your account.
Users have to type in their ordinary password along with the secondary password they were given when they activated 2FA. This makes it more difficult for someone to gain access to your account without knowing your original password. In most cases, WordPress will send you an SMS (short message service) text message with a verification code when you activate 2FA for your account. You then have to type this verification code into the WordPress 2FA settings page to confirm the activation of 2FA on your account.
The main advantage of this is that, provided you use a strong ordinary password, it impedes guessing attacks that could try to trick you into giving up your password. A strong ordinary password is one that is either very long or random characters combined with numbers and symbols.
Use A Content Security Policy
A good rule of thumb when writing secure web content is to use a content security policy (CSP). A CSP is a security rule governing the loading and execution of resources (such as scripts, style sheets, and images) on a page. When you use a CSP, you are telling the browser that your content is safe to load and execute. This helps to protect you from getting hacked, as a hacker would not be able to execute arbitrary scripts on your site.
A CSP works in conjunction with another security measure on your site called, content security tags (or, CTSs). A CSP simply informs the browser which scripts, style sheets, and images are permitted to be loaded and executed on your site. A Content Security Policy Generator (a tool used to create content security policies for websites) will tell you which scripts, style sheets, and images are permitted to be loaded and executed on your site. You can then implement this security policy by adding the content security tags to your scripts, style sheets, and images.
Adding content security tags to your scripts, style sheets, and images is really easy and only takes a few minutes. Simply visit the Generate tab on the tool you downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. You will then see a summary of the CSP you just generated, along with a code snippet you can copy and paste into your website’s headers (or, H1 and H2 tags).
You can also optionally enter a description of the policy you just created in the Comments section at the bottom of the screen. This description will appear to the right of the code snippet when people visit your website, providing them with more information about the policy.
The advantage of a CSP is that it has several advantages over simply using a content security plugin. First, a CSP informs the browser of the permissions the website or application has. This means that if the browser does not yet have a CSP policy set, it will simply not load or execute any scripts, style sheets, or images from your site. This can lead to significant performance gains.
Second, a CSP gives you complete control over which scripts, style sheets, and images are loaded and executed on your site. A good example of this would be to block all of the images on your site with a content security tag. Doing this gives you full control over how your site looks, as you can use another tool, called a CSS [Cascading Style Sheets] reset, to remove all the styling on your images.
Finally, a CSP can be very helpful in conjunction with a content security plugin. Let’s say you are using WordFence, a free content security plugin for WordPress. One of the advantages of WordFence is that it provides you with a dashboard where you can see all the security threats that are attacking your site, along with details such as the IP (Internet protocol) addresses of these threats. If you have a CSP, you can simply enter the IP addresses of threats (or, censored words) in the CSP and be done with it.
To create CSP policies for your WordPress site, visit this useful resource.
Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Another great way to improve the security of your WordPress site is to use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN is a service that enables web content to be served from any location to any device at any time with minimal effort. This is achieved through the use of content delivery servers, which are located all over the world and act as a mini-Internet in which your content can exist.
The benefit of using a CDN service is that it gives you the ability to serve your web content from any location and enables web crawlers (or, robots, which are software robots that search the Internet for content) to index your content without any restrictions. When robots discover new content, they will automatically notify your website’s visitors that there is new content available for them to view.
The downside to using a CDN service is that your content will be hosted on remote servers far from your location, which can potentially make your website less secure. However, on the other hand, a CDN gives you the ability to quickly add additional servers to your network, should you ever experience outages or performance issues with your current setup.
Protect Your Site From Scraping
Another great way to improve the security of your WordPress site is to protect it from scraping. When someone visits your site looking to scrape content (such as articles, press releases, or data), they will use tools, such as web crawlers, which automatically search the Internet for data. This is extremely beneficial as it makes your content discoverable to web crawlers, which can then lead to more organic traffic to your site.
A prime example of this is Google, which uses web crawlers to help them find the best possible results when people do a search on their website. To protect your site from being scraped, you need to add a special meta tag called, `noindex`, to the head section of your website’s HTML code. When a web crawler discovers this tag, it will know not to index your site and instead will show the user a redirection page.
To add the `noindex` tag to the head section of your website’s HTML code, simply locate the H1 or H2 tag and place the `noindex` meta tag inside. Make sure to add this tag to all of your site’s HTML documents, as this prevents your content from being scraped and ensures that the right message is being sent to search engines such as Google.