WordPress offers unprecedented possibilities for individual bloggers, and small businesses to create professional-looking and dynamic websites. Its endless library of inexpensive plugins and themes makes building impressive websites a fun and creative DIY project anyone can handle.
But is WordPress secure? If you follow security best practices – yes, it is. While well-established comprehensive solutions like Akismet, Sucuri or Wordfence are widely-known, other not-so-obvious security plugins for WordPress are just as important and effective. Check out these seven plug-ins that will harden your WordPress security without breaking the bank.
Two-step authentication adds an additional layer of security to your login process. MiniOrange is one of the simplest plug-ins that enables two-factor authentication with Google Authenticator. It has options to send verification codes via e-mail and SMS, set up security questions, as well as tweak which roles have two-step authentication.
MiniOrange comes with a slew of nifty features such as two-factor for WooCommerce and Device Identification, which “remembers” your secure device and doesn’t prompt for two-factor authentication for it.
Bots can be very persistent, so Captcha is indispensable to lock them out from wrecking havoc on your WordPress blog.
Google Captcha plug-in is easy to setup and use for login, registration, comments, contact forms, password recovery, and whatnot. It also lets you whitelist IP addresses and user roles and supports WooCommerce and BuddyPress.
REST API enables developers to integrate custom-built programs into their websites. However, it has a serious security flaw malicious actors can exploit to bypass WordPress’ authentication system, even the two-factor authentication.
So, if you are not integrating custom-built applications into your blog, it’s strongly recommended that you disable the feature. Disable REST API lets you do just that!
XML-RPC is another useful WordPress feature that enables remote posting, which happens to be a security concern because hackers can exploit it to access your WordPress back-end.
So, unless you intend to publish posts remotely, disable XML-RPC by installing Disable XML-RPC plug-in. It’s by far one of the simplest ways to disable the feature without mingling with the code.
Assuming you’ve created a really strong password, changed your admin username, and enabled two-step authentication, you’re on the right track to securing your WordPress back-end.
However, your admin area is still not protected against particularly persistent hackers that can just sit there all day trying out different username/password combinations to hack your blog. That’s because WordPress doesn’t limit multiple login attempts.
Solution? WP Limit Login is a simple, yet indispensable plug-in that limits users to a certain number of login attempts before it locks them out for a pre-defined time. It can also lock down a system permanently after a certain number of failed login attempts.
WP Limit Login is a rather comprehensive and easy-to-use solution that lets you customize the number of login attempts, lock-down time, and use of captcha.
Unfortunately, insiders cause at least 53% of all cybersecurity incidents, so protecting your site against its contributors is a necessity.
Force Strong Passwords is a WordPress security plug-in that enforces the use of strong passwords on users with an Editor, Author or Administrator privileges.
Sometimes your contributors just forget to log out, leaving your blog exposed to anyone with access to your user’s computer. Don’t leave it to chance – have your blog logout idle users automatically.
Idle User Logout does just that without causing your writer’s any inconveniences. They won’t lose any data; they’ll just have to log back in.
While making your blog look snazzy is a priority, security can’t be an afterthought, especially for bloggers on a budget. Since recovering after a hack is much more time- and resource-consuming than preventing it, consider hardening your WordPress blog’s security by installing the above plug-ins. I hope you find these recommendations useful. Happy blogging!