The Ultimate Guide to Securing Your WordPress Website: 13 Key Steps

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Written By Stephen


As a website owner, you’ve invested time, effort, and resources into building a successful online platform. However, without proper security measures in place, your hard work could be at risk. From data breaches to malware infections, the consequences of a compromised website can be severe, ranging from damaged reputation to financial losses.

The good news is that protecting your WordPress website doesn’t have to be a difficult task. By following a few essential steps and implementing recommended practices, you can significantly enhance your website’s security posture and reduce the risk of unauthorized access or cyber-attacks.

In the upcoming sections, we’ll guide you through the process, covering everything from keeping your themes and plugins updated to implementing advanced security measures. We’ll also provide you with plugin recommendations and practical tips to streamline the process.

So, let’s dive in and explore the key steps to secure and protect your WordPress website.

Use Updated Themes and Plugins

Themes and plugins play a crucial role in adding functionality and design elements to your website, but they can also become potential entry points for attackers if not properly maintained.

When developers release updates for themes and plugins, they often include bug fixes, security patches, and enhancements. These updates address vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access to your website or compromise its integrity.

To stay ahead of potential security risks, make it a habit to regularly check for updates in your WordPress dashboard. It’s also important to delete any inactive themes or plugins that are no longer in use, as they can still pose security risks if left unattended.

By keeping your themes and plugins updated and removing inactive ones, you significantly reduce the chances of falling victim to known security vulnerabilities. This simple yet effective step goes a long way in fortifying your WordPress website’s defenses against potential threats.

Install the Latest WordPress Version

When it comes to securing your WordPress website, staying up to date with the latest version of WordPress is vital. The WordPress development team continuously works on improving the platform’s security and addressing any identified vulnerabilities. By promptly installing updates, you can ensure that your website remains resilient against potential attacks.

Keeping your WordPress version up to date not only improves security but also ensures that you have access to the latest features and improvements offered by the WordPress community. It’s a simple yet essential step in safeguarding your website from potential vulnerabilities.

Reliable WordPress Hosting

Choosing a reliable WordPress hosting provider is a critical decision that directly impacts the security and performance of your website. A reputable hosting provider ensures that your website remains available, loads quickly, and, most importantly, offers robust security measures to protect your valuable data.

At Cloudbase, we understand the importance of reliable hosting for WordPress websites. Our WordPress web hosting plans are designed to provide fast, powerful, and secure hosting solutions tailored specifically for WordPress users.

By hosting your website with Cloudbase, you gain access to a range of benefits that contribute to the security of your WordPress site. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key features:

  1. Malware Security and Firewall Protection: Cloudbase’s WordPress web hosting plans include advanced security measures powered by Imunify360. This comprehensive security solution proactively detects and defends against common cyber threats, such as malware infections, brute-force attacks, and malicious activities.
  2. Premium Plugins Included: Our hosting plans come bundled with premium plugins such as Elementor Pro, Astra Pro, and LiteSpeed Cache. These plugins, available to you for free, offer powerful tools for building professional, elegant, and superfast websites. With Cloudbase, you can save on purchasing these plugins separately while enjoying their premium features.
  3. Enhanced Performance: Cloudbase utilizes cutting-edge technologies, including LiteSpeed web servers and high-speed NVME storage, to ensure lightning-fast website loading times. A faster website not only improves user experience but also contributes to better search engine rankings.

By choosing Cloudbase’s WordPress web hosting plan, you’re making a proactive decision to strengthen your website’s security. With features such as malware security and premium plugins, Cloudbase ensures that your WordPress website remains protected and optimized for success.

Setup a Web Application Firewall

A web application firewall (WAF) is a vital tool in safeguarding your WordPress website against various online threats. It acts as a protective shield, analyzing incoming traffic, and filtering out malicious requests or suspicious activities. By setting up a web application firewall, you add an extra layer of security to your WordPress site, enhancing its overall resilience.

There are several reliable WordPress plugins available that can help you implement a robust web application firewall. One such plugin is Wordfence Security. This plugin provides a comprehensive suite of security features, including a powerful WAF. It actively monitors and blocks malicious traffic, effectively preventing unauthorized access, brute-force attacks, and other common types of attacks.

In addition to the WAF, Wordfence also offers additional security features such as malware scanning, real-time threat intelligence, and login security measures. These features, combined with the web application firewall, provide a comprehensive security solution for your WordPress website.

Install an SSL Certificate

Securing the transmission of data between your website and its visitors is paramount to maintaining a trustworthy online presence. That’s where an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate comes into play. Installing an SSL certificate on your WordPress website establishes an encrypted connection, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential and protected from unauthorized access.

The benefits of using an SSL certificate extend beyond data security. Having HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) in the website URL also instills confidence in your visitors, assuring them that their interactions with your site are safe and secure.

To obtain an SSL certificate, you can either purchase one from a trusted certificate authority or use a free option like Let’s Encrypt. Many hosting providers, including Cloudbase, offer free SSL certificates in their hosting plans, making it easy to enable SSL for your website.

Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

In terms of account security, strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) are like a dynamic duo, working hand in hand to provide an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access. Implementing these measures is crucial in preventing unauthorized individuals from gaining control of your WordPress website.

Using strong, unique passwords is a fundamental aspect of securing your website. A strong password typically consists of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like your name, birthdate, or common words.

Additionally, consider implementing a plugin like Password Policy Manager to enforce strong password requirements for all user accounts on your WordPress site. This plugin can help ensure that both administrators and users adhere to password best practices.

Besides having a strong password, two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide a second form of verification, usually in the form of a unique code or biometric authentication. Even if someone manages to obtain your password, they would still need the secondary authentication method to gain access to your account.

The Two-Factor plugin for WordPress is a popular choice for implementing 2FA. It supports a variety of authentication methods, including time-based one-time passwords (TOTP), email-based codes, and more. By enabling 2FA, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access, even if your password is compromised.

Limit Login Attempts and Auto Logout Inactive Users

Protecting your WordPress website from brute-force attacks and unauthorized access involves implementing measures to limit login attempts and automatically log out inactive users. These proactive steps add an extra level of security to your website’s login system and help safeguard against malicious login attempts.

By default, WordPress allows unlimited login attempts, leaving your website vulnerable to brute-force attacks where attackers try various combinations of usernames and passwords until they find a match. To counter this, you can use a plugin like Login Lockdown or WPS Limit Login to restrict the number of login attempts from a specific IP address within a defined timeframe.

Another important security measure is to automatically log out inactive users to minimize the risk of unauthorized access in case a user forgets to log out or leaves their session unattended. By setting an idle timeout period, you can ensure that users are automatically logged out after a specified period of inactivity.

The Inactive Logout plugin is a useful tool for implementing automatic logout functionality. It allows you to define the idle timeout duration and customize the logout behavior, such as redirecting users to a specific page upon logout.

Regularly Perform Website Backups

Regularly backing up your WordPress website is a crucial aspect of website security and disaster recovery. Website backups serve as a safety net, allowing you to restore your site to a previous functional state in case of data loss, hacking attempts, or any other unforeseen incidents.

There are several backup plugins available for WordPress that can simplify the backup process. One popular choice is UpdraftPlus, a comprehensive backup plugin that offers scheduled backups, easy restoration options, and the ability to store backups in remote locations like cloud storage services.

Don’t forget to test the integrity of your backups by performing test restores on a separate environment. This ensures that your backup files are complete and functional. It’s better to discover any issues with your backups in a controlled testing environment rather than when you’re in urgent need to restore a backup.

Additional Security Measures

In addition to the previously discussed steps, there are several additional security measures you can take to further secure your WordPress website. Let’s explore these measures:

Turn off File Editing

By default, WordPress allows administrators to edit theme and plugin files directly from the dashboard. However, this can be a potential security risk. To prevent unauthorized modifications to your website’s code, disable file editing by adding the following line of code to your website’s wp-config.php file:

Disable PHP File Execution

Prevent the execution of PHP files in directories where they shouldn’t be necessary. By disabling PHP execution in directories where it’s not needed (such as the uploads folder), you reduce the risk of malicious scripts being executed in those locations. This can be achieved by adding the following lines to your website’s .htaccess file:

Secure Your Database

Change the default database prefix from “wp_” to a unique and less predictable prefix. This helps prevent attackers from targeting your database tables and exploiting potential vulnerabilities. You can modify the database prefix during the WordPress installation process or by using plugins like iThemes Security.

Disable Directory Browsing

Prevent unauthorized access to your website’s directory structure by disabling directory browsing. This ensures that visitors cannot see the contents of your directories and gain insights into your website’s file organization. To disable directory browsing, add the following line to your website’s .htaccess file:

Disable the XML-RPC Protocol

The XML-RPC protocol in WordPress allows remote access to certain functionalities, but it can also be exploited by attackers. Disable XML-RPC if you’re not using it to prevent potential security vulnerabilities. You can disable it by adding the following line to your website’s .htaccess file:

By implementing these additional security measures, you significantly enhance the overall security posture of your WordPress website. Each measure adds an extra layer of protection, making it more challenging for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities and compromise your site.


Securing your WordPress website is a continuous effort that requires attention to detail and proactive measures. By implementing the steps outlined in this blog post, you can minimize the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, and other security incidents, allowing you to focus on growing your website.

In addition to these steps, we would strongly recommend you choose a web hosting provider that offers a secure hosting environment for your websites. At Cloudbase, all our plans include malware security and firewall protection powered by Imunify360, ensuring your website is protected against common security threats. Furthermore, you not only enjoy fast, powerful, and secure hosting, but you also gain access to premium plugins such as Elementor Pro, Astra Pro, and LiteSpeed Cache—all provided for free, allowing you to build professional and high-performance websites.

Don’t compromise on your website’s security. Sign-up for Cloudbase’s WordPress web hosting plans today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a robust and secure hosting environment. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to helping you build a secure and successful WordPress website!

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