< Simple WordPress security techniques

WordPress is the most popular CMS on the Internet for developers to use, mostly because it’s open source and is maintained regularly. Not to mention that it’s free! However with WordPress’s popularity, there are a few simple security tasks that people could do to keep their WordPress website safe, and I’ll be listing them below.

Demote the default admin account

With WordPress being a big target for hackers, they can easily try and gain access by brute force guessing the password from the default admin account which is named admin via the wp-login.php page on the website. The best method to prevent this is to create another account for yourself and promote it to the administrator level, and demote the admin account down to subscriber level where it cannot do any damage.

Keep WordPress up to date

This one is relatively simple but if you keep your WordPress install up to date, and ideally back up the MySQL database and the website files beforehand. To back up the MySQL database, you will need to log into your web hosting package for the PHPMyAdmin control panel. Fortunately here’s a quick guide from the folks at WordPress.

Akismet is your friend

There is a plugin that gets installed alongside Hello Dolly every time you install a fresh WordPress site, and it is really underrated as it looks at the comments that gets posted on your WordPress website and it will get rid of the comments if it’s judged to be spam.

Akismet is really your friend when it comes to WordPress as it can relieve the strain that unmoderated/unchecked spam comments can deliver to your database. It is worth the little time spent to get an Akismet key from having a WordPress.com account.

Regular backups

It goes without saying, you should be making regular backups to your MySQL database and your WordPress files in case if something goes wrong, and it is a simple job of reverting to the latest backup.

Summing it up

If you keep up with those simple techniques, then you should be relatively safe when it comes to keeping your website safe from malicious users.

For advanced security techniques that you could use, I would really recommend getting Adam Onishi‘s Pro WordPress theme Development book on Amazon as it covers a lot of the security measures that you could utilise on your WordPress website. I was fortunate to win a book at 12 Devs of Winter conference back in January 2014 and I have found the book to be immeasurably useful.

And finally, to coincide with the date. May the Fourth be with you.