WordPress websites are widely used because of a large amount of free features and therefore are at a higher risk of getting hacked. Learn what you can do to protect your website against hackers attempting to infect your website.

One trend they found was that websites built using content management system (CMS) applications are at medium to high risk of being attacked.

WordPress is the most popular CMS application, according to market share statistics,with small businesses’ more likely to use the platform.  Because there are so many free plugins for almost any service regarding websites,  cybercriminals have taken advantage and disguised a feature with malware. Below is a guideline of suggestions in order to make your website harder to infiltrate.

Don’t Install Too Many Plugins

WordPress offers many free plugins that you can use to enhance your website’s functionality. However, each plugin you use increases your website’s attack surface. The SiteLock researchers discovered that WordPress sites running 20 or more plugins were four times more likely to be infected with malware. You should only install the plugins necessary to keep your website secure and operating the way you want.

When choosing a plugin for your website, make sure that you have completed research and looked through the support forum for any issues other types of problems. Be aware that the combination of one plugin can affect another currently installed. To avoid this, make sure to run a sandbox environment to test installations before installing on your live website.

Avoid Complex Themes

Themes let you customize how the pages in your WordPress site look and feel. The SiteLock researchers found that complex themes put websites at higher risk for attacks, so it is recommended to stick with simple themes.

You should only install themes from reputable sources, such as the WordPress.org Theme Directory. Avoid the temptation of installing free themes from unfamiliar sources, especially if they are free versions of themes you usually have to pay for. They could be disguised as a malicious program ready to infect your website.

Always Update your WordPress Website

Hackers like to exploit vulnerabilities in applications, so it is important to apply the updates that WordPress issues for its core software. These updates often patch newly discovered security vulnerabilities in addition to installing new features and enhancements.

It is equally important to apply updates released for plugins and themes. Updating the WordPress core application without updating plugins and themes is not adequate protection from hackers. If you are using a plugin or theme that has not been updated in a while, consider looking for one that is better maintained.

Finally, you should make sure that your hosting service is regularly updating its infrastructure and keeping its security measures up-to-date.

Two-Step Verification

Implement a two-step verification system that requires a code sent to your email to avoid bots trying to hack your WordPress website. If all users login from a single IP address, you can create a login that only allows users to login from that specific IP.

Minimizing the number of plugins, keeping themes simple, and making sure updates are installed are effective ways to make your WordPress site harder to hack.