Guest post by Alex Denning, a Twitter fan who recently launched his new blog, Nometech.com, where he blogs about WordPress, blogging and web design.
1. WP Security Scan
This very easy to use plugin will sort out some of the basic security issues with WordPress – it’ll change your database’s name and alert you to flaws in your installation’s security, amongst other features.
2. Protect your plugins
Plugins are an easy way for a hacker to get access to your blog if they’ve got flaws in them. An easy way for hackers to find out which plugins you’re using is to go to /wp-content/plugins/, and they’ll find all the plugins that you’re using. The solution? Put a blank index.html file in the wp-content/plugins/ folder.
3. Update WordPress
This is super-easy to do, but a surprising number of people don’t do it: update WordPress. If you’re super-security-conscious then don’t upgrade to the next big release immediately (ie 2.8), wait for the bug fixes to come in (ie wait for 2.8.1).
4. Pick a good password
Common sense. Use a good password. Don’t use the same password that you use on every site, create something that is easily memorable, with a mix of UPPER and lower case and some numbers in there too. Change your password regularly too.
5. Change the admin user name
By default, the WordPress user name is admin. [Lots]% of people don’t change it. Why should you change it? If a hacker has your username, he’s halfway there to getting into your site, he just has to guess your password. If the hacker has to guess your username as well, then that’s twice as much work to do. It’s super easy to migrate posts from one user to another, just create your new user and then delete the admin user. You’ll be given the option to migrate posts to another user.
6. Protect your WP-Config.php file
Your WP-Config.php contains your database name, database username and database password. It’s something to protect.
Just add the following code to your .htaccess file:
# protect wpconfig.php order allow,deny from all
Source – Nometech.com
7. Hide your WordPress version
First off, go into your header.php file and remove the meta data (something like <meta name=”generator” etc). Trouble is, WordPress adds in the meta data automatically! How do you remove it? Paste this code into your functions.php file.
<?php remove_action('wp_header', 'wp_generator'); ?>
Source – ProBlogDesign
8. Limit the number of times user can enter their password (wrongly)
The Login LockDown plugin will lock out users if they enter their password wrong too many times. You can choose how many times users can enter their password and also how long they’re locked out for via a neat options page.
Source – WP Plugin Directory
9. Limit WP-Admin access by IP
This isn’t something that I do personally, as I blog on a fair number of different computers, but if you’re just on the one, with a fixed IP, then this is a great hack for you: you can restrict access to the wp-admin directory with a spluginimple .htaccess hack:
order deny, allow allow from a.b.c.d. #your static ip deny from all
Source – Nometech
10. Login via SSL
If your host has an SSL certificate then you can use this great little plugin to login via SSL. The Admin SSL plugin “secures login page, admin area, posts, pages – whatever you want – using Private or Shared SSL.”
It is very easy to get bogged down in plugins, but bear this in mind: a strong password that is changed regularly, and a couple of .htaccess hacks (this post might help) will keep the casual hacker out.