Can I Protect My WordPress Website Without Using a Dedicated Plugin?

Can I Protect My WordPress Website Without Using a Dedicated Plugin?

Adam Morgan

We all know that developers are particularly resourceful when an issue arises and the security of your website is no different.  There are already a number of security plugins on the market that you can easily install for a quick fix.  However, as you begin to learn more about the importance of security for your WordPress website, this can quickly become a full-time job.  Here, we’ll introduce the functions.php file and give you some easy tweaks to help you increase the security of your WordPress website.

Introducing The functions.php File

Whenever you install a theme for your WordPress website, there will be an option to use a functions.php file.  As the name suggests, this file is designed to provide extra functionality to your site.  Instead of trying to add different features throughout your chosen theme’s files, using the functions.php file gives you a clear place to store them.  With this file, you will be able to register styles, activate theme options, access any built-in WordPress hooks, and much more.  You are also given the ability to write your own functions, which will add new features.

The functions.php file can also be used to secure your WordPress website from any would-be hackers.  This is done by adding a simple code snippet.  We’ll talk you through some of these code snippet options below.

Hide Any Detailed WordPress Website Information

When you begin rendering your WordPress website, the WordPress platform will automatically add detailed installation information to the HTML5 code.  This is extremely helpful for debugging your site, however, hackers can also use it against you.  If someone knows the specific WordPress version you are using, they can use this information to bring down your site faster.  To avoid this, you can use your functions.php file to mask the details of your WordPress installation.  The code snippet you input to the functions.php file will effectively tell WordPress to simply remove the data.

Obscure Your Login Error Messages

When someone tries to login to your WordPress website with the wrong login details, they will be given clues by default.  This can make it easier for hackers to guess your details.  To make it more difficult for would-be hackers to guess your login credentials, you can remove default error messages on your site.  A simple way to disable any login hints is to add a code snippet. This new code snipper will return the same error regardless of the login error.

Load Your Scripts Securely

A number of WordPress websites like jQuery still load external libraries.  This usually offers extra functionality and style to your site.  Unfortunately, any script that loads without the protection of Secure Socket Layers (SSL) can become vulnerable to attacks.  This makes it particularly important to force external scripts to load using SSL, rather than the standard HTTPS.  This will reduce the opportunity for any hackers to inject malicious code into your site.

These little tweaks that you can do using your functions.php file should help increase the security of your website.

Have you used any of these tricks on your website?  Let us know in the comments below.

Adam Morgan

Author Adam Morgan

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