The popularity of WordPress is not a secret.
It is the most famous Content Management System that empowers more than 30% of the websites present on the internet.
The most essential building blocks of any WordPress website are plugins and themes.
However, these building blocks are also responsible for the occurrence of hacking attacks over the websites if not used cautiously.
Hence, as the number of hacking attacks is encountering a tremendous hike with each passing day, it becomes the primary duty of any WordPress developer to select the right theme for its websites.
Note: By the term ‘right theme’, I am not referring to a beautiful theme. My main intent is to put more focus on a secured theme instead.
This blog aims at introducing you to the most important points you should consider while choosing a WordPress theme. Before this, let us understand the importance of selecting a secure theme.
Importance of Selecting a Secure Theme
WordPress themes are nothing but the ready-made pieces of code you utilize to give a beautiful and appealing look to your websites.
Different themes are designed differently in terms of performance, layouts, SEO support, etc. and many of them are available on the internet for free.
This gives a chance to the hackers to review a theme’s code and find loopholes in it.
If they succeed in doing so, they can create tremendous harm to your website with the help of these themes. This may include stealing confidential data, modify or delete your website, and so on.
And by the time you will find the issues, your site will be lost and all your money and hard work will turn into a waste.
Hence, no matter which kind of theme you choose, checking the security aspect should be your ultimate priority.
Building Blocks of a Secure WordPress Theme
- The theme should comply with the latest coding standards.
- The theme should be updated regularly.
- The theme should be compatible with the WordPress version and the plugins you are using.
Key Tips to Consider While Selecting a Theme for Your WordPress Website
- Choose a Reliable Resource to Install the Theme
Installing the theme from a reputed resource is mandatory to stay away from security issues.
The official WordPress theme directory is a reliable theme repository where a bulk of free and engaging themes are available.
If you are seeking out a premium option, CodeCanyon, TemplateMonster, Elegant Themes, etc. are the most recommended options to go with.
- Have a Glance at Theme’s History and Customer Reviews
Checking the customer reviews of your selected theme is a good practice before going for implementation.
If the theme possesses a bunch of positive reviews, the possibilities of the theme not giving you security hassles are higher.
Also, as the themes are likely to encounter code changes with time and the issues may arise as a result, checking the most recent reviews is extremely crucial.
You can use any of the sources including Twitter, Facebook, or your favorite search engines the come across the reviews regarding the theme.
- Always Use Maintained and Up-To-Date Themes
One of the major issues that can lead to massive security issues is the employment of outdated and unmanaged themes.
The websites made up of outdated coding standards are the primary targets of the attackers.
Hence, the installation of the recent theme version with the incorporation of proper maintenance is a necessity.
- Ensure to Uninstall Unwanted Themes
The installation of WordPress themes is a common practice, however, people usually forget to uninstall them when they are no more required.
This allows hackers to exploit your site.
Hence, develop a practice of uninstalling the themes when their job is done.
The task can be easily accomplished with the help of the ManageWP dashboard.
- Disable the Theme Editor
Your WordPress dashboard contains a theme editor option by default. This option gives you the chance to easily modify your theme using the built-in code editor of WordPress.
Undoubtedly, it offers an excellent way to customize your website without trouble, however, it also opens the door for intruders to enter your site.
Hence, disabling the theme editor is highly recommended to protect the site from hacking attacks.
You can easily accomplish the task by navigating your wp-config.php file. Simply find out the root folder of your WordPress installation and incorporate the given lines into it.
// Disallow file edit
define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );
- Deactivate PHP Error Reporting
The next important thing you are required to do to ensure better security of your WordPress theme is securing the PHP error.
The feature is responsible to convey the notifications as and when the problem arises with the platform.
If the feature is active, it provides an opportunity for hackers to know about the problems very easily and misuse them.
Hence, disabling the feature is a recommended thing to secure your WordPress theme.
The task can be accomplished very easily. Simply open the wp-config.php file and paste the following code into it.
- Use Tools to Verify Your Themes
Even if you have downloaded the theme from a reputed source and followed the reviews, it does not necessarily mean that the theme is a secure one.
So what you can do in the scenario?
You can utilize the tools like Theme Check, Exploit Scanner, etc. to better ensure the security of your selected themes.
Below is given a list of few important tools you can use to check the security of your WordPress themes
Important Tools to Check the Security of Your WordPress Themes
Geekflare is a powerful WordPress Security Scanner trusted by many WordPress developers throughout the world.
The tool enables you to perform many security checks easily and effectively including performing a check on
- WordPress core security
- WordPress theme security
- WordPress plugin security
- Theme Check
The theme check is a WordPress plugin that provides an easy way to test your WordPress theme.
The plugin executes all the tests using a simple admin menu and shows all the results at once.
The plugin has 50,000+ active installations so far and is compatible with WordPress version 3.7 and higher.
The plugin is available on WordPress.org for easy installation and download.
- Theme Authenticity Checker
The Theme Authenticity Checker is a WordPress plugin that performs a check on the source files pertaining to all the themes implemented on your WordPress website.
The plugin finds the malware (if any) and shows the line number as well as the section of corrupted code for better understanding and solutions.
The plugin has 40,000+ active installations and is compatible with WordPress version 3.0 or higher.
- WP Hacked Help
WP hacked help is a scanner tool used to find malware in your WordPress websites.
The tool provides many prominent services including WordPress malware removal, prevent future attacks, hacked WordPress cleanup, and so on to prevent your WordPress websites from getting lost in the hands of hackers.
The tool provides many different pricing plans from which you can choose as per your budget and convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions About WordPress’ Security
- Does the presence of an SSL certificate is essential even if the site is not an eCommerce site?
Yes. having an SSL certificate is always a good security practice no matter your website is eCommerce or not.
In addition to ensuring a well-secured website, an SSL certificate is also a crucial factor comprising Google’s ranking signals. Hence, missing out to incorporate SSL certificates into your WordPress websites is a NO thing for all kinds of websites.
- Why the updations of WordPress’ themes and plugins are important?
The updations of WordPress themes and plugins are extremely important from a website’s security perspective.
In fact, a not updated theme or plugin is one of the primary causes behind all the hacking attacks occurring on WordPress websites.
- Is following all the security guidelines is mandatory for small businesses as well?
Yes of course. Hackers have nothing to do with the size of their business. They only want opportunities to fulfill their bad deeds including running phishing scams, malicious redirects, etc. no matter a business is a small or bigger one.
The availability of numerous themes is a big part contributing to the overall popularity and success of WordPress.
However, out of this bulky number of themes, not all themes are good and deserve to be a part of your intrinsic sites.
Rather than doing any good to your sites, they can cause more harm to it and destroy your site.
So, guys, beware of the bad themes and be smart while making selections. Don’t miss to follow the guidelines mentioned above for your website well-being.
Important Advice From Specialists That Could Save Your Business From Attacks
In today’s digital world having a website is essential for every business, no matter the field. A positive add on to that is the fact that creating a website has never been easier. Nowadays you don’t need to write hundreds of lines of HTML/CSS code to have a good looking website. There are a couple of platforms that can basically do the coding for you. They are called Content Management Systems (CMS) and support the creation and future modification of digital content. WordPress is the most used CMS out there and there are no indications that it will soon fall behind.
Roughly 35% of the whole WEB is being powered by WordPress as 576 WordPress websites are created every single day. And these aren’t only small-company websites; big enterprises also use WordPress as the base of their website.
We need to pay more attention to the security topic since web intruders are evolving at the same pace as the technology itself. Web security is one of the main problems in 2019-20 as threats are lurking from everywhere. Even if you work at a big company sometimes important factors are neglected and this results in a loss of time and money. Nobody wants to lose money, right? For this reason, we want to share 15 important security tips that could save your website from infiltration.
1. Don’t Use “Admin” As Your Administrator Username WordPress Username.
Nowadays everybody (including hackers) knows that “admin” is the most frequent username. Don’t make the life of hackers so simple! Choose a different username and make it start with a capital letter. Once the new administrator user is created and you assign all privileges to him, the old “admin” user can be deleted.
2. Pick Strong Passwords (Long, With Numbers, Capital Letters, And Symbols)
This may sound basic to some, but people are still using passwords like “123456” or “qwerty”. With a password like that, you are just asking for it. Choose a more complicated password that has numbers and symbols in it, and is at least 15 characters long.
3. Use 2-Factor Authentication For Login
No matter how complicated your password is, it can always be cracked. For this reason, use a 2-factor login authentication for maximum security. This second authentication step comes from a plugin that is up to your choosing and includes email, mobile phone or camera confirmation.
4. Download Plugins Only From Known Resources
WordPress plugins are a treasure that everybody wants to use. Only the official repository has more than 40 000 plugins. Be aware that a plugin might sometimes harm your site.
This is why, before downloading any plugin, always check for comments or reviews, if support exists; if the author is quick to react.
5. Keep Your WordPress Environment Updated
The WordPress staff takes the security topic quite seriously. They take care of your website with every patch and update. Every next update improves your security, website performance and fixes some annoying bugs. Keep your environment updated – this is the point of updates.
6. Disable The WordPress Theme And Plugin Editor
The built-in plugin and theme editor that is included in WordPress’s dashboard is a wonderful tool, but if you are not using it you may want to disable it for security reasons. If your account gets hacked, the intruder can easily ‘destroy’ your website, by just changing the code in the editor.
The Theme and plugin editor can be removed by inserting this line of code:
[php]define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );[/php]
into your wp-config.php file.
7.Limit Logins Based On Number Of Failed Attempts;
A user not being able to enter the right credentials three or even four times in a row is not a good sign. Even if you are super drunk this is still not a good option.
Limit your logins based on the number of failed attempts, in order to exclude the possibility of someone who could guess your password.
8. Hide Your WordPress Version Number
Many people recommend that hiding your WordPress version will improve your website’s security because it will protect you against mass hacker attacks.
Your installation version number appears in the following three places:
Scripts and styles with query strings: subscriptions.css?ver=4.0
The RSS feeds’ generator tag: <generator>http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0</generator>
The headers’ generator tag; <meta name=”generator” content=”WordPress 4.0″ />
9. Disable PHP Error Reports
When troubleshooting, these error messages are working wonderfully. On the other hand, they often display your server path, and expose it to danger. It is a good idea to disable your error reporting, and enable it only as a last resort.
To disable it, please add this code:
@ini_set(‘display_errors’, 0); [/php]
to your wp-config.php file
10. Work on Your WordPress File Permissions
File permissions are quite important if you want to keep those files safe. Avoid configuring directories with 777 permissions because this means they are readable, writable and executable by everybody.
A good advice is to configure your files with 640 or 644 permissions while your wp-config.php file should be 600. Adding a 600 permission means that only the owner will be able to read and write this specific file.
11. Ensure Regular Backups
No matter how well secured is your website; a backup is a must for any valuable business information. We can never know what disaster may the world bring, and how a simple backup could save your whole business.
12. Customize Your Login URL
Once the hackers get to your default /wp-login URL they can try to enter your account -which will hopefully result only in lost resources. Why take that chance? Creating a custom login URL will mislead any attackers and will hide the “door” to your account.
This is possible via various plugins like Custom Login URL, WPS Hide Login or HC Custom WP-admin URL. Once your plugin is installed you will just have to write your new login URL and save it.
13. Never Download Premium Plugins For Free
All these available premium plugins are awesome because they offer enhanced functionality, more customization and better performance. But why would someone pay for a premium plugin and then give it out for free? The short answer is to alter your website.
By adding ‘malicious’ plugins a number of bad actions might occur. This includes codes that add advertisements which could pop up at any moment, hidden links in the footer or other places in the HTML, give a share of your PageRank to other websites, pass your traffic to other websites, and could even alter your browser’s configuration file. Don’t be a cheapskate – it’s worth it!
14. Secure The wp-config.php File
Protecting your wp-config.php file is one of the most important security tips that we can share with you, as the file contains too much valuable information that would hurt you if fallen into the wrong hands.
In order to secure your wp-config.php file you need to download your .htaccess file that is located in the root directory of your website. Once you open the above mentioned file you need to paste the code below, after all other entries.
[php]# protect wpconfig.php
deny from all
15. Use WordPress Security Plugins
All Plugins add enhancements to your default configuration. So why not use special security plugins? These plugins will monitor your setup for any failed login attempts; will add malware scanning and integrity checking. You will be able to lock down any vulnerable areas that hackers like to goof around with.
As we said in the beginning web security is one of the ‘trendy’ topics in 2017 and we want to prepare you against any future disappointments. If you are having a powerful WordPress website that your business depends on, boosting up your web security is a must. By following these 15 WordPress Security tips you will improve your safety and will build 15 little armors that will shield your content, personal and client information…and this is always worth it!
WordPress has never been more widely used. We are talking about 576 WordPress websites that emerge every day. Because of this big amount, hackers are focusing more and more on WordPress sites and how to alter them. This is why we need to improve your website security and stop any breaching bulk attacks. In this article, we are sharing 15 great tips for WordPress users that will definitely help you in this security venture. Some of them are basic, others are more advanced, but all of them are worth completing, because you never know where an attack might come from!
How Can We Accomplish More with Some Simple Good Practices
Making the right decisions when it comes to the marketing aspect of your mobile app solutions has become a real scientific matter. The key factors are a lot and need to be considered very carefully in order to work.
Recently the necessity of a landing page for mobile app solutions has been discussed more and more. A landing page is a web page that contains all valuable information about your application. Some refer to it as just another burden that you have to take care of. The truth is that an app landing page is something beneficial for your products and this is why we are going to share 5 reasons why your app needs a landing page.
1. Create a Landing Page As Soon As Possible
Your marketing actions need to commence way before the official start of your app. Even if your Android app development process is ongoing, once the main concept is done, the landing page will fit in just the right timing. Creating the branding materials of you application essentially means buying the proper domain name that reflects your product’s nature.
Creating an initial landing page will cooperate in legitimizing the brand of your application by showing its logo, color palettes, and typography. It will also help potential clients to find some needed information ahead of its official launch in the popular app stores.
2. Using the Beta Testers’ Opinion
Every software product needs proper testing. The same applies to Android app development. The main plus in using this reason is to increase interest by uncovering more and more from your application. Screenshots, videos, technical details, and any other additional materials will raise awareness around your mobile app solutions.
When aiming at beta testers it is crucial to connect your app landing page with any social media channels that are being used. Nowadays the easiest way to relate your Android or iOS app development progress to your future users is via social media. Letting people view your app’s landing page will give you valuable comment and opinions and the earlier they come – the better.
3. Obtaining Valuable Feedback through Your Landing Page
Maintaining an app landing page gives you quite more options when feedback is wanted. When we are talking about iOS app development we need to point out that iTunes Connect does not provide much data on the conversion rates and this is some quite strategic data. The same applies to Android app development as the Google developer console does not provide you with vital information like how many downloads you get from a certain number of views.
By using an app landing page this important data can be obtained quite easily. By using Google Analytics on your landing page you can also access useful referral clues as to which approach works and which doesn’t.
4. How to Organize Your Launch Day Actions
The full website revealing should happen when your app has been just launched. The perfect scenario is to do it simultaneously. Once the application is online your app’s website should include all the technical details, support and download links, documentation and the pricing options of course. The information collected before the launch should be used very carefully in your full website for marketing purposes.
Another beneficial factor is that the app landing page can be easily optimized with corresponding keywords and this will aid your targeted clients in reaching your application. This all happens via your app landing page, so why not use it properly?
5. Retargeting As an Important Business Factor
As long as we are human, we are bound to make mistakes. Nobody gets everything perfect on the first try. This is why retargeting is so vital for your success. Retargeting is basically a form of advertising in which the marketing actions targeted to clients are based on their previous interactions.
Using your app landing page will let you track users who just visited and did not download the app. Once involved, these potential clients just need a final push in order to download the product.
As you see having an app landing page might bring that missing sparkle in your Android app development process. Offering mobile app solutions has never been so intuitive and the formula for that is no secret. We just gave you some good options, now it is your turn to make it work!
Nowadays, creating a great app is not enough for definitive success. The market is moving fast and many resources need to be reserved for marketing. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean spending a lot of money because there are alternatives which also work. One perfect example is having a well-organized app landing page. Maintaining a good landing page will be beneficial for your products and this is why we are going to share 5 reasons why your app needs a landing page and how it should be used.