WordPress is a solid content management system for blogging and online stores. It allows you to login to the administration panel using a standard URL syntax. This poses greater threat from security point of view as anyone can try to login to your site’s backend. Therefore, the first and foremost step is to protect your WordPress login page to prevent malicious attacks on your site. In this article, we will explain the options available for that purpose to have a safer site.
Why Should You Protect WordPress Login Page?
There are good and bad things available on the web. In fact, you can find more bad things like automated robots that try to login to your site. These robots try random username/password combinations and constituently attempt to guess your administrator credentials. This is called brute force attacks which is one of the top security threats for WordPress sites. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is another problem in which hackers send huge traffic to your site (usually to the login page) and halt the regular traffic from real users.
Since the login page has same URL syntax for any WordPress site, it makes the task easier for these robots. For example, if your domain name is yoursite.com then anyone can access the login page with a URL https://yoursite.com/wp-login.php.
- Login page protection is the effective way to prevent brute force attacks.
- You can monitor the IP addresses sending malicious traffic to your login page and block them to avoid DDoS attacks.
- By protecting the login page, you can safeguard the administrator panel and hence your site’s content.
- By preventing the bots action, you can save server’s bandwidth and price (if you are paying for unique visits).
How to Protect Your WordPress Login Page?
There are some basic steps you can follow like keeping secure passwords. However, you need additional plugins for applying advanced features like preventing brute force attacks. Fortunately, WordPress has plenty of security plugins to protect your site. Some plugins like All In One WP Security & Firewall offers packed features while many plugins offer targeted features for specific purpose. Below is the checklist to keep your login page protected.
1. Use Strong Password
Using a strong login username and password is the first basic measure in protecting your WordPress login page. Avoid using weak credentials like admin for both username and password. Hackers can easily guess the weak username/password and hack your site. You can use this tool check out the password strength along with top 100 weak passwords and avoid using them for your login. Remember, it is not possible to change the admin username in WordPress once created. However, you can create another admin to login and delete the weak one.
2. Frequently Change Password
The second basic protection is to change your password frequently. Nowadays, almost all browsers like Chrome and Safari warn when using leaked password for website logins. You can frequently change the password, let’s say once in a month, so that hackers can’t easily guess.
3. Lockdown Login Page
Effective way to prevent brute force attacks is to lock your login page after certain number of failed attempts. For example, you can lock the IP address for 5 minutes after 3 failed attempts. If the attempts continue, you can monitor and permanently block the malicious IP address. You can use plugins like Login Lockdown for this purpose.
4. Use Email Address for Login
By default, WordPress allows login with username or email address. As the username is easy to guess, it is a good idea to use your email address for login and disable the username option. You can use plugin like WP Email Login to achieve this function.
5. Change Default Login URL
If you are the only person managing your blog, then the best option is to change the default URL to a custom one. This helps to eliminate brute force and DDoS attacks as the login page will not be available anymore. You can show a 404 error or redirect to any page when someone trying to access the default login page. Learn more on how to change default WordPress login URL.
6. Use 2 Factor Authentication for Login
Another way of protecting your WordPress login page is to use 2 factor authentication. As the name indicates, it will prompt you to enter the second authentication code after providing the username/password. The best example is to link Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator app with your WordPress login page using a plugin. You can have some backup codes to bypass the authentication in case of problems. Learn more on how to setup 2 factor authentication for WordPress login.
7. Add Captcha
There are different types of captcha plugins available to offer protection for WordPress forms. In this way, you can add a mathematical question or an image with random alphanumerical characters as an additional field in the forms. There are also plugins for integrating Google reCAPTCHA to your WordPress login so that you will have world-class protection.
8. Apply Honeypot Protection
The last option is to add an invisible filed in your login form. This optional field will be available in the source code, however, will not be visible in the browser. Generally, automated bots try to fill out all the fields and you can filter them whenever the invisible fields is filled in the form. Plugins like All In One WP Security & Firewall offers this feature to protect your site.
Protecting your WordPress login page will help you to overcome major security problems. You can monitor the user activities to find the unwanted access to your site reduced drastically with login protection. However, some methods like changing URL can potentially lockout of your site, hence, use them carefully.
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