WordPress is a robust content management system for blogging and online stores. It allows you to login to the admin panel using the standard URL syntax.
This poses a big security risk as anyone can try to log into the backend of your site. Therefore, the first and most important step is to secure your WordPress login page to prevent malicious attacks on your site.
In this article, we will explain the options available for this purpose in order to make the site more secure.
There are both good and bad things on the web. In fact, you can find other bad things as well, such as automated robots trying to enter your site. These robots try random username/password combinations and constantly try to guess your administrator credentials.
This is called a brute force attack and is one of the top security threats to WordPress sites. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) is another issue where hackers send huge traffic to your website (usually the login page) and stop the normal traffic from real users.
Since the login page has the same URL syntax for any WordPress site, this makes things easier for these robots. For example, if your domain name is yoursite.com, anyone can access the login page at the URL https://yoursite.com/wp-login.php.
- Securing the login page is an effective way to prevent brute-force attacks.
- You can monitor IP addresses sending malicious traffic to your login page and block them to avoid DDoS attacks.
- By securing the login page, you can secure the admin panel and therefore the content of your site.
- By preventing bot actions, you can save bandwidth and server costs (if you pay for unique visits).
How to secure your WordPress login page?
Here are some basic steps you can follow, such as how to keep passwords secure. However, you will need additional plugins to apply advanced features such as brute-force attack prevention.
Luckily, WordPress has a variety of security plugins to protect your site. Some plugins like All In One WP Security & Firewall offer packaged features while many plugins offer targeted features for specific purposes. Below is a checklist for securing your login page.
1. Use a strong password
Using a strong login username and password is the first major measure to secure your WordPress login page. Avoid using weak credentials such as admin for both username and password. Hackers can easily guess a weak username/password and hack your site.
You can use this tool to check password strength and 100 weakest passwords and not use them for login. Keep in mind that once created in WordPress, it is not possible to change the admin username. However, you can create another administrator to login and remove the weak one.
2. Change your password often
The second main protection is frequent password changes. Nowadays, almost all browsers such as Chrome and Safari warn about using a leaked password to log into a website. You can change your password frequently, say once a month, so that hackers can’t guess it easily.
3. Blocking the login page
An effective way to prevent brute-force attacks is to block the login page after a certain number of failed attempts. For example, you can block an 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 Blocker for this.
4. Use your email address to login
By default, WordPress allows login using a username or email address. Since the username is easy to guess, it is recommended that you use your email address to log in and turn off the username option. You can use a plugin like WP Email Login to achieve this feature.
5. Change the default login URL.
If you are the only person managing your blog, then the best option is to change the default URL to your own. This helps prevent brute force and DDoS attacks as the login page will no longer be available. You can show a 404 error or redirect to any page when someone tries to access the default login page. Learn more about how to change the default WordPress login URL.
6. Use two-factor authentication to log in.
Another way to secure your WordPress login page is to use two-factor authentication. As the name suggests, after entering your username and password, you will be prompted to enter a second authentication code. The best example is to link the Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator app to the WordPress login page using a plugin. You may have several backup codes to bypass authentication in case of problems. Learn more about how to set up two-factor authentication for WordPress login.
7. Add captcha
There are various types of captcha plugins that provide secure WordPress forms. So you can add a math question or an image with random alphanumeric characters as an extra field in your forms. There are also plugins to integrate Google reCAPTCHA into your WordPress account so you have world class protection.
8. Apply bait protection.
The last option is to add an invisible field to your login form. This optional field will be available in the source code, but will not be displayed in the browser. Generally, auto bots try to fill in all fields and you can filter them whenever invisible fields are filled in the form. Plugins like All In One WP Security & Firewall offer this feature to secure your site.
Protecting your WordPress login page will help you solve serious security problems. You can track user activity to find that unwanted access to your site has been drastically reduced with login protection. However, some methods, such as changing the URL, can potentially block your site, so use them carefully.