How To Make Your WordPress Blog Safer

How horrible would it be if you woke up tomorrow and your blog was gone. All that hard work you have put into it up in smoke. Ok, so I think we can agree that it’s worth taking a few precautions to ensure our WordPress blogs are as secure as possible. Here are some tips to go about achieving this.

Keep WordPress Current

Keep your WordPress setup up to date. From time to time people find security issues in WordPress. These issues get addressed by the developers of WordPress who then release an update. If you don’t update, you may be vulnerable. WordPress can be a real pain to update, so the more lazy amongst us tend to leave it for a bit. If this sounds like you then maybe you should download WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin. It automates the process of backing up and upgrading WordPress.

Backup Your Posts and Comments

Create a folder on your PC and regularly create backups of your blog content. It’s easy enough to do, just go to “Manage” in your WordPress dashboard, and select “Export”, then click “Download Export File” to save a copy of all your valuable posts, comments and categories. It’s a good idea to name these export files with a date.

Drop The Version String In Your Header.php File

Quick Online Tips explains how displaying the version of your WordPress installation can leave you vulnerable. If the version is left viewable, anyone can easily figure out which version of WordPress you are using just by viewing the source file of your site, then if there is a known flaw in the version you are using you’re in trouble.

To fix this change:

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 
<?php bloginfo('version'); ?>"
/>

To:

<meta name="generator" content=

"WordPress" />

Put A Blank index.html In /plugins/ Directory

In a default Wordpress installation, anyone can access your WordPress plugin folder to see which plugins you have installed. This is a problem if certain plugins are known to have security issues. The default path is “http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-content/plugins/"

If you type this address in your browser using your WordPress blog’s domain you will see the entire directory with all of your plugins. A method to hide this as describe by Quick Online Tips (and Originally Matt Cutts at WordCamp 2007) is to place a blank file named index.html in the root of your plugin folder. People will no longer be able to view your plugin directory.

Wp-admin Folder

Past versions of WordPress have had vulnerabilities with the wp-admin folder. So for extra tight security Reuben Yau gives a method to Protect the WordPress wp-admin folder. However if the computer you access your blog from has a dynamic IP address assigned by your ISP this won’t work. It may be worth looking into if these sorts of security issues keep you up at night.

Login Lockdown Plugin

Login Lockdown is a plugin that monitors how many times a person tries to log in during a short period of time. If they exceed some key number, LogInLock down will lock them out from logging for some period of time. This will stop those types who will try and guess your user names and passwords.

If you are stuck using a free hosted WordPress blog you should consider blog hosting options, it’s not that expsensive to host your own WordPress blog.

I hope this information has helped you to secure your WordPress blog.

www.pingable.org

128 thoughts on “How To Make Your WordPress Blog Safer”

  1. Thanks for the information. Had never really thought about it myself, but have implemented the suggestions. Looks like you’ve got a few more interesting posts here as well. Will check them out.

  2. That’s great Brian, I am happy to have you back as a reader. You wouldn’t believe what a hit my feed count took in the days following that ProBlogger article. Maybe I need to place more focus on topics that aren’t blogging…i.e. more web design stuff to ensure I am not labled as a blogger that blogs about blogging. Cheers for coming back though Brian :)

  3. Nice post. I noticed the version string was killing me for a while. Once removed, a lot of spam actually ceased. It’s been a few months and I’m pleased with the results. Nice that you posted it as well.

  4. Thanks for entering my project. Good advice you have shared here, I guess I should probably go update my WP :c). Also thanks for mentioning my group writing project, everybody has until next week on the 18th to enter.

  5. Pingback: “How-To” Group Writing Project: Final Entries List | bluejar.com - the webmasters guide to the galaxy
  6. Pingback: “How-To” Group Writing Project: Final Entries List | bluejar.com - the webmasters guide to the galaxy
  7. Pingback: Blue Jar - How To - Group Writing Project : Pingable.org | Blogging & Design
  8. Thanks for the useful tips!

    One point above that i always did is “Backup Your Posts and Comments”. I export my content after I submit a new post.

    I shall try that Login Lockdown Plugin :)

  9. Thanks for the useful tips!

    One point above that i always did is “Backup Your Posts and Comments”. I export my content after I submit a new post.

    I shall try that Login Lockdown Plugin :)

  10. Pingback: [2007.09.22] Miscellaneous Updates
  11. Pingback: [2007.09.22] Miscellaneous Updates
  12. Thanks for these tips! I use a plugin to backup and I update WP as soon as there is a new version, and I am implementing your other tips. Thanks again, this is a great addition to the writing project.

  13. Thanks for these tips! I use a plugin to backup and I update WP as soon as there is a new version, and I am implementing your other tips. Thanks again, this is a great addition to the writing project.

  14. Pingback: Bluejar Group Writing Project: My Picks
  15. Pingback: Bluejar Group Writing Project: My Picks
  16. Pingback: Bluejar Group Writing Project: My Picks - Contest Beat
  17. Pingback: Bluejar Group Writing Project: My Picks - Contest Beat
  18. Pingback: Roberta Ferguson » Blog Archive » BlueJar Group Writing Project - My picks
  19. Pingback: Roberta Ferguson » Blog Archive » BlueJar Group Writing Project - My picks
  20. Pingback: The Fit Shack
  21. Pingback: BlueJAR How To Group Writing Contest | Karol Krizka
  22. Pingback: BlueJAR How To Group Writing Contest | Karol Krizka
  23. Great post. I noticed the version string was killing me for a while. Once removed, a lot of spam actually ceased. It’s been a few months and I’m pleased with the results. Nice that you posted it as well. Thanks for that.

  24. Great post. I noticed the version string was killing me for a while. Once removed, a lot of spam actually ceased. It’s been a few months and I’m pleased with the results. Nice that you posted it as well. Thanks for that.

  25. You should use a secure password as well. I suggest changing your password every month, and the password should not be anything contained in the english dictionary. A blank index file should be located in every folder, whether it has valuable information in it or not. Also it is important that your PHP and MYSQL stay updated and secure. Check with your hosting company as many of them handle the upgrades for those. Also check your logs and look for repeated attempts. A repeated IP could mean an attacker, but they can use proxies so it will be a different IP ever time. Look for attempts on weird port numbers against your server. Also look for attempts at weird directories or commands/files. Most sites get port scanned and scanned for vulnerabilities often. But if it is something that it occuring often (multiple days) then it may be a direct attack against you. If you feel it is a direct attack targeting you soley, then contact your web host. They should be able to check out your logs and they will evaluate. If they are nice, they may give you the IPs to add to your blacklist. If they don’t do that due to policy, then they may block them on their end. If the attempts continue, then notify them and you can pursue an investigation.

    I don’t recommend blacklisting and IPs yourself unless you are 100% positive it is an attack. You may end up banning one of your frequent viewers.

    I used to be at the opposit end of the computer. I wont go into techno babble though.

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  26. You should use a secure password as well. I suggest changing your password every month, and the password should not be anything contained in the english dictionary. A blank index file should be located in every folder, whether it has valuable information in it or not. Also it is important that your PHP and MYSQL stay updated and secure. Check with your hosting company as many of them handle the upgrades for those. Also check your logs and look for repeated attempts. A repeated IP could mean an attacker, but they can use proxies so it will be a different IP ever time. Look for attempts on weird port numbers against your server. Also look for attempts at weird directories or commands/files. Most sites get port scanned and scanned for vulnerabilities often. But if it is something that it occuring often (multiple days) then it may be a direct attack against you. If you feel it is a direct attack targeting you soley, then contact your web host. They should be able to check out your logs and they will evaluate. If they are nice, they may give you the IPs to add to your blacklist. If they don’t do that due to policy, then they may block them on their end. If the attempts continue, then notify them and you can pursue an investigation.

    I don’t recommend blacklisting and IPs yourself unless you are 100% positive it is an attack. You may end up banning one of your frequent viewers.

    I used to be at the opposit end of the computer. I wont go into techno babble though.

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  27. I would never of known, Very good security and backup information and something I didn’t prepare myself for, Thanks for putting this together.

  28. Thanks for the great tips. I just went and did some of them now. I wasn’t aware of the Export feature until now. It is much easier than backing up the MySQL DB.

  29. That really bugs me…Thanks for the great tips. good for my WP blog but i am still worried about a blogger blog. Unfortunately i hosted on blogger server, worked hard for its marketing and now when i want to take a backup of posts and comments there are no options except template backup.

  30. That really bugs me…Thanks for the great tips. good for my WP blog but i am still worried about a blogger blog. Unfortunately i hosted on blogger server, worked hard for its marketing and now when i want to take a backup of posts and comments there are no options except template backup.

  31. I try to keep my wordpress folder updated as much as possible. This makes it easier to make sure that my blog is protected. Unfortunately it is difficult to do this sometimes and time consuming.

  32. I try to keep my wordpress folder updated as much as possible. This makes it easier to make sure that my blog is protected. Unfortunately it is difficult to do this sometimes and time consuming.

  33. The blank index and version string are 2 great ideas anyone should do to make thier blog safer. Some great ways to protect your wordptress blog i bookmarked post.

  34. I must admit i am one of those lazy people that tends to keep putting off backups and updating wordpress but this article has given me a well needed kick up the backside. I have just downloaded the automatic upgrade plugin so will no longer have any excuses.

  35. I must admit i am one of those lazy people that tends to keep putting off backups and updating wordpress but this article has given me a well needed kick up the backside. I have just downloaded the automatic upgrade plugin so will no longer have any excuses.

  36. I think the first thing everyone should do no matter what site they have is have back up of all thier work. I can not tell you how many times people wish they did this.

    Great post some good tips on making wordpress safer.

  37. I think the first thing everyone should do no matter what site they have is have back up of all thier work. I can not tell you how many times people wish they did this.

    Great post some good tips on making wordpress safer.

  38. Just a quick note to say thanks for the link to the automatic wordpres upgrade plugin. I have used it across all my wordpress sites and its a real time saver. Would highly recommend it to everyone.

  39. I didnt even know something like this exists. I usually have to spend entire day to upgrade all my sites, and WP has gone through last few versions in such a short time.

    Thx for the link, I will definitely have more time with using this.

  40. Pingback: あなたのWordpressをより安全に作るための6つの方法 | ホームページの作り方
  41. I wish we had login lockdown feature for basic website server accounts. I have had a couple of my websites hacked. I know, I should have a stronger password, where they can’t get in.

    I also like the idea of loading a index.html file into your plugins directory. This can keep the nosey ones out.

  42. I wish we had login lockdown feature for basic website server accounts. I have had a couple of my websites hacked. I know, I should have a stronger password, where they can’t get in.

    I also like the idea of loading a index.html file into your plugins directory. This can keep the nosey ones out.

  43. I never even thought about backing up comments. That is a good point i forgot about. I also like to make sure i have images and anything else saved in case i have any problems.

  44. Great tips. I did not know you could do some of the things you said to protect your wordpress blog. I never heard of the blank index and will try it.

  45. I think the backup is one of the most imortant ways to keep blog safe. if you do not have backup and something happens you have to start all over again.

  46. Helpful tips. I wasn’t much worried about security until lately. My sites were recently attacked and that made me to pay more attention to security.

  47. Helpful tips. I wasn’t much worried about security until lately. My sites were recently attacked and that made me to pay more attention to security.

  48. Good post. Some great tips on keeping wordpress blog safe. Maybe do one for blogger blogs also i know thier are alot of them around too.

  49. Good post. Some great tips on keeping wordpress blog safe. Maybe do one for blogger blogs also i know thier are alot of them around too.

  50. Thanks for the great post again.

    I agree with you that frequent updated are actually big pain for every one. But as far as the security is concern it should not be take lightly. If one day you will loose your all post and data it can not be recovered it you don’t have the backup of it.

  51. Thanks i just started making new blog and it is my first wordpress blog. I Never knew some of the tips and how to make sure it is safe. Some very good ideas i will try them myself.

  52. Thanks i just started making new blog and it is my first wordpress blog. I Never knew some of the tips and how to make sure it is safe. Some very good ideas i will try them myself.

  53. i just knew about putting index page in plugins directory ,
    these are some really useful tricks,
    and Login Lockdown plugin is really good for security.

  54. I’m so bad at not backing up my blog. I really should do it. Does the lockdown thing work with all blogs? Or is it just WordPress? I presume it’s all… But I’m not brilliant with technology!

  55. I’m so bad at not backing up my blog. I really should do it. Does the lockdown thing work with all blogs? Or is it just WordPress? I presume it’s all… But I’m not brilliant with technology!

  56. Good post i did not know that the blog could be taken over or have problems like this. I have to try some of your ideas i just started making my first wordpress blog and have not finished it yet.

  57. I actually had this happen- had my blog up and leave me. Turned out to be hard drive failure on the part of my provider (backups? hah!), so I lost a lot of work.
    That’s why I now back up religiously. And, of course, I changed providers!

  58. I actually had this happen- had my blog up and leave me. Turned out to be hard drive failure on the part of my provider (backups? hah!), so I lost a lot of work.
    That’s why I now back up religiously. And, of course, I changed providers!

  59. Hmm. I didn’t realize that security was a problem for bloggers. Uh oh. I just started blogging fairly recently, so I’m hoping it isn’t something I need to worry about.

    Exactly what sort of security problems do bloggers normally have?

  60. thanks those are some great ideas to make a wordpress blog safe. some of them i did not knowand will make sure to use when i make a new blog with wordpress.

  61. Some very good tips. I have both a wordpres and blogger blog. Had one problem with blogger but tech worked it out. Did not know wordpress had some problems like this i have to try the techniques you listed on it to make it safer.

  62. Some very good tips. I have both a wordpres and blogger blog. Had one problem with blogger but tech worked it out. Did not know wordpress had some problems like this i have to try the techniques you listed on it to make it safer.

  63. Great advice. This is good practice for anything done over the internet. I compare it to buying insurance. Don’t take chances and get caught without any.

  64. Great advice. This is good practice for anything done over the internet. I compare it to buying insurance. Don’t take chances and get caught without any.

  65. Updating wordpress to new version when it comes out is must.
    Hiding your version info which shows in source page is a good thing which I found out a few months ago.

    But putting a bank index in plugin folder that’s a new idea for me. The point is there and I thought about this some time ago but never got around it.

    Thanks for listing them together.

  66. Updating wordpress to new version when it comes out is must.
    Hiding your version info which shows in source page is a good thing which I found out a few months ago.

    But putting a bank index in plugin folder that’s a new idea for me. The point is there and I thought about this some time ago but never got around it.

    Thanks for listing them together.

  67. Thanks for this great post. I had heard of a few of these including the logical ones of keeping your WP up to date and such, but hadn’t heard of dropping the version string in your Header.php file. I’ll have to go back and make sure to do that on all of my sites right away. Thanks for the tip!

  68. Thanks for this great post. I had heard of a few of these including the logical ones of keeping your WP up to date and such, but hadn’t heard of dropping the version string in your Header.php file. I’ll have to go back and make sure to do that on all of my sites right away. Thanks for the tip!

  69. I especially like your tip on Put A Blank index.html In /plugins/ Directory…I never would’ve thought about that myself in that some of the plugins that are installed aren’t safe. You’ve opened my eyes on how to make WordPress more secure. Thank you.

  70. Great tips. Backing up is not just enough since they can also get corrupted easily. Its sill best that you try to doo all the suggestions to keep avarythig safe.

  71. Great tips. Backing up is not just enough since they can also get corrupted easily. Its sill best that you try to doo all the suggestions to keep avarythig safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>