How To Secure WordPress/Divi Website Without Plugins

by | Jun 13, 2024 | Blogging, Tips & Tricks, Tutorials | 1 comment

Securing your Divi/WordPress site is a critical step once you’ve completed the initial setup process. While there’s no shortage of excellent security tools available, some of which are even free, it’s important to recognize that WordPress itself offers a robust suite of built-in security features. These features are regularly audited by developers to ensure they meet the highest standards of protection.

Indeed, installing a dedicated WordPress security plugin like WordFence, Sucuri Security, or All In One WP Security & Firewall can significantly enhance your site’s defenses. However, it’s worth noting that you can also bolster the security of your site without relying on third-party plugins.

In this article, we’ll guide you through a series of actionable tips and best practices aimed at fortifying your WordPress site’s security without the need for additional plugins. These strategies are not only effective but also accessible, allowing users of all levels of expertise to implement them seamlessly.

From simple yet powerful measures such as implementing strong password practices to more advanced techniques like adjusting file permissions and configuring server settings, each recommendation is designed to enhance your site’s security posture.

The beauty of these tips lies in their versatility. Many of them can be implemented directly from the WordPress admin interface, making them accessible to users without technical backgrounds. However, for those comfortable with more advanced configurations, some adjustments may require accessing the hosting account’s cPanel or editing configuration files.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to fortify your WordPress site against potential threats and vulnerabilities. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a novice user, these strategies promise to elevate your site’s defenses and provide peace of mind.

So, if you’re ready to take proactive steps towards safeguarding your WordPress site, join us as we explore how to enhance its security without the need for additional plugins. Let’s dive in and empower your site to stand strong against any potential threats it may face.

Read More: What is Divi – Divi WordPress Theme & Visual Page Builder

Stay Safe, Stay Updated

WordPress has a dedicated team always keeping an eye out for any security issues or new vulnerabilities that might pop up. When they find something, they quickly work on fixing it. You can easily stay updated on these fixes by going to Dashboard > Updates in your WordPress admin menu.

It’s super important to stay on top of these updates and make sure your website is always running the latest version. Not just the WordPress Core, but also your themes and plugins need regular updates. That’s because the folks who make them also release security updates whenever they spot a problem.

So, always remember to check for updates regularly and keep your website safe and secure.

Always remember to check for updates regularly and keep your website safe and secure.

 Stay Safe, Stay Updated

Minimize Risks: Utilize the Principle of Least Privilege

One of the biggest problems with WordPress security is when site owners give users too many privileges. Following the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP), it’s important to only give users the permissions they really need to do their tasks on your site.

WordPress has a great user management system with different roles for users:

  • Subscriber
  • Contributor
  • Author
  • Editor
  • Administrator

You should only give someone admin privileges if they really need to do things like update plugins, install themes, or change settings. When you add a new user, you can easily choose their role from a dropdown menu. You can also change a user’s role on the Users admin page.

To make your site even more secure, you can look at the Roles and Capabilities table in the WordPress Codex. This helps you decide what permissions each user needs. By giving users only the permissions they need, you reduce the risk if their account ever gets hacked or compromised. It’s about keeping your site safe without making it hard for users to do their jobs.

One of the biggest problems with WordPress security is when site owners give users too many privileges.

Utilize the Principle of Least Privilege

Read More: Divi WordPress Theme Review

Don’t Use the default Admin Username

Using the default admin username on your WordPress site puts your security at risk. Hackers often target sites with default admin usernames in automated attacks. These attacks are widespread, and hackers try to break into as many sites as possible using these default usernames.

Changing your admin username is essential for better security. However, WordPress doesn’t let you do this easily from your admin area. Instead, you have to make changes in the website’s database. But don’t worry, there’s a simpler way to do it. You can create a new admin user with a different username. Then, you can log in with this new user and delete the old admin username. This way, you can protect your site without diving into complicated technical stuff.

Using the default admin username on your WordPress site puts your security at risk. Hackers often target sites with default admin usernames in automated attacks.

Don’t Use the default Admin Username

Be Security Savvy: Opt for Stronger Passwords

Ensuring your WordPress site’s security is crucial, especially when it comes to using strong passwords. When users sign up, WordPress usually provides them with a strong password by default. However, they might later opt for a weaker one. It’s essential to monitor your editors and admins to ensure they’re using robust passwords. Additionally, suggesting the use of a password manager can be helpful for those concerned about remembering complex passwords. This way, they can maintain online safety without the hassle of recalling intricate combinations.

Ensuring your WordPress site's security is crucial, and one of the simplest yet most effective steps you can take is to use strong passwords.

Opt for Stronger Passwords

Read More:5 Advanced Techniques in Cybersecurity

Don’t Use Unnecessary Themes and Plugins

Many website owners often forget to clean up their WordPress clutter, like unused themes and plugins. But here’s the thing: having too many of these lying around can open the door to security risks. Think of it like leaving your front door unlocked – the more stuff you have, the more chances someone could sneak in.

So, it’s essential to keep only what you really need. If you’re not using a theme or plugin, get rid of it instead of just turning it off. It’s like clearing out your closet – why keep clothes you never wear?

And remember, you can only use one theme at a time, so there’s no point in keeping extras hanging around. If you want to boost your WordPress security, say goodbye to the ones you’re not using. If you ever need them again, reinstalling is way easier than dealing with a hacked site.

Many website owners often forget to clean up their WordPress clutter, like unused themes and plugins. But here's the thing: having too many of these lying around can open the door to security risks.

Don’t Use Unnecessary Themes and Plugins

Take Backup of your site regularly

Protecting your WordPress website content is crucial for its success. When attacks happen, everything on your site, from pages to posts to media, is in danger. To keep your content safe, it’s essential to back up your files regularly.

There are a couple of ways to do this. One way is to create backups of your database through your hosting account’s cPanel. You can find this option by going to File > Backups. From there, you can download your SQL backup file. Having this backup means you can quickly restore your entire database if anything goes wrong. Some hosting plans even offer automated database backups, so it’s worth considering one of these if you want extra peace of mind.

Another option, and perhaps the easiest, is to use a plugin called UpdraftPlus. This plugin handles everything for you, from backing up to restoring to cloning your site. You can schedule regular backups of all your databases, files, themes, and plugins with just a few clicks. Plus, you can choose how often you want backups to occur – whether it’s every few hours, daily, weekly, or monthly. And if you ever need to restore your backups, you can do it right from your WordPress dashboard.

By taking these steps to secure your content, you can rest easy knowing that your WordPress site is well-protected against any potential threats.

Protecting your WordPress content is crucial. Regular backups ensure your pages, posts, and media are safe from attacks. Always backup your files to keep your site secure and recoverable.

Take Backup of your site regularly

Read More: How to Backup Your Divi/WordPress Site

Disable the Plugin and Theme Modifications:

By default, WordPress allows admin users to edit plugin and theme files directly from the admin dashboard. While this feature can be convenient, it poses a significant security risk if an attacker gains access to an admin account. To enhance your site’s security and prevent unauthorized file changes, you should disable this capability. You can do this by adding the following line to your wp-config.php file:

define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );

If you want to go beyond just disabling the plugin and theme editors and also stop administrators from updating plugins and themes through the WordPress admin dashboard, you can use the following rule:

define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_MODS’, true );

Note: 

When managing your WordPress site, it’s crucial to use only one of these constants at a time to maintain security and functionality. As an admin, you can disable file editing within the WordPress dashboard by adding DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT to your configuration. This prevents unauthorized changes to your plugins and themes directly through the admin panel. Alternatively, if you prefer to handle updates through SFTP in the background, you can use DISALLOW_FILE_MODS. This setting disables all file modifications, including updates from the WordPress admin, ensuring changes are made only through secure, manual methods.

WordPress lets admins edit plugin and theme files from the dashboard, but it's risky. If attackers access an admin account, they can exploit this feature.

Disable the Plugin and Theme Modifications

Read More: 18 Best Free Divi Plugins

Do not allow unfiltered HTML

WordPress allows editors and admins to add JavaScript and HTML in comments, widgets, posts, and pages. However, if their accounts are compromised, this can pose a security risk to your site. To prevent this, you can filter the HTML they post by adding the following php code to your wp-config.php file:

define( ‘DISALLOW_UNFILTERED_HTML’, true );

By doing this, any JavaScript or HTML they attempt to post will be displayed as plain text, rather than executing potentially harmful code. This simple step can help protect your site from malicious attacks.

Don’t Allow Access to Your wp-config File

By default, your wp-config.php file is accessible to anyone, and this file contains very sensitive information like your database name, username, password, and security keys. To protect this crucial data, you should deny access to the wp-config.php file.

To prevent unauthorized access, add the following code snippet to your .htaccess file:

<Files wp-config.php>

Order Allow,Deny

Deny from all

</Files>

In the default WordPress .htaccess file, place this snippet below the Rewrite rules and above the closing </IfModule> tag. This simple step helps keep your configuration settings secure.

Don’t Allow Access to Your .htaccess File

Your .htaccess file, located in your WordPress installation, configures your Apache server settings and can be vulnerable to unauthorized access. To check if your .htaccess file is publicly accessible, enter https://your-website-url.com/.htaccess in your browser’s address bar. If the file is visible, it means anyone on the internet can access it.

To secure your .htaccess file and prevent unauthorized access, you can add the following rule to your .htaccess file:

<Files ~ “^.*\.([Hh][Tt][Aa])”>

    Order Allow,Deny

    Deny from all

    Satisfy all

</Files>

This rule denies access to any files that match the pattern, ensuring that your configuration files are protected from prying eyes.

Read More: Mastering Console Errors Checking for Your Divi Website

Disable directory browsing

Many WordPress users don’t realize that some directories can be accessed directly through a browser, making their site vulnerable. If your directory tree is publicly visible, it poses a significant security risk because hackers can easily access sensitive information about your installation.

To prevent this, you can disable directory browsing by adding the following line to your .htaccess file:

Options -Indexes

This simple step can significantly enhance your WordPress site’s security.

Final Thoughts

Securing your WordPress/Divi website without plugins is entirely feasible and crucial for maintaining a robust defense against potential threats. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can significantly enhance your site’s security posture.

From ensuring regular updates to using strong passwords, every step you take contributes to a more secure website. Limiting user permissions, changing default admin usernames, and avoiding unnecessary themes and plugins are simple yet effective practices that minimize risks.

Additionally, regularly backing up your site and disabling file modifications and directory browsing are vital measures to protect your content and sensitive information. Remember, these security enhancements can often be managed directly through your WordPress admin interface or by making minor adjustments to configuration files.

By taking these proactive steps, you not only safeguard your site from potential attacks but also ensure a smoother, more reliable user experience. Security is an ongoing process, so stay vigilant and keep your site updated. Embrace these practices, and you’ll build a resilient WordPress site capable of standing strong against any threat it may face.

Read More: How to troubleshoot Your Save Has Failed error in Divi

1 Comment

  1. Johannah

    Very useful information – thank you!

    Reply

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