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Choose the Right Username and Password for WordPress Security

June 21st, 2022

Many WordPress users make the mistake of setting up their WordPress website with easy to guess passwords or common usernames which can lead to a higher risk of brute force attacks.

What is a brute force attack?

A brute force attack is a method of attempting to gain unauthorized access to a system, account, or data by systematically trying all possible combinations of passwords or encryption keys until the correct one is found. These types of attacks are commonly used on WordPress websites as the admin login page is well known and easy to test for on many sites in a short period of time. Once your website has been identified as a WordPress site it can become vulnerable.

Here are the steps you can take to ensure your WordPress website is not vulnerable to these types of attacks.

Choose a Unique Username for WordPress

Improve WordPress Security

Choosing a unique username for your WordPress site is crucial for security. Common usernames like “admin” or “administrator” are frequent targets for attackers, increasing the risk of successful brute force attacks. By opting for a unique username, you bolster your site’s defenses and make it significantly more challenging for malicious actors to gain unauthorized access.

Strong WordPress usernames should be both unique and difficult to guess, enhancing the security of your accounts. Incorporate a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to create usernames that are less susceptible to brute force attacks and unauthorized access attempts. Examples like “BlueSparrow42” or “DigitalGuardian6” demonstrate how a good username can combine personalization with an extra layer of security.

Choosing a Strong Password for WordPress

Selecting a strong password for your WordPress site, one that avoids common words and exceeds a character count of 12 or more, is a very important aspect of robust security. Common or easily guessable passwords, such as “password” or “123456,” are the first targets for attackers in brute force attacks. When you choose a strong password, you significantly reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access to your site.

Strong passwords are typically complex and challenging for attackers to guess or crack. They work because they combine a variety of character types, making them resilient against common hacking methods. Examples of strong passwords include “P@$$w0rd2023” and “Fr$8#nDly&Lion.” These passwords incorporate a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols, increasing their complexity. The inclusion of uncommon words, symbols, and a longer character count makes them less vulnerable to brute force attacks.

Change the WordPress Default Login URL for More Protection

Changing the WordPress login URL can provide an additional layer of protection to your website. The default login page for WordPress is often targeted by attackers, making it a common entry point for malicious activities such as brute force attacks. By altering the login URL to something unique, you make it much more challenging for potential intruders to find and exploit this crucial access point.

Changing the WordPress Default Login URL Without a Plugin

Changing the admin URL in WordPress without a plugin can be achieved by using the “login_url” hook, a native WordPress feature, which allows you to customize the login URL without the need for additional plugins. In order to make this change you will need experience editing your themes files so only proceed if you know what you are doing, if you are unsure, refer to the section below on using a plugin.

add_filter( 'login_url', 'my_login_page', 10, 3 );
function my_login_page( $login_url, $redirect, $force_reauth ) {
    return home_url( '/my-login-page/?redirect_to=' . $redirect );
}

Using this snippet of code will change your WordPress admin URL to: http://example.com/my-login-page/

You can refer to the login_url Hook page on the WordPress developers resources website for more information on this method. Always make a backup of your site prior to making theme changes.

Changing the WordPress Default Login URL With a Plugin

Changing the WordPress login URL with a plugin offers the advantage of not requiring direct code modification. This can be particularly helpful for users who may not be comfortable with coding or who want a quick and user-friendly solution.

We recommend these plugins to change the WordPress admin URL:

WPS Hide Login: WPS Hide Login is a very light plugin that lets you easily and safely change the url of the login form page to anything you want. It doesn’t literally rename or change files in core, nor does it add rewrite rules.

Change WP Admin Login: Change WP Admin Login is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that allows you to safely change your WordPress website’s admin login URL to anything you want.

If you need assistance ensuring your WordPress website is up to date and secure contact our Website Design Services team today for assistance.

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