Essential Steps to Secure Your WordPress Website with PHP Code Examples

WordPress is a widely popular content management system (CMS) used by millions of websites around the world. However, due to its popularity, it is also a prime target for hackers and malicious attacks. Ensuring the security of your WordPress website is crucial to protect your data, user information, and online reputation. In this article, we will explore essential steps to secure your WordPress website using PHP code examples.

Keep WordPress and Plugins Up-to-Date

Regularly updating your WordPress core files and plugins is crucial for maintaining a secure website.

Developers often release updates to patch security vulnerabilities and improve overall performance.

You can add the following code snippet to your theme’s functions.php file to enable automatic updates for WordPress core files:

add_filter( 'auto_update_core', '__return_true' );

Secure wp-config.php

The wp-config.php file contains sensitive information, such as database credentials. Protecting this file is crucial. Add the following code snippet to your .htaccess file to prevent unauthorized access:

<Files wp-config.php>
    order allow,deny
    deny from all

Limit Login Attempts

Brute-force attacks can be a major threat to your WordPress website’s security. Implementing a login attempt limiter can mitigate this risk. Add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file to restrict login attempts:

function limit_login_attempts() {
    $login_attempts_limit = 3;
    if ( isset( $_COOKIE['login_attempts'] ) ) {
    } else {
        setcookie( 'login_attempts', 1, time() + 60*60*24 );
    if ( $_COOKIE['login_attempts'] > $login_attempts_limit ) {
        wp_die( 'Too many login attempts. Please try again later.' );
add_action( 'wp_login_failed', 'limit_login_attempts' );

Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL certificates enable encrypted communication between your website and its visitors, ensuring that data transmitted is secure. To enforce SSL, add the following code snippet to your theme’s functions.php file:

function force_ssl() {
    if ( ! is_ssl() ) {
        wp_redirect( 'https://' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], 301 );
add_action( 'template_redirect', 'force_ssl' );

Disable File Editing

By default, WordPress allows administrators to edit theme and plugin files from the dashboard. Disabling this feature adds an extra layer of security. Add the following code snippet to your wp-config.php file:

define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );

Implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Adding an extra layer of authentication significantly enhances your website’s security. You can use a plugin like “Two Factor Authentication” or implement a custom solution using the following code snippet:

function custom_two_factor_auth() {
    // Your custom code for two-factor authentication
add_action( 'wp_authenticate', 'custom_two_factor_auth' );

Securing your WordPress website is an ongoing process that requires regular updates, maintenance, and the implementation of security measures.

By following the steps outlined in this article and incorporating the provided PHP code examples, you can significantly enhance the security of your WordPress website.

Remember, staying proactive in maintaining a secure website is essential to protect your data and provide a safe browsing experience for your users.

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny is a highly skilled Lead Senior Developer at GALTON Brands, specializing in WordPress development, PHP, and databases. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creating exceptional online experiences, Jan consistently delivers top-notch solutions that drive results. His extensive expertise in WordPress, coupled with his deep understanding of PHP and database management, enables him to design and develop robust, scalable, and user-friendly websites.