Today I was reading through my RSS feeds and I came across a very interesting post from Matt Cutts. Basically he was describing 3 (plus a bonus) tips to secure your WordPress install. I was already using two of them, but the first one was new to me, and looks like it is the most effective one as well.
1. Secure the /wp-admin/ directory
You probably know that most of your WordPress sensitive information is stored in the /wp-admin/ folder. Right out of the box, WordPress leaves that folder open, so people can access these files if they know what they are doing.
Matt suggests to place a .htaccess file inside the /wp-admin/ folder to block the access to all IP addresses, except yours. Here is the code you need to put in the .htaccess file:
AuthName "Example Access Control"
deny from all
allow from xx.xx.xx.xx
allow from xx.xx.xxx.xx
2. Hide your plugins
Many WordPress plugins come with bugs and vulnerabilities that can be exploited to damage your website. The last thing you want, therefore, is other people being able to know what plugins you are using.
If you visit the folder /wp-content/plugins/ on most blogs, however, you will be able to see all the plugins that are being used. In order to hide that list you just need to create an empty index.html file and drop it there.
3. Keep up with patches and updates
Most bloggers probably carry out this tip already. Just keep your WordPress updated and you should be fine. Matt suggests subscribing to the WordPress Development Blog.
The final bonus tip was just to delete the meta tag that reveals your WordPress version on the header of your site.
Do you know any other security tips that WordPress users should apply?
Update: Browsing on the Internet I also came across a WordPress plugin called Login LockDown. Basically it will track down login attempts to your site, and if there are too many of them coming from the same IP address on a short period of time the plugin will disable the login function for that IP range. Useful to avoid people trying to brute force your password.