Securing Wordpress

File Permissions

The default permission scheme should be:

  • Folders 755
  • Files 644

Avoid having any file or directory set to 777. 777 means global access. Usually only cache files have this permission.

Via command line you can run the following commands to change permissions recursively:

# For Directories:
find /path/to/your/wordpress/install/ -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;

# For Files:
find /path/to/your/wordpress/install/ -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;
Secured File Permissions for specific files

You should set these permissions

600 -rw-------  /home/user/wp-config.php
604 -rw----r--  /home/user/cgi-bin/.htaccess
600 -rw-------  /home/user/cgi-bin/php.ini
711 -rwx--x--x  /home/user/cgi-bin/php.cgi
100 ---x------  /home/user/cgi-bin/php5.cgi

Run these commands to set them. Might have to re-check the paths for php/cgi files…

chmod 604 .htaccess; 
chmod 600 wp-config.php;
chmod 600 php.ini cgi-bin/php.ini; 
chmod 711 cgi-bin/php.cgi;
chmod 100 cgi-bin/php5.cgi;

Limiting file access rights

Add the following to .htaccess

# SECURING wp-config.php
<files wp-config.php>
order allow,deny
deny from all

# SECURING wp-includes
# Block the include-only files.
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^wp-admin/includes/ - [F,L]
RewriteRule !^wp-includes/ - [S=3]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/[^/]+\.php$ - [F,L]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/js/tinymce/langs/.+\.php - [F,L]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/theme-compat/ - [F,L]

# SECURING xmlrpc.php
# Prevent Brute forcing via xmlrpc.php by allowing ONLY localhost access xmlrpc.php 
# (some other plugin using xmlrpc e.g. Yoast might have an issue, check the log files, read up)
<files xmlrpc.php="">
Order Deny,Allow
Deny from all
Allow from
Satisfy All
ErrorDocument 403