Protect your WordPress login
Update: This post is outdated. We now offer SSL certificates for free to all customers, and recommend that you make your entire WordPress blog use SSL (rather than just making the dashboard SSL using the FORCE_SSL_ADMIN trick described below).
Do you login to your WordPress blog securely? Are your username and password encrypted so that “hackers” can’t steal them and then break into your blog? (Probably not!)
By default, each WordPress blog is configured to send the login username and password as plain (unencrypted) text. If a hacker can see what you are sending during your login, they can easily steal your username and password. This can happen if you have a virus installed on your computer. It can also happen if your computer is virus-free but connects via WiFi. If your main computer uses a wireless connection, or if you or other users of your blog ever login with their laptops — blogging from a coffee shop, anyone? — remember that these connections can be insecure, and could be susceptible to revealing your password.
You can protect your blog by installing an “SSL certificate” and configuring WordPress to require secure logins. Your browser will then encrypt your username and password so that no one can intercept them.
Traditionally, only online stores used SSL certificates because they were very expensive. But SSL certificate prices have dropped quite a bit recently, and they’re now low enough that we think SSL certificates should be widely used to protect all logins and other sensitive data.
If you are a Tiger Technologies customer, you can get an SSL certificate for a great price. (One type of certificate, a “self-signed certificate”, is even free if you’re already on our Gold or Platinum hosting plans.) If you’re not a Tiger Technologies customer, you can search for companies selling SSL certificates or search for free self-signed certificates.
Once you have an SSL certificate installed on your site, it’s easy to configure WordPress to use secure logins. Simply add this line anywhere to your wp-config.php file (after the opening “<?php” line):
This will ensure that your username and password are submitted to WordPress securely; all of your subsequent work (creating posts, etc) will be secure as well. You’ll see your Web browser’s “padlock” icon when you are using a secure connection. The WordPress “Administration Over SSL” page has more details.