Every server has a limit, and your website can only take a certain number of simultaneous visitors before the server breaks down. This is how a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack works in a nutshell. Setting up WordPress DDoS protection is a prudent choice, given how common they are.
You may reduce the effects of DDoS assaults on your website in a variety of ways. Blocking questionable IPs and investing in DDoS protection services are both excellent first steps. Defending your website against DDoS attacks from the beginning might save you a lot of effort and money in the long run.
In this essay, we’ll look at the numbers behind the threat of DDoS attacks. Then we’ll go through five different ways to safeguard your WordPress site from DDoS attacks.
Let’s get started!
Why your website might need DDoS protection
DDoS attacks are far more common than you may believe. DDoS attacks surged by 39% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year, which saw millions of strikes. Their potency is also skyrocketing, with attacks of over 500 gigabits per second (Gbps) becoming increasingly prevalent.
These attacks aren’t just aimed at huge websites. Attackers looking to extort a ransom can target even modest websites. As a result, WordPress DDoS protection is virtually a requirement rather than a precaution.
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Five methods to secure your WordPress site against DDoS attacks
DDoS assaults can be frightening, but there are several strategies to safeguard your WordPress site from them.
You might never find yourself in a situation where a DDoS assault takes down your website if you’re proactive. Let’s look at five distinct approaches.
1. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
CDNs are companies that store copies of your website on their servers. The most popular CDNs provide data centers all over the world, acting as a go-between for you and your site’s users.
Your CDN will offer a cached copy of your site from its servers whenever possible, putting less burden on yours. Furthermore, because CDNs are designed with performance in mind, they can help you reduce overall loading times.
DDoS attacks are mitigated by CDNs, which prevent the resulting traffic from overloading your website. They can detect unusual traffic patterns and, if things are scaling too quickly, they can take action to reduce the threat.
Some CDNs, such as Cloudflare, can also operate as a reverse proxy, protecting your WordPress site against DDoS attacks.
Who should think about using a CDN?
To increase their performance, most websites can benefit from implementing a CDN. However, it should come as no surprise that many of them are premium services. The good news is that there are several excellent free CDN choices available, and the most of them work seamlessly with WordPress.
2. Sign up for a dedicated DDoS protection service
While most CDNs provide DDoS protection as an add-on, there are other firms that have established entire businesses on it.
Google, for example, has a program called Project Shield that is only available via invitation.
Other DDoS prevention services are often on the higher end of the price spectrum. This is the type of service that is normally solely paid for by businesses. To give you an idea, AWS offers a DDoS prevention solution called Shield, which costs $3,000 per month for the Advanced tier.
Who should think about DDoS defense on a dedicated basis:
Dedicated DDoS protection may be excessive unless you run a huge eCommerce operation that can’t afford to be down for even an hour. This type of service is pricey, therefore you’ll need a large budget for it.
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3. Switch to a new hosting provider
The majority of web hosts brag about their capabilities. However, it is clear that not all of them are performing at the same level. Even under mild load, certain web hosting servers slow down substantially, making them poor choices if you’re facing a DDoS attack.
The good news is that most reliable web hosting companies implement some sort of server-level security against traffic floods. SiteGround, for example, employs a hardware firewall that monitors unusually large connections.
WP Engine, for example, comes pre-integrated with Cloudflare to provide DDoS protection for all of its plans. These are two of our favorite WordPress web hosting, but they aren’t the only ones who provide DDoS protection.
Who should think about moving hosting providers:
If you believe your web host is degrading the performance of your website, you should transfer providers as soon as feasible.
4. Set up a firewall
Firewalls are undoubtedly something you’ve heard of before. A firewall is a piece of software that uses its own set of pre-programmed rules to safeguard your computer against unauthorized access.
You can use your firewall to limit the amount of users who visit your website within a given time period and filter out those who are most likely bots. If you set the number to a sensible value, you should be able to halt most DDoS attempts without affecting the user experience.
Plugins are one way to accomplish this in WordPress. Wordfence, for example, has a Rate Limiting tool that you may use to limit the number of users and crawlers who can access your website.
Who should think about putting a WordPress firewall in place:
We’ve previously discussed our thoughts on WordPress security plugins. Many of them go beyond and make more changes to your website than are actually necessary, causing performance issues.
Instead, we propose using a free CDN if you’re searching for a low-cost and simple-to-implement WordPress DDoS prevention method.
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5. Blacklist suspicious IP addresses
This method for WordPress DDoS prevention is a little more hands-on than others. It entails keeping track of which IP addresses are attempting to access your site and blacklisting any that exhibit suspicious behavior, such as:
- Repeated login attempts
- An unreasonably high number of visits
- IP clusters flooding your website with traffic
By modifying your.htaccess file, WordPress allows you to block IP addresses at the server level:
To achieve the same purpose, you can utilize plugins like All In One WP Security & Firewall:
However, you’ll need a mechanism to keep an eye on strange IP behavior, and this strategy isn’t going to help you avoid DDoS attacks. Even so, you can mitigate them if you’re quick — and it’s free.
Who should consider adding IP addresses to a blacklist:
IP blacklisting might be an excellent strategy to secure your website if you’re more worried with brute force attacks than DDoS attacks. If you don’t want to employ any plugins or third-party services on your website, it’s also a viable choice.
Even modest websites are vulnerable to DDoS attacks these days. Furthermore, certain groups use them as a sort of extortion against enterprises, therefore installing WordPress DDoS protection is a wise decision.
You can defend your WordPress website from DDoS assaults in five ways:
- Use a CDN.
- Sign up for a dedicated DDoS protection service.
- Upgrade your hosting plan or switch to a new provider.
- Set up a firewall.
- Blacklist suspicious IP addresses.