The pitfalls we encountered while attempting to publish an informative article on optimizing WordPress site security and the steps we took to troubleshoot the issue, including the unexpected impact of .htaccess keywords and the lessons learned in the process.
WordPress is one of the most widely used content management systems (CMS) in the world. It is an open-source platform that enables users to create and manage websites, including blogs, online stores, and corporate sites, with ease. WordPress offers a vast array of features, including customizable themes, plugins, and widgets. However, with the growth of WordPress comes the risk of security breaches. As a result, website owners need to take measures to ensure the safety of their site, including restricting access and utilizing security plugins. In this article, we will delve into the challenges we faced when publishing an article on optimizing WordPress site security and how we overcame them.
Recently, we published an article titled “Ways to Optimize WordPress Site Security by Restricting Access and Utilizing Sucuri Plugin.” It was a well-researched article that highlighted the importance of website security and offered practical tips to safeguard WordPress sites. However, as soon as we clicked on the WordPress “Publish” button, we were faced with a 403 Forbidden error.
At first, we were puzzled because we had not made any changes to the website’s code in the past few days. We had published articles before without any issues, so we were perplexed as to why we could not publish this one. We started to troubleshoot the problem by disabling Cloudflare, a popular content delivery network (CDN), but this did not resolve the issue. We then deactivated all the plugins on our blog, which were only nine, and tried to publish the article again, but we still received the same error.
We began to feel anxious because we could not understand what the problem was, and we needed to publish the article. It was crucial to us and our readers, as it was a valuable resource for improving website security. After some time, we discovered the culprit: the .htaccess keyword.
To enhance our website’s security, we had added some years ago the following code to our .htaccess file:
deny from all
This code prevents anyone from accessing the .htaccess file on our website, which can contain sensitive information such as login credentials and server configurations. However, we did not anticipate that this code would prevent us from adding a keyword to our article called “.htaccess.”
When we attempted to publish the article, WordPress was trying to write the “.htaccess” keyword to the database, which the code in our .htaccess file prohibited. It made sense why we could not publish the article. After removing the “.htaccess” keyword from our list of keywords, we were able to publish the article successfully.
The experience taught us an essential lesson about website security: security measures should be carefully considered and implemented. We had taken steps to enhance our website’s security, but we did not anticipate the impact of our actions on the website’s functionality. As a result, we inadvertently created a problem that affected our ability to publish an article.
The incident highlights the importance of testing security measures to ensure they do not interfere with website functionality. Security measures such as adding code to the .htaccess file should be carefully considered and tested before implementation. If a problem does arise, it is essential to troubleshoot the issue systematically until the root cause is identified and resolved.
Optimizing WordPress site security is a critical task that should not be taken lightly. Website owners need to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of their sites, including restricting access and utilizing security plugins. However, it is crucial to test these measures to ensure they do not interfere with website functionality. We hope our experience serves as a valuable lesson to others seeking to enhance their website security.