Rename wp-login.php for security
Please direct me to a resource on how to rename wp-login.php.
Is it the same as wp-admin.php? Should I do both?
I know a lot has been said about security through obfuscation, and many people don’t use it because it’s not effective as a stand-alone security measure.
What is the consensus? Should I use it?
Do you use it? If not please recommend other methods.
wp-admin is a directory and when it is accessed without being logged in you get re directed to wp-login.php.
The WordPress user auth system is very secure and as long as you use a STRONG password you don’t need to worry about this. Moving or renaming wp-admin or wp-login.php does not work and will cause more problems.
If you are really paranoid use a plugin like Limit Login Attempts.
Thank you, that’s an honest answer.
What is the user auth system – is that standard?
User authorisation system. And yes, it’s part of WordPress core (ie standard).
@chris Olbekson, why do you say renaming will cause more problems?
Like what sort of problems?
I just cannot come to terms with the fact that the login is in plain view.
If there’s a lock-down on the amount of attempts allowed, won’t it be easy for unscrupulous persons to effectively lock out legitimate users by using incorrect passwords all the time?
I use a renamed wp-login.php from months with great satisfaction. It’s easy just google it.
But today i was spending time hardening my WP, and i had a very dumb doubt: what happens if i type “mydomain.com/wp-admin/” only? You get redirected to “mydomain.com/wp-admin/your-secret-login.php”!
So i ask myself… what is the advantage in renaming wp-login? It’s placebo!
So Chris is right… but i can’t understand why WordPress doesn’t introduce a native brute-force feature. I hate editing core files to increase security or running external plugins.
I have to disagree with Chris and swordspres that “you don’t need to worry about this” and that it is “placebo”.
RULE #1: Obfuscation translates to increased security.
Many botnets are designed specifically to look for “wp-login.php” or “/wp-admin”. If you can write HTACCESS to reject direct calls to those locations, doing the URL rewriting server-side from other URLs instead, then you will not only be adding a defense to your security which bots are currently not accustomed to being prepared for, you will also be saving your server the resources that would have been given to all those bots that would have otherwise identified your site as WordPress and subsequently began attempting brute force and other hacks, in addition to comment spam, etc.
If you can get it done, and ensure that it is compatible with all your plugins and themes, then I’d say by all means GO FOR IT: your security will be improved and you will conserve server resources.
So in the spirit of helpfulness: there is a related and very helpful discussion on StackExchange.
@swordspres – if you knew HTACCESS you could play with redirects.
The redirect from “yourdomain.com/wp-admin/” to “yourdomain.com/wp-admin/your-secret-login.php” is not necessary – I don’t get redirected.
but i can’t understand why WordPress doesn’t introduce a native brute-force feature. I hate editing core files to increase security or running external plugins.
Rule#1 sounds right to me too.
I now have good custom HTACCESS. It’s somewhat bulky but at least I have custom settings which are my own and make me feel safer.
Note: If you’re not using HTACCESS and your plugins tell you that a brute-force attempt occurred, what will you do with the information it gathers?
It’s like knowing They’re Coming for You and that that playout is going to repeat itself infinitely and that you’re expected to feel fortunate when when you’re not struck.
Jeff Starr’s knowledge base is helpful when you want to be proactive.
If you’re not using HTACCESS and your plugins tell you that a brute-force attempt occurred, what will you do with the information it gathers?
Well, exceptionally strong passwords is of course the first step. Atypical usernames (not “admin” or any variation on your name or the site name) is the second step.
But beyond that: certain WordPress plugins can actually add security features to HTACCESS for you, even W3 Total Cache. Bad Behavior does some similar things. And don’t underestimate CloudFlare’s optional threat control settings — since CloudFlare operates at the DNS level, it can prevent gobs of bots from even reaching your server. Just carefully go through all the settings and regularly check the threat control dashboard.
If you do utilize HTACCESS settings (see especially the 5G Blacklist and related WP plugin), I would expect Bad Behavior to be redundant enough to not warrant the additional processor load.
Renaming wp-login.php is possible and it avoids A LOT of brute-force bots. Just rename it to (example) wp-loginABCD.php and also rename all 13 “wp-login.php” instanced inside to “wp-loginABCD.php”. Everything will work fine.
Choosing a different wp-login name should be part of basic WordPress installation process. Also renaming admin account and accepting ONLY strong passwords with more than 14 characters.
My plugin Rename wp-login will do this for you without breaking registration, lost password, login forms etc. Also works with plugins that hook into the standard wp-login.php, so it works nicely with e.g. Limit Login Attempts. wp-login.php will be also be blocked with a 404 status, so attacks focussed on that file are blocked.
I appreciate any suggestions.
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