Are you starting an online business and thinking about building a WordPress website? One of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing a username for your administrator account. While WordPress assigns the “admin” username by default, creating a custom username is crucial for security reasons. In this post, we’ll explain why using the “admin” username is a security risk and how to change your username in WordPress.
We’ll also provide tips for creating a strong and secure password and discuss the importance of regularly updating your WordPress website and its plugins. By the end of this post, you’ll know how to keep your WordPress website safe from hackers.
Using the “Admin” Username Is a Security Risk
Using the “admin” username is a security risk because it’s the first thing a hacker will try when they attempt to gain access to your website. By default, WordPress assigns all administrator accounts the “admin” username. If you don’t customize your username, hackers can easily guess your credentials and break into your website.
Information required for administrative access to a WordPress website
Hackers typically need three pieces of information to gain administrative-level access to a WordPress website: the username of an administrator role account, the password, and the dashboard login URL. If you use the “admin” username, they’ll have an easier time breaching your website under the guise of an administrative-level user.
Default usernames and login URLs in WordPress
WordPress creates default usernames for administrator role accounts, and it creates default dashboard login URLs for all websites on which the CMS is installed. The default WordPress username is “admin,” whereas the default dashboard login URL is “/admin” or “/wp-admin” affixed to the website’s domain.
The consequences of not changing the default login information
Unless you change your username or dashboard login URL, hackers will only need to find your password to gain administrative-level access to your website. Hackers will already know your username and dashboard login URL because they are the default options. With the help of brute force attack software, hackers may then spam random passwords until they are able to crack your website and log in as an administrative-level user.
The increased risk of phishing with the “admin” username
Using the “admin” username can increase the risk of phishing schemes as well. Phishing schemes often involve emails. Scammers may email legitimate businesses to solicit information like bank account numbers and login credentials. Scammers may use a relevant salutation to trick businesses into responding to their phishing emails.
The danger of phishing emails with the “admin” salutation
You may receive phishing emails with the “admin” salutation. If you use the “admin” username, you may assume these emails are safe. No phishing email, of course, is safe. Phishing emails are inherently dangerous because they are designed to trick the businesses or individuals to whom they are sent.
How to Change Your Username
A study conducted by Sucuri found that over four-fifths of all WordPress breaches involve weak or stolen passwords. But more than a strong and secure password is needed. You should combine it with a custom username. Even if you didn’t specify a custom username during the installation process, you can still change your username.
You can change your username in WordPress by creating a new administrator role account and deleting your old account with the “admin” username. After logging in to the WordPress dashboard, navigate to the “Users” tab on the left-hand menu and select “Add New.”
WordPress will prompt you for some information about the new account. At a minimum, you’ll need to enter a username, email address, and password, and you’ll have to choose a role type. You can enter any custom username for the new account. Remember to select “Administrator” for the role type so that your new account has administrative privileges. When finished, return to the “Users” tab and delete your old account with the “admin” username.
Another way to change your username is to use a plugin. WordPress doesn’t offer a native feature for changing usernames. Unless you want to modify database tables, you’ll have to create a new account and delete your old account or use a plugin. Easy Username Updater is a free plugin that allows you to change usernames easily. You can use it to change your username from “admin” to a custom username.
Don’t Forget to Create a Display Name
In addition to creating a custom username, you should create a display name. WordPress supports both usernames and display names for accounts. A display name is a nickname. WordPress will show the display name associated with your account when you publish posts and respond to comments.
A username is a login name. It’s the name you’ll need to enter — in conjunction with the password — to log in to your account. All accounts must have a username; display names are optional. If you don’t create a display name, however, WordPress will show your username. Your username may appear next to blog posts that you publish and comments to which you respond.
The primary reason for creating a custom username is so that hackers won’t know it. Allowing WordPress to show your custom username next to blog posts and comments will reveal it. By creating a display name, you can keep it hidden. You can still log in using your custom username, but WordPress will display your name next to blog posts and comments; it won’t show your username.
To create a display name in WordPress, pull up the administrator role account for which you created your custom username. You should see a “Nickname” field about halfway down the settings page for the account. Enter your preferred display name in this field.
Choosing the Right Username and Display Name
Choose a display name for your administrator role account that won’t affect your website’s security. The display name will only be shown next to the content you publish. Your username, on the other hand, can affect your website’s security.
Like with passwords, creating a long and complex username will better protect your website from breaches. Hackers will have to find your username to breach your website. If it’s too short and simple, they may easily guess it.
Keep in mind that usernames aren’t limited to letters. They can include letters, numbers, underscores, periods, ampersands, and hyphens.
Creating a custom username for your WordPress website is an essential step in keeping it secure. With a long and complex username, hackers will have a much harder time trying to breach your website. Make sure to create both a custom username and display name to ensure that your login credentials are kept secure while still showing the appropriate name next to any content you publish. It’s a simple step that you can take to ensure the safety of your WordPress website.