The ultimate guide to the WordPress login area

The WordPress login area is a critical component of your website. As an administrator, the login page is the starting point for site maintenance like software updates and backups.

But the WordPress login area is also where you and your clients will create the content that will drive the success of the website such as posts, pages, products, and events.

Herein we will do a deep dive into the WordPress login area so it best suits your needs and those of your clients.

Table of Contents

Accessing login area

By default, you can access the login area at the following addresses:

  • domain.com/wp-login.php
  • domain.com/wp-login/
  • domain.com/wp-admin/

Anatomy of the login area

Once you’ve loaded one of the URLs above in your browser, you should see something like this:

default wordpress login
The default WordPress login page

This area has main functions:

  • Accepting credentials for logging into the WordPress backend (username and password)
  • Storing the username for faster login on subsequent visits (Remember me)
  • Linking to the password reset area (Lost your password)

Not all users are created equal

Not all of the users on your site have access to the same features on your WordPress website. For example, Administrators can access all areas of the backend while subscribers can only update their profiles and change their passwords.

Regardless of role, all users can use the same login form.

Protecting your WordPress login area

To protect the privacy of your users and the security of your website, it is imperative to strictly control who has access to the backend. Thus, the login area must be well-protected against unauthorized access.

Efforts to secure the login area must address the fact that the default login URLs (see above) are well-known targets for bad actors on the internet. Thus, it is advisable to use a combination of strategies to improve the security of the login area such as:

  • Requiring 2-factor authentication in addition to a username/password
  • Adding an anti-bot challenge such as hCaptcha
  • Modifying the login URLs to something difficult to guess
  • Limit IP addresses that can access the login URL
  • Limit the number of login attempts with a set time or from a specific IP Address
  • Require strong passwords and reset them frequently
  • Disable new user registration
  • Ensure that the default permissions for new users do not allow backend access
  • Prevent login errors from revealing whether or not a user is registered on your website
  • Use individual user accounts for each person who logs in

Customizing the login area

Customized WordPress login screen

Why customize the login area

Customizing the login area in WordPress is a great way to promote your own brand and keep you top-of-mind with your clients.

As shown in the example above, the WordPress logo has been replaced. The color of the login button is also modified to match the new logo. Finally, a local image relevant to the site owner has been added to help make the login area “feel like home”.

How to customize the WordPress login area

Many users choose use a dedicated plugin from the WordPress plugin repository to customize the WordPress login area. Note however that premium versions will likely be required to create a truly engaging login experience.

You can compare the features of the most-used login customization plugins on our blog.

Alternatively, page builders like SeedProd and plugins like WPForms can also be used to create a custom login page.

If you prefer to avoid using extra plugins, you can make some simple changes to the login area by manually adding a code snippet to your site. For example, this tutorial will show you how to change the logo in the login area.

Managing administrator login across multiple sites

If you are managing administrator access to multiple WordPress sites, creating accounts, resetting passwords, and removing accounts can be tedious and time consuming. There are two ways to approach this: single sign-on and Role Up.

Single Sign-on

Single sign-on (SSO) allows users to login to WordPress using the username and password from another service. For example, you can use a plugin to allow users to login with their Gmail or active directory credentials.

To learn more on this topic, please visit our WordPress Single sign-on page.

RoleUp

RoleUp is an alternative to SSO that centralizes the management of administrators and other users on your WordPress websites. It makes it easy to monitor the sites users have access to. RoleUp also simplifies the process if adding and removing users, and resetting passwords.

Ready to get started?