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
- Anatomy of the login area
- Protecting your WordPress login area
- Customizing the login area
- Not all users are created equal
- Using custom user roles to improve productivity
- Managing administrator login across multiple sites
Accessing login area
By default, you can access the login area at the following addresses:
Anatomy of the login area
Once you’ve loaded one of the URLs above in your browser, you should see something like this:
This area has three main functions:
- Accepting credentials for logging into the WordPress backend (
- Storing the username for faster login on subsequent visits (
- Linking to the password reset area (
Lost your password)
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
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.
In the example above the company logo replaces the default WordPress logo. Also, the color of the login button now matches the new logo. Finally, a local image relevant to the site owner makes 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. You can compare the features of the most-used login customization plugins on our blog.
Alternatively, building custom login pages is relatively straightforward with plugins such as SeedProd and WPForms.
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.
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.
Access to the features on your site is controlled by the
roles and capabilities system in WordPress. Each user is assigned a
role, and each role is assigned a set of
capabilities. Here are the default roles present on all WordPress websites:
Regardless of role, all users login to your WordPress website the same way.
Using custom user roles to improve productivity
The default user roles noted above are not always sufficient to manage the users on a site, especially complex sites or sites with multiple contributors/staff.
In these situations it may be wise to create custom
roles in WordPress and assign specific capabilities to the roles.
For example, you might create
shop manager roles. Specific capabilities assigned to to these roles could allow publishing posts and updating the status of an order, respectively.
Review our examples of leveraging user roles on our blog to determine if custom roles make sense for your website.
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 (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 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.