Lorenzo Sfienti

How to disable xmlrpc file in WordPress

XML-RPC is a remote procedure call (RPC) protocol used by WordPress to communicate between different systems. While it provides various functionalities, including remote publishing, it also poses security risks. This article will guide you through the process of disabling XML-RPC in WordPress, ensuring better security and improved performance for your website.

XML-RPC allows external applications to interact with your WordPress site. It enables features such as publishing content remotely, managing comments, and performing other administrative tasks. However, due to security concerns, many users prefer to disable XML-RPC on their WordPress installations.

Understanding the Security Risks

XML-RPC can be exploited by malicious actors to launch brute force attacks, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and scrape content from your website.

Brute Force Attacks

By default, XML-RPC allows unlimited login attempts without any restrictions. This makes it an easy target for hackers attempting to guess passwords through automated login attempts. Disabling XML-RPC can help mitigate this risk.

DDoS Attacks

XML-RPC can also be exploited to perform DDoS attacks on your website. Attackers can send a large number of requests to the XML-RPC endpoint, causing an overload on your server resources and potentially crashing your website.

Content Scraping

XML-RPC can be abused to scrape content from your website, allowing unauthorized users to duplicate your content or misuse it for malicious purposes.

Reasons to Disable XML-RPC in WordPress

There are several reasons why you might want to disable XML-RPC on your WordPress site.

Enhanced Security

By disabling XML-RPC, you eliminate a potential entry point for attackers and reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your website.

Improved Performance

Disabling XML-RPC can help improve the overall performance of your website by reducing unnecessary server requests.

Prevention of Unwanted Requests

Disabling XML-RPC prevents unwanted requests from external sources, ensuring that your server resources are dedicated to legitimate traffic only.

Benefits of Disabling XML-RPC

Disabling XML-RPC provides several benefits for your WordPress website:

Enhanced Security

By disabling XML-RPC, you reduce the attack surface of your website, making it more resistant to potential security breaches.

Improved Performance

Disabling XML-RPC can help optimize the performance of your website by reducing unnecessary server requests and minimizing the load on your server.

Reduced Server Load

With XML-RPC disabled, your server resources are better utilized for serving legitimate traffic, improving the overall user experience.

Protection Against Brute Force Attacks

By disabling XML-RPC, you eliminate a potential avenue for brute force attacks, safeguarding your website’s login system.

Methods to Disable XML-RPC

There are many different methods to disable XML-RPC in WordPress.

Personally, I prefer to use the method with .htaccess: simple and secure.

Just open the .htaccess of the WordPress installation and add at the end of the file this:

<Files xmlrpc.php>
Order deny,allow
Deny from all