How to Disable XML-RPC for Better Security

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We provide you with two secured methods to disable xml-rpc for better security in WordPress. In fact, we first mention that XML-RPC is a remote procedure call (RPC) protocol that allows communication between different software systems over the web. While it can be useful for certain functionalities in WordPress, such as remote publishing or managing the site via mobile apps, it can also pose a security risk if not properly configured or used.

Disable XML-RPC in WordPress for better security

You can follow the steps below:

Use a security plugin: One of the easiest ways to disable XML-RPC in WordPress is to use a security plugin that provides an option to disable it. Many popular security plugins, such as Wordfence, iThemes Security, and Sucuri Security, offer this feature. Simply install and activate the plugin, go to its settings, and look for an option to disable XML-RPC. Enable this option to disable XML-RPC on your WordPress site.

Use a code snippet: If you prefer not to use a plugin, you can also disable XML-RPC by adding a code snippet to your WordPress site’s functions.php file or in a custom plugin. Here’s an example of the code snippet you can use:


Here is the code
// Disable XML-RPC
add_filter(‘xmlrpc_enabled’, ‘__return_false’);

You can add this code snippet to your theme’s functions.php file or create a custom plugin using a code editor, and then upload it to your WordPress site. This will disable XML-RPC and improve your site’s security.

Use a security hardening plugin: Some security hardening plugins, such as Hardening Site, also offer an option to disable XML-RPC. These plugins focus on hardening your WordPress site by disabling unnecessary features and reducing the attack surface. Look for an option to disable XML-RPC in the settings of these plugins and enable it to disable XML-RPC.

Configure server-level settings: If you have access to your server’s configuration files, you can also disable XML-RPC at the server level. This can be done by adding the following code to your .htaccess file if you’re using an Apache web server:


This code will deny access to the xmlrpc.php file, effectively disabling XML-RPC on your WordPress site.

Why disabling XML-RPC in WordPress is so important?

Disabling XML-RPC in WordPress can help improve your site’s security by reducing the attack surface and mitigating potential vulnerabilities. However, before disabling XML-RPC, make sure to evaluate your site’s specific needs and functionalities to ensure that it won’t adversely impact any legitimate use cases. Always remember to back up your site before making any changes to your WordPress site’s settings or files.

How does XML-RPC work?

XML-RPC (Extensible Markup Language Remote Procedure Call) is a protocol that allows communication between applications over the Internet. It uses XML (Extensible Markup Language) as the data format and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) as the transport protocol. XML-RPC enables applications written in different programming languages to communicate with each other in a platform- and language-independent manner.

Here’s a basic overview of how XML-RPC works:

Client-Server Architecture: XML-RPC follows a client-server architecture, where one application acts as the client that sends requests, and another application acts as the server that processes those requests and sends back responses.

XML-RPC Message Format: Requests and responses in XML-RPC are formatted as XML documents. A typical XML-RPC message consists of an XML-RPC envelope that contains a method call or a method response. The method call represents a request from the client to the server, while the method response represents a response from the server to the client.

Method Calls: In a method call, the client sends a request to the server by specifying the name of the method to be invoked, along with any parameters that need to be passed to the method. These parameters are encoded as XML elements within the method call.

Method Responses: The server processes the method call and sends back a response to the client in the form of a method response. The method response contains the result of the method call, which is also encoded as an XML element.

Transport Protocol: XML-RPC uses HTTP as the transport protocol for sending XML-RPC messages over the Internet. Clients send XML-RPC requests as HTTP POST requests to the server, and the server responds with XML-RPC responses as HTTP responses.

Encoding and Decoding: XML-RPC uses a simple data encoding scheme that allows for basic data types such as strings, integers, booleans, arrays, and structs to be represented in XML format. Data is encoded in the XML-RPC message by converting it into XML elements, and the receiver decodes the XML elements to extract the data.

Language and Platform Independence: One of the key benefits of XML-RPC is that it is language and platform-independent. Clients and servers can be implemented in different programming languages and run on different platforms, as long as they adhere to the XML-RPC protocol.

Overall, XML-RPC provides a simple and lightweight way for applications to communicate with each other over the Internet, making it suitable for a wide range of distributed applications and services.

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