WordPress is an amazing platform that enables you to build almost any type of website you want. However, your website isn’t going to get anywhere if you can’t remember how to log into your WordPress dashboard.
Your WordPress login URL can vary depending on several factors. For example, if you install WordPress in a subdirectory, the Content Management System (CMS) will use a different URL structure by default. If you can identify what type of setup you’re working with, finding your login URL is much easier.
In this article, we’ll go over how the WordPress login system works and several approaches to find its URL. Then we’ll talk about ways you can secure your login page. Let’s get to work!
A Quick Overview of the WordPress Login Page
Before you can access the WordPress dashboard, you’ll need to log in. By default, the WordPress login page is pretty straightforward. You type in your username or email address and password which gives you access to your admin area.
From here, you can also recover your password in case you forget it:
All in all, using your login page shouldn’t give you any trouble. However, to access it, you need to pay attention to your login URL — and this can change depending on your WordPress setup.
How to Find Your WordPress Login URL Using 4 Methods
Finding your WordPress login URL should be straightforward. In most cases, its structure depends on how you install WordPress. Let’s go over what the possible variations are.
1. Default WordPress Login URL
On a regular WordPress installation, you can usually locate your login page using one of these three URL structures:
Technically, number three is the correct URL structure for the WordPress login page. However, most web hosts will automatically set up the yourwebsite.com/login redirect for you. Moreover, if you try accessing the WordPress admin without being logged in, the CMS will redirect you to the same page as the other two URLs.
Keep in mind — these examples will only work if you don’t install WordPress in a subdirectory or a subdomain. Now let’s talk about what to do in those situations.
2. Subdirectory WordPress Login URL
The WordPress login page works exactly the same whether you install it directly on your root directory or a subdirectory. However, the URL structure changes in the latter case, as seen below:
The wordpress directory in the above examples is a placeholder. When you install WordPress on a subdirectory, you usually get to create a new folder, so simply use its name in your URL instead.
3. Subdomain WordPress Login URL
If you’re using a subdomain instead of a subdirectory, your WordPress login URL should look like the following:
In most cases, one of these three structures should lead to your login page. However, you could also be using a custom login URL, so we’ll cover this next.
4. Custom WordPress Login URL
Some WordPress websites use custom login URLs for security purposes. The idea is that by not using the default login URL structure, you can better protect yourself against malicious access to your website.
From a security standpoint, using a custom login URL is an excellent idea. However, if you forget what the login URL is, you’re in a spot of trouble. After all and given their nature, custom URLs aren’t limited to descriptive names.
Some web hosts will set up custom login URLs for new users. In this case, you should have an email somewhere including a link to your login page.
If you don’t, many providers offer a one-click login option from your hosting control panel. You can use it to access your WordPress dashboard and once you’re in, you can change the login URL to something you can remember.
In the next sections, we’ll go over how you can make this change, and suggest some other approaches you can use to secure your login page even further.
How to Keep Your WordPress Login Safe
A minute ago, we talked about how you can change the default WordPress login URL to protect your website. There are two ways you can go about this:
For this particular customization, we’re partial to the plugin approach, as modifying your .htaccess file can be a bit tricky. Using the plugin, you can change your login URL directly from your dashboard’s Settings page. You simply need to enter the new URL and save the changes.
If you want to secure your login even further, we also recommend implementing two-factor authentication (2FA). With this approach, even if someone manages to access your login page with your credentials, they shouldn’t be able to get into the dashboard.
There are a lot of WordPress security plugins you can use to add 2FA to your website. Some of them also include features to limit the number of login attempts someone can make before getting temporarily locked out. This feature is an excellent way to protect your site against brute-force attacks, so it can’t hurt to implement it as well.
What to Do If You Forget Your WordPress Password
Once you make it to your WordPress login page, you know what to do. However, if you can’t remember your password and you lose access to the email you used to create your admin account, you’re in a bit of trouble.
Actually, a lot of trouble, to be more accurate. However, there are a couple of workarounds you can use to reset your password and regain access to the dashboard.
Reset Your Password Using phpMyAdmin
Most web hosts will enable you to access and edit your WordPress database from their control panel. For example, if your web host uses phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a list of your databases to the left when you open the tool:
From here, select your website’s database and find the wp_users table to the right:
One of the rows in the table corresponds to your admin account. Once you find it, click on the Edit button to the left side of the row:
What you’re looking for here are the user_pass fields. Select MD5 under Function and replace the password on the Value field with your new one:
Keep in mind that MD5 is not the safest hashing algorithm you can use for your passwords. Therefore, you’ll only be using it temporarily until you regain access to the admin.
After saving your new password, return to the WordPress login page and double-check to make sure that it works. Once you’ve confirmed that you can get in again and update your WordPress email address, you can reset your password from the login page. That way, WordPress will use its own, more secure hash generator, which means your password will be more difficult to crack.
Use WP-CLI to Reset Your Password
This method only works if you have WP-CLI installed on your server. As you may know, WP-CLI enables you to interact with WordPress using a broad range of commands direct from your command line, including an option to reset your password.
If you’re not sure what your SSH credentials are, check your hosting control panel — you should find instructions on how to establish a connection there:
Once you’re in, use the following command to reset your WordPress password:
wp user update USERNAME --user_pass="PASSWORD"
The USERNAME and PASSWORD values are placeholders, so replace them with the account username and password you want to use.
After you run the command, you can close the terminal and finally log into your WordPress website — you made it!
If you want to get anything done using WordPress, you need to be able to find your login page. However, there are many factors that can impact your WordPress login URL structure, so you need to have an idea of what you’re working with.
Generally speaking, there are four types of WordPress login URLs, all with slightly different structures:
- Default WordPress login URL: yourwebsite.com/wp-login.php
- Subdirectory WordPress login URL: yourwebsite.com/wordpress/wp-login.php
- Subdomain WordPress login URL: subdomain.yourwebsite.com/wp-login.php
- Custom WordPress login URL: This type of URL can vary depending on your settings.
Do you have any questions about how to identify your WordPress website’s login URL? Ask away in the comments section below!