BlogTechnicalWhy You Should Disable xmlrpc.php

Why You Should Disable xmlrpc.php

If you’re running a WordPress website, you’ve likely come across a file named xmlrpc.php in your WordPress root directory. But what exactly is this file, and more importantly, why is it recommended to disable it? In this blog post, we’ll explore the purpose of xmlrpc.php, its implications for your site’s security, and the steps you can take to disable it.

What is XML-RPC.php?

Originally designed to enable remote procedure calls written in XML, xmlrpc.php is a feature in WordPress that allows data to be transmitted, with HTTP acting as the transport mechanism. Introduced in WordPress 3.5, XML-RPC enables third-party applications to interact with your WordPress site. For example, this feature makes it possible to post content from mobile apps, connect WordPress with other systems, and enable trackbacks and pingbacks from other sites.

The Security Risks

Despite its intended conveniences, xmlrpc.php has become a target for attackers. Here are some reasons why it poses a security risk:

1. Brute Force Attacks: One of the most significant threats associated with xmlrpc.php is its use in brute force attacks. Attackers can use this feature to try thousands of password combinations to gain unauthorized access to your site. The ability of xmlrpc.php to make multiple requests within one HTTP request makes it easier for attackers to bypass security tools that monitor and limit failed login attempts.

2. DDoS Attacks: xmlrpc.php can also be exploited for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Since XML-RPC allows multiple methods in a single request, it can be used to amplify the impact of a DDoS attack, overwhelming the server by multiplying the request’s effect without the attacker needing to generate a high volume of traffic themselves.

3. Resource Consumption: Even if not targeted by attackers, xmlrpc.php can cause resource consumption issues. It requires more computational resources to parse XML data, which can slow down your website or lead to higher resource usage than necessary.

Why Disable XML-RPC.php?

Given the security vulnerabilities and the evolution of WordPress features, the need for XML-RPC has decreased. Most modern WordPress plugins and themes no longer rely on this file, and the WordPress REST API now offers a more robust and secure way to interact with your site remotely.

How to Disable XML-RPC.php

If you decide that disabling xmlrpc.php is the best course for your WordPress site, here are a few methods you can use:

1. Plugins: Several security plugins allow you to disable XML-RPC with just a few clicks. Plugins like “Wordfence Security” or “iThemes Security” provide an easy-to-use interface for managing this setting.

2. .htaccess or Nginx: If you prefer not to use a plugin, you can disable XML-RPC by adding the following code to your .htaccess file or Nginx vhost file:

# Apache htaccess rule block WordPress xmlrpc.php requests
<files xmlrpc.php="">
order deny,allow
deny from all
# Nginx rule to block WordPress xmlrpc.php requests
location = /xmlrpc.php {
    deny all;
    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;
    return 403;

This method blocks all access to xmlrpc.php, effectively shutting down the potential vulnerabilities associated with it.

3. Functions.php: Alternatively, you can insert a code snippet into your theme’s functions.php file to disable XML-RPC:

add_filter('xmlrpc_enabled', '__return_false');


While xmlrpc.php was a beneficial feature in WordPress’s earlier days, today it is often more of a liability than an asset. Disabling xmlrpc.php can significantly enhance your WordPress site’s security, protecting it against brute force and DDoS attacks. By choosing one of the methods above, you can ensure that your site remains secure, fast, and efficient without sacrificing functionality. Remember, staying proactive about your website’s security helps you keep your digital presence safe and reliable for your users.

Enjoyed This Post? Explore Our Premium Web Hosting Services!

If you found this post useful and are looking for reliable, high-performance WordPress web hosting solutions, look no further! Whether you are starting a new project or scaling an existing one, we have the perfect hosting plan tailored for you. Benefit from our easy-to-use cPanel interface on the CloudLinux operating system, and take advantage of our expert 24/7 customer support. Ready to boost your website’s performance and security? Visit our website to learn more about our hosting plans and find the one that’s right for you!