Nginx: Block URL Access (wp-admin/wp-login.php) To All Except One IP Address

I am the small business owner and runs my own web-site. I have noticed increased cracking activity against by blog. What’s the best way to block WordPress URLs such as and in the nginx web-server?
Tutorial details
DifficultyAdvanced (rss)
Root privilegesYes

Attacks on WordPress based sites are not new. However, recently many news outlets reported that there’s a fairly large brute force attack happening on WordPress users on multiple hosts. The attacker is brute force attacking the WordPress administrative portals (, using the username “admin” and trying thousands of passwords.


Nginx block access WordPress administrative portals

Edit the file nginx.conf, enter:
# vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
Append the following all and deny all nginx config directives in server context:

  location ~ ^/(wp-admin|wp-login\.php) {
                deny all;

If your blog located in /blog/ sub-directory, try:

  location ~ ^/blog/(wp-admin|wp-login\.php) {
                deny all;

Replace with your actual static IP address. Here is a sample config file

upstream apachebackend  {
 server weight=6;
 server weight=5; 
 server weight=5; 
 server weight=5; 
 #server weight=1; 
server {
      access_log  /var/log/nginx/access.log;
      error_log   /var/log/nginx/error.log;
      index       index.html;
      listen default;
      root        /usr/share/nginx/html;
  ## PROXY - Web
      location / {
        proxy_pass  http://apachebackend;
        proxy_next_upstream error timeout invalid_header http_500 http_502 http_503;
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_buffering off;
        proxy_set_header        Host            $host;
        proxy_set_header        X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
        proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
      location ~ ^/(wp-admin|wp-login\.php) {
           deny all;
           proxy_pass  http://apachebackend;
           proxy_next_upstream error timeout invalid_header http_500 http_502 http_503;
           proxy_set_header        Host            $host;
           proxy_set_header        X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
           proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

Restart / reload the nginx web-server, enter:
# /etc/init.d/nginx reload

Test it

Visit your blog url such as or
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Nginx blocking WordPress Admin Portal

Fig.01: Nginx blocking WordPress Admin Portal

How do I customize 403 error page?

See create a custom static HTTP 404 or HTTP 403 error page for more information.

Other recommendations

First, set SSL certificate on nginx. Edit the file wp-config.php and append the following directive:

define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);

Save and close the file. The FORCE_SSL_ADMIN option force WordPress to secure logins and the admin area so that both passwords and cookies are never sent in the clean over http. Use the curl command to see http headers, enter:
$ curl -I

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Server: nginx
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2013 09:01:44 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Connection: keep-alive
Keep-Alive: timeout=60
Vary: Cookie
Expires: Wed, 11 Jan 1984 05:00:00 GMT
Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate, max-age=0
Pragma: no-cache

I also suggest that you add the following firewall rules so that SSL part is only accessible to you:

## Open port 443 to you only ##
## Allow your home/office static IP at port 443
/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -s  -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 443 --destination YOUR-Web-Server-SSL-IP-HERE -j ACCEPT
## Make sure  you DROP the rest of the world for for TCP port 443 ###
##/sbin/iptables -A INPUT -s 0/0  -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 443 --destination YOUR-Web-Server-SSL-IP-HERE -j DROP
See also
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4 comments… add one
  • Urdu Videos Feb 24, 2015 @ 14:07

    Well, Thanks for your Post. It really helps.

  • F May 5, 2015 @ 15:44

    This breaks AJAX on your site:

    location ~ ^/(wp-admin|wp-login\.php) {
    deny all;

    Because admin-ajax.php – which is used for frontend pages as well – resides in /wp-admin.


  • Liviu Macsen May 11, 2015 @ 6:43


    Then whitelist your server IP address. ;)

    • Pedro Jul 14, 2015 @ 22:26

      admin-ajax.php is used by themes and plugins to send data to visitors, so you can’t just whitelist one ip or so.

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