9 Common WordPress Security Issues (How to Fix Them)

WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform and content management system (CMS). It’s estimated that around 23.6% of all websites running on the Internet run on WordPress. Hence, it’s no surprise that WordPress is the target of several hacking and security attacks. Therefore, if you use WordPress, you need to make sure you know how to prevent WordPress vulnerability issues and never get hacked again.

As WordPress is open source platform, it can be exploited easily. WordPress security has become an important topic for many users. It is not because of just security, it is also about protection.

From personal blogs to corporate eCommerce websites, WordPress is used to establish one’s online presence and sell products. It’s also the favorite platform for cybercriminals because of its popularity. Hackers can target WordPress sites and use them for their own purposes.

In this post, you will learn some easy ways to prevent WordPress security issues and safeguard your precious data against being theft or hacked.

9 Common WordPress Security Issues with Solutions

Let’s get started.

1. Choose a reliable hosting

A reliable host is one of the most important things in WordPress. Sometimes it can be hard to choose a good hosting service. Such companies use the latest security software and are able to identify and block cyber threats before they escalate.

If your website is down, then this is the worst possible scenario. It will also affect your revenue and business reputation. Make sure that your host offers maximum up time (>99%) and analyze real user reviews on TrustPilot, G2Crowd, etc to find what they are saying.

Sometimes you might be tempted to choose a host that offers cheap hosting or one with a very large space, but these are often bad ideas. It’s often better to pay more for a reliable host than deal with constant visits to your website.

2. Updates

A WordPress vulnerability is a bug in the software that allows hackers to take control of your site and do whatever they want with it. They can steal your data, inject harmful code, and pretty much ruin your day.

Recently a number of WordPress website owners have been left frustrated after a hacker used a known vulnerability in the WordPress content management system (CMS) to deface their websites. The vulnerability has existed in WordPress for a while and has been exploited by hackers to carry out a number of attacks, the most recent of which was discovered by Sucuri security researchers.

Always update your theme and plugins to their latest versions. It will help you to fix possible vulnerabilities and secure your content. Keep an eye on update notifications and install the latest core, theme, and plugins as early as possible. Create a staging site to test updates in a development environment if needed. It is useful to avoid unexpected product conflicts and protect your production website from being broken.

3. Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) adds an extra layer of protection to your WordPress site by asking for two different types of identification. This means that even if someone were to get a hold of your login credentials, they still wouldn’t be able to log in without the secondary code.

There are several free and premium WordPress plugins available for two-step authentication. They will send a verification code to your mobile or email to confirm login. Without giving the exact code, no one can access your WordPress dashboard.

4. Cracked themes and plugins

Thousands of themes and plugins are the main advantages of WordPress platform. Many marketplaces provides free and premium products in different categories. But make sure that you are buying them from a reliable store like MyThemeShop, Elegant Themes, Envato Market, etc. They offer SEO-friendly themes and plugins with fast customer support and regular updates. If you are facing any issues, contact their support to fix things in no time.

While searching, you will also find pirated websites that offer nulled versions of premium products for free. They may contain malicios codes which will damage your site. If any such code found, Google will even ban your pages from appearing in search results. So stay away from cracked themes and plugins.

5. Limit login attempts

One of the most effective ways to enhance your WordPress security is limiting the number of login attempts a user can make. This is a very important security feature that you must enable.

If a hacker gets a hold of your username and password, he will try to login to your WordPress site hundreds of times in a row. You can limit that with a security plugin. It will stop users from making more than a certain number of login attempts and keep hackers from taking over your WordPress site.

6. Change default username and login URL

Upon installation, WordPress will automatically create a login URL with wp-login suffix (example.com/wp-login). It is common for all WordPress users. So anyone can access your login page and test probable credentials to access admin panel.

Changing the login URL and default username help you to reduce brute force attacks in WordPress. Use a secret keyword as login slug. You can do it by editing files or installing a WordPress security plugin. This is one of the best methods to secure your website from being hacked.

7. Create scheduled backups

Creating a backup of your WordPress sites is an essential part of running a WordPress site. If your site security gets breached and you do not have a backup for your site, you might lose all your hard work and get your business name or personal name into trouble.

No one likes to get their websites hacked and the work that they put into their site disappear into thin air. So, it is always better to take a backup of your site frequently. Most WordPress hosts backup all their client websites at regular intervals and save them in to the cloud. But unfortunately, this feature may not be available in some basic hosting plans.

If you are using a basic shared hosting plan, make sure that your host backs up your sites every day. Otherwise, Install a WordPress backup plugin to automate the process. It will store your entire data in to the cloud. If anything bad happened, just use the restore option to retrieve your files, content, and others easily.

8. Scan for malware and vulnerabilities

There are lots of WordPress security plugins available in the market for protecting your website from hackers and malware. These plugins will scan your WordPress website from time to time and keep it protected from all types of hacks.

Running online scans is another way to detect malicions scripts on your site. Enter your website URL and the scanner checks your pages to find hidden malware if any. Some hosting companies have built-in malware scanners to detect and remove malware for free. If you want to migrate an already infected site to a new host, it is also possible. For instance, Kinsta. Their security experts will remove infections by charging a nominal one time fee. Then, they will transfer it to Kinsta servers.

9. Force log out idle users

One of the biggest vulnerabilities that you can have on your website is when an unauthorized user gains access to your website. Such users may delete your content and change files, but it could also be something much worse.  For this reason, you should make it a point to force log out idle users on your website.

The best way to do this is using  a plugin called All in WP Security. This plugin will prevent users from staying on your website for too long without logging in.  It will force the user to have to log in again, which will force the user to have to enter their login information. It is one of the best ways you can ensure that your website is secure.