If you are a web developer or just starting up your own business and working on your site, you need to know how to secure WordPress website. For instance, if you are maintaining multiple websites, there will be times when your clients start emailing or calling you if their website has slowed down or even crashed.

Is WordPress secure in general?

This is one of the many questions that people are asking me. For the most part yes. However, WordPress gets a bad rap for having security issues, and vulnerabilities, and not being a safe platform to use. But, more often those issues happen when users are following industry-proven security worst practices on their websites.

Due to outdated WordPress versions, using nulled plugins and themes, poor website administration, and lack of web and security knowledge, a lot of users’ websites get hacked. Even professionals sometimes don’t use best practices to secure their WordPress websites.

Let’s go over some of the well known vulnerabilities that most of the users experiencing and learn how to secure WordPress website:

WordPress Vulnerabilities

  • Website Backdoor
  • Brute-force Login Attempts
  • Denial of Service (DoS)
  • Phishing
  • Malware
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • Outdated Themes and Plugins
  • Secure WordPress Hosting

Website Backdoor

A backdoor is a way for a hacker to take a full control over a website by bypassing normal authentication without being detected by the website owner. Often they leave a backdoor to regain access to the website if it was already removed by the owner.

Hackers can use backdoor to upload files or create files in your WordPress site, add themselves as a admin, execute PHP code, collect personal information or send spam emails.

Brute-force Login Attempts

Brute-force login attempts are scripts to exploit weak usernames and passwords, so hackers can gain access to the site. Using two-factor authentication, limiting admin login attempts, monitoring unauthorized logins are part of the WordPress security to keep your website secure.

Denial of Service

Denial of Service (DoS) attack aims to block all website administrators and all visitors from accessing the website. This is done by sending so much web traffic to the targeted domain or hosting server that it crashes completely. In order to gain access to your website and bring it back online you must have a really good hosting provider that can take care of it immediately, or work with your hosting provider.


Phishing gets its name from actual fishing and is an attempt by cyber criminals posing as legitimate links in comments, sending via email, hoping that someone will click on those links for them to obtain sensitive information from targeted individuals.

How to prevent phishing?

WordPress comments are used on blog websites and Woocommerce websites where owners collect reviews. If you are using comments section on your website, make sure that they are not posted automatically. Instead, you can have comments held for moderation where you as a website owner can manually approve only legit comments.

To prevent phishing or spam comments, navigate in your WordPress admin dashboard > Settings > Discussion and check the box “A comment is held for moderation”

Don’t forget to protect your contact forms on your website. You can do this by installing Google reCAPTCHA. reCaptcha by BestWebSoft plugin is the most popular option, with over 200,000 active installations.


The attack often happens due to outdated plugins and themes that are installed on your website or security holes in their code. Malware attacks are targeting the actual WordPress installation code where hackers are injecting their own code. Average user wouldn’t even notice this at the beginning. By the time you notice any changes on your WordPress code, it might be too late.

How to secure WordPress website and prevent malware attacks?

The first thing to do is keeping your WordPress themes and plugins updated, have a strong admin username and passwords. And of course there are malware removal plugins, but not all of them do 100% of the job. The most popular and best malware removal plugin is Wordfence Premium version.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting is vulnerability that allows JavaScript code to be installed on a website. Attackers are using cross-site scripting to gain access to the users information, such as billing information, username, passwords. When a user enters their information into a form on your website, that same information is sent to the attacker. This can be difficult for website owners to catch because attacks in a different ways. It’s even harder to catch it if you are running very large website with a lot of plugins installed.

Outdated Themes and Plugins

If you have outdated plugins or theme or install an outdated plugin or theme, you open yourself up to security risks. As a website owner you should not have any outdated theme or plugin on your website. Most of the vulnerabilities mentioned above are due to outdated plugins and themes.

Reasons why most of the time plugins and themes are outdated:

  • Website owners don’t have any type of support or plan implemented.
  • Plugin or themes are without renewed license keys.
  • Plugins or themes are abandoned by the developers.

I know that not everyone have a technical knowledge or have a time to secure WordPress website, but if you don’t know how or don’t have a time to update themes or plugins on your website, you may consider hiring someone to maintain your website just to keep it secure at least.

Get a secure WordPress Hosting

Now you might wonder why your website hosting is important when it comes to WordPress security, but malicious traffic can hurt your website reputation, and your WordPress hosting is part of the security. Is not just about to host your WordPress site with any provider out there who claims that is “the best in the industry”. You should do your research and read some negative reviews, not only positive about the providers to learn more about them and how they operate.

For example, we are hosting our client’s websites on our servers and we provide 5 layers of security, not only on the server side but on every single website alone by adding DDoS protection, brute force protection on WordPress admin, and user dashboard login forms so it’s harder for hackers to gain access, protecting every website with automated malware scanner and removal tools, and a lot more. If you are interested to learn more about our WordPress hosting service, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk to you.

Don’t take website security for granted

Cyber criminals are constantly trying new ways to gain access to any websites out there and web developers are always developing new methods to stop them. Always keep yours and your clients websites secure and safe, so you have one less thing to worry about. I hope this article helped you understand better how WordPress security works and what are the most important things that you need to do to prevent anything bad happening.