WordPress Security: 10+ Major Security Flaws (And Solutions)

Improve WordPress Security

What can you do so wrong that affects your WordPress website's security? Here are the top 4 reasons that make your WordPress website vulnerable to hackers and malicious software.
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Nulled Themes & Plugins

Using illegal/nulled WordPress themes and plugins is the biggest reason for security flaws.
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Bad Web Hosts

Cheap web hosts do not scan your website for vulnerability and that leads to security problems.
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Lacks Knowledge

You as the website administrator have limited knowledge on WordPress security.
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Weak Passwords

Having weak password is also the leading cause of WordPress website become vulnerable.

1. Nulled WordPress Themes and Plugins

Nulled Cracked WordPress Themes And Plugin

We get it. Managing a WordPress blog isn't really cheap—especially when your website generates monthly revenue. Premium themes, plugins and other WordPress maintenance services will easily burn holes in your wallet and if you fail to generate enough revenue for the month, you are going to suffer quite a bit.

First time WordPress owners (mainly bloggers) will find the initial investment to be rather hefty and quite a handful of them will take the easy way out. That is to use cracked or nulled premium WordPress themes and plugins. All in all, they are looking to save around $100 a year or so.

But what they fail to understand that once the install the nulled WordPress themes and plugins to their database, they are opening the floodgate for the hackers to start abusing ... and little will they know that they are bound for some serious hacking.

Most of the time, WordPress owners don't pay much attention to WordPress issues and consider everything is a minor issue, including slow WordPress admin.

2. Bad Web Hosting Services

Bad Web Host Affects WordPress Security

Let us tell you a quick story. It was 4 years ago and one of our WP Maven editorial team was having a good time (holiday) in Perth, Australia. It was a nice and sunny in mid-April and what supposed to be a relaxing holiday turned out to be a super complicated, nerve-wracking and annoying holiday. He noticed he was hacked when he tried to log in to his website and while the web hosting company did assist to do the restoration, he knew one thing—he didn't installed any backdoor plugins or themes and he was confident that the web host was the culprit—he was using a bad web host.

The moral of the story?

It sucks paying for expensive web hosting plans but does remember that these premium WordPress hosting plans provide security support more than a cheap web hosting company does.

And if you are looking to change web hosting company, you don't have to look far. We only recommend these because we personally use them:

If you can't decide which is a better choice, Kinsta is always our top recommended WordPress hosting. 

*P.S. We found this on Twitter moments ago :)

3. Lacks Security Knowledge

WordPress Security Guide

Managing a WordPress blog is more than just publishing great content. You need to have strong knowledge in WordPress security too.

There are some great resources when it comes to WordPress security, including Cloudflare and Sucuri.

But what do you do when you don't have the time?

You are lucky that you use WordPress ... because it is home to dozens of WordPress security plugins. Installing any one of these, follow the tutorials provided and you will be well on your way to securing your WordPress website.

Here are some of the best WordPress security plugins which are beginner-friendly:

4. Weak WordPress Password

Use Strong Password To Avoid WordPress Security Issue

A weak WordPress password is going to be a massive WordPress security issue (if not dealt with).

Passwords, especially for WordPress wp-admin, is not meant to be easy to remember. It is meant to keep your WordPress website safe from hackers.

The best way to keep your WordPress website safe in the most basic level is to have a strong password. In other words, your password would need to have the following combination:

  • Uppercase alphabet
  • Lowercase alphabet
  • Number(s)
  • Symbol(s)
  • Longer length password
  • Avoid birth dates
  • Avoid names

Want to have some password ideas? Read this article by Avast (which highlights some of the best tips to create password).

5. Not Using CloudFlare

What Is CloudFlare WordPress Security

If you are serious in WordPress security this year, you need to have Cloudflare in your list of arsenal.

What is Cloudflare?

Cloudflare is a free content delivery network and third party security tool for WordPress owners. It provides real-time scanning, malware checking and brute force attacks to name a few.

More importantly, Cloudflare is absolutely free to use and it also offers premium plans for more advanced/roburst features.

6. Hosting Multiple Websites On A Single Cpanel

cPanel WordPress Security

The best WordPress security practice is to ensure that WordPress websites are installed on different cPanel. In other words, a single WordPress website should be hosted on a single cPanel account. 

cPanel account works as a barrier to protect websites within it. Once a cPanel account has its security compromised, all the database within the cPanel including websites are affected.

Installing multiple websites under one cPanel is a nice way to save some money but it is not a workable solution, especially when it comes to website security.

7. Unrestricted Uploads

Unrestricted Upload WordPress Security

As WordPress web developers, we are lucky enough to serve many clients and learn from them. In this case, we have seen clients using WordPress websites as database storage. This is especially common when you have many downloadable contents and would want to have them in your WordPress database.

There's a problem to this, though.

If you do not control the things being upload to your WordPress website, you will have no idea when and how hackers are going to attack your site. All in all, have good control of the uploads, and you will have the WordPress security checked for this part.

8. WordPress Security Contributed By Multiple Authors

Multiple Authors in WordPress Security

Do you have multiple authors on your WordPress website? If the answer is "yes", pay attention to this.

Having multiple authors for your WordPress website might lead to multiple WordPress security breaches and flaws, especially when you do not have control over them.

The best way for this is to manage your writers and authors, as if they are your employees. By default, you can manage all your authors in WordPress dashboard but those come with a rather huge limitation. If you want to have absolute control over your authors, here are 21 plugins to help you achieve that.

9. No Monthly WordPress Security Maintenance

WordPress Security Maintenance

Managing a WordPress website isn't that cheap, especially when you take premium managed WordPress hosting, WordPress security maintenance and other outsourcing services into consideration.

However, the cost of repairing a compromised WordPress websites always outweighs the cost of WordPress security maintenance fees (for example). 

When a WordPress website is compromised, you are going to experience these:

  • Lost of traffic
  • Lost of visitors (they might be redirected to scam sites)
  • Lost of revenue generation for a period of time
  • Hours of manual file checking and clearing
  • Hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairing your site

On average, a high traffic WordPress website can generate around $1k to $5k per month. Imagine taking a small amount each money out from your revenue and put into proper monthly WordPress maintenance services.

And when this happens, you get a peace of mind (and happy wallet too).

10. Forget To Log Out

How To Log Out Everywhere In WordPress

As funny as this may sound, it is important to log out from your WordPress website when you are not using it. WordPress core development team understands the importance of WordPress security, and now you can easily log off your account from every account in just a single click. 

Follow these steps to secure your WordPress security.

WordPress wp-admin » Users » Your Profile » Account Management » Sessions » Log Out Everywhere Else

Summary: How To Do WordPress Security Correctly?

There are many ways, tips and strategies you can take to secure your WordPress website. We want to stress that WordPress security is important and we recommend you to take a quick look at your website to determine the security it is in right now.

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