It can be great if WordPress websites weren’t prone to hackers. Everything was once secure and safe, proper out of the field. Unfortunately, that’s now not the case with WordPress, or any web page.

But…worry now not.

Most questions of safety aren’t on account of WordPress core vulnerabilities. It’s typically as a result of someone didn’t put into effect easy preventative measures.

As you’ll see on this article, solving vulnerabilities in WordPress is, for probably the most section, easy and simple to do. It simply calls for due diligence in your finish and striking programs in position to be sure that hackers can’t get admission to your website and make themselves at house.

Plus, with some plugins’ lend a hand, somewhat a couple of vulnerabilities are sorted mechanically—lots of them with our safety plugin, Defender. We’ll be recommending him and different plugins all the way through this publish.

This article will take an in depth have a look at:

With that being mentioned, let’s have a look at why WordPress is prone to hackers and in addition seven commonplace WordPress safety vulnerabilities — and the right way to repair them.

Why WordPress is Vulnerable

It’s price repeating that it’s now not simply WordPress websites which are prone to hackers. All internet sites are.

WordPress is by way of some distance the preferred web page builder, which makes WordPress websites a widespread goal of malicious assaults from hackers and bots, partly on account of what number of websites there are.

It’s additionally more uncomplicated for hackers to find WordPress vulnerabilities. And, neatly, that results in widespread WordPress safety problems.

The excellent information is WordPress doesn’t need to be inclined.

More commonplace than now not, WordPress vulnerability is because of admins neglecting easy duties (e.g. maintaining WordPress up to the moment and the usage of sturdy passwords). When precautions are installed position, your website’s possibilities of staying secure are higher.

You can do different issues, comparable to having excellent website hosting, disposing of old-fashioned plugins, and extra. We’ll get into all the necessities in a second.

Also, WordPress has you lined with their mavens when it comes all the way down to the core of items.

WordPress’s security team is made up of over 50 execs. And to make sure problems are treated neatly, the crew on occasion collaborates with different safety professionals to deal with issues in commonplace dependencies.

In a nutshell, the websites that aren’t up to date, neatly maintained, and don’t have safety precautions applied are probably the most inclined ones.

So, let’s check out the most typical WordPress safety vulnerabilities and the right way to repair them if those measures aren’t already applied in your website.

Seven Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes

There are some commonplace threads in terms of WordPress vulnerabilities. We’ll check out seven of the most typical and notice the right way to repair each and every factor as simply as imaginable.

1. Outdated Plugins or Theme

WordPress gives quite a lot of plugins and issues to fit your wishes, as you’re most definitely neatly conscious. It’s nice to have all the choices to be had; then again, each and every extension is usually a hacker’s doable entryway.

Your website turns into inclined when a plugin or theme is old-fashioned or now not up to date.

The reason why for a plugin or theme to turn out to be unmaintained is as a result of both the developer deserted it or the admin didn’t replace it.

It’s essential to stay your plugins and theme up to date. If you don’t, an old-fashioned plugin or theme is prone to safety flaws. That’s most commonly as a result of no person is tracking it, and vulnerabilities pass undetected.

Plus, don’t obtain old-fashioned plugins or issues first of all. You can see what to look out for here.

The Fix

You can easily update plugins and themes from the WordPress admin panel. From here, it will indicate the number of updates available.

In this case, there is one update available.

You can update your WordPress version, plugins, and themes from here manually. Plus, WordPress’s auto-update feature can automatically update core, plugins, and themes, so you don’t even have to think about it.

Also, if you’re a WPMU DEV member, our very own answer to updating, Automate, will handle updating for you automatically.

Automate updates WordPress, themes, and plugins for all of your sites — all from The Hub. Check out Automate in action and how he makes updating simple in this article.

2. Your WordPress Isn’t Upgraded to the Latest Version

Wait — are you STILL using version 4.3? That’s a problem…

WordPress has core updates to fix bugs and increase security. If you’re using an outdated version, you’re inviting unwelcome vulnerabilities. Having the latest version of WordPress alone can prevent a lot of problems.

However, not everyone does it. In the latest look at what WordPress version users have, most effective 27.1% are the usage of 5.6 — the newest model on the time of this writing.

(*7*)
As you’ll be able to see, 27.1% are the usage of 5.6. That way the vast majority of customers are the usage of an old-fashioned model. (Source: WordPress.org)

It can also be simple to omit to replace your WordPress website, particularly in case you’re now not steadily the usage of it or now not paying consideration.

The Fix

Luckily, it’s extraordinarily simple to improve to the latest model of WordPress to make sure your website isn’t as open to WordPress core vulnerabilities.

Updating WordPress is in the similar house as updating plugins and issues. You can do that at once from the admin panel below Update or with a plugin like Automate.

You can also set it to update your WordPress site automatically in this area, so you don’t need to worry about updating manually.

3. Poor Hosting Environment

Your hosting environment can play a role in your WordPress security. A good example is what PHP version your hosting is providing. PHP security support expires in older versions, opening you up to vulnerabilities, so your PHP needs to be kept up-to-date.

Like with outdated WordPress versions, many users aren’t using updated PHP.

Pie graph of what PHP version WordPress users are on.
As you can see, there are a lot of WordPress users using outdated PHP versions. (Source: WordPress.org)

You can check what PHP version your site uses from the WordPress dashboard.

Simply go to Tools > Site Health first.

If it’s recommended to update your PHP, it will state that in the Recommended Improvements. If your PHP is in good shape, it will be displayed in the Passed Test area. It also indicates what version of PHP you’re running.

What version of PHP a WordPress is running.
As you can see, this site is using 8.0.0.

If you host with us, you can check your PHP version by going to Hosting then the Overview area of The Hub.

Where to check your PHP version in The Hub.
This is running on 8.0. Here, you can also see what WordPress version you have, too.

From here, you can change what PHP Version you’re running to ensure it’s up to date.

PHP is just one aspect of having a good hosting environment. Good hosting companies should safely and automatically update your WordPress site so that you’re always running the latest software.

They’ll be able to update your PHP, offer free SSL certificates (more on this in a bit), backup your site, 24/7 support, and more.

The Fix

An awesome hosting environment. It’s as simple as that.

For example, our hosting offers all the security features mandatory for keeping your WordPress site safe. Find out more about what all we include with our hosting plans. Plus, you can compare our hosting with other companies in this article.

And more information on keeping your PHP updated, check out this post.

4. Giving Users Unnecessary Privileges

Allowing users to specific roles can be risky, especially if they have access to passwords, payment gateways, and editing of your WordPress site.

WordPress has six different user roles that can be granted for various permissions. They are:

  • Administrator
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Subscriber

You can assign and add new roles in the User area in the admin area of WordPress.

Out of all of these roles, administrators are the most important. They have unrestricted access to the whole website.

Unfortunately, some websites allow practically all of their users to have admin access.

If there’s one bad apple (and we’re not talking the MacBook type), that can wreak havoc. It gives them the ability to do things, like create ghost admin accounts and backdoors, so that they can regain access if you ever delete their account.

Plus, they can delete your information, link payment gateways to another account, and much more. Practically anything imaginable can happen when devastating your WordPress if the wrong person gets control.

The Fix

It’s usually best not to hand over administrator access unless it’s a key partner or extremely trustworthy individual. This will depend on the needs of individuals who need full access for business, and it’s vital to assign proper permissions.

If you run a business that allows users into your WordPress account or site, and they are let go or terminated, be sure to restrict their access or delete their accounts.

Suppose, by chance, you find you can’t get into your account, and your admin privileges were revoked. In that case, you may have to create a new admin account through your database using phpMyAdmin or by contacting your CMS administrator.

For example, here at WPMU DEV, we have 24/7 support and can help get you back into your site and fix the issue.

Situations will vary, so the fix may be everything from calling a professional to clean up some bad code or to just simply deleting the trouble maker as soon as a situation is noticed.

Whatever the case may be, it’s best to try to prevent it from the start by limiting admin access.

5. Weak Password

A strong password is recommended almost always, whether for WordPress or any other online site. Yet, weak passwords are still common.

Hackers design bots that have the sole purpose of figuring out your login credentials. They try hundreds of usernames and passwords — all in just a few minutes. It’s known as a brute force attack.

When there are hundreds of login attempts on your site, it can take a toll on your server. This can slow down your WordPress site, and your site may crash due to a system overload.

The Fix

We’ll break this up into two separate fixes.

First off, a strong password is an easy fix. You can change and create a password in the WordPress admin under Users > Profile.

WordPress will generate and recommend a strong password for you. Or, you can create your own.

The strong password that WordPress generates.
A strong password that WordPress generated and recommends.

WordPress’s recommended password has all you need for security, and it’s best to use it, or something similar if you create your own.

When it comes to brute force attacks, this can be stopped with our free security plugin, Defender, and his sturdy firewall.

Defender's Firewall dashboard.
Defender is able to forestall brute power assaults along with his firewall.

Defender will lock out customers after a failed choice of login makes an attempt.

You can exchange the edge of what number of login makes an attempt are allowed sooner than a lockout, the lockout period and create a custom designed message to the consumer to allow them to know what took place.

The firewall additionally comprises 404 Detection and IP Banning. Plus, in case you truly need to up your login sport, Defender additionally has 2-factor authentication.

Read an in depth step by step have a look at putting in place Defender’s firewall on this article.

6. Using WordPress’s Default Login Area

WordPress has default slugs of wp-admin and wp-login. Hackers and bots are acutely aware of this, and it’s the place they’ll pass to check out to login on your website.

The Fix

Make it tricky for them to search out your login slug.

You can lend a hand forestall hackers and bots from discovering your login by way of making a custom designed login house with Defender. Simply pass to Advanced Tools, and you’ll be able to get began in one-click.

Where you activate the masked login area.
Defender is able if you find yourself to arrange a masked login house.

Once activated, you’ll be able to create a customized URL slug that can change WordPress’s default. Also, you will have the approach to redirect site visitors to a particular web page or customized URL to keep away from 404s.

Mask login area settings.
Add any new login URL slug that you simply’d like right here.

Having a masked login house is a good way to mend login vulnerabilities and keep away from being hacked.

7. Not Using SSL/HTTPS

SSL/HTTPS is an encryption approach on your WordPress website. It secures the relationship between customers’ browsers and your website hosting server for WordPress.

When an SSL Certificate is put in effectively, the appliance protocol (e.g. HTTP) will grow to be to HTTPS. The ‘S’ way ‘secure.’

The result’s that it makes it more difficult for hackers to get into your connection.

Without an SSL/HTTPS enabled website, your website can also be prone to hackers.

The Fix

It’s only a topic of including SSL/HTTPS on your web page. Luckily, getting an SSL/HTTPS is simple to procure and arrange.

Most website hosting suppliers come with them. For instance, when you’ve got website hosting thru us, it’s mechanically incorporated in your whole internet sites. We use Let’s Encrypt for all of our SSL certificate. Plus, we provide loose Wildcard SSL for Multisite subdomains.

For extra on how SSL works and getting it activated in your WordPress website, we have now some detailed knowledge on this article.

Make Vulnerabilities Vanish

With all that we’ve long past over, your WordPress must be a lot much less prone to hackers and bots. These easy tweaks can stay your website safe and operating easily.

With the assistance of a plugin like Defender and a few excellent website hosting, it’s nearly easy to get those enhancements applied as of late, and one of the crucial important vulnerabilities your WordPress website had can vanish in a couple of clicks.

For extra on WordPress vulnerabilities, take a look at our articles on 7 Free Online Tools to Scan Websites for Security Vulnerabilities and A History of WordPress Security Exploits and What They Mean.