Custom WordPress Development: How to Enhance Security and Protect Your Website

by Kosish Bhandari

According to a WordPress security report, over 86 billion password attack attempts thwarted in the first six months of 2021. Additionally, 30,000 new websites are believed to be hacked daily. 

With the ever-increasing amount of shared sensitive data online, protecting your website from cyber-attacks and data breaches should be a top priority. Also, if you’re looking to build a secure and functional website, custom WordPress development is a great option.

In this blog post, we will explore how custom WordPress development can enhance security and protect your website. We’ll delve into common security vulnerabilities in WordPress and provide you with best practices for securing your website. By the end of this post, you’ll better understand the importance of website security and how to use WordPress customization to enhance it. So, let’s get started.

Understanding the Importance of Website Security

As more businesses and individuals rely on websites to conduct their day-to-day operations, the importance of website security cannot be overstated. Poor website security puts your business at risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks and can negatively impact user trust and search engine rankings. Here are some key reasons why website security is essential:

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1. Protecting Sensitive Information

Websites often collect sensitive personal details, financial data, and login credentials. Hacking a website with poor security is easy. The information can be stolen, leading to identity theft, fraud, and financial losses.

2. Ensuring Business Continuity

A hacked or taken down website due to security breach can lead to business disruptions, loss of revenue, and reputational damage. In addition, ensuring website security can help prevent such issues and ensure business continuity.

3. Maintaining Compliance

Many industries have specific compliance requirements regarding website security. For example, healthcare and financial organizations must comply with HIPAA and PCI DSS regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to hefty fines and legal issues.

Risks Associated With Poor Website Security

The risks associated with poor website security are numerous and can have devastating consequences for businesses and website owners. Some of these risks include:

  • Data Breaches: Data breaches occur when sensitive data is stolen from a website leading to identity theft, fraud, and financial losses.
  • Malware Infections: Malware infections can result from a security breach, allowing hackers to access a website’s code and infect it with malicious software. 
  • Phishing Attacks: Phishing attacks involve hackers posing as legitimate organizations to steal sensitive information from users. Poor website security can make it easier for hackers to conduct these attacks, leading to potential damage to user trust and website reputation.
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Common Security Vulnerabilities in WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most widely used content management system (CMS). However, as with any software, it is not immune to vulnerabilities that could put your website at risk. Here are some of them:

1. Outdated Software and Plugins

Outdated software and plugins are one of WordPress’s most common security vulnerabilities. The website is vulnerable to attacks when WordPress or a plugin is not updated regularly. Also, hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to access sensitive information or take over the website.

2. Brute Force Attacks

Brute force attacks are another common security vulnerability in WordPress. These attacks occur when hackers try to guess your login credentials using automated tools that try different combinations of usernames and passwords until they find the correct one.

3. SQL Injections

SQL injections are another type of attack where hackers exploit a website’s code vulnerabilities to access the database and steal or manipulate data. WordPress websites are particularly vulnerable to SQL injections because of the many plugins and themes available.

Best Practices for Securing Your WordPress Website

WordPress is a widely-used content management system that powers millions of websites worldwide. However, its popularity also makes it a common target for cyber-attacks, resulting in data breaches, website downtime, and reputational damage. So, what can you do?

1. Use a Headless WordPress Approach

Decoupling the front end and back end of your website can reduce the attack surface and provide better control over security measures. With a headless approach, a separate technology stack creates the front end, such as React or Angular, while WordPress powers the backend.

The front end communicates with the backend using APIs, which can help ensure secure communication and prevent unauthorized access. However, this approach requires advanced software skills, so it would help to work with a custom software development firm to help you out.

2. Keep WordPress and Plugins Updated

Keeping your WordPress and its plugins up-to-date is essential in maintaining your website’s security. Updates often include security patches that address known vulnerabilities, which can help prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.

In addition, Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software, including WordPress and its plugins. So, you can use Content Management System Development to keep your WordPress and its plugins up-to-date, which is essential for maintaining the security of your website.

2. Use Strong Passwords

In today’s world, passwords alone are insufficient to secure your website. Hackers use various methods to crack passwords, such as brute-force and dictionary attacks. Therefore, using strong passwords and implementing user authentication using two-factor authentication (2FA) is essential.

A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and contain a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also important to avoid using the same password across multiple sites.

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Security Plugins You Can Use to Enhance Protection

WordPress security plugins are an effective way to enhance the security of your website. These plugins offer additional features and functionality to protect your site from online threats. Popular WordPress security plugins include the following:

1. Jetpack Security

 Automattic, the same company behind WordPress, developed a plugin called Jetpack Security. It is an excellent choice for website owners who want a comprehensive security solution that is easy to use. The plugin offers a wide range of security features, including:

  • Malware scanning and automated fixes
  • Brute-force attack protection
  • Downtime monitoring

2. Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security is a comprehensive security plugin that offers a wide range of features to protect your website from various threats. Some of the key features include

  • Spam filtering for comments
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Live traffic monitoring

3. iThemes Security

iThemes Security is a security plugin that offers a range of features to keep your website safe. It is an excellent choice for eCommerce website development because it provides a comprehensive range of security features designed to protect online stores. Some of the key features include Some of the key features include:

  • Malware scanning and removal
  • File change detection
  • Database backups
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What to Do if Your WordPress Site Is Hacked: Key Steps to Take

Despite implementing the best security practices and using reliable security plugins, WordPress websites can still be hacked. Planning to respond to a security breach and minimize the damage is essential. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Identify the hack. Symptoms of a hacked website include the appearance of unknown files or directories, changes to website content, and the website being blocked by search engines.
  2. Take your website offline: If you suspect it has been hacked, take it offline immediately to prevent further damage.
  3. Change your passwords: Change all passwords associated with your website, including your hosting account, WordPress admin account, FTP account, and database account. Also, use strong and unique passwords that are difficult to guess.
  4. Scan your website: Scan your website using a malware scanner or security plugin to identify and remove any malicious code.
  5. Update your website: Update WordPress, plugins, and themes to the latest versions to prevent future security breaches.

To prevent future attacks, you should work with a custom software development firm that offers custom WordPress development services that can implement advanced security measures and provide ongoing support.

Tips  to Minimize Damage and Prevent Future Attacks

  • Stay updated: Keep WordPress, plugins, and themes up-to-date to prevent known security vulnerabilities from being exploited.
  • Use reliable security plugins: Use dedicated security plugins that offer features such as malware scanning, firewall protection, and login protection.
  • Limit user access: Limit user access to your website by creating strong passwords, using 2-factor authentication, and restricting access to sensitive areas of your website.
  • Use SSL/TLS encryption: Use SSL/TLS encryption to protect sensitive information such as login credentials and user data. You can use Recaptcha for forms, and user sign-up pages Obfuscate Folder structure to avoid discovery

Enhance Your Website Security With Practical Logix

Website security is a vital aspect of WordPress development. With the rise in cybercrime, protecting your website has never been more critical. However, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. Implementing the best practices this article outlines is an excellent start in securing your website.

At Practical Logix, we understand the importance of website security and how to enhance it. In addition, we offer custom WordPress development services and can help you create a secure website tailored to your needs. 

As your digital transformation partner, we can help you leverage Ecommerce to its fullest potential by enabling the digital workflows for your business. We can streamline your user interactions online, implement the best payment systems, and incorporate appropriate data and tracking tools to improve your overall performance. Contact us today to learn more about our custom WordPress development services.

Also Read: CUSTOM WORDPRESS DEVELOPMENT: HOW TO CREATE A HIGH-PERFORMANCE WEBSITE, TIPS, TRICKS AND BEST PRACTICES

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