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The Ultimate WordPress Security Checklist for Protecting Your Website From Online Threats

Updated on December 21, 2021

3 Min Read
wordpress security checklist

WordPress undoubtedly is a great platform for developing websites and online stores. With the help of thousands of themes and plugins, even a beginner can easily build a great-looking site. However, WordPress sites are prone to security vulnerabilities that can cause serious damage due to their open-source nature.

At Cloudways, we extensively cover topics on WordPress security to help you understand the challenges in building and maintaining a secure WordPress website.

The following WordPress Security Checklist will help you secure your website by going through the steps methodically.

Why Securing a WordPress Site is Important?

WordPress is an open-source platform that is not controlled by a single entity. What that means is that anybody can publish a theme or plugin that is further used by thousands of users. The downside is that this freedom makes it difficult to secure the complex WordPress ecosystem.

Even if you use the best WordPress plugins, your site will still be exposed to various cyber attacks until you take sufficient security measures.

A secure WordPress site guarantees protection against cyberattacks and helps build the trust of your customers, who share their sensitive information when they join your website or purchase from your online store.

Many WordPress security plugins can help you secure your website, but relying on plugins is not enough. Your site also requires secure WordPress hosting to deal with other complex security vulnerabilities.

Let’s jump right into the WordPress Security Checklist, which I have broken down into two parts.

WordPress Security Checklist

The following checklist is divided into two parts – server-side and client-side. The purpose of the checklist is to document the maximum possible ways to secure a WordPress site.

WordPress Security Checklist [Server-side]

WordPress Security Checklist [Client-side]

Worried About Cyber Attacks Affecting Your Business?

Secure your eCommerce store with DDoS mitigation at Layers 3, 4, & 7 and a Managed Web Application Firewall using the Cloudflare Enterprise add-on!

Common Security WordPress Issues

Bruteforce Attack

A Bruteforce attack consists of repetitive login attempts to guess the correct login password. The attackers use an extensive list of dictionary words and try them in various combinations to guess the right password.

Bruteforce attacks can easily be avoided by blocking the IP through which the attacker tries to log in. Limiting the login attempts can trigger the blocking mechanism which makes it harder for the attacker to keep sending login requests.

SQL Injection

SQL Injection is another very common security attack in which the hacker tries to insert malicious SQL scripts through input fields present in forms. These scripts, when executed successfully, can expose data or completely remove the rows inside a database table.

To prevent SQL injection, one should always use data validation and restrict the usage of certain characters inside the input fields. It is also recommended to frequently scan your WordPress site for possible SQL Injection threats.

Cross-site Scripting (XSS)

Another very popular security attack is when the attacker makes the site owner upload an infected web file that contains a malicious JavaScript file. Through these files, the attacker starts stealing data and other valuable assets or also asks for ransom in exchange for stolen information.

To avoid Cross-site Scripting attacks, never install a plugin or theme from an unknown resource or lookout for any changes if someone else worked on your website. A good security plugin can help you find out such malicious files and scripts.


The above WordPress Security Checklist can come in handy when you plan to secure your site. It is easy to follow and can help you leverage the most effective yet simple security measures. There is no standard recipe to secure a website, but your WordPress hosting can be the frontline against online attacks. You can also check out the Cloudways webinar video on How to Deal with Attacks on WordPress.

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Ibad Ur Rehman

Ibad Ur Rehman is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He likes to explore the latest open-source technologies and to interact with different communities. In his free time, he likes to read, watch a series or fly his favorite Cessna 172SP in X Plane 11 flight simulator.


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