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The Ultimate WordPress Security Checklist

June 16, 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, due to its open-source nature, WordPress sites are prone to security vulnerabilities that can cause serious damages.

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.

A secure WordPress site does not only guarantee the protection against cyberattacks but also helps in building the trust of your customers who shares their sensitive information when they join your website or purchase from your online store.

There are tons of WordPress security plugins that can help you secure your website but relying just on plugins is not enough. Your WordPress site also requires a 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]

Common Security WordPress Issues[BONUS]

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 are 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 recommending to frequently scan your WordPress site for possible SQL Injection threat.

Cross-site Scripting (XSS)

Another very popular security attack in which 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 ask 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.

Final Words

The above WordPress Security Checklist can come in handy when you plan to secure your WordPress 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 WordPress site so try out different methods and share your experience.


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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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