WooCommerce Security: How to secure your WooCommerce site from hackers

woocommerce-security

You are working with WooCommerce and make a great effort to improve its SEO? Then, apart from keyword research, optimized content, page speed, it is essential for you to think about how to secure WooCommerce sites. Website security is considered an integrated part of SEO because it is the leading ranking factor and closely associated with user experience.

Regarding WooCommerce security issues, there are dozens of queries raised:

  • Is WooCommerce secure?
  • Why ensuring WooCommerce security is important to SEO?
  • Does anyone know how to secure WooCommerce sites?

If you also have these questions, then you come to the right place. Please read our article to discover how to answer these questions.

To gain more improvements for WooCommerce SEO, you also should refer to 7 handy tips to improve SEO for WooCommerce Product Pages

Is WooCommerce secure?

The statistics show that of more than 40,000 WordPress websites in the Alexa top 1 million sites, over 25,000 websites suffer from hacks and vulnerabilities. As an eCommerce platform built on WordPress, WooCommerce is also at high risk of being attacked.

Together with Shopify and Magento, WooCommerce is one of the most used eCommerce platforms in the world today. However, for this popularity, WooCommerce stores draw the attention of hackers. Despite coming with many great features and a high level of security, quite a lot of WooCommerce sites get hacked.

In short, for the question “Is WooCommerce secure?,” the answer is YES. But it is very important to strengthen its security unless you want to become a victim of hacking.

How Does WooCommerce Security Affect Your SEO performance?

For the best user experience, Google always tries to protect users from malicious websites. Therefore, apart from high-quality content and fast speed, website security receives special care from search engines.

A website that is not equipped with security methods is likely to experience dozens of bad things. One of them is hacking that may lead to countless consequences.

Lose traffic and Google ranking

In case your site is hacked, your traffic and ranking on Google will drop dramatically. We can say it for sure.

We all know that these factors are so important for SEO. Therefore, if that is the case, you certainly lose opportunities to boost your sales.

What’s more, once the SEO indicators decrease, it will take you a lot of time for your website to recover.

Lose trustworthiness

Once your website is under any malicious code attack, Google will show warnings about an unsafe website. If this situation comes, your brand’s image will get worse in the eyes of customers.

Put customers at risks

SEO also means optimizing user experience. But when threats to customer data threats happen, all your efforts are meaningless. If this situation really happens, we are afraid that no one will want to come back to your store once again.

There are many types of security attacks such as malware attacks, password attacks, SQL injection attacks, and brute force attacks. No matter which attack comes, it impacts your SEO and store.

So it’s time to learn how to secure WooCommerce sites!

How to secure WooCommerce sites from hackers

It is said that “Prevention is better than cure.” Then, it is advisable to make your WooCommerce store secure from the beginning with the tips below.

Select a reliable hosting provider

Before doing anything else for your store, you have to carefully choose a secure hosting service because it impacts almost everything of a WooCommerce website, from load time, backups, google rankings to security.

Especially about how to secure WooCommerce sites, an ideal host must have the following security measures:

  • Identifying and removing malware
  • Having SSL and Firewall
  • Preventing DDoS attacks
  • Limiting access rights
  • Monitoring the network
  • Updating software
  • Having automatic backups

Once buying a website hosting service, you need to ensure that your host comes with all the features above. Keep in mind that this choice is the first step and the most important one as well. It is recommended to consider using the best WooCommerce hosting providers like Cloudways, SiteGround, Bluehost, Dreamhost, Liquid Web, Kinsta, and WP Engine.

Carefully choose the theme and plugins

To be secure from the beginning, you should choose to use reliable WooCommerce plugins and themes. A theme with regular updates is a good choice for your WooCommerce store. Going to WordPress.org, the most reliable theme and plugin marketplace, you will find dozens of free and premium themes and plugins available. All of them are thoroughly tested to be published to WordPress.org. So please rest assured to use free themes here without fear of malware or malicious code.

Here Woostify is the WooCommerce theme we suggest to you. This is a free theme with basic features, but it also allows users to access many premium add-ons, extensions, and plugins. You can have complete peace of mind when all of them don’t come with any security threats and provide frequent updates.

Install a security plugin

This is an essential step that helps avoid WooCommerce vulnerabilities. With a good security plugin, you can identify any suspicious activities through website scanning, thus keeping your data and information safe and secure.

There are lots of WooCommerce security plugins – free and premium versions on the market today. Each of them provides users with different levels of security. But for WooCommerce sites that potentially face terrible consequences of hacking, it is advisable to use a reliable one.

The best WooCommerce security plugins like Wordfence, iThemes, and Sucuri will bring you great satisfaction.

Build a secure login process

This process will include:

Changing the default login URL

By default, your WooCommerce login URL will look like this: www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php or www.yoursite.com/wp-admin. Before entering a username or password, anyone who wants to access your admin area will have to take this step.

Therefore, don’t make it easy for hackers to find your login page. We mean it is necessary to create a new login URL, which will make hackers confused from the start.

There are several ways to hide your WooCommerce login page, but the best one we suggest is using the plugin named WPS Hide Login.

After installing the plugin, you go to the Settings tab and visit WPS Hide Login. Next, enter a new login URL and keep the redirect URL 404.

woocommerce-login-page

Creating a unique username and a powerful password

The default username of all WooCommerce sites is “admin”. Some store owners only focus on creating a strong password while making light of getting a unique name.

But in fact, keeping the default name contributes to making their admin accounts be hacked more easily.

To have a different username, you need to go to User > Add New, then create a new account with a unique name that should be at least eight characters.

After that, sign out of the admin dashboard and sign in with the account you have created to delete the “admin” account.

Besides the admin account, you can create many other ones, but don’t use the same password for all your user accounts. In other words, each account needs a different password.

Creating a hard-to-guess password is regarded as the key to protecting your WooCommerce site from brute force attacks.

A powerful password will contain a passphrase, uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numerals. Let’s see the example: MYbestPASSWORD@6996!. It is a good password to set up.

To minimize the risk of being hacked, you are advised to change your password every month, which will enhance the security for your website.

A unique username combined with a strong password will be a challenge to any hackers.

Setting up two-factor authentication

Actually, creating a strong username and password is just the first step of the security login set-up.

To avoid the case that hackers can guess your password, you should another layer of security by using two-factor authentication (2FA), which is also known as two-step login.

Anyone will be required to take two steps to log in to your account.

More specifically, after someone enters the right username and password, he/she has to come to the next step. Go to your email or smartphone to verify the account ownership.

With this authentication, access to your account will be much more complicated. Accordingly, it will take you more time for the login, but it ensures higher safety and security.

To get two-factor authentication, you need support from a plugin. You can refer to the following ones:

Limiting login attempts

The last step of the secure login building process is limiting the number of logins.

Today, professional hackers often use hacking tools to crack your username and password instead of sitting for hours and guessing them.

Consequently, although you already set the username and password that is extremely hard to guess, the risk of being hacked may still happen.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to limit login attempts. You can limit the number of logins to three or five. After reaching the limit, hackers will be forced to stop that action.

There are a number of WooCommerce plugins that can help you do that. We will list some of them here.

Get an SSL certificate

SSL Certificate is one of the most powerful tools for improving website security. It protects all type of data for your online store, from on-site content to information exchanged between your store and customers.

SSL Certificate today is divided into three types, including Domain Validated (DV SSL), Extended Validation (EV SSL), and Organization Validated (OV SSL).

You can buy them from any hosting providers or third parties. Another choice is installing an SSL certificate with the SSL Zen plugin, then force SSL for your WooCommerce site.

Anyway, it is necessary to consider which type needed for your store.

What’s more, it can get your website to rank higher on Google. To help users access high-quality content, Google always requires all the websites to meet quite a few criteria.

Especially, it focuses on helping users stay safe from dangerous hackers. For this reason, with higher security, websites using SSL Certificate that will include https:// in their URLs are always appreciated by Google.

Keep your WooCommerce site updated and create backups

Keeping the themes, plugins, add-ons, extensions, and WordPress updated is a must-do thing for any WooCommerce stores. After a while, almost all of them will become outdated versions. If you don’t update them regularly, they cannot work as smoothly as you expect and even deal with some security issues. As a result, your website will be at a higher risk of being attacked by hackers.

Meanwhile, the updates not only provide users with more features but also help strengthen your website security. Once updating the latest version, your site can remove the current security matters, making your WooCommerce more secure.

The latest version of WordPress (WordPress 5.5) allows you to update all the themes and plugins quickly. What you need to do is go to the Plugins tab, then click on Enable auto-updates.

Similarly, for theme updates, you choose Appearance >> Themes, select the theme you want to be updated, and click on Enable auto-updates.

Apart from updates, your store needs backups.

Imagine what would happen if your WooCommerce website went down on a bad day!

You could suffer from the consequences of data loss, especially losing customer information. Therefore, the most effective solution is creating backups for the website.

As mentioned above, WooCommerce requires regular updates that may drive your store to the problems about the incompatibility between extensions and plugins or custom code issues.

A backup ensures that you can always come back to the version your store is working with.

In WooCommerce, the website downtime means losing thousands of dollars. A minute of downtime can take orders, payments, and customers from you.

No store wants to lose these things, right?

That’s the reason why it is recommended to back up your WooCommerce as soon as possible.

There are many ways to backup your website. Here we would like to introduce you to some top-ranking WooCommerce backup plugins that will support your backup.

Disable/hide some features

Apart from making some changes and updating new features, you should also disable or hide some features. In particular, you need to:

Disable the Edit files

If you disable this feature, hackers cannot do any edit on your files even when they successfully get access to your website’s admin area. To do that, please copy and paste the code below.

define( ‘DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT’, true );

Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks

At first, these features come to improve your WooCommerce SEO. But after that, many spammers abuse them to cause harm to your website. More seriously, they pave the way to DDoS attacks. Therefore, it is better to disable them by adding the following lines of code.

# START XML RPC BLOCKING
<Files xmlrpc.php>
Order Deny, Allow
Deny from all
</ Files>
# FINISH XML RPC BLOCKING

Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files

This is another way on how to secure WooCommerce sites from hackers, but it is a difficult task to fulfil. You should have a developer to do this to avoid poor risks if any mistake occurs.

Before hiding these files, you have to back up your website. Then, for the wp-config.php file, please add this.

<Files wp-config.php>
order allow,deny
deny from all
</Files>

For .htaccess file, please add this.

<Files .htaccess>
order allow, deny
deny from all
</Files>

In conclusion,

User experience, security, and SEO are always in an intimate connection. For this reason, to do SEO effectively, you cannot miss the WooCommerce security methods shown in the article. To prevent hackers from exploiting WooCommerce vulnerabilities, don’t hesitate to learn how to secure WooCommerce sites.

After all, here are what you must do first and foremost for a secure WooCommerce site:

  1. Select a reliable hosting provider
  2. Carefully choose the theme and plugins
  3. Install a security plugin
  4. Change the default login URL
  5. Create a unique username and a powerful password
  6. Set up two-factor authentication
  7. Limit login attempts
  8. Get an SSL certificate
  9. Keep your WooCommerce site updated and create backups
  10. Disable Edit files, Pingbacks, and Trackbacks
  11. Hide wp-config.php and .htaccess files

Thank you so much for reading our article. Hope that our SEO & Security tips will be helpful for you. If you have any queries or ideas, please leave your comment in the box below. We will be so happy to see your feedback!

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