WooCommerce is a popular plugin for WordPress to help you set up an online store. In fact, more than 22% of total WordPress sites use WooCommerce.
While it is a desirable choice for its flexibility and ease of use—it comes loaded with several functionalities.
If you are building a WordPress site or an eCommerce platform for the first time, you may have to go through the official documentation to grasp everything offered.
And once you set up your online store, the security of your platform becomes the top priority.
Especially when considering that new-age consumers prefer online shopping and cybercrimes involving eCommerce data breaches and fraud are constantly on the rise.
And to help you with that, here are some of the best WooCommerce security tips to protect your shopping website.
WooCommerce is Secure by default but Not Bulletproof
WooCommerce is an open-source platform that is actively maintained. Normally, it receives regular features and security updates to keep the experience secure.
However, a security issue can pop up as a surprise—just like a critical SQL injection vulnerability uncovered in 2021.
While it was patched at once, this means that security issues can creep up no matter what.
Things to Know Before Exploring Security Tips
You do not need to be a WordPress expert in following these tips. However, there are a few points that you should know before going ahead:
- Prefer using a local WordPress development tool to test and explore the options.
- Perform a manual backup before you try to introduce security changes to your site.
- If you want to make changes to your live site, put it in maintenance mode.
- Prefer opting for a managed WooCommerce hosting solution if you want help implementing these tips.
Avoid cheap hosting
No matter what you do—if your host is insecure, nothing can fix the security nightmare that comes with it.
So if you are considering using WooCommerce on your WordPress site to launch a shopping portal, you should opt for premium WordPress hosting.
Not just for security, but there are several reasons to avoid cheap hosting for WordPress in general.
Enable Two-factor authentication
You need to prevent unauthorized access to prevent an attacker from getting access to your site.
Usually, it is often weak login security that results in site hijacking.
To get started, your first step should be the addition of two-factor authentication (2FA) for website access. When enabled, you need an authentication code after you log in using your password. You can start using 2FA apps like Authy for setting it up.
You can also find a couple of WooCommerce add-ons to let users register/secure accounts through their mobile numbers and OTPs.
Strong Account Password Policy
Having 2FA enabled does not mean that you should rely on a weak and easy-to-remember password. You need a secure password to make it difficult for a hacker to guess or try to brute-force their way to log in.
Usually, you need to combine alphabets, uppercase/lowercase, numbers, and special characters (like !,#,@) to form a complex password.
Of course, it may not be possible to remember complex passwords. Hence, you might want to use password managers to make things easy.
Not just limited to your administrator account, you should also encourage your customers to have strong passwords.
Limit Login Attempts
A hacker can extensively use a brute force attack to figure out a password combination (through social profiling, phishing, and various other techniques).
To prevent that, you can simply limit the login attempts on your WordPress site using a plugin like Loginizer. If the number of tries to access an account exceeds a certain limit, the IP address will be blocked, making the task of an attacker tough.
Use a Security Plugin
If you are not using a full-fledged security plugin for the 2FA feature, you may want to add a dedicated security plugin.
A security plugin automates protection for most of the common attacks expected in a WordPress website. You have to toggle a few options and refer to the on-screen instructions.
No technical expertise is needed to use these plugins.
To give you a head start, refer to our list of security plugins suitable for the job.
Install an SSL Certificate
You must activate/install an SSL certificate on your server to encrypt the connection for your visitors and secure your website as well.
It is often free and easy to enable SSL with a good web host.
Do note that if you do not have SSL active for your site, you will have to configure a few things before switching from HTTP to HTTPS.
Apply Enhanced Security Practices
In addition to the security plugin, there are some additional measures that you can opt for:
Some of the things may include:
- Having an activity log
- Uptime monitoring
- Deploying a cloud-based Web Application Firewall (WAF)
- Changing the admin URL and username
Perform Regular Backups
Nothing is 100% hackproof. So prepare yourself when all hell breaks loose.
And having a backup of your site—especially stored off-site will help you quickly recover from any data loss or malicious modifications to your website.
You can choose to do this manually or use WordPress backup plugins.
Keep Things Up-to-date
While it may be a hassle to constantly test available updates to themes, plugins, and WordPress—get them installed as soon as possible.
Local WP dev tools like DevKinsta may help you test the updates before pushing them to the live site.
Don’t use questionable sources to get Free Premium Plugins or Themes
I am sure that it may be an expensive endeavor to set up a perfect WooCommerce store, but please do not fall for free premium themes/plugins.
Yes, they might do the work for free. But eventually, your online store could end up being a victim of a cyberattack, where you may end up losing more money.
WooCommerce Security is Important than ever
With the increasing demand in online shopping, WooCommerce plays a significant role in empowering WordPress-powered sites.
Out of the box, it happens to be secure. But with malicious actors constantly growing in the mix, the security of your eCommerce store is a matter of paramount importance.