It would be nice if WordPress sites weren’t vulnerable to hackers. Everything was safe and secure, right out of the box. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with WordPress, or any website.

But…fear not.

Most safety issues aren’t because of WordPress core vulnerabilities. It’s usually because somebody didn’t implement simple preventative measures.

As you’ll see in this article, fixing vulnerabilities in WordPress is, for the most part, simple and easy to do. It just requires due diligence on your end and putting systems in place to ensure that hackers can’t access your site and make themselves at home.

Plus, with some plugins’ help, quite a few vulnerabilities are taken care of automatically—many of them with our security plugin, Defender. We’ll be recommending him and other plugins throughout this post.

This article will take a close look at:

  • Why WordPress is Vulnerable
  • Seven Common WordPress Security Vulnerabilities and Fixes
    1. Outdated Plugins or Themes
    2. Your WordPress Isn’t Upgraded to the Latest Version
    3. Poor Hosting Environment
    4. Giving Users Unnecessary Privileges
    5. Weak Password
    6. Using WordPress’s Default Login Area
    7. Not Using SSL/HTTPS

With that being said, let’s look at why WordPress is vulnerable to hackers and also seven common WordPress security vulnerabilities — and how to fix them.

WordPress is by far the most popular website builder, which makes WordPress sites a frequent target of malicious attacks from hackers and bots, partially because of how many sites there are.

It’s also easier for hackers to locate WordPress vulnerabilities. And, well, that leads to frequent WordPress security issues.

The good news is WordPress doesn’t have to be vulnerable.

More common than not, WordPress vulnerability is due to admins neglecting simple tasks (e.g. keeping WordPress up to date and using strong passwords). When precautions are put in place, your site’s chances of staying safe are better.

You can do other things, such as having good hosting, removing outdated plugins, and more. We’ll get into all of the essentials in a moment.

Also, WordPress has you covered with their experts when it comes down to the core of things.

WordPress’s security team is made up of over 50 professionals. And to ensure issues are handled well, the team sometimes collaborates with other security pros to address problems in common dependencies.

In a nutshell, the sites that aren’t updated, well maintained, and don’t have security precautions implemented are the most vulnerable ones.

So, let’s take a look at the most common WordPress security vulnerabilities and how to fix them if these measures are not already implemented on your site.

see what to look out for here.

Automate, will handle updating for you automatically.

Automate updates WordPress, themes, and plugins for all of your sites — all from The Hub. Check out Automate in action and how he makes updating simple in this article.

2. latest look at what WordPress version users have, only 27.1% are using 5.6 — the most recent version at the time of this writing.

Pie graph of WordPress versions being used.
As you can see, 27.1% are using 5.6. That means the majority of users are using an outdated version. (Source: WordPress.org)

It can be easy to forget to update your WordPress site, especially if you’re not frequently using it or not paying attention.

Automate.

You can also set it to update your WordPress site automatically in this area, so you don’t need to worry about updating manually.

3. all we include with our hosting plans. Plus, you can compare our hosting with other companies in this article.

And more information on keeping your PHP updated, check out this post.

4. new admin account through your database using phpMyAdmin or by contacting your CMS administrator.

For example, here at WPMU DEV, we have 24/7 support and can help get you back into your site and fix the issue.

Situations will vary, so the fix may be everything from calling a professional to clean up some bad code or to just simply deleting the trouble maker as soon as a situation is noticed.

Whatever the case may be, it’s best to try to prevent it from the start by limiting admin access.

5. Weak Password

A strong password is recommended almost always, whether for WordPress or any other online site. Yet, weak passwords are still common.

Hackers design bots that have the sole purpose of figuring out your login credentials. They try hundreds of usernames and passwords — all in just a few minutes. It’s known as a brute force attack.

When there are hundreds of login attempts on your site, it can take a toll on your server. This can slow down your WordPress site, and your site may crash due to a system overload.

The Fix

We’ll break this up into two separate fixes.

First off, a strong password is an easy fix. You can change and create a password in the WordPress admin under Users > Profile.

WordPress will generate and recommend a strong password for you. Or, you can create your own.

The strong password that WordPress generates.
A strong password that WordPress generated and recommends.

WordPress’s recommended password has all you need for security, and it’s best to use it, or something similar if you create your own.

When it comes to brute force attacks, this can be stopped with our free security plugin, Defender, and his strong firewall.

Defender's Firewall dashboard.
Defender is ready to stop brute force attacks with his firewall.

Defender will lock out users after a failed number of login attempts.

You can change the threshold of how many login attempts are allowed before a lockout, the lockout duration and create a customized message to the user to let them know what happened.

The firewall also includes 404 Detection and IP Banning. Plus, if you really want to up your login game, Defender also has 2-factor authentication.

Read a detailed step-by-step look at setting up Defender’s firewall in this article.

6. Let’s Encrypt for all of our SSL certificates. Plus, we offer free Wildcard SSL for Multisite subdomains.

For more on how SSL works and getting it activated on your WordPress site, we have some detailed information in this article.

Make Vulnerabilities Vanish

With all that we’ve gone over, your WordPress should be much less vulnerable to hackers and bots. These simple tweaks can keep your site secure and running smoothly.

With the help of a plugin like Defender and some good hosting, it’s practically effortless to get these improvements implemented today, and some of the significant vulnerabilities your WordPress site had can vanish in a few clicks.

Plus, with this being #SecurityMonth you can currently get 35% off your first year of our Security & Backups Pack featuring Defender Pro, Snapshot Pro, Shipper Pro, and Automate. Click on the coupon below to unlock the exclusive deal.

35% Off Security & Backups Pack

This is THE LAST WEEK of #SecurityMonth, so be sure to grab this special offer.

And for more on WordPress vulnerabilities, check out our articles on 7 Free Online Tools to Scan Websites for Security Vulnerabilities and A History of WordPress Security Exploits and What They Mean.

Source: premium.wpmudev.org