Originated as a basic content publishing tool, WordPress has developed into a powerful content management system (CMS) recently. It empowers over 30% of all sites on the Web. But its effectiveness doesn’t just stop there. WordPress is also being used popularly for profitable e-commerce businesses.
In fact, popularity comes with risk. WordPress has become a primary target for hackers and cybercriminals. Hence, having your e-commerce store running on this CMS even raises more security concerns.
These worries make sense. If your standard WordPress blogging website gets attacked, it may be shut down and lose all the content.
Things could be even worse when your WordPress e-commerce site is infected with malware. Botnets will steal your customers’ personal data or order and payment information. A business can lose $117,000 for a data breach. This number really wakes you up.
Despite the safety concerns, millions of site owners are using WordPress and its free e-commerce plugins to build their online store. There should be reasons for their trust.
In this post, we’ll break down 3 main proofs explaining why WordPress is safe to build your online stores. Then, we will provide some tips to bring your e-commerce site security to a higher level.
Let’s hop in!
3 Main Reasons Why WordPress Is Good for Online Stores
The WordPress itself is secure enough to block cybercriminals from breaking into your site. When WordPress core is secure, it means that your website is partly protected too.
Besides security solutions equipped by default, your WordPress eCommerce website will hardly get hacked due to these additional factors:
#1 Security plugins for eCommerce sites
There are thousands of free firewalls and security plugins available on the WordPress repository you can choose from. These gatekeepers stand in front of your website to prevent threats from malware and reduce the chances of malicious bots to attack your store.
Almost all popular WordPress security plugins work well on eCommerce websites like Sucuri, iThemes Security Pro, Jetpack Security, or Wordfence. Each of them provides a set of awesome features as well as drawbacks that can greatly affect your site performance down the road.
Apart from these free plugins, Astra also appears as a must-try firewall solution specialized for eCommerce stores. The software provides an all-in-one solution allowing you to stop most malware attacks, prevent bad traffic, ensure your customers’ credit card data is safe, and much more.
#2 An overall control over your store
In case you sell your products on another self-hosted eCommerce platform, you will less likely be concerned about maintenance and security issues. However, decorating the store might take you a lot of time and effort.
To take an example, Magento is designed for professionals only with an unfriendly UI. WordPress, meanwhile, proves easy and straightforward to use for both techies and non-coders.
What’s more, an online business running on WordPress makes it easy for you to manage your products as well as your content. You are able to sell goods, provide blogs to support your services, and show portfolios at the same time.
#3 Frequent updates on WordPress cores, plugins, and themes
Another paramount WordPress safety measure is WordPress core software as well as its well-vetted themes and plugins. It helps enhance your eCommerce website functionality while improving security.
Recent research found out that 39% of hacked WordPress websites are caused by outdated versions of the software.
Understanding the significance of updates, WordPress core, themes, and plugins always make themselves more secure by providing up-to-date versions consistently. Not only does an update come with more new useful features but it also ensures bugs and vulnerabilities from older versions are fixed.
The WordPress team will take the platform security via a rigid process. They firstly identify major problems on the software and let users know the issues. Then, a new theme or plugin will be examined to handle this problem.
5 Tips to keep your eCommerce site more secure
Prevention should always come before cure. 33% of shoppers give up on shopping online due to their security suspicion on websites. To build trust in this huge number of customers, it’s necessary to proactively secure your WordPress e-commerce site and prevent any potential problems from taking place. It would be better than waiting to recover it after an attack.
Get the ultimate WordPress security checklist with 300+ test parameters
#1 Choose a reliable hosting company
Deciding a good hosting provider is the primary step to secure your WordPress eCommerce website from the beginning. Since you’re running an online store on your WordPress site, it’s best to select an eCommerce-specific hosting for a good eCommerce security foundation.
As a result, you don’t have to share the hosting plan with anyone that might create security risks. Some hosting services also afford security cleanup services so that you can recover your site quickly after a breakdown.
# 2 Look for reputable e-commerce plugins
Without an eCommerce integrated solution, you can’t call your standard WordPress site an online store. The eCommerce plugin will assist you in creating product pages, offering booking methods, and configuring other customizations such as product listing, and store organization, etc.
It’s of significance to choose a secure and reliable eCommerce plugin. When it comes to plugin popularity, especially in the WordPress niche, WooCommerce is the leader, with 44% of the e-commerce market in general.
You’re able to sell multiple types of products on your WooCommerce store including physical, digital, times, and tickets, and so on without worrying too much about security. It’s because WooCommerce already provides sufficient transactional protection.
However, nothing is 100% secure, neither is your WooCommerce website. You need to make use of other powerful additional solutions to stay ahead of cybersecurity threats.
If you sell private physical products, password protecting your WooCommerce products and categories is highly recommended. You should prevent direct access to files in case you sell digital goods like ebooks or online courses.
#3 Use a secure payment gateway
An online payment gateway allows customers to pay for their goods. It relates directly to customers’ data like credit card details, confidential information, and shipping methods which should be totally secured.
This information shouldn’t be stored on your server. We never want our website to get hacked but when it happens, customers’ data would be botnets’ first target. Not mentioning the consequences it causes for your business. Your customers will be affected too. How dangerous is it when someone takes control over your credit card data?
You ought to use a third-party payment processor to deal with this sensitive customer information. You can browse various payment gateways for the highest level of protection for your customers. PayPal and Stripe are the 2 reliable options that you should take a look at.
#4 Secure Your Checkout or SSL
An SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate assures encryption and security of the data transmission between your online store and consumers.
You have to buy an SSL certificate for your eCommerce website since it’s not enabled by default. When adding an SSL certificate to your WordPress online store, you need to check if your hosting providers allow you to manage certificates in your WordPress dashboard.
#5 Force customers to create strong passwords
The login details work like the lock of the front door to your business. Your customer accounts, and the passwords, in particular, should be strong enough for brute force attack prevention.
This is the easiest method you can apply in order to create a secure online business on WordPress. Firstly, you have to set a strong password for your admin account.
Then, simply require your customers to set their hard-to-guess passwords which must contain more than 8 characters with uppercase, lowercase, and special letters. The more complicated the password is, the more difficult for hackers to attack your customer accounts.
You should install tools to notify customers that their passwords are good enough to use. Those ones like “123456” or “jane123” can be cracked within seconds. Also, remember to avoid names or date of birth in your passwords.
#6 Enable 2FA for customer logins
Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, refers to the process of giving another verification step to the account owner to identify their login attempt. In other words, when a shopper logs in to your store and makes purchases, he has to click on a link sent to his mailbox or type in a number sent to his phone.
There are tons of 2FA plugins available on the WordPress repository with powerful features to verify your customers. You can try out the Google Authenticator – WordPress Two Factor Authentication for a comprehensive solution.
It enables you to apply numerous authentication methods, from QR code to push notification or passwordless login.
#7 Backup your eCommerce store
When having your online stores backed up, make sure you save your site in a secure location. You can easily get back the stable state of your eCommerce website easily if anything goes wrong.
It would save you time if you follow an automating backup policy. However, you should also take a manual backup and keep a copy on a local machine for extra caution.
eCommerce backups can be taken on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It’s best to take backups frequently since your database always gets an update right when a new customer registers or somebody places an order on your site.
Get the ultimate WordPress security checklist with 300+ test parameters
So Is WordPress Secure for eCommerce? Yes, No, or Maybe!
The trade foundation is built on trust. You don’t just sell products and services. More importantly, you’re selling a safe shopping experience. The more secure your WordPress online store is, the higher chances you can attract new customers and get loyal ones coming back to your site.
Since WordPress is not originally designed for eCommerce, you should implement multiple security options to protect both your WordPress website and your store which is running on this platform.
Apart from simple solutions like installing a security plugin or requiring customers to create strong passwords, a secure payment gateway with a 2-step authentication is also suggested.