Despite the growing incidents of security theft, it is concerning that many WordPress users still underestimate the importance of site security and thus, do not prioritize it.
To protect your WordPress site from potential risks, it is crucial to emphasize site security. But how do you know your WordPress site is safe?
One effective way to check the security level of your website is by performing a thorough security scan.
This WordPress security audit will give you a complete assessment of your website’s current security status. Also, you can identify weak areas and address any vulnerabilities promptly. Thus, preventing your website from potential attacks.
In this blog, we’ll show you a step-by-step guide on how to perform a basic security audit manually. But before that let’s understand when to perform a WordPress scan.
When should you conduct WordPress security scan?
It is highly recommended to conduct a WordPress security audit on a quarterly basis to address any security susceptibilities before even they pose a threat.
However, you need to perform a quick WordPress scan, if you observe any of these suspicious activities-
- A sudden decrease in website performance
- A significant drop in website traffic
- Unusual login attempts or forgotten password requests
- The presence of suspicious links on your website
Now, let’s delve into the process of performing a WordPress security audit manually-
How to conduct a WordPress security audit?
Here is a step-by-step guide, you can follow to perform a basic WordPress security audit on your website.
Regular updates for your WordPress core, plugins, and themes are the foremost step when it comes to WordPress security.
These updates often include security patches that address weak areas, introduce the latest features, and boost overall performance.
To make sure that your website is protected, you need to regularly check the Dashboard » Updates page in your WordPress admin area to check if any updates are available.
If needed, refer to comprehensive guides on ways to boost the security of your WordPress site.
Remember, staying proactive with updates is a basic step in protecting your WordPress website from potential security risks and optimizing its functionality.
The next essential step in a WordPress security audit is to thoroughly examine the user accounts on your website.
Go to the Users » All Users page and scrutinize the list for any suspicious or unauthorized accounts that should not be there.
For eCommerce stores, membership sites, and sites that provide online courses, it is common to have user accounts for customers.
However, if you have a business website or operate a blog, the user accounts should typically consist only of yourself or other users which you have added manually.
If you come across any suspicious user accounts while a site security audit, it is important to delete them promptly to maintain the security of your website.
Apart from this, if you are running a website that doesn’t require user registration, visit the Settings » General page and ensure that the checkbox next to the ‘Anyone can register’ option remains unchecked.
As an additional protective measure, it is advised to change your WordPress admin password regularly.
Bonus tip- To strengthen password security, consider implementing two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of protection to your website.
Monitoring your website analytics helps you gain insights into your website’s performance and overall health.
It provides valuable information related to your site traffic, enabling you to measure its effectiveness and make wise decisions.
A sudden decrease in website traffic can indicate potential issues, such as your website being blacklisted by search engines or experiencing performance issues that result in slower loading times and reduced page views.
Furthermore, to effectively track your website traffic and gain deeper insights, we recommend utilizing tools like MonsterInsights, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, etc. These analytics tools provide an overview of your pageviews but also offer advanced features to track registered users, WooCommerce customers, form conversions, and more.
Once you have taken initial steps to fortify your WordPress website’s security, it’s time to conduct a detailed analysis of security vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are various online security scanners available to assist you in this process.
IsItWP Security Scanner, Sucuri SiteCheck, and Norton Safe Web are highly recommended tools that scan your website for malware and identify potential security vulnerabilities.
Keep in mind that these online scanners are effective for scanning the public-facing pages of your website, but they may have limitations when it comes to detecting deeper security issues.
Have you set up a reliable WordPress backup plugin? If not, it’s time to install it quickly to ensure that you always have a backup of your website readily available in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Many WordPress beginners tend to overlook their backup plugins once they have initially installed them.
Unfortunately, backup plugins may usually stop functioning without any prior notice. Therefore, it is important to periodically check that your backup plugin is actively functioning and successfully creating backups of your WordPress website.
Feel free to reach out to us to learn more ways to keep your site safe.