WooCommerce Security: How to Protect Your Online Shop?
If you want to run a successful WooCommerce store, you need to make sure that it provides maximum security for your customers. Whenever they buy products on your website, they need to share sensitive information and it should be treated accordingly. The data shared by your customers is the most important part but you also need to make sure that the WooCommerce plugin you are using and the whole website is secure as well.
WooCommerce is evolved into a big business and they have an entire team devoted to work on the vulnerabilities of the plugin, making its security better every time. Unfortunately, adding WooCommerce to your site is not enough for keeping it completely safe and secure. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, additional layers of protection are always necessary.
In this guide, we are going to show you all the most effective ways that can help you improve the security of your WooCommerce site. We are going to talk about hosting providers, secure login credentials, backup and security plugins, certificates, and more. Keep on reading!
Find a Secure Hosting Provider
The same principle applies to web hosting providers as to any other service or product you can buy: the higher the price, the better the service. Web hosting services that provide you with reliable customer support, fast page load speed, security protection and other features that might be useful for your business are definitely worth the investment in the long run.
What solves most of your problems at once is focusing on the security features offered by the web hosting plan, so that’s the first thing you should look for when visiting the website of a web hosting provider. The features that help you the most are automatic backups, malware scans, SSL certificates, firewalls and, of course, automatic updates so that you don’t need to install them manually.
Also, there are plenty of web hosting companies that focus on a particular field of business or individual needs, so looking for a WordPress or eCommerce friendly provider is a great idea.
BlueHost WooCommerce Hosting
BlueHost offers everything your WooCommerce website needs with their Starter, Plus and Pro plans. You get a pre-installed WooCommerce, SSL certificate, dedicated IP and unmetered bandwidth with each of the packages for an affordable price. There are over 2 million WordPress based websites worldwide that are powered by one of BlueHost’s plans.
The best thing about their WooCommerce plan is that it saves you a lot of time. You can open your online shop within minutes if you want and start generating revenue. Every hosting plan at BlueHost comes with high-quality customer support. Their team of experts is constantly available and ready to help you whenever you face an issue.
They also care about the people that want to buy your products, providing an SSL certificate and dedicated IP with the package that guarantees a safe website and payment process. You can call BlueHost for a free consultation right away and talk with one of their experts if you are interested about anything related to WooCommerce, WordPress or their services in general.
Their Starter WooCommerce plan costs $6.95 a month, while the Plus plan is $8.95 and the Pro is $12.95 per month. Each of them has powerful specs compared to the price. The Plus plan is especially worth it and it’s also the go-to choice for the majority of WooCommerce shop owners.
The Importance of Security Plugins
Want a surefire way that increases the security of your website by a great deal? Consider adding a security plugin to your WooCommerce website. There are certain threats you need to protect your website from, including hacker attacks and malwares and a good security plugin can do that for you.
For WordPress websites, there is a highly popular and effective plugin called Wordfence that is always prepared to counter the latest threats. Check out this list where we included its most useful features:
- It has a constantly working Threat Defense Feed that is always up-to-date, keeping a database of new and older threats as well
- Wordfence easily stops brute force attacks, immediately blocking them by setting a limit to the login attempts of your site
How to Secure Usernames and Passwords?
The most obvious vulnerability of a website is when the login interface and the users are not secured enough. You need to make sure that your admin accounts and even the users with limited access are completely safe. With login credentials being the most targeted information that hackers can exploit, it’s essential to take all the steps that can give them a hard time when they want to enter your site.
Try 1Password for Managing Passwords
The first thing you need to remember is picking ‘admin’ as an admin username is definitely not recommended. The first precaution you can make is to change it to anything else and to choose a password that contains both upper and lower case letters and numbers. It’s usually a good practice to just avoid commonly used words as passwords, since those are much easier to figure out.
But as you complicate your login steps and credentials, they also became harder to memorize. This is why you need a password manager, namely 1Password that makes things much easier. With 1Password, you can seamlessly create and change passwords while the app remembers them all and makes them easily accessible.
By generating a strong, uncrackable password, your WooCommerce website surely won’t be such a desirable target for hackers while you have a quick entry to your site every time.
Add Two-Step Verification
Two-step verification is a well-known method today, as more and more websites use it for increasing their security. It is highly effective and commonly used by WooCommerce sites as well. This verification method is based on the clever idea that an additional device should be included in the login process.
Smartphones are perfect for this purpose, as everyone has their own personal phone that works as a unique identifier. Every time someone wants to login, it will also require that particular smartphone to give permission, otherwise the login will fail. If you want to try it on your WooCommerce website, you can do it by adding the Wordfence plugin, one of the most popular security plugins for WordPress.
Besides two-step authorization, it can provide you with plenty of other security features that can come in handy for your website. Wordfence Premium has affordable prices depending on the number of sites you want to protect. For a single website, it costs $99 a year or $84.15 for three years.
Set a Limit to Login Attempts
When hackers attempt to attack your website and get some information, they do it with a brute force attack most of the time. Since this method is based on one of the vulnerabilities of every typical website, you need to add a plugin to solve the problem. Fortunately, Wordfence also provides protection against brute force attacks among its numerous security features.
This is another reason to invest into Wordfence Premium and rest assured that your WooCommerce site is protected long-term. If you only want to prepare your website for brute force attacks, there are plenty of other plugins that will do the job for you. For example, Jetpack is another highly popular plugin with lots of security features you can use for free.
The Jetpack module Protect can limit the login attempts at your WooCommerce website’s login screen, thus preventing brute force attacks. The free version also gives you 100+ WordPress themes and downtime monitoring, site stats, automated posting on social media platforms and email support. The premium plans are also worth checking out if you want to improve your WooCommerce website in a higher degree.
Choosing WordPress Plugins and Theme
If you don’t apply plugin and theme updates regularly, it only results in a more vulnerable website. Outdated themes and plugins are always more vulnerable and it doesn’t take much time to get the new versions. You need to apply them, especially when new versions of WordPress or WooCommerce come out since these are the core of your website.
Usually a message appears right away when there is a newer version of WordPress and it takes only a few steps to update it. On the other hand, there are thousands of WordPress plugins available on the Web and not every one of them is safe to download. If you are not sure whether the source of the plugin is safe, it’s better not to download it.
Since there are lots of useful plugins available, they can be easily accumulated on your WooCommerce site over time. If there is a growing number of plugins you don’t use, it’s better to delete as many as you can because they just cause additional vulnerabilities. If you don’t use them, you don’t update them either.
You Need an SSL Certificate
SSL is the abbreviation of Secure Socket Layers and it is basically a secure channel that allows the browser and server to communicate with each other without any information being leaked. During the transfer, the data is encrypted which is a common method to handle sensitive data. If you have a WooCommerce store, your customers will only trust your website if they can safely share information.
Adding an SSL to your site ensures that the pages will be loaded via HTTPS and people can share payment information at any time without risk. SSL not only protects valuable data, but it’s also essential if you want high search engine rankings. Google considers HTTP websites as insecure and they are also slower than HTTPS sites. These two factors are always penalized by the search engine as they are considered as bad SEO.
If you choose the Business Pro cloud hosting plan by BlueHost, you get unmetered bandwidth and storage, unlimited websites, 6GB of RAM and plenty of extra features such as SSL certificate, backups and dedicated IP for only $15.96 a month. There is also their Pro shared hosting plan for $13.95 per month that gives you an SSL certificate, domain privacy, backup by CodeGuard Basic and a high performance server.
Secure Transactions with PayPal
For starters and small businesses that want to run their online shop through WooCommerce, it’s absolutely recommended to apply PayPal to their site. Although PayPal has not much to do with the overall security of your website, it ensures that everyone on your site will feel it comfortable to pay for your products.
PayPal can take care of the complete payment process while the customer data will be stored and managed via the company instead of your website. PayPal allows you to focus on running your online shop and selling products while they take full responsibility for the payment information shared by your customers.
PayPal is such a well-known name that if you add their logo to your website, it can easily help you in building up the trust of your customers. The company already proved itself throughout the years that they run one of the most reliable payment systems in the World.
Protect Your Data with a Backup Plugin
It is always a good idea to work on the security of your website, but what if something goes wrong anyways? All those web pages on your WooCommerce website with the valuable content can be lost and there is no way you can get them back without a proper backup service.
It’s simple: you will have a copy of all the data on your website available, so if something goes wrong, you can simply use the copy and continue your work. We can even suggest you a plugin called BackupBuddy that is widely used for WordPress based WooCommerce websites. It provides backups since 2010 and saved more than half a million sites that had issues with malwares, hacks, server crashes, deleted files and bad commands.
With BackupBuddy, the backups are scheduled and you will have a fresh copy of your website data regularly. The data is stored safely on their servers completely separated from your site. In case you need the backup, the restoration can be done rather quickly, minimizing the amount of revenue you lose while your WooCommerce website is offline.
Hacked Websites Can be Saved
If you own a WooCommerce online shop, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be a programmer. Maybe you just take care about all the marketing stuff and work on popularizing your website on social media platforms and improving the SEO. In that case, it can be really difficult to fix the website if it gets hacked.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools online that can help you to clean and repair your hacked site. One of the most useful malware removers is Sucuri Security. They are specialized in cleaning websites from infections, blacklists, SEO spam, malware and other harmful content. It isn’t the cheapest tool as their services cost $299.99 a year, but they can repair your WooCommerce site in 6 hours after you notify them while providing analysis, research and reliable support.
To be able to constantly generate revenue, attract customers and establish a powerful online presence, you should definitely invest into the security of your WooCommerce shop. When customers visit your website, they want to see an online shop where they feel safe to share sensitive information, not to mention that they want to be able to reach your site whenever they need it.
Once people are satisfied with the payment process, they will be more confident to come back for more. Therefore, keeping your website up to date and working on its security can guarantee you more lifelong customers. But there is another benefit: you can avoid a lot of headaches that come with a malfunctioning, vulnerable website.
It is not enough to start a well-structured website with good SEO and a powerful design. You also need to keep it healthy and ensure its security on a daily basis. Don’t wait until your WooCommerce site gets infected. Instead, follow the tips we mentioned and implement the necessary tools that can help you to prevent any inconveniences in the future.