Although WordPress was initially created as a blogging platform, as its userbase grew, it became clear that the CMS can support much more than blogs. More business owners wanted to use WP for online presence and adapt it to the needs of eCommerce.
To support online store infrastructures, in 2011, independent developers released a convenient plugin for store management called WooCommerce. The tool got a lot of traction – so much so that the company behind WordPress acquired the ERP developer plugin in 2015.
Right now the plugin has its own ecosystem and a series of WooCommerce development integrations. That’s why it became a target for hacker attacks, malware injections, and other security threats. In this post, we will share the top practices of securing a WooCommerce website.
Integrations: Key to a Successful WooCommerce Store
One of the reasons WooCommerce is so popular among eCommerce store managers is its robust range of integrations. The plugin comes with dozens of add-ons – business owners use them to create multilingual pages, sleek product sliders, flexible navigation, and well-converting forms.
The security of your WooCommerce page largely depends on how attentive you are to choosing integrations. A tool with no positive reviews, established reputation, and a security handling system is open to security vulnerabilities. On the other hand, an integration that uses multi-step authentication, firewalls, and best data protection practices will improve the safety of your WooCommerce store.
Let’s take a look at top 3 security-driven WooCommerce integrations:
1. WP Google Authenticator
Whenever there’s a security talk in the eCommerce developer community, two-factor authentication gets an honorable mention as one of the top practices for website managers.
By definition, two-factor authentication is the process of asking a website for more than one proof of his identity before letting him into the account. In most cases, these pieces of evidence are entering the password and a code sent to a visitor’s phone number.
Thanks to two-factor authentication, store managers protect themselves from employee account hijacking. It would be troublesome if a hacker decided to use your content manager’s profile, right?
WordPress store managers can use WP Google Authenticator to set up two-factor authentication for their WooCommerce store. Most eCommerce platform owners enable complex authentication only within the team, aiming to make the sign-up process of external users as simple as possible.
Wordfence is one of the most acclaimed firewalls and malware scanners out there – and rightfully so. It’s a powerful, real-time line of defense for WooCommerce store managers – it spots users who behave suspiciously and blocks them, detects and deletes malware, and offers data encryption.
Wordfence does its best to protect WooCommerce store owners from brute-force attacks (according to statistics, these are painfully common on WordPress). You can give a user a limited number of login attempts, protecting account data from being hacked.
3. WP ERP Integration
Using a secure integration for managing finance, documentation, and employee data is another important step towards securing your WooCommerce store. Although there are different tools eCommerce business owners can explore, ERP integration with WooCommerce is a top contender for most SME teams.
The integration comes with all the features needed to run a scalable eCommerce business. The core functionality of WP ERP is divided into three modules:
- Customer relationship management
These give store owners a secure and convenient way to manage their team, stay in touch with customers, and keep up-to-date financial records.
Top 4 WooCommerce Website Security Practices
Installing secure integrations is not the only way to protect your eCommerce store from data leaks or third-party attacks. Let’s take a look at other tips for bulletproofing your online store’s security.
1. Lock your FTPs
Most Angular.js developer and designer teams heavily rely on FTP directories to store and publish files online. While this is not the newest and most secure way to deal with data, if you are using file transfer protocol directories, make sure you protect them.
To secure your FTP account, limit the access to these directories to admin’s account only:
- Root directory.
All the details on protecting your FTP storage are listed in the WordPress Codex – take your time to explore them.
2. Choose a good host
A hosting provider has a lot of power over your online store – thus, even if you bulletproof it with top-tier integrations and follow best access control practices, choosing a wrong host might send your efforts down the drain.
How to make sure you make the right choice here? Here are some selection criteria that will make it easier to break a tie between different platforms:
- How many reviews does the platform have? Are they positive?
- Does the host describe data protection and encryption policies? How detailed are these?
- Is the server software up-to-date (using the latest version of PHP, latest security patches, etc)?
- What are the ways a hosting provider deals with detecting a threat and stopping a malware infection? Does the company have a laid-out contingency plan?
3. Create a backup policy
As important as preventing a security threat is, business owners should also make it a priority to pinpoint threats quickly and minimize the damage of an attack. One of the best ways of handling this is by ensuring you can shut the website down and bring it back up with little-to-no downtime.
To make sure your development team doesn’t have to put in extra work to recover the website after an attack, create regular backups. Make it a habit to follow every drastic change in the store by updating the backup.
4. Install the latest security patches
Both WooCommerce developers and WordPress development team constantly release new updates and security patches. These help website managers ensure that their eCommerce store is not vulnerable to the latest security tricks.
Here are some resources you can use to keep tabs on updates:
- Official documentation on updating WooCommerce.
- WordPress news and announcements.
- Latest WP update releases.
WooCommerce is a powerful tool for eCommerce management. It offers WordPress business managers a next-to-countless range of possibilities, thanks to its expandable features and integrations – you can even create a custom one if you are ready to invest in eCommerce developer salary.
It’s important to use WooCommerce integrations responsibly, choosing only the secure and reputable ones. Other than that, business website owners need to do some research on hosting providers, encrypt their file directories, backup the website after major edits, and monitor updates. This way, you will be in charge of a secure, reliable, and legally compliant eCommerce store.