WordPress’s complexity has increased over the years, with both small businesses and large enterprises using it to create websites in the blink of an eye. With this development, more customization options are available for use. But the problem here is that it can be challenging to troubleshoot the security issues that arise.
There are a lot of tools that’ll monitor your WordPress website for you, but being able to spot issues by yourself is much easier. So, how do you know what to look for? What are some of the core things you should be watchful of?
1. Changes in your Website or Content
This is the most important thing to keep an eye on. Integrity checks on WordPress websites provide warnings of potential compromise to websites. If you run a blog, then look out for unintentional changes to your content. Monitoring the content is crucial if you have several writers publishing numerous posts daily. Apart from ensuring that the posts reflect your company’s goals, monitoring changes to your content gives the assurance that every piece is accurately published.
But one security concern no one sees coming is hackers infiltrating your website. They can change the content on it, so be sure to track all posts and pages created, as well as their modifications and URLs. Also, look out for;
- Added or deleted users and sites
- DNS changes
- Changes to email alerts when posts are published or updated
Be sure to set up a notification alert every time a change is made.
2. Failed Attempts to Login
Hackers easily gain access to websites when login details are compromised. If you own a big company, then it should not surprise you that many such criminals try to gain access to your website every day. And with modern technology at everyone’s feet, there are so many techniques they can use to compromise a website. The most alarming is automated software that tries several combinations of words until the correct password is obtained.
Be watchful of the number of failed attempts that come from a particular IP address. WordPress allows users unlimited attempts, which increases the risk of brute force attacks. The best solution to this problem is to limit the number of login attempts, after which the IP address of the person trying to access your website will be blocked. Alternatively, you can use firewall software that limits the number of login attempts.
3. Theme Changes and Plugins
The use of plugins and themes makes WordPress much easier to use and customize. Some of them are free, but quite a number come with the premium package. But most people don’t know when too many become a problem.
If you don’t have an inventory system that keeps track of your plugins and themes, then you’ll probably forget the ones you have installed. Therefore, you must keep a record of users who install, update, activate, and delete plugins and themes in your activity log if you cannot do them on your own.
An excellent tip to use is to disable editing access to your plugins and themes if you don’t intend to make changes to them anytime soon. Having too many plugins is always a bad idea, even if they have been disabled.
4. User Login Activities
Many WordPress websites allow many people to add and delete posts on your website. However, you should be watchful of the new registrations and their reason for doing so. In no situation should other users have an administrator responsibility on your website. This can compromise and make your website vulnerable.
Furthermore, you should monitor the WordPress log activity to ensure that users do not change their roles. The questions on user activity include;
- Who is allowed to log in?
- Are new users allowed access?
- Were the logins successful? If not, why did they fail?
- Why is that user changing the post?
- Who installed that theme and plugin?
- Why is this user logging in at this time?
If your WordPress website is not open to registrations, but you notice new users on it, then there’s a high chance that it has been hacked. Also, watch out for the deletion of crucial user accounts.
5. Site Speed Changes
A significant determinant of the website users go to is its speed and content. And one that uses great SEO is a plus says SEO Firm. Hence, monitoring the speed and making adjustments to it can make a whole lot of difference. With information on the performance of your website, you’ll know whether to make it faster or restore the previous changes.
6. Core Settings Changes
Some changes are unprecedented, and this can be a major scare for website owners. Changes to permalinks, domain names, and enabled and disabled comments, are red flags and should be taken seriously. You should receive alerts when updates have been made to your WordPress version and alterations to your directory permissions. They can cause incompatibility you’re your installed themes and plugins.
To reduce the risk of someone gaining access to your plugin, consider using Captchas. They’ll stop bots from accessing your WordPress dashboard completely. Another thing you can do is to centralize activity logs using any of the tools available.
Uptime refers to the amount of time your website can be accessed by users on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Downtime is bad for whatever reason you use your WordPress website and should be avoided. Ideally, your website should be up and available 100% of the time, or at least close to this. Monitoring your website’s uptime lets you know whether or not something needs to be done about it.
So, these are the things you should monitor on your WordPress website. WordPress is a powerful tool that anybody can use to build a website. If something goes wrong with your site, by monitoring the things we have mentioned in this piece, you should now be able to identify the problem(s) and have them fixed.