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WordPress Security: How to run a Security Scan on your Website

Website speed is one of the critical aspects of a website to be successful. If you are running a site, you should have a good performing website that loads faster and provides a genuine user experience. To do so, you also need to manage the security of your site.

Many hackers are just waiting to infect your website which in turn slows it down considerably. With so much competition, you just cannot let your site slow down due to these kinds of issues. That’s why, today, we are going to go through a tutorial and show you how to run a security scan on WordPress for improving performance.

Before we start with the tutorial itself, let’s learn why it essential to run a security scan on your website?

Importance of running a security scan on your WordPress website

WordPress is an immensely popular content management system for building a blog or as website. With over 31% of the website running CMS, it is no doubt that WordPress is always on the radar of hackers. They always try to find vulnerabilities as it gives them access to a lot of websites. However, most of the zero-day vulnerabilities get fixed by the WordPress team before they even become widespread or known to the public. But, there is a possibility that hackers are targeting your website. This makes regularly running a security scan a necessity.

A hacked WordPress website can not only affect the SEO of your website but also bring down the name of your business as well. Data privacy is critical in the current day and age, and if your site gets hacked, then the data on your site is at serious risk.

Another reason to do scan your website is the themes and plugin you use. If you keep your WordPress update with all the themes and plugins, your chances of getting infected or exploited will be the lowest. Scanning your website will ensure that your site is secure all-the-time.

Other common reasons to run a scan on your WordPress website are as below:

  1. Weak or poorly set password
  2. Weak plugins that are not updated
  3. Not changing the default username of the site, i.e., admin or administrator
  4. Theme editor enabled
  5. Files are not password protected
  6. Hosting got compromised

And so on. The point here is that you should always run a security scan if you think your site can be infected.

How can I run a security scan on WordPress?

As a webmaster, you can run a security scan on your website in many ways. For example, you use both online and offline tool to do the job for you. It is advised to start using the online tools for a quick check and then uses the plugin to do a full check. Let’s get started with the online tools first.

WPScans

WPScans offers an excellent start to your need to secure your WordPress website. It scans vulnerabilities that are listed in the WPScan Vulnerability database. The database consists of 4000+ vulnerabilities. It merely runs the database against your site and tells you if your site is infected or not

WordPress Security Scan

This site lets you check your web server, WordPress hosting, plugins, and themes, and see if they are infected or not. To do a better analysis, it directly downloads the website pages and scans them locally. If it found any issues, it will show you a warning. It also offers a membership option that lets you do a more advanced scan.

Google Safe Browsing

Google tags websites that are safe for browsing. To be sure that your site is tagged as safe for browsing, you can use this third-party tool that checks if the URL you type is safe for browsing or not.

You can also try out other online tools such as Sucuri SiteCheck, Norton Safe Web, and others.

Using dedicated WordPress plugins

To do a more advanced scan, we recommend using security plugins. You can get security plugins for free from the WordPress repository. To make it easy for you, we will be only listing the free plugins. This doesn’t mean that the paid services or plugins are not worth your investment or time. If you are a professional website or an eCommerce site, we recommend using a paid version or hiring a security expert to solve the problem for you.

1. WordFence: WordFence is one of the most popular security plugins out there. It has more than 2+ million active installations. It not only protects your website but also let you do a full scan of your website.

2. All In One WP Security and Firewall: All in One WP Security is a comprehensive plugin that lets you secure your website and also scan it to find vulnerabilities and infections.

3. Sucuri Security: The last plugin that we are going to discuss is the Sucuri security which offers malware scanner, auditing, and security hardening. It has proper post-hack security actions that are perfect for websites that are hacked or compromised in any way.

By using all the tools and plugins, we listed above will be able to make your website free from any infection. However, if none of the tools can make your site infection free, we recommend hiring a professional security expert

Prevention is always better than cure. That’s why we recommend our readers to follow the below checklist to ensure that their site remains safe.

1. Regularly update themes and plugins. This will make sure that your website is free from zero-day vulnerabilities.
2. Similarly, you should also update WordPress core as the WordPress team release fixes to exploits in the code.
3. Use strong password all-the-time for all the accounts on your website.
4. Use Brute Force Login Protection to block bots from guessing your website password.
5. .htaccess can help you secure core files without manually locking them.
6. Use Captcha on forms.
7. SSL certificates can help you improve the privacy and security of your website.
8. Turn of file editing and editor that comes with the default WordPress installer.
9. Always backup your website regularly

By following all of the above things, you will make sure that your website can have improved performance. So, what do you think about the guide? Comment below and let us know.

Author’s bio:

Madan Pariyar, a blogger at MarkupTrend and a digital marketing strategist helping clients to resolve their website woes. When not busy with all things, you may find me occasionally watching movies, traveling and spending time with my family.