Prepping for Black Friday: Securing Your WordPress Website

Black Friday, the annual shopping extravaganza – it’s a big date on the calendar for small businesses, eCommerce stores, and of course, customers!

It’s a pivotal moment that can make or break their year since it’s a discount period that most people get online to shop.

During sales events, individuals often compete to obtain the most favourable deals, while companies strive to increase profits and retain customers by offering genuine discounts that enhance their brand reputation.

But amidst the frenzy of Black Friday, one crucial aspect often takes the back seat – website security. Cybersecurity holds significant importance, especially for small businesses comprising 43% of the targets.

During events like Black Friday, the stakes are higher than ever. The surge in online traffic increases the risk of security threats, from malicious cyberattacks to data breaches.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the vital importance of securing your WordPress website as you prepare for the Black Friday sales rush. We’ll walk you through essential steps and tips to fortify your online presence and protect your business from potential harm. 


Black Friday Common Security Threats

As the excitement around Black Friday builds, it’s crucial to be aware of the lurking security threats that can cast a shadow over your celebrations. 

It’s no surprise that for many eCommerce stores, Black Friday presents a unique set of challenges due to its high-traffic nature. Along with potential customers, there’s an increased chance that malicious actors, bots, and other automated software may reach your business’ virtual doorstep. 

Understanding these security threats is the first step in safeguarding your WordPress website.

  • DDoS attacks: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are like traffic jams on the information highway! Cybercriminals overwhelm your website with a massive volume of fake traffic, causing it to slow down or crash. These attacks disrupt your customers’ shopping experience and can lead to lost sales. Cloudflare, for example, mitigated the biggest DDoS attacks that ever happened in 2023, with over 71 million requests per second. Over the years, there has been a noticeable increase in DDoS attacks, as evidenced by the recent record of 46 million requests per second (RPS) compared to previous reports. 
  • Hacking attempts: During Black Friday, hackers are on the prowl. They seek vulnerabilities in your website’s security to gain unauthorized access. This can result in data theft, defacement of your site, or, worse, compromising sensitive customer information.
  • Data breaches: Black Friday is a treasure trove for cybercriminals looking to steal customer data. A data breach can expose personal information, payment details, and passwords, eroding customer trust and potentially leading to legal consequences.

The consequences of a security breach during Black Friday are far-reaching and severe.

Beyond immediate financial losses, you risk tarnishing your reputation and losing the trust of your valued customers.

Imagine the fallout of customer data being exposed or your website crashing when shoppers are ready to purchase. The impact can be devastating, resulting in long-term damage that extends far beyond the holiday season. Let’s dive into how we can prevent that.


Checking Your Current Website Security

Before the rush of Black Friday hits, it’s imperative to take a step back and assess the security of your WordPress website. In this section, we’ll discuss some effective ways that you can implement to improve your approach towards the topic we previously covered in the article.

Do you have a current security plan for your website? Do you have a WordPress security plugin installed for that purpose? These are the main questions to begin with. Then, it’s the security features of your trusty web host. Ensuring you’re siding with a web hosting provider that offers all the security features you need is a smart choice, and it’ll work to your advantage in the long run. 

Here are three key areas of focus for improving your website security:

1. Security Self-Check

Think of a security audit as a health check for your website. It helps you identify weaknesses, gaps, or outdated practices that may make your site vulnerable. WordPress security is good out of the box, but being on top of every possible scenario is what works best for companies and small businesses. 

With Black Friday approaching, the last thing you want is a security breach. Apart from a few third-party ones, Google’s transparency report tool is a great indicator to check if your website is safe to browse. 


2. Evaluating Current Security Measures

To begin, take stock of your current security measures. What security plugins or practices are already in place? What are your website’s potential weak points? This self-assessment will be instrumental in strengthening your defences.

If the fundamental security measures are on, it’s time to protect your site from the surge in traffic in a few other ways. For example, get a fresh website backup and ensure there are adequate and daily malware scans in place.

3. Security Plugins

Consider integrating reputable security plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri into your WordPress setup and ensure you change your WordPress login screen into something unique. It can be in the form of “”, which will eventually lead to your WordPress admin dashboard. 

In the upcoming sections, we’ll delve deeper into each aspect, guiding you through the steps to ensure your website is fortified against Black Friday’s security challenges.


Updating WordPress Plugins and Themes Is a Priority

Website security is always ongoing, and a crucial part of it is keeping your WordPress core software, themes, and plugins up to date. Ignoring updates can leave your website vulnerable to all kinds of exploits and hacking attempts.

So, putting them in priority is what makes sense, especially if you own an eCommerce store. 

Here’s what else is vital:

  • Importance of regular updates: Staying up to date on all your plugins and themes
  • Safely updating components: Knowing how to update your WordPress core is also vital. On Managed WordPress hosting plans, for instance, you get rid of these tedious tasks to make updating procedures far more straightforward. 

By prioritizing these updates and following our guidance, you’ll bolster your site’s security, ensuring that it remains robust and resilient in the face of potential threats this Black Friday.

WooCommerce provides robust security features for eCommerce WordPress websites. To further enhance security, it’s recommended to use strong passwords for all new user accounts created in the WordPress dashboard. This will help safeguard their personal information and data.


Tips for Better WordPress Security During Black Friday Sales

Moving on to the most exciting portion of our article, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of crucial tips that you should consider before the arrival of Black Friday. This checklist covers all aspects, from securing all passwords that provide access to vital information to educating your team. This useful list can also be applied in various other situations.

  • Implementing strong user authentication: Passwords should contain characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. So, make sure to use an encrypted password manager/generator to make your strong passwords as safe as possible and use two-factor authentication on your login page. 
  • Backup your website: Backup is sometimes considered a difficult task because it’s often associated with complex processes and a lot of technical jargon. If you opt for a reliable web hosting service such as HostPapa, you get backup for free with select hosting plans or even get the chance to upgrade your backup storage to automatically keep everything backed up with minimal hassle. No WordPress plugin in the world can replicate a great backup service.
  • SSL encryption: All shared hosting solutions come with a free SSL certificate to go along with your shiny new website. An SSL certificate is a major security feature that every eCommerce store must have in order to get online and process critical information such as credit card details and customer addresses. The embedded encryption makes it harder for hackers to gain access to that information – ensuring complete overall security. 
  • Regular security scanning: While there are multiple WordPress security plugins available, little comes close to a dedicated security service that runs on the server and provides additional safety mechanisms. 
  • Secure payment processing: Choosing trusted payment gateways such as PayPal, which works worldwide, ensures that all users from around the world can purchase your products or services. Secure payment gateways, apart from their added security measures, act as an intermediary between you and the customers and help protect all their data.
  • Educating your team – book a team meeting: Small and large businesses alike prioritize the training of their staff, which encompasses more than just security but also includes sales, marketing, and other aspects of the business. It’s advisable to establish policies and guidelines that all members of the company adhere to.
  • Emergency response plan: Always have a plan to get out of a steamy security situation. Backups are the most essential thing to start. However, make sure to create a separate response team that will take care of security breaches and outline how and when to communicate about a security incident. Communicating a security event with your customer in a transparent and seamless way can help keep their trust in your company. 

Conclusion: Secure Your WordPress Site for This Black Friday

As we conclude this article, let’s recap on why it’s important to keep your WordPress sites secure. 

During Black Friday, the world of eCommerce experiences a surge in traffic, which also leads to an increase in security vulnerabilities. So, a security breach in that period will also erode that trust, potentially causing long-lasting damage to your brand.

Regularly conducting security checks and updates for your WordPress core, themes, and plugins can prevent future problems and save you from potential headaches. With Managed WordPress hosting plans, you don’t need to monitor your web server or worry about making fixes or improvements as your web hosting provider will handle most for you. This frees up your time to focus on other important tasks.

By prioritizing proactive security measures and embracing a culture of preparedness, you’re not just safeguarding your website; you’re safeguarding your business’s reputation and future.

For new business owners with an eCommerce store, it’s imperative that you focus on a reliable web hosting service that comes with plenty of add-on security features to complement your site.

Ready to protect your profits? Bring your site to HostPapa today!

Last modified on: January 24th, 2024

Categorized as Security

Loukas is a technology enthusiast. He enjoys writing content for a crazy amount of topics, and he is a music fan who loves playing the guitar and occasionally shooting photos and videos professionally.

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