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Ecommerce Site Security: 10 Step Audit for Ecommerce Stores

Brick and mortar stores have security cameras, alarms, anti-theft devices, and even guards. When you’re in the ecommerce space, there’s another layer of protection you need to think about: ecommerce site security.

Customers are expected to give a significant amount of their data to you so they can make purchases — names, addresses, credit card numbers, and sometimes passwords. With all this sensitive data, it is important to learn how to protect your online store, and it’s not just about your customers’ information.

In this article, we’ll ask you ten questions that you’ll want to answer if you’re interested in keeping your online store protected. Keep reading to learn how to secure your ecommerce website.

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?

Ecommerce security measures need to be in place for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s staying in compliance or dealing with hackers, there’s a lot to keep in your sights. Especially with the growing shift to ecommerce following the pandemic, retail is a primary target for cyber attacks.

Data breaches can entail stealing information, password guessing, phishing, or even malware infections. Experiencing a breach not only costs you time, money, and reputation, but it chips away at consumer trust as well.

Another common ecommerce security issue is a ransomware attack. Malicious actors can effectively stop your store’s ability to run unless you shell out a hefty sum. Due to the potential revenue that could be lost, especially during a holiday rush, many businesses wind up paying.

It can be a nightmare to deal with, but this could all be avoided by following ecommerce security best practices.

10 Considerations for Ecommerce Site Security

There are plenty of things you can do to lock your site down like Fort Knox. Going through these ten questions will help you safeguard your site and get you on the way to being an expert on ecommerce site security.

First Looks Need Second Glances

1. How Often Do You Look at Your Home Page?

It seems like a no-brainer, but when was the last time you looked at your home page? We generally log into the backend unless we’re looking for something specific. That oversight can lead to missing red flags. There are three major ones: small changes, pop-ups, and redirects.

Small Changes

Small changes like changing a logo or text to display a hacker’s calling card is surprisingly common. Some hackers want to plant their flag and gain notoriety.


Pop-ups advertising products you don’t sell are another warning sign. You can certainly add pop-ups to your site to upsell your own products, but keeping an eye on them to make sure they’re actually yours is always a good idea. Don’t forget to disable your ad-blockers when you’re checking: you can easily miss a malicious pop-up!


Unexpected redirects to other sites that are likely malicious are another reason to take warning. You want traffic to stay on your site and increase your chances of converting visitors. Leading customers away not only affects you, it can put their information at risk and damage your reputation in their eyes.

Being diligent about checking takes time now, but saves a headache later.

Securing Your Customer Base

2. How Much Customer Data Do You Really Need?

Breaches happen even to the best of us. What is really at risk when that happens? Your customer data gets exposed. Storing data like names, addresses, or passwords is unnecessary when you use payment gateways like Stripe.

Keeping that data on file, however, is more than enough to create fraudulent loans in the event of a breach. What’s more, using a payment gateway like Stripe helps you become PCI DSS compliant.

An easy way to mitigate risks if it ever happens at all is not collecting more data than you need. Keep as little data as possible to ensure your customers aren’t at risk. You can’t compromise data you never had in the first place.

3. How Secure are Your Customers’ Accounts?

You can do everything right … and still have customer accounts compromised. Remember the 1995 movie Hackers? Their computer security officer points out that someone didn’t bother reading their carefully-prepared memo on commonly used passwords. Turns out, over 20 years later that’s still actually true.

A common way customer accounts get hacked is through brute force attacks, where a hacker will use easily-available password crackers (yes, you can Google these) and keep guessing until they get the right one.

Nobody likes complicated passwords with special characters they’ll never remember, but it’s certainly safer, especially when your hard-earned money is at risk. Two-factor authentication is another big help, but surprise, surprise: that requires getting people to take the time to do it.

Granted, it’s the user that ultimately opts to be lazy about password security. And if you as a store owner do not enforce it, they won’t have to do it. Look at what happened with Ring security. Even if it was user error, the court of public opinion blames Amazon and not bad password hygiene.

Getting your customers to use strong passwords is the responsibility of the store owner — and not doing it can cost customers a lot of money. It can also cost you reputation points because upset customers can take to social media to talk about their poor experiences.

The Technical Meat and Potatoes

4. Are You On the Right Platform?

The most well-known ecommerce platforms are Shopify, Magento, and WordPress/WooCommerce. One of the reasons they are so popular is that they are very secure solutions.

*Related reading: 10 Reasons to Choose WooCommerce >>*

You’ll want to build your store on a platform that manages to stay ahead of the game. Regular updates that address security vulnerabilities are a must-have in the platform you choose. Has your top choice had data breaches? Is it known for vulnerabilities left open? Make sure to look into this before committing.

There are other considerations involved too beyond just ecommerce site security, but that’s another conversation.

Looking for one of the most secure ecommerce platforms? Hostdedi answers the call.

5. Are You Using the Right Host?

We know hosts aren’t all made the same. Price isn’t the only factor you should be worried about. Some hosting options can affect ecommerce site security. Making the right choice for your store is crucial.

Related reading: Top 10 Questions to Ask a Cloud Hosting Provider >>

When you utilize shared hosting, you’re paying less but potentially risking more. If user accounts aren’t properly separated — and one becomes compromised — that puts everyone on that server at risk. Ensuring your host regularly applies security patches and follows critical security protocols helps you prevent a headache later.

You’ll also want to ask, how do they monitor their networks? What is their protocol for notifying customers about security breaches? Do they provide automatic backups?

Physical security of data centers and where their servers operate is just as important as ecommerce site security. Ask about their plans for servers in case of power outages.

You can certainly opt for cheaper hosting where you handle all of these things yourself. You could also opt for managed hosting services that handle updates and backups while providing you with hosting support, suggestions, and top notch security.

6. Is Your Store’s Software Up to Date?

Updates and patches are released pretty frequently, and with good reason. Exploitative vulnerabilities that can leave you open to attack are coming out faster and faster — leaving you with the task of making sure you’re protected. When you don’t, you open your site up to hackers walking by the all you can eat buffet of access to data.

What needs to be updated? Content management systems, themes, plugins, extensions — and of course your server. Beyond just keeping your ecommerce site secure and protected against vulnerabilities, it can also prevent your site from losing functionality.

A great way to keep tabs on everything is utilizing a hosting provider that provides automatic updates. It’s an easy solution that ensures your site is always at the ready.

Security isn’t a one-and-done deal — all your efforts add up. You can’t rely solely on automated updating to keep you secure, but it does help a lot. However, even the most-secure sites can fall victim to a cyber attack. That’s why there are ten points in this security audit, not just one.

Making A Great Connection

7. Is Your Host PCI DSS Compliant?

If you accept credit card payments — which virtually all online stores do — you have to adhere to the standards set by the payment card industry. An overview of compliance can be found here, but there are over 300 security requirements involved.

PCI DSS Compliance can mean the difference between a sale and a bounce. You can also be fined for noncompliance — and the costs often are the responsibility of the merchants. Being a compliant host saves you money and ensures your customers are using a secure payment gateway.

Here are some basics that you’ll need to include:

  • You need a secure network, which means installing a firewall.
  • Ensure you change your passwords — vendor defaults are not secure.
  • Encrypt the transmission of data.
  • Ensure vulnerability management by updating antivirus programs and versions regularly.
  • Institute strict access control measures and restrict access to cardholder data.
  • Utilize unique IDs for everyone with access to data to monitor usage.
  • Regularly monitor and test networks.

PCI compliance is one of the most important ways to protect your online store because if you want to make sales, your customers need to feel secure typing in their payment information. Ensuring you meet all of the various requirements is a great reason to utilize managed hosting: it’s one less thing for you to spend time and energy on.

8. Are You Using SSL Encryption?

Let’s be clear. A whopping 85% of consumers will avoid an unsecure website. If you’re like us, you notice that little lock in browsers like Chrome that confirm the site you’re browsing is secure and has a valid certificate. What certificate are they talking about? It’s your Secure Sockets Layer certificate.

Why does that make a difference? Because if you’re going to give up data in this century, you don’t want to become the victim of identity theft, find your debit cards have been hot carded, or any number of issues surrounding your personal data being used without your consent.

What’s more, it’s actually harder to find unsecure websites. Google, for one, penalizes unsecure sites and that means they rank lower in the SERPs. Combine being harder to find in the first place with customers noticing your site is insecure and that can translate to fewer conversions.

9. Are You Using a CDN?

If you’re new to the ecommerce space, you might be wondering why this is on the list. Isn’t a CDN what you use to get images and content to load faster? Well, yes. But it also can add security functionality to your site.

CDN providers usually provide additional security features such as malware scanning, blocking spam bots, and more. While a CDN doesn’t outright prevent a DDoS attack, it can certainly help mitigate one. Think of it as a security guard — one of its features is that it monitors and identifies unusual traffic. Once it identifies IP addresses they recognize as malicious, it will block requests.

Another bonus? These processes aren’t hosted on your server — they’re hosted through the CDN server, meaning your site speed doesn’t tank while it’s happening.

There are both free and paid CDNs available. Many hosts also provide access to theirs. Make sure you’re using one that updates and patches often — there’s no sense in doing all the work just to use a CDN with lackluster security.

10. Do You Protect Your Connection in Public Spaces?

A lot of the good work you are doing to protect your online store can be undone with one rookie mistake: using an unsecure connection. In this day and age, you can work from anywhere. Free Wi-Fi is the norm in brick and mortar spaces. People like the freedom of getting out of the office (even the home office) and getting their favorite cup of coffee or in a quiet library.

You may be tempted to just log on and take advantage of the free access, but don’t forget — free isn’t always better. If you’re using an encrypted connection, through a VPN, you can access the net without worrying about who has access to your data.

Finding a secure VPN is easy with a little research, and there are plenty of hosts that offer them as well.

Hostdedi Makes Ecommerce Site Security Easy

When it comes to ecommerce site security, you’ve got a lot to think about. Unless you’re a huge business with the ability to pay a team to keep a watchful eye, chances are you’re going to be doing a lot of this monitoring yourself.

You absolutely can handle all of this — but if you’re looking to focus your time on more important things like selling and updating the content that drives people to your site, there’s a better option.

Hostdedi Fully Managed WooCommerce Hosting “locks up” for you with automatic updates and backups, an ultrafast CDN, and maintaining compliance and certificates. We make it fast, easy, and secure so you can do what you do best: sell.

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22 WordPress Trends & Predictions for 2022

WordPress is almost 20 years old. And through its long and storied history, it has changed quite a bit, with each WordPress version introducing new and improved features. That’s not changing anytime soon.

With WordPress running over 40 percent of all websites on the internet today, the WordPress ecosystem is massive — and its future is looking bright.

To better understand where WordPress is headed, we spoke to WordPress experts and users from all over the world.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some WordPress trends expected to emerge in 2022. Keep reading to learn about the future of WordPress.

22 Emerging WordPress Trends

Below are a few of the trends related to page building, tooling, and more.

  1. No-Code & Low-Code Tools

“WordPress used to be ‘easy to get started’ a decade ago, but it no longer feels that way,” says Lesley Sim, co-founder of Newsletter Glue. Sim predicts an increase of no-code and low-code tools that will help newcomers get started with WordPress in 2022 and the coming years.

  1. Drag & Drop Builders Are Here to Stay

Drag and drop page builders are the easiest way to develop a whole website without the help of a developer. They are extremely easy to use and very affordable. A good example of this trend is the addition of the new WordPress Gutenberg block editor,” says Leandro Santorsola, entrepreneur, digital consultant, and WordPress user.

  1. Automatic Updates for WordPress

“Automated theme and plugin updates were introduced by WordPress last year. While we generally recommend disabling this feature, we are intrigued by it,” says Darsh Somashekar, co-founder of and CEO of Solitaired.

“For enhanced functionality, many of our customers turn to third-party plugins and custom code. Without a close eye on WordPress theme and plugin updates, these customizations may become inoperable when the theme or plugin is updated. Updates, on the other hand, are critical for maintaining a secure, functional website. Automatic updates may be beneficial for website owners who maintain simple websites and frequently overlook plugin updates.”

At Hostdedi, we agree that automatic updates can be incredibly convenient and useful for WordPress users. It’s why automatic updates are supported in all of our fully managed WordPress and WooCommerce plans.

To prevent any problematic updates, we provide a visual comparison tool, which automatically creates a copy, updates your plugins, and gives you the ability to see what changes (if any) the plugin update made to your site before it goes into production.

  1. Full Site Editing & Collaborative Editing

“We’re going to see a lot of activity in themes and page builders with full site editing (FSE) finally being merged into WordPress core,” says Tiffany Bridge, Product Manager of WordPress and Ecommerce at Hostdedi.

“The market has adapted to the block editor, but it will have more adapting to do as the WordPress editing experience continues to support the legacy Classic Editor, the Block Editor, and page builders in classic PHP-based themes. It will now also have to support block-based themes.”

Related reading: Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Performance Optimization >>

“Also related to the editing experience, a great deal of 2022 is going to be spent refining and enhancing the FSE experience, but I expect the core team’s attention to start turning toward the next phase, which is collaborative editing. I’d expect those features to start rolling out in the Gutenberg plugin as early as late 2022,” adds Bridge.

  1. Reduced Learning Curve for WordPress Beginners

“I think the main trend you’ll see in the near future for WordPress is full site block editing. Using the Gutenberg editor, you’re already able to use blocks to easily redesign pages and posts. However, that functionality is going to be rolled out soon to all aspects of entire sites. This will cut down tremendously on the WordPress learning curve for newbies. However, the challenge here will be achieving optimal site speed while using these full site block editors, as they tend to slow sites down, which Google doesn’t like,” says Scott Winstead, founder of My Elearning World.

Related reading: Why is My WordPress Site So Slow?

  1. Full Site Editing Knowledge Gaps

“As block-based themes and full site editing take over the WordPress landscape, they may create a knowledge gap among WordPress users,” predicts designer, developer, and strategist Daniel Schutzsmith.

“As WordPress core moves to have full site editing and block based themes, a learning gap and technical debt is emerging. Web developers and designers will be clamoring to understand the best way to work with these new technologies quickly,” says Schutzsmith. “Page builders will continue to be used in 2022, but there will be a much larger increase in new websites being built with Gutenberg and utilizing add-ons that make it more usable like Kadence Blocks.”

  1. Fewer Third-Party Page Builders

“I’ve been using WordPress for over 11 years. Based on the latest big changes, I predict there’ll be less reliance on third-party page builders and design plugins for full site editing. The main reason behind this prediction is the roadmap released by WordPress regarding the Gutenberg project,” says Ankit Singla of Master Blogging.

“And, according to the roadmap, full site editing using only Gutenberg blocks is definitely on the table. Not to mention the rise of ‘block themes,’ which are designed to accommodate a wide range of customization options through Gutenberg.”

WordPress Design Trends

  1. Video Headers

“Despite the fact that video headers and backgrounds have been around for a while, they have yet to take off on WordPress websites. Each year, WordPress releases a new default theme that is automatically available to all WordPress users. It incorporates several of the theme’s most powerful features, as well as a few custom elements that add interest,” says Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko and Co-Founder of Exploding Topics.

“The advent of video headers heralds the start of a new trend. We’ll have to keep an eye out for WordPress video headers, as the platform is rapidly gaining popularity worldwide.”

  1. Parallax Effect

“Although parallax is not new, it continues to be a dominant design element in WordPress,” says Steve Scott, CTO at Spreadsheet Planet.

Parallax scrolling, also known as parallax effect, is the effect that occurs when you scroll down a page and the background content moves slower than the foreground content. It’s commonly used on one-page websites, where scrolling is an unavoidable part of the experience, and can be effective if the page contains broken sections of content.

“To implement the parallax effect in WordPress, you can utilize any of the popular parallax plugins or themes. Because this effect has a direct impact on the site’s accessibility and user experience, be careful when choosing a background image,” says Scott.

Related reading: 14 Modern Website Design Trends for 2022 >>

  1. Dark Mode

“Dark mode is an imposing ultra-modern design that creates a vibrant impression while maintaining exceptional clarity and visibility. Additionally, dark mode helps the audience focus more on the content you’re showcasing because it alleviates eye strain,” says Marc Stitt, Chief Marketing Officer at GoFMX.

  1. Chatbots Plugins

“Chatbots are extremely useful when used well. They can help you automate many repetitive tasks, such as answering the same question over and over again. It takes some time to get your business up to speed with this new technology. However, it is worth it for the cost-benefit ratio,” says Santorsola.

  1. Microinteractions

“Microinteractions enable you to breathe life into your website. They create the illusion that the visitor is interacting with the content rather than simply reading it. These minor details contribute significantly to your website’s charm,” says Stitt.

“For instance, when the cursor hovers over an image, it will automatically pop up. Additionally, you can highlight the text and share it directly on social media.”

WordPress Theme Trends

  1. Theme Marketplaces

“Theme marketplaces are a new trend affecting the WordPress ecosystem. Developers of theme customizers are now creating various customizer frameworks in order to enhance and provide a unique editing experience for WordPress users. Post-type templates can now be registered by developers.” — says Stephen Curry, CEO of CocoSign.

  1. Themes Will Be Easier to Change

“In recent years, we’ve seen the growth of theme-based ecosystems, where your theme and related add-ons control much of your site experience. With full site editing and theme.json, WordPress themes will go back to defining the styling elements of a site. This will bring massive benefits to users who will be able to switch themes more easily as they won’t be locked in to a single theme that controls much of their site,” says Chris Lubkert, co-founder of Extendify.

  1. Enhanced Customization Via Multipurpose Themes

“WordPress themes have impacted and styled the layout of your website since the platform’s inception. However, multi-purpose themes include customizations and integrated plugins in addition to their web design features — and their growing popularity makes them a top 2022 WordPress trend,” says Kathryn Smithson, CMO at PathSocial.

Related reading: The 7 Fastest WordPress Themes >>

“Additionally, there are numerous diverse and versatile multipurpose themes available, each with its own unique website templates and features. Whether an organization needs a fully functional company website, an online store, a business portfolio site, or simply a blogging platform, multipurpose themes optimized for those roles are available and ready to go,” says Smithson.

  1. Mobile-Friendly Themes

“Mobile users have surpassed desktop users, and the gap is widening. As WordPress has shifted to mobile, the emphasis has shifted entirely to improving and enhancing the mobile user experience,” says Girish Redekar, co-founder of Sprinto.

“Due to the billions of people who own smartphones, we will see mobile-friendly WordPress themes as a leading WordPress trend in 2022.”

WordPress Trends for Developers

  1. Supporting Modern Workflows for Devs

“I think that solutions and applications that enable modern workflows and approaches on WordPress will become increasingly sought after, and will also play an important role in making WordPress attractive to devs again, and continue to ensure the future of WordPress as a viable, relevant CMS,” says Miriam Schwab, CEO of Strattic.

“This includes better ways of managing version control and staging sites, headless implementations, embracing the Jamstack, and static site generation for WordPress.”

  1. Loss of Some WordPress Devs

With the growth of easy to use solutions to create brochure websites — which include a homepage, about us, pricing, and contact us page — some developers may turn away from WordPress, predicts Patrick Rauland, Brand Manager at Paid Memberships Pro.

“The WordPress community will likely lose a lot of developers who build simple brochure websites. The developers and agencies who customize sites, who write plugins, who want to control every line of HTML and CSS will stick with WordPress. And the site owners who know how valuable it is to customize their site will also stick with WordPress.”

WordPress Trends: The WordPress Business

  1. More Curated Offerings

“I see more focus on curated hosting and moving towards more of a SaaS offering. Pretty much exactly what GoDaddy and Pagely have announced, but across the entire space. There will also be a bigger focus on decoupled frontends, allowing for better scaling and performance enhancements,” says Jamie Madden, Founder of WC Vendors & License Server for WooCommerce.

  1. Expansion Into Enterprise

“In terms of technology, I believe WordPress will grow significantly in the coming years. It appears to be tailored to personal bloggers, but I can see WordPress introducing more enterprise-like features and functionality,” says Curry.

“In the future, we’ll also see more synergies between and, as well as more premium plugin developers delivering top-tier products to the WordPress platform.”

  1. Open Source Over Proprietary Solutions

“As an agency that works daily within WordPress, we’re always staying on top of what’s happening. Prediction: while website builders like Squarespace and Shopify work for many use cases, WordPress will continue to be one of the most popular and heavily used tools to power websites,” says John Rodgers, Principal & Co-Founder of The 215 Guys.

Chris Lubkert, Co-founder of Extendify, agrees and predicts that the WordPress core site creation experience will surpass that of other closed source platforms.

Related reading: WooCommerce vs Shopify: Key Differences and How to Choose >>

“Closed source platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify excel at providing a seamless way for users to quickly build a site. Historically, most WordPress users have had to find a legacy page builder or spend many hours piecing together different components to create their site. With full-site editing and continued enhancements to the Gutenberg block editor, it will be easier than ever for users to create a WordPress site in minutes using patterns, layouts, and full site kits,” says Lubkert.

“WordPress hosts will be able to leverage these enhancements to give their users a modern onboarding experience, while still maintaining the power and flexibility of an open source platform like WordPress.”

  1. The Rise of Bundles

“Right now, it seems like users want to be able to ‘start a membership site’ or ‘start an ecommerce store’ or ‘start a newsletter and blog’ and click a button to do just that. They don’t want to find hosting, pick a theme, and figure out which plugins to use. As hosts continue to buy plugin and theme shops, I foresee them further simplifying their offerings and positioning them in this manner.”

“I think long-time WordPress pros won’t like this as they like the unbundled state and they’ve spent a decade learning which plugins work best for the kinds of sites they want to build. But I think it’ll be welcomed by people new to WordPress who ‘just want an online store’ and don’t even know or care what WooCommerce is,” says Sim.

Take 2022 By Storm With Fully Managed WordPress Hosting

Level up in 2022 with Hostdedi’ fully managed WordPress hosting plans. Our WordPress experts are ready to help you, whether you’re a beginner or advanced.

WordPress hosting by Hostdedi includes:

Advanced Features for Faster Sites

We include premium image compression, a built-in CDN, and advanced caching so your site loads fast every time.

Automatic Updates

All plans include worry-free automatic plugin updates with visual comparisons.

No Hidden Fees

You don’t have to worry about overage fees, traffic limits, or metered pageviews.

Free Migrations

Sit back and let us take care of it. Move your existing site to our hosting plans with our free migration service.

Premium Support and Security

Always-on security monitoring and 24/7/365 support from our WordPress experts ensure your site always runs smoothly.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

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