Why Is My WordPress Website Not Secure?

Written by: Ivana Janakieva
Nov / 25 / 2022

Since 2014, Google has been very strict regarding security website issues. That’s why they are literally forcing the users to implement an SSL certificate. Later, they made it a ranking SEO signal.

That means you must add security errors and SSL issues to your WordPress SEO audit checklist and resolve them on time.

As you know, WordPress is probably the most powerful website content management system, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about its security. Sometimes, you may detect unexplainable issues like WordPress SSL not working or the WordPress site not secure, which requires additional attention.

My WordPress Site Says Not Secure – What to do?

So, you are asking yourself, why is my WordPress site not secure, and what to do in these cases?

One of the most obvious solutions is to install SSL WordPress certificate. But it doesn’t mean you resolved all the issues with that. On the contrary, you have so many other things to figure out.

When you install an SSL certificate, it redirects your site to the HTTPS version, which also means you get entirely new URLs. That means you will have to update the WordPress site, not secure issues, through Google Search Console.

Also, you shouldn’t act without a plan. Enhance your safety and security in advance, and download a backup to your entire website. So, you have the original version to restore even when something goes wrong.

As you suppose, SSL installation may cause some issues, and you have to resolve them before your site goes online.

Fixing the most common SSL problems with your WordPress website:

1. NET:ERR_CERT_INVALID Error (Your connection is not private)

It usually happens when you use Google Chrome, even though the other browsers aren’t an exception. You can see similar messages using Firefox, Safari, or Opera.

If you’ve seen this error message, then something is not quite right with your website. If you have an SSL certificate, you will have to check the configuration. For some reason, the browser won’t read it correctly.

So, you have to check if the certificate is still valid or if it’s assigned to the right domain. If not valid, renew it immediately. You can even try reinstalling it or find a free SSL WordPress plugin for easier maintenance.

Also, your SSL certificate may not be verified, so ensure you verify it at the end of the installation.

2. Mixed Content Errors

After SSL installation, you may receive mixed content warnings. Why does it happen?

As you know, all styles, images, and multimedia files have their URL paths. Sometimes, your new SSL certificate works for specific pages while the rich content loads using the old HTTP protocol.

You can adjust the settings using plugins like Really Simple SSL. The plugin will fix the mixed content errors itself.

And you can do the whole thing manually through Settings > General in WordPress. Ensure that WordPress Address and Site Address both use HTTPS, and don’t forget to save the changes.

Then, install the well-known Better Search Replace plugin, and direct it to replace all URLs beginning with HTTP with the same path but using HTTPS. Save the changes, and refresh your website.

Usually, it takes a few moments until the mixed content error fixes are implemented.

3. Too Many Redirects after Implementing SSL

Since the SSL certificate redirects from the old HTTP to the new HTTPS version, sometimes the too many redirects error appears. This is another possible answer to the question, “Why is my WordPress site not secure?”

What do you need to do?

Find the wp-config.php file and enter:

define('FORCE_SSL_ADMIN', true);

And then add the fix-code above the “happy blogging” line:

if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO'], 'https') !== false)
$_SERVER['HTTPS']='on'

You can access the wp-config.php file using the Secure File Transfer Protocol or the file manager folder in your hosting web panel.

4. HTTPS redirects

When you add SSL to WordPress website, it won’t automatically redirect the URLs to the HTTPS version.

You can fix this issue by editing the .htaccess file using your hosting account’s FTP access.

You have to go through the .htaccess file to avoid manual redirects.

Next, you need to include this piece of code:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
</IfModule>

In many cases, the website owners can do this themselves. But if you don’t feel comfortable implementing these changes, we suggest contacting an expert or the hosting service.

So, when you ask yourself why is my WordPress site not secure, the issue with HTTPS redirects can be one of the possible answers.

5. Name Mismatch Error

The final SSL-related WordPress error is related to the domain name in the certificate not matching the browser URL. You may recall we mentioned this case earlier in the article, but now, we are helping you resolve it.

So, no matter if you purchase the certificate or you use WordPress SSL plugin free version, the name mismatch error may occur.

Again, you will have to access the .htaccess file and add this piece to it:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
</IfModule>

After that, reload the website. This is a common issue when you use SSL certificates for WordPress, but resolving it on time means you won’t receive “WordPress website not secure” or similar error messages.

Other WordPress Security Site Issues (Not SSL Related)

As you suppose, not every security error is SSL-related. Sometimes, it takes less effort to fix them. So, let’s take a look at other reasons why you may ask every day why is my WordPress site not secure and similar questions:

Weak Passwords

This is a pretty obvious one. WordPress usually generates strong passwords for every user, but many will change them with something easier to remember. Educate the users on why it’s important to have strong passwords, and encourage them to protect their accounts.

Malware

When hackers attack your website, they install malware to steal data or prevent you from logging in. Hackers often use backdoor attacks and malicious redirects to attack your website. Ensure you have enabled all the needed security protocols, even though you still need to be cautious about this.

Malicious Redirects

Malicious redirect is when the searcher finds your website through search engines, but when they click, the malware redirects them to another website.

So, preventing these issues or even running advanced checks to remove malicious redirects is important. Often, when the user lands on the redirected URL, they can become hacker victims too.

XSS due to Plugins

You may face XSS or cross-site scripting when you use too many plugins. We suggest updating your WordPress version whenever needed. This way, you use the maximum benefit and prevent script injection of any type.

Some web admins use web application firewall services to prevent cross-site scripting due to plugin vulnerability.

Outdated WordPress Version

Every recent WordPress version comes with improved security features. There is no need to keep the old version and expose your vulnerabilities. Simply back up your content, and update the WordPress version.

It’s the same with the site theme version. Don’t be afraid to update your services because it’s the easiest way to enhance security.

WordPress Outdated Plugins

This is similar to the outdated WordPress version. Outdated apps, plugins, and extensions can be vulnerable because the company maintains the most recent version of them.

DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks happen when hackers send traffic requests and cause a server crash. So, your website automatically goes offline. If you don’t resolve this on time, you lose authority, so use all the needed tools to monitor suspicious traffic, such as WP Activity Log.

SQL Injections

SQL injections are when hackers get access to your site data and change it directly. They can steal your WordPress credentials and create new admin users. What are the most vulnerable points? You will be surprised, but direct contact forms and payment forms are the most vulnerable parts. So, you can add reCAPTCHA as an additional security layer to avoid  SQL attacks.

SEO Spam

As a website owner, you surely like to rank higher. But, some hackers target the top 10 results on SERPs and infect them with spammy keywords and dangerous backlinks. As a result, Google crawlers may de-index or even penalize your site, even though you personally haven’t done anything wrong.

Low-Quality Hosting

Hosting is not the cheapest part of having a website, but you shouldn’t set for less than the best quality available on the market. Keep this in mind if you use shared hosting to optimize expenses.

Not Setting User Roles

WordPress sites come with a few user roles, like Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Sometimes, a Super Admin is assigned as the main role.

The default role is Administrator. But think twice before you grant admin access to every user. Admins have access to many tools and features, and you don’t want anything bad to happen.

PHP Server Version Not Updated

Newer PHP versions are more stable and secure. That’s enough of a reason to always upgrade the PHP server version.

Conclusion

Ensure all security settings are enabled. Check if your SSL certificate is valid. Detect the vulnerabilities on time. You really have to do so many things to ensure you’ll never ask why is my WordPress site not secure too often.

FAQs

Why is my WordPress Website Not Secure?

Many reasons may cause your WordPress site to appear not secure. You should check the SSL certificate specifications and match them with the particular website. Also, weak passwords and outdated WordPress versions can cause website vulnerabilities.

Can I resolve the security errors myself?

Skilled WordPress developers can diagnose and fix most of the ongoing security issues. But sometimes, you will have to ask the experts for help. Some errors require more attention and can’t be fixed the usual ways, especially when it’s a server error.

Can WordPress plugins cause security issues?

Most plugins are checked, but you can never be too cautious when it comes to your website. Sometimes, when the plugin is outdated or causes conflict with other plugins, it may make your website more vulnerable and prone to hacker attacks.