Interview with Victor Gozhyi – TemplateMonster

Roberto Popolizio Roberto Popolizio
Published on: January 9, 2023

Today, we are pleased to talk to Victor Gozhyi, COO at TemplateMonster, and discuss the topic many of us are worried about – WordPress security. Victor knows better than anyone else how to create a secure and competitive WordPress project that will be notice.

MotoCMS, NoviBuilder, ZemeZ, and several internal departments of TemplateMonster have been under Victor’s leadership over the last 10 years, so today we will discuss WordPress themes and plugins security, and what steps you should take to fix a WordPress website that has been hacked.

Read on if you want to know how to choose a WP theme that is truly safe from vulnerabilities.

What Makes A WordPress Theme Secure?

Choosing a secure WordPress theme is important for website owners in so many ways. There are many ways to interpret the term “secure” WordPress theme. A safe and sound WordPress is consistently updated, follows proper coding standards, and doesn’t include any security vulnerabilities. When you feel sure the web design assets used in your website’s core, you can easily avoid unneeded bugs, compatibility errors and other issues. Besides, hackers and attackers will find it more difficult or impossible to impact your website the way it could affect its performance.

What Are The Most Dangerous Vulnerabilities Nowadays For WordPress Sites?

WordPress is one of the most popular CMS used by millions of people worldwide. Such a big demand for using this CMS makes it a lucrative target for hackers and scammers. Based on my experience of working with WordPress clients, the most common vulnerabilities for WordPress projects are the following:

  • You should use a strong password to make your website secure. However, many website owners neglect this, making the hackers’ job extremely easy and using passwords that are easy to guess. One of the best ways to make your website more secure is by routinely changing passwords and using combinations that are difficult to remember.
  • The abundance of customization options is another vulnerability that WordPress site owners should know about. You can choose from hundreds to thousands of ready-made themes and plugins. Using a frequently updated and built solution per the latest web development requirements is important to ensure your website is less exposed to security risks.
  • Phishing attacks are another vulnerability you should be aware of. Phishing can happen in a couple of ways through a WordPress website – through emails sent from suspicious addresses and fake web pages that hackers use to trick users and get access to their sensitive information.
  • Hackers can also place malicious code into a website’s backend. This is referred to as cross-site scripting, which targets a website’s functionality and visitors through fake links, contact forms, redirects, and so on.

What Does Your Vetting Process Look Like, And Are You Using Any Tools To Test A Theme’s Security?

Our Review Team checks every asset submitted to the marketplace. The vetting process includes checking the product uniqueness, structure of the product pack, the detailed documentation, the performance in different web environments, the live demo, etc. We also need to ensure the submitted items are compatible with the latest WordPress versions. Compared to other platforms, we do not make authors wait a long time for feedback.

What Can Site Owners Do To Make Their WordPress Themes And Plugins More Secure?

Apart from ensuring all elements of their websites are always up-to-date, there are some tricks through which site owners can keep WordPress themes and plugins code secure:

  • Check out different firewalls and select the one that best suits your website’s requirements;
  • If you have other users working on your website, the best way to make your project more secure is by cutting off access to the plugin directory. It will help you ensure that no second person is snooping on the information that you have on your website.
  • Set user roles on your website.
  • Keep your theme and plugin code secure is the PHP error.

The best recommendation to help you keep your WordPress-based project more secure is downloading themes and plugins only from the websites and platforms you trust.

Apart From Themes And Plugins, What Else Can Be Done To Secure A Wp Site?

First, you must ensure you use reliable hosting for your WordPress website. Next, you must ensure that your project is safe from malicious login attempts. Use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, limit the number of login attempts, and enable auto-logout.

To avoid security-related issues, it is important to regularly check and install the latest WordPress updates as soon as possible to eliminate the vulnerabilities.

Otherwise, What Do You Suggest To Do If A WordPress Site Gets Hacked?

If the worst has happened and you discover that your website became a victim of a hacking attack, your further steps depend on how your project was attacked.

  • If you don’t want your audience to find your website compromised, you’d better put it in maintenance mode until everything is fixed.
  • Since you need to learn how hackers accessed your website, changing all passwords is important.
  • Next, ensure the latest versions of themes and plugins are used on your website.
  • Check the list of users added to your website. If there are any user roles that you cannot recognize, remove them right away.
  • Next, get rid of all unwanted files. To save your time, you can rely on security plugins that will scan your website and tell you if any files shouldn’t be on your site.
  • If your website still has problems, reinstall the theme and plugins.
  • If all else fails, reinstall WordPress itself.

What Are The Safest Themes On TemplateMonster Right Now?

To be honest, all themes on our digital marketplace are 100% safe. All authors selling their digital assets on TemplateMonster must provide regular updates to ensure their assets are up-to-date and meet the latest WordPress requirements.

So Are You Saying That Free WordPress Themes Are Not Safe?

Many people choose free web themes because these are cheaper options than premium web design assets. Free WordPress themes don’t always offer updates, which can affect the user experience and the overall capabilities of websites to prevent new threats.

About the Author
Roberto Popolizio
Published on: January 9, 2023

About the Author

SEO consultant with a knack for building partnerships with top publications. He has managed the SEO teams of top cybersecurity blogs and generated over 6000 backlinks through Digital PR and 200+ linkbuilding techniques that he keeps testing to this day. In his (little) free time he goes riding anything on two wheels around Asia.