Security is one of the aspects you need to notice when you have a WordPress site. Despite your knowledge level in web security, you need to at least install a security plugin to protect your website from attackers. We have compiled the best WordPress security plugins and want to show you in this article.
We once in a situation where our website was attacked by a hacker. The hacker even installed some backdoor files before we eventually removed them. We used the Wordfence plugin to identify those backdoor files. This security plugin comes with a scanning tool that helped us scanning the suspicious files on our website and then remove them. It also has a firewall feature to prevent hackers from getting to your website.
Wordfence is just an example of the security plugin. There are lots of security plugins out there. As mentioned, we have compiled some of the best ones for you. When it comes to security plugins, here are some crucial features to consider.
- Scanning tool. This feature is especially crucial if your website is being hacked. You can use it to scan the suspicious files.
- Firewall. This feature protects your website from threats, including malware and attackers.
- Password security to deny weak password login.
- Login security to add a securer login method such as reCAPTCHA or two-factor authentication.
- Email notifications for immediate notifications over suspicious activities.
Best WordPress security plugins
Wordfence is one of the most-used WordPress security plugins. According to a stat on the WordPress plugin repository, Wordfence is used by over 3 million websites. Wordfence has all the required features we mentioned above. If your website is being hacked, you can use its scanning tool to scan the suspicious files and you can then clean them up. The Wordfence scanning tool works by comparing the original WordPress files on its database with the WordPress files on your website. The firewall feature offered by Wordfence protects your website for other attacks once you fixed the previous one.
Wordfence will deny login with a weak password. You will be forced to change your password it Wordfence considers it a weak password. Here are the key features offered by Wordfence:
- Malware scanner
- Password security
- Login protection (you can enable two-factor authentication)
- Email notification
Wordfence itself is a freemium plugin. The basic features we mentioned above are available on the free version. If you need advanced features like real-time IP blacklist and real-time firewall rule, you can upgrade to the pro version.
2. Sucuri Security
Sucuri Security comes with a feature to blacklist IP addresses from accessing your website. This feature is pretty useful as you can prevent the IP addresses of the attackers from accessing your website. Some key features offered by Sucuri Security are:
- Malware scanner
- IP blacklist manager
- Login audits
- Email notifications
The features above are available on the free version of Sucuri Security. You can upgrade to the pro version to unlock more advanced features.
MalCare focuses on one thing: protecting your website from malware. So, if you are looking for a security plugin to remove malware (without extra features), MalCare is a good plugin to try. MalCare is a bit different from Sucuri Security and Wordfence. Not just because it has no extra features like the two. MalCare is a cloud-based anti-malware plugin. When running the malware scanning, the scanning process is run on the cloud instead of on your website, which is great in terms of site performance.
You will see no options on the MalCare dashboard other than running the scanning option. There is no firewall or login security feature. MalCare really focuses on malware protection. Because of this, MalCare is best suited for attacked websites. With the pro version, you can even request malware removal.
4. iThemes Security
iThemes is a big enough player in the WordPress industry. iThemes Security is one of the products developed by the company. The features offered by this plugin are pretty similar to Sucuri Security and Wordfence. However, some basic features, like two-factor authentication, reCAPTCHA integration, and user logging are only available on the pro version. iThemes Security comes with some features you can configure to secure your websites. There is a feature that you can use to blacklist IP addresses, enable brute force protection, force users to use a strong password, and so on.
5. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security is another feature-rich security plugin for WordPress which you can use to scan malware on your website. It also offers firewall protection to secure your websites from attackers. BulletProof Security also offers a login security feature to protect your website login. You can set some parameters like maximum login attempts, automatic lookout time, and so on.
6. WP Security Ninja
WP Security Ninja is basically a feature-rich security plugin. However, you need to use the pro version to use all of its features. The free version of this plugin only allows you to run security testing and some tested parameters are actually very basic such as WordPress version, SSL, plugin versions, and so on. Malware scanner, WordPress core files scanner, and firewall are available. But again, you need to use the pro version. If you are not objected to spending money, WP Security Ninja is a worth plugin to install.
7. All In One WordPress Security
As the name suggests, All In One WordPress Security is a feature-rich security WordPress plugins. Features like firewall, scanner, brute force protection, login security, and spam protection are available. The best thing is, you can use all of those features for free. The scanner feature of All In One WordPress Security allows you to detect malware and file changes — which is crucial enough for the diagnosis process when your site gets attacked. The plugin also comes with a blacklist manager to block website access by IP address and user agent.
The key features offered by All In One WordPress Security are:
- Brute force protection
- Blacklist manager
- Spam protection
- Email notification over suspicious activities
8. Defender Security
Defender Security is a security plugin developed by WPMU DEV, another big player in the WordPress industry. It is one of the best security plugins, with lots of features you can enable and configure to protect your website. It comes with all features we mentioned in the intro section. Plus, the plugin also offers some security suggestions which you can implement right away. For instance, you can disable the file editor with a single click, manage login duration, prevent user enumeration, prevent PHP execution, and so on.
Here are the key features offered by Defender Security:
- Malware scanner
- Login security (you can enable the two-factor authentication)
- Email notifications
- Blacklist manager
- 404 detection
- Log manager
Advanced features like web application firewall, blacklist monitor, and audit logging are available on the pro version of Defender Security.
The bottom line
Leaving your WordPress running without a security plugin is a huge mistake as it could provide huge chances for hackers to attack your website. If your website gets hacked, not only it will affect the performance of your website, but also your business reputation. We strongly recommend installing a security plugin with a firewall feature as it helps protect your website from some threat types, including malware.
If you have no web security knowledge at all, we also recommend using a managed WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosting is a type of hosting service whereby technical aspects related to your WordPress site — including security and performance — are handled by your hosting provider so you can focus on growing your website. You can then install a security plugin to add an extra security layer to your website.