If you run any kind of website, you should have a good idea of the sheer breadth of security risks prevalent on the internet nowadays. A hacker attack takes place every 39 seconds, according to this University of Maryland study.
As a website owner, facing hacking attempts is just a reality of life. Cyber attacks are a real threat for not just big corporations but small businesses and blogs alike. Hiscox’s Small Business Cyber Risk Report of 2018 discovered that 47% of small businesses had at least one cyberattack that year.
While different security tricks work wonders, you should always employ the appropriate tools to protect your website from cyber risks for solid protection from potential threats.
Here are just a few of the dangers that WordPress security plugins can help you stay safe from:
- They can protect your sensitive data as well as your customers’ and users’ data too.
- You can also keep your important information or content from being deleted or modified on your website.
- You can stay protected from ransomware attacks.
- You can keep your SEO ratings safe. Hackers can use your website to spread malware which can hurt your SEO rankings.
- You can keep your brand image safe by avoiding attempts to deface your website.
Table of Contents
- Best WordPress Security Plugins For Your Website
- 1. Sucuri Security
- 2. Wordfence Security
- 3. Jetpack
- 4. All In One WP Security & Firewall
- 5. iThemes Security
- 6. WPScan
- 7. SecuPress
- 8. MalCare Security
- 9. Astra
- 10. BulletProof Security
- Which WordPress Security Plugin is Best For You?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Best WordPress Security Plugins For Your Website
Now that you know some of the risks that WordPress security plugins can protect you from, you can check out some of the popular options available. You can choose the best security plugin based on the features and your specific needs.
1. Sucuri Security
Sucuri is one of the security plugins for the WordPress platform. It offers a complete set of tools and services to keep your website safe from malicious attacks. Your website receives all the standard modes of protection, including website firewall, periodic scanning, and malware removal services.
The free version of this plugin is a pretty solid budget option for hardening up your website security. It comes with standard security elements such as malware scanning, security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, and options for post-hack security actions. So, your website is secure to a good extent, even with the free option.
The premium version offers you a full suite of cybersecurity options that starts with an advanced website firewall to protect your website from malicious attention. The plugin also monitors your site traffic for various attacks such as phishing pages, backdoors, DDoS attacks, and even SSL certificate monitoring.
Some of the niche features offered by this plugin include monitoring for SEO spam, which are attacks designed to harm your SEO ranking.
Sucuri even monitors your website on blocklists, which can reduce your website traffic by up to 95%. The plugin can submit blocklist removal requests on your behalf so you can regain your traffic after any security incidents.
- Services include a full security suite
- Website firewall with machine learning
- Malware scanner
- Website monitoring for SSL certificate, uptime, DNS, SEO spamming, etc.
- Caching and other speed optimization features
- Remote malware scanner to reduce server load
- Firewall is only included with the premium version
- The remote malware scanner can only detect issues on the browser
Who is this plugin for?
Sucuri is a complete security package that covers a broad area even with its free version. This plugin is for those who are serious about their digital presence and want comprehensive security coverage in all key areas.
2. Wordfence Security
If you want to get as many features as you can with a free security plugin, Wordfence Security offers some useful features. However, all those features come with a 30-day delay in the free version.
This plugin is integrated directly into your endpoint, which means that no servers are involved in the security monitoring and scanning. This way, your data is safe from leakage.
This plugin maintains its IP blocklist that automatically blocks known malicious IPs from accessing your website. At the same time, it also monitors your website against three website blacklists and sends requests for blacklist removal on your behalf.
Wordfence Security is also a comprehensive tool that can do live traffic monitoring. It can check out all the visitors on your website, logins and keep an eye out for any malicious traffic. It can also detect if a password is breached and can block admins who use a compromised password.
This plugin also has an excellent system for protecting your data and WordPress files. It regularly checks your WordPress files (theme and plugins) with those in the WordPress.org database and detects any malicious changes to your source files. This allows Wordfence to immediately alert you when it discovers malicious code hiding in your system.
You also get the option to replace any modified files with an original version with the click of a button.
Your website will also get brute force protection as the plugin blocks any users that attempt to log in too many times.
- Variety of login protections
- Brute force protections
- Core files monitoring
- Easy-to-use dashboard (premium version only)
- Endpoint operation limits the involvement of additional servers, making your data more secure
- Repairs damaged core files with selective backup recovery
- Country blocking options
- There is a 30-day delay with most of features on the free version
Who is this plugin for?
This plugin is a popular and reliable choice if you want to protect the common areas of website vulnerability. You can use this plugin for simple business websites, or any kind of blogs. It will prove more than capable of fending off curious cats using some common points of entry.
Jetpack is something of a jack in the world of WordPress plugins. Built by the same minds behind the WordPress platform, this plugin has a series of functions that make this a multifunctional plugin — its feature set ranges from performance optimization to SEO. It is also a great security option that has a variety of monitoring and scanning facilities.
The free version of this plugin is a definite steal — this plugin is built by reputable authors and offers you sensible features in a variety of key areas. The security functions provided by Jetpack include automatic website backups, activity log for site changes, and automatic malware scans.
The activity log, in particular, is a valuable resource used to catch malicious attacks as or before they happen. Further, you can backtrack any kind of infiltration to see the changes made by unauthorized users. You can also discover the origin and action path of hack attempts.
Jetpack also keeps an eye on your WordPress core files to ensure that they haven’t been meddled with. The plugin checks your core files against those in the WordPress repository, ensuring they are in the original condition.
Alongside this, you will also be alerted if any plugins that you are using become outdated. This simple feature is also important from a security standpoint as out-dated plugins can often have known vulnerabilities that hackers can easily exploit.
You also get protection against brute force attacks, spam comments on your site, as well as downtime monitoring.
- Multipurpose plugin
- Brute force attack protection
- Uptime monitoring
- Detailed activity log to track breaches
- Powerful performance optimization features
- Traffic analytics and social media tools for website growth
- Fully compatible with WooCommerce
- Backup feature with detailed options
- Spam protection
- Two-factor authentication
- Covers the common security risks but doesn’t provide expert protection
- Malware protection is limited to backup functions
Who is this plugin for?
This plugin is for those who see a major advantage in its multifunctional aspects. Jetpack includes more than a few features to improve your site performance and includes some detailed features for website growth. You can take advantage of these features if the standard security framework offered by this plugin is adequate for you.
4. All In One WP Security & Firewall
This free plugin has a great reputation and provides some great tools to protect against common vulnerabilities or add useful security elements to your website.
The plugin is quite user-friendly and a good choice if you want to give your site some good protection but do not have in-depth technical knowledge.
The All In One WP Security and Firewall plugin has a unique security grading system. The grading system shows you how well you are protected from attacks using a visual scale. You can easily toggle the level of security measures you use on your website depending on your needs.
The firewall rules are divided into three different categories to make it easy for you to configure your security settings. This plugin mainly focuses on improving your user account security and blocking unauthorized access.
The plugin protects against brute force attacks. You can completely block specific IP addresses or a range of IP addresses for a defined amount of time. If login attempts persist over multiple block periods, then you can choose to get an email notification.
You can also set up automatic logout of users after a certain period, which can keep your backend safe at unattended workstations. Another nifty feature that comes with this free plugin is the Google reCaptcha feature. You can add a captcha feature to your login page to prevent login attempts from bots.
The plugin can also force users to make strong passwords and regularly change their passwords for better login safety.
This plugin is equipped with an extensive collection of such features, such as text copy protection, spam comment protection, fake Google bots protection, and much more. The best thing about WP Security & Firewall plugin is that it is a free tool that gets regular updates with more features.
- Designed for beginners
- Security features are divided into three categories of hardness for easy toggle
- Powerful login protection and monitoring
- Advanced firewall
- Google reCaptcha and honeypot for spam and bot protection
- Backup feature
- Freeze core files to avoid malicious injections
- The customer service is a paid one so you need to shell out some money for the full protection
- You need to rely upon a user community in case of issues if you use the free version. This subverts the beginner-friendly design.
Who is this plugin for?
Here are the main advantages of this plugin that set it apart from the rest — it's free, extremely beginner-friendly, and includes a host of advanced security features. So, if you are a WordPress beginner or newbie who is worried about tricky hackers, then this plugin is perfect for you.
5. iThemes Security
iThemes Security is one of the well-known plugins for WordPress security. This plugin covers a lot of ground in protecting your website with a comprehensive list of 30+ security measures available at a small cost.
The plugin does have a free version, which provides you some basic protection. The premium version covers a good deal of security features, including some detailed security measures for experienced WordPress users.
The standard features mainly focus on detecting vulnerabilities in outdated plugins, protection from automated attacks, and protecting user access. So, this plugin features strongly on two-factor authentication. It allows multiple ways to verify your identity while logging in, such as email, two-factor authentication apps, and backup codes.
Another rare feature offered by iThemes Security is the Away Mode, which completely locks away your website during specific hours. You can use this feature if you are only working on your website at specific times. This way, nobody can access your website at the predefined ‘away’ times.
iThemes Security also has an active file monitoring feature for file change detection and malicious code injections. If any changes are discovered, the plugin scans the file origins to see if it has come from bad sources. You can add Google reCaptcha with this plugin as well.
This plugin also has a detailed dashboard widget that gives you a lot of control over your security features, allowing you to block IP addresses directly from the dashboard.
- 30+ Security measures that protect from most vulnerabilities
- An intuitive dashboard to configure and oversee the plugin
- Away Mode for full back-end lockdown at predetermined times
- Many advanced features allow you to save your website specifically against obscure attacks
- No customer support for the free version
- There is no SSL certificate monitoring despite this plugin having a detailed set of features
Who is this plugin for?
iThemes Security is a very capable plugin that applies a custom set of security priorities to your website without requiring a lot of configuring. So, it can be a good choice for those who are serious about their website security. Detailed features such as core files monitoring can keep you safe from some powerful attacks. The only big drawback is that the website scanning service offered by this plugin does a very cursory job of malware scanning. So, if you wish to check all the boxes, you might want to use this plugin together with a better malware scanning tool.
WPScan is a tool that maintains its own manually curated database of vulnerabilities. The database is continually developed and maintained by cybersecurity experts as well as the larger WPScan community. The database has knowledge of 21,000+ vulnerabilities.
The plugin will monitor your website for WordPress, plugins, and theme vulnerabilities and notify you by email if any vulnerabilities are found.
You can get a free API plan for this plugin which allows 25 API requests per day, which can be enough to operate one small website. If you have a large website or use many plugins, the paid plan would work well for you at a reasonably low cost.
You can get additional API requests through their paid plans for relatively cheap. Meanwhile, some of the security monitoring features are available without the use of API tokens. These include checking for weak passwords, checking for HTTPS use, checking whether default secret keys are used, among a few others.
All of these security features come alongside the option to schedule website scans at your desired times.
- Simple, API-based plan at low cost
- Monitors your website against a community-maintained database of 21,000+ security vulnerabilities.
- A variety of login protections like forcing strong passwords
- Schedule automatic scans to keep your website safe in the future
Who is this plugin for?
This plugin is the perfect choice for small businesses who are serious about their cyber security. The curated database through which WPScan conducts its scanning and monitoring is one of its greatest strengths, giving you full security. At the same time, its free version with up to 25 API requests per day is perfectly adequate for small websites.
SecuPress is a popular option for WordPress security because of its comprehensive list of features. It protects your website against a wide range of security vulnerabilities with many necessary options such as brute force login protection, bot protection, whitelist requests, and many more.
A major feature of this plugin is its easy-to-use interface. You can easily find your way to all its detailed set of features if you want to configure your site security in depth.
The plugin scans your site over 35 different security points and shows you the security state of your website in an easy-to-understand way. If the plugin fixes any issues, you get a report of it too.
SecuPress has a free version that gives you the standard protections, including a website firewall that monitors your traffic and offers protection against brute force attacks, bot attacks, and more. You can stay safe from malicious traffic as the plugin keeps track of all visitors to your website and their activities.
You also get IP blocking facilities. The plugin also keeps track of changes in your plugin and theme files for malicious attacks to keep your website safe.
There are multiple login security features which include changing your WordPress login URL to protect it from bots, forbidding the creation of new user accounts, and passwords lifespan, and more. With all these login security features, two-factor authentication is also naturally included with the plugin.
You can also schedule regular security scans, malware scans, and website backups of your website for a complete security lifeline.
- Intuitive user interface
- Comprehensive security test covers 35 security points
- Amazing value for the money starting at $69.99 per year
- Variety of login security features like changing login URL, two-factor authentication
- Schedule security scans
- Offers website backup services too
- Two-factor authentication is limited only to email
- The backup service is available only on host server
- Relative newcomer to the security plugins sector
Who is this plugin for?
Its easy-to-use interface alongside a 35-point security monitoring system makes it great for WordPress beginners who are serious about their website security.
8. MalCare Security
MalCare is a well-managed WordPress security plugin that claims to have an intelligent scanning method to detect even complex attacks and malware. This plugin offers some powerful services in the free version, which can attract many to choose MalCare for hardening their WordPress security.
The plugin offers a cloud-based malware scanning service for free. The benefit of a cloud-based scanning service is that it reduces the load on your server so you can maintain great performance for your website visitors.
The free version also provides real-time protection with a smart firewall service that protects your website from bots and malicious users. Similarly, you can improve your WordPress login security by using captcha protection with this plugin.
With the premium version, you can get malware removed from your website in very little time with the one-click malware removal service. You can remove malwares from your site within one minute. This can be a handy feature as you can avoid getting blacklisted and protect your SEO ranking.
This plugin also comes with some helpful website hardening tools to limit the options for hacking. You can do so with features like disabling file editing, disabling new plugin installations, and protecting your uploads folder.
MalCare also monitors your load speeds to ensure that your website performs at its optimum, helping you maintain your traffic flow.
Besides these, the plugin also offers backup services, including a clever incremental backup feature that recognizes any website changes and uploads them as they happen. This reduces the server overload. You can also schedule daily automatic backups according to your needs.
- Real-time firewall protection even in the free version
- CAPTCHA login protection
- Freeze core files, uploads folder, and plugin installations to avoid malware injections
- Backup features including incremental backup which reduces server load
- Intelligent scanning reduces server load while effectively detecting malware
- One-click malware removal
- Country-wise IP blocking
- While the backup features are amazing, they are only available in the premium version
Who is this plugin for?
MalCare Security offers some unique methods of malware scanning that allows it to detect vulnerabilities that might be overlooked by most security solutions. At the same time, this plugin is designed in a way that is friendly for both beginners and expert WordPress users. If you are experienced in WordPress security matters, you can fully tune your configurations according to your specifications and this plugin offers you a good deal of control.
Astra is a WordPress security plugin with a powerful firewall that can block most types of attacks in real-time. This plugin comes with a very easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to see your security logs and control your IP blocking settings.
Astra is developed as a complete WordPress security suite and offers security services on four different levels. The Astra security firewall is quite accomplished and can give you real-time protection from 100+ types of vulnerabilities. You can also keep your website safe from common types of threats such as brute-force attacks and comment spamming.
Besides that, the malware scanner can be set up for automatic, scheduled scans and also removes any malwares found on your site. You get pdf and email reports of any security breaches and malware removal actions taken by the scanner.
The plugin also offers security audits with consultations and maintains a bug bounty program. This is quite useful if you are serious about your website security, such as running a big e-commerce website.
You can request VAPT security software, business logic analysis, bug fixing, and gain the expertise of freelance bug bounty hunters to strengthen your website over time.
This plugin is also focused on protecting your site’s SEO and reputation. It monitors your website for various attacks that can cause blacklistings, such as SEO spam/poisoning, payment checkout page hacks, malicious backdoors, and more.
- Simple and easy to use
- Real-time protection from 100+ vulnerabilities
- You get regular reports on your website’s security status
- This plugin doesn’t give you an in-depth look into its processes
Who is this plugin for?
Astra covers a good deal of ground while providing your website the needed security. Real-time protection against 100+ vulnerabilities should be good enough for most regular customers. However, the only problem with this plugin is that it doesn’t give you an in-depth look into the security scanning besides a general security rating. But it is absolutely fine to use by lay people who simply want a good degree of website hardening with an easy-to-use interface.
10. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security offers more security features than most of the WordPress security plugins out there. However, it isn’t really a user-friendly plugin and is focused more on advanced developers or WordPress users.
The free version of this plugin has a great list of features covering a good deal of ground to harden up your website’s security. These include the MScan Malware Scanner, some login security measures, anti-spam features, as well as the option to set up hidden plugin folders, among others.
The plugin also maintains a security log that can be useful in any security incidents to trace the impacts. The free version can be more than enough if you run a small website.
If you have some experience with WordPress, there is also a maintenance mode with the free version that gives you some more control over your website. This plugin also has some specialized security features such as advanced file encryptions, folder locking, database monitoring for malicious changes, and more.
The plugin also offers a variety of login security features, such as forcing strong passwords.
There are also some helpful database backup solutions that can give you a lifeline if you face an attack or if you lose your data due to some reason.
The great thing about BulletProof Security is that the premium version of this plugin comes with a 30-day money-back offer. This means you can try out the plugin along with its advanced features to see if it is the right fit for you — without losing any money.
- Great login security features like forcing strong passwords
- Folder locking
- Advanced file encryptions
- Database monitoring
- Maintenance mode
- Security log
- Doesn’t have great user interface
Who is this plugin for?
BulletProof Security offers you some detailed security features that are rarely found among other WordPress security plugins. This plugin is a good choice for WordPress experts as it gives the next-level security to those who know what they’re doing.
Which WordPress Security Plugin is Best For You?
Now you know some of the best WordPress security plugins to protect your website, you will need to choose one that best suits your use case. The 10 different plugins presented in this list excel in different areas and focus on specific security features.
Sucuri is the most popular WordPress security plugin for a reason. It offers a complete suite of services, from an advanced website firewall to malware detection and removal. This plugin is widely trusted for its quality services.
If you are looking to cover a wider range of functions for your website for a while, then Jetpack is the tool for you. This famous tool is designed by the very engineers behind the WordPress platform and is immensely popular. You can get essential security features alongside some valuable performance-boosting facilities.
The All In One WP Security & Firewall plugin is a free choice that is perfect for WordPress beginners. This plugin has an excellent interface that gives you a visual demonstration of your website’s level of security. It offers excellent security features that are perfectly organized into three different levels. This way, you can toggle the level of security measures on your website easily.
If you are experienced in WordPress and coding, you can benefit from the extended security features offered by BulletProof Security.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why use a WordPress security plugin?
The sheer scope of cyber attacks that are carried out every day is simply staggering. This Forbes article quotes that around 30,000 new websites are found to be hacked every day, discovered to be under malicious use by hackers.
This is a considerable number, especially since these are new websites that are discovered every other day. Hackers don’t just target big companies or specific sectors. Small businesses and blogs are equally likely to be hacked. Especially since the owners of many such websites cannot imagine they would need any form of web security.
But just as big websites have a lot of user data to be exploited, small websites can be used by hackers to spread various malwares for nefarious purposes.
In other words, nobody is safe from cyber-attacks. For this reason, you should compulsorily consider the use of a good security plugin when using WordPress websites.
How to choose the right WordPress security plugin for my website?
The best WordPress security plugins harden your website security by covering up significant areas of vulnerability in a comprehensive way. This includes monitoring user activity on your website, file change detection for core files, strengthening your login security, and other security areas.
However, many of the advanced features take up a lot of resources from these cybersecurity services. More advanced security features automatically mean a higher cost. It is simply more practical to protect the essential areas of your website according to the type of your particular type of website, your niche, and your online visibility — more visibility also means more attention from malicious parties.
Depending upon your needs, you should find the right balance between cost and the level of web security you enable for your website. In fact, you can get the most basic kind of login security features, and web firewall features for free with the All In One WP Security & Firewall plugin.
If you run an e-commerce site and need to keep strong records, a plugin with good backup features like Jetpack might be the way to go.
Figure out how much security you need based on your type of website, the kind of budget you are willing to pay for your web security and make your way out from there.
Should I go for a free or premium WordPress security plugin? (Free vs. Premium)
All the good WordPress security plugins listed in this article have free versions that protect your website with key essential features. If you run a simple blog or have a small website to maintain a digital presence for your business, you might actually get by with the free plugins.
In fact, many of these free plugins offer some great features at no cost at all. You can absolutely use these plugins if you do not save essential personal data on your website or if your website doesn’t get too many views.
However, you should consider a good premium security option if your website meets these criteria:
• If maintaining your website is crucial to your business
• If you get thousands of views to your website daily
• If your website mediates a lot of client data
• If your website uptime is directly related to your business revenue
• If your website is directly related to your brand and business reputation
One of the key features you can look forward to in the premium versions of WordPress security plugins is the around-the-care support they provide, which becomes essential if you face any kind of attack. Cybersecurity companies offer on-demand services to remove bugs and malware from websites to their paying customers on a priority basis.
Besides this, they also offer more detailed monitoring services with instant alerts if they discover anything amiss on your website. Features like these become highly relevant if even a few minutes of downtime can cause damage to your brand or your bottom line.
How do I protect my data if I get attacked?
Amidst the various major sectors that security plugins overlook, you should pay special attention to backup features. Backing up your website may seem like an extraneous, wasteful act until the day you lose your own website or essential data to a cyber attack.
In the case of such an event, it is always a better choice to be prepared for contingencies. Using a tool that can backup your website regularly is the most important step in that process. This ensures that even if you lose your website or data somehow, you still have a copy of it.
Some security plugins such as Jetpack actually include sensible backup features. If your chosen WordPress security plugin doesn’t have a backup feature, you should definitely look into a separate plugin to set up regular backups of your website and data.
For more details, you may have a look into this article: How to backup your WordPress website
Cyber threats are an everyday reality for website owners. No matter what kind of website you run, you should have some tools to keep your website secure from cyber attacks. We hope you found our list of the 10 Best WordPress Security Plugins useful in finding the right tool for your own website.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, you can check out our article on the most important WordPress plugins for blogs and our list of the Best WordPress Image Optimizer Plugins.