Do you want to secure your WordPress site to keep your data and users safe?
WordPress is the most popular website platform and it’s often targeted by malicious hackers and spammers.
The best way to keep your website secure is by installing a WordPress security plugin on your site.
In this article, we’ll compare the most popular WordPress security plugins to help you find the best WordPress security plugins for your site.
Why Use a WordPress Security Plugin?
Many website owners fall into the trap of thinking hackers only target big companies, eCommerce sites, or popular blogs, so they undervalue the importance of keeping their ‘average’ website secure.
In reality, hackers aren’t biased to size or popularity. They have ways of using any website for malicious activity.
In other words, having a personal blog or small business website doesn’t guarantee that your site is safe from malicious attacks. Unless you take security measures to prevent attacks, you’re allowing the bad guys to destroy your search rankings and online business.
You should also know that if you’re site comes under attack, it can destroy your SEO efforts. If Google detects malicious code on your site, they will mark your website as ‘not secure’ and prevent visitors from coming to your site.
With the right WordPress security plugin, you don’t need to get into the technicalities of keeping your website secure.
A good WordPress security plugin should come with the following features:
- Firewall: Firewalls monitor all traffic on your website and filter out bad bots and stop hack attempts before they reach your website server.
- Malware Scanner: Scanning your website on a regular basis is recommended to find malware or other potential threats.
- Malware Cleanup: A good security plugin should guarantee malware removal and fixes on the site should you get attacked.
That said, let’s look at the best security tools available for WordPress sites.
Once you activate the Sucuri security plugin, all your website traffic goes through their CloudProxy servers, and every request is scanned to filter out malicious requests. Because of this, Sucuri can reduce server load and improve your site’s performance by not allowing malicious traffic to reach your server.
It protects your website against SQL Injections, XSS, and all known attacks. In addition to that, they proactively report potential security threats to WordPress’ core team and to third-party plugins as well.
Aside from blocking all the attacks, some other ways Sucuri protects your website are:
- Robust firewall protection
- Antivirus package monitors your website every 4 hours to ensure your website is free from potential vulnerabilities and malware
- Track everything that happens on your site, including file changes, last login, failed login attempts, and more
- Server-side scanning to protect your website from compromised and server-level infections.
- Brute force protection
- Two-factor authentication to secure your login page
- File integrity monitoring including WordPress core, .htaccess, and PHP files
Note: We use Sucuri for our own website and highly recommend it.
StackPath is known mainly as a CDN (content delivery network) that allows you to deliver your website from all over the world at lightning speeds. But StackPath also offers full security for your site, it’s actually the world’s first secure edge platform.
StackPath offers platform-wide DDoS protection. Their advanced architecture identifies and redirects DDoS attacks into strategic sinkholes, all StackPath offerings have Layer 3 and 4 DDoS protection, and protection is geographically distributed.
StackPath’s network is also designed to defend new threats as they emerge by providing network-level encryption, network scanning, as well as malware defense. But security isn’t a second-thought addon to StackPath, it’s a first-order priority.
The StackPath plugin will not only keep your website safe and secure from attacks, but it will also drastically speed up your site.
- Bot protection
- 7-layer DDoS mitigation
- Private network between edge locations
- Threat detection and identification
SiteLock is another popular website security solution that offers DDoS protection, malware scans, and more. It comes with all the necessary features you need to secure your website.
It’s one of the fastest website scanning solutions for WordPress. It even has specific solutions to protect WooCommerce sites. It automatically finds, fixes, and prevents vulnerabilities, giving you the peace of mind you deserve.
On a daily basis, SiteLock scans your WordPress themes, plugins, and files for potential vulnerabilities that can cause website blacklisting or a poor visitor experience.
If malware is found on your WordPress website, SiteLock fixes it automatically and notifies you about it. Based on the detailed scanning report, you can take immediate action to secure your site.
With their web application firewall (WAF) you can differentiate human traffic from bot traffic and secure your website from bots and attacks by blocking them before they reach your site.
- Find, fix, and block threats
- PCI compliance to protect credit card info
- Security monitoring and threat detection
- Anti malware, anti spam, anti virus scanner
Price: $14.99/month (billed annually)
Wordfence is one of the most comprehensive WordPress security plugins available. A free lite version of the plugin is available in the official WordPress plugins repository. The free plugin comes with important features like web application firewall, malware scanner, and protection from brute attacks. With 2+ million active installs, it’s the most popular security plugin for WordPress.
Wordfence monitors brute force attacks and locks out any attempts after too many login attempts. You can lock out anyone who uses an invalid username and even enable 2-factor authentication for better security.
With its country blocking feature, you can stop attacks and content theft originating from a specific geographic region. Based on pattern matching and IP addresses, you can block entire malicious networks and human activity that looks suspicious.
It lets you check your IP address reputation so you can ensure your customer emails aren’t marked as spam.
The downside of Wordfence is that it runs on your own server instead of being a cloud-based provider.
You might also want to check out iThemes Security vs. Wordfence.
- Robust firewall and security scanner
- Newest firewall rules and malware signature detection
- Leaked password protection
- Country blocking
Price: Free WordPress security plugin. Premium version costs $119 per year with discounts if you purchase multiple site licenses.
Jetpack is a popular all-in-one plugin for security, performance, and site management with over 5 million active installs. This well-know plugin by Automattic also includes website design features as well as automated marketing tools.
Focusing on security though, Jetpack monitors you WordPress site and alerts you the moment it detects that your site is down and guards your site against brute force login attacks, spam, and harmful malware injections.
- Secure Authentication: Provides secure authentication via WordPress accounts.
- Updated Plugins: Keeps all of your plugins automatically updated and allows bulk management.
- Site Activity: Easily see all of your website’s activity in an organized, chronological list of events.
With the premium version of the plugin you also get site backups, 1-click restore, malware scanning, automatic comment filtering and pingback spam, and more.
But because Jetpack is so bloated with features from security to marketing, many people find that the plugin can actually slow down your site.
Price: $11.97 per month (billed annually). Jetpack bundle costs $47.97 per month (billed annually).
BulletProof Security is another popular WordPress security plugin that allows you to scan your website for malware, set up firewalls, back up your database, and more.
It comes with a 1-click automatic setup wizard that makes it easy to run the plugin without tedious manual setup or configuration. After the setup, the plugin automatically detects and fixes security threats in real time on WordPress sites.
That being said, it’s recommended to scan your website for any pre-existing hacker files or code after the setup. Any plugins or themes installed at a future time will be checked in real time.
With its IP-based Firewall, you can secure all your plugins from being publicly accessed and exploited.
BulletProof Security might be the best choice for you if you’re on a limited budget. For a one-time fee of $69.95, you can install the plugin on unlimited WordPress websites. After the purchase, you get free upgrades and support for the lifetime of the product.
- 1-click set up and autofix wizard
- MScan malware scanner
- Login security and monitoring
- Force strong passwords
- Security logging and error logging
Price: $69.95 (one time payment)
All In One WP Security & Firewall is a free WordPress security plugin that takes your website’s security to a whole new level. The best thing about this plugin is that all its features are categorized as basic, intermediate, or advanced, which makes it easy for anyone to enable a group of features without breaking the website.
You can find a security strength meter right on your WordPress dashboard. It informs you on how secure your WordPress website is based on the security points scoring system. The plugin is also shipped with another dashboard widget that recommends you enable certain features on your site to achieve a minimally acceptable level of security.
- Auto detect and change default ‘admin’ username in accounts
- Protection against brute force attacks
- Spam protection
- Monitor/view the account activity
- Add Google reCaptcha or math captcha to ‘forgot password’ form
- Ban IP addresses and user agents
Price: Free version available. Pro version starts at $70 per year.
iThemes Security Pro, formerly known as Better WP Security, gives you multiple ways to secure your WordPress website.
It protects your website from brute force attacks by limiting the number of failed login attempts. You can get email alerts to be notified of any recent file updates so you know whether your site has been hacked.
Based on the limits you set, iThemes Security locks out any suspicious IP that scans for vulnerabilities on your site. You can even set an away mode for your site to make your WordPress dashboard inaccessible based on your settings.
Additionally, you can schedule database backup to your preferred off-site storage destinations.
- 2-factor authentication that gives an extra layer protection to your website.
- User-security check to review individual user activity.
- Notify you if there’s outdated themes or plugins and if there are any critical issues that need to be fixed.
If you are looking for a smart and an automated solution to your WordPress security, then Shield Security will be your rightful choice. This plugin makes sure you only receive the right alerts with actionable insights to fix those vulnerabilities.
Shield Security is easy to set up and has some absolutely lovable features like Core File Scanner which helps in detecting malicious files in your database, Automatic IP Black List that keeps you away from the hassle of manually blocking suspicious IP addresses, power to block automatic Brute-Force bots and much more.
A free lite version is available in the WordPress plugins repository. But you can upgrade to the Pro version that comes with Themes Hack Detection Scanner, more frequent scans, Plugins Vulnerability Scanner and much more.
- Early detection of bad bots intrusion
- Accurate detection of file modifications
- Easy set up and management
- Automatic bot and IP address blocking
- Powerful website firewall security rules
- Security activity log
Price: Free. ShieldPro costs $59 per year.
Bonus Plugin: MalCare
MalCare is another reliable security plugin for WordPress users. They offer automatic malware scans, instant malware removal, and a real-time firewall. Depending on your plan, you’ll also get access to a number of security features like:
- Centralized user-friendly dashboard
- Login protection
- Real-time backups
- Limit login attempts,
- File integrity monitoring
- Downtime monitoring
- Activity log
- Email notifications
…and so much more.
Paid plans start at $99 per year.
That’s our list of the best WordPress security plugin. Next, we’ll give you our #1 pick.
Which is the Best WordPress Security Plugin?
After our comparison of popular WordPress security plugins, we’ve found that Sucuri is the best WordPress security solution for your website. It comes with all the security features and functionality that you would ever need from a website security solution, including malwarepro scanning, DNS level firewalls, and a content delivery network (CDN).
A tool like website security scanner would come pretty handy in finding out the current status of your WordPress site’s security.
You should read out the ultimate WordPress security guide for more details on protecting your website.
Aside from installing a WordPress security plugin, here are a few extra security measures you can take:
- Use strong passwords like passphrases with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols
- Update your WordPress version and plugins regularly to avoid security vulnerabilities
- Maintain regular backups that you can restore if your site gets hacked
- Use a reliable web hosting service like Bluehost‘s WordPress hosting plan.
We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress security plugins to protect your site.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to learn how to perform a security audit on WordPress sites. The steps in this post will help you check your site’s current security status. You can then take measures to fix vulnerabilities and tighten up your site’s security.
Or, you can check our guide on how to create a password protected page in WordPress. This post will help you restrict your content so that your visitors can only access it with a password.
To be honest, website security is such a vast subject that it’s hard to cover it all in one post. So up next, we’ve handpicked these tutorials for you:
- How to Secure Your WordPress Contact Forms with Password Protection
- How to Protect WordPress Against Malicious URL Requests
- How to Harden Your WordPress Site to Keep Hackers Out
- How to Get a Free SSL Certificate in Minutes (HTTPS)
These posts will help you broaden your knowledge on WordPress security issues so that you can add the best security hardening measures to protect your website.