Using a WordPress security plugin provided by developers will protect your WordPress site from brute force attacks, malware, and hacking attempts. In this article, you will see the best WordPress security plugins that you can use to protect your website.
If you are looking for the best WordPress security plugins? you have come to the right article.
Keeping your WordPress website secure is very important. You might get some unwanted attacks or hacks at any time so you have to do everything you can to protect it. Luckily, you can use an amazing WordPress security plugin to further keep your website secure.
Before we dive into the WordPress security plugin, let’s start with an example. Say you buy a new house. This exciting new investment requires a hefty down-payment you’re probably not used to spending. And, of course, you’re hit with inspection fees prior to buying. Then comes the mortgage and insurance payments, all of which come straight out of your pocket.
They say purchasing real estate is one of the best investments you can make, but that investment is a costly one. For such a high-value investment (and something that could make you big bucks in the future,) would you not want to protect it to the best of your ability?
That’s why you buy the insurance and consider setting up an alarm system or some security cameras. Many experts suggest at least placing a security system sign on your door, to scare away those who don’t want to risk it. All of this security is meant to protect the initial investment, along with the potential for that investment in the future.
And you should think the same way when it comes to having a WordPress website.
Why Use WordPress Security Plugins
There are many ways to keep your WordPress website secured and one of the best ways to do that is by using a WordPress security plugin. Security plugins are the additional functionality and features that your website needs to keep your website as secure as possible from attacks.
There are millions of websites infected with malware at any given time each week. An average website is attacked more than 80 times every day, which includes both WordPress and non-WordPress websites.
A security breach on your website can cause some serious damage to your business.
Starting a blog, eCommerce website or small business site requires an upfront investment for items for services and products like hosting, themes, plugins, and website development. That doesn’t include any help you must hire, such as customer service reps or salespeople.
This initial investment alone is enough to secure your website from the start. But more importantly, you’re making sure that you don’t forget to protect the potential money you’re going to make in the future.
By default, WordPress core has some security measures in place, but it’s nothing compared to what a reputable security plugin does for you.
Features of a WordPress Security Plugin you should look out for
- All-round Security Plugins
- Firewall Security Plugins
- Spam protection Security Plugins
- Brute Force Attack Security Plugins
- Security Plugins for Login
- Malware Scanner Plugins
- Backup Plugins
- Security Log Plugins
- Some More Security Plugins
Some of the plugins can be suitable for two or more categories as well.
What Should a WordPress Security Plugin Deliver to our Website
- Active security monitoring
- File scanning
- Malware scanning
- Blacklist monitoring
- Security hardening
- Post-hack actions
- Brute force attack protection
- Notifications for when a security threat is detected
- Much more
Best WordPress Security Plugins To Protect Your Website
Note: You only need to use one plugin from this list. Having multiple plugins active from this list can lead to bugs.
1. WORDFENCE WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that was built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures, and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe.
Rounded out by 2FA and a suite of additional features, Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin solution available.
- Web Application Firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic. Built and maintained by a large team focused 100% on WordPress security.
- Real-time firewall rule and malware signature updates via the Threat Defense Feed.
- Real-time IP Blocklist blocks all requests from the most malicious IPs, protecting your site while reducing load.
- Protects your site at the endpoint, enabling deep integration with WordPress. Unlike cloud alternatives do not break encryption, cannot be bypassed, and cannot leak data.
- Integrated malware scanner blocks requests that include malicious code or content.
- Protection from brute force attacks by limiting login attempts.
WordPress Security Scanner
- Malware scanner checks core files, themes, and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects, and code injections.
- Real-time malware signature updates via the Threat Defense Feed.
- Compares your core files, themes, and plugins with what is in the WordPress.org repository, checking their integrity and reporting any changes to you.
- Repair files that have changed by overwriting them with a pristine, original version. Delete any files that don’t belong easily within the Wordfence interface.
- Checks your site for known security vulnerabilities and alerts you to any issues. Also alerts you to potential security issues when a plugin has been closed or abandoned.
- Checks your content safety by scanning file contents, posts, and comments for dangerous URLs and suspicious content.
- Checks to see if your site or IP has been blacklisted for malicious activity, generating spam, or other security issues.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA), one of the most secure forms of remote system authentication available via any TOTP-based authenticator app or service.
- Login Page CAPTCHA stops bots from logging in.
- Disable or add 2FA to XML-RPC.
- Block logins for administrators using known compromised passwords.
- Wordfence Central is a powerful and efficient way to manage the security for multiple sites in one place.
- Efficiently assess the security status of all your websites in one view. View detailed security findings without leaving Wordfence Central.
- Powerful templates make configuring Wordfence a breeze.
- Highly configurable alerts can be delivered via email, SMS, or Slack. Improve the signal to noise ratio by leveraging severity level options and a daily digest option.
- Track and alert on important security events including administrator logins breached password usage and surges in attack activity.
- Free to use for unlimited sites.
- With Live Traffic, monitor visits and hack attempts not shown in other analytics packages in real-time; including origin, their IP address, the time of day, and time spent on your site.
- Block attackers by IP or build advanced rules based on IP Range, Hostname, User-Agent, and Referrer.
- Country blocking available with Wordfence Premium.
2. iTHEME WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords, and obsolete software.
Most WordPress admins don’t know they’re vulnerable, but iThemes Security works to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks, and strengthen user credentials. With advanced features for experienced users, iTheme WordPress security plugin can help harden WordPress.
Maintained and Supported by iThemes
iThemes has been building and supporting WordPress tools since 2008 like BackupBuddy, a WordPress backup plugin. With a full range of WordPress plugins, themes, and training.
- Two-Factor Authentication – Use a mobile app such as Google Authenticator or Authy to generate a code or have a generated code emailed to you.
- WordPress Salts & Security Keys – The iThemes Security plugin makes updating your WordPress keys and salts easy.
- Malware Scan Scheduling – Have your site scanned for malware automatically each day. If an issue is found, an email is sent with the details.
- Password Security – Generate strong passwords right from your profile screen.
- Password Expiration – Set a maximum password age and force users to choose a new password. You can also force all users to choose a new password immediately (if needed).
- Google reCAPTCHA – Protect your site against spammers.
- User Action Logging – Track when users edit content, login or logout.
- Import/Export Settings – Saves time setting up multiple WordPress sites.
- Dashboard Widget – Manage important tasks such as user banning and system scans right from the WordPress dashboard.
- Online File Comparison – When a file change is detected it will scan the origin of the files to determine if the change was malicious or not. Currently works only in WordPress core but plugins and themes are coming.
- Temporary Privilege Escalation – give a contractor or someone else temporary admin or editor access to your site that will automatically reset itself.
- wp-cli Integration – Manage your site’s security from the command line.
iThemes Brute Force Attack Protection Network
iThemes Security takes brute force attack protection to the next level by banning users who have tried to break into other sites from breaking into yours. The iThemes Brute Force Attack Protection Network will automatically report IP addresses of failed login attempts and will block them for the length of time necessary to protect your site based on the number of sites that have seen a similar attack.
iThemes Security works to protect your site by blocking bad users and increasing the security of passwords and other vital information.
- Prevents brute force attacks by banning hosts and users with too many invalid login attempts
- Scans your site to instantly report where vulnerabilities exist and fix them in seconds
- Bans troublesome user agents, bots, and other hosts
- Strengthens server security
- Enforces strong passwords for all accounts of a configurable minimum role
- Forces SSL for admin pages (on supporting servers)
- Forces SSL for any page or post (on supporting servers)
- Turns off file editing from within WordPress admin area
- Detects and blocks numerous attacks to your filesystem and database
iThemes Security monitors your site and reports changes to the filesystem and database that might indicate a compromise. iThemes Security also works to detect bots and other attempts to search vulnerabilities.
- Detects bots and other attempts to search for vulnerabilities.
- Monitors filesystem for unauthorized changes.
- Run a scan for malware and blacklists on the homepage of your site.
- Receive email notifications when someone gets locked out after too many failed login attempts or when a file on your site has been changed.
iThemes Security hides common WordPress security vulnerabilities, preventing attackers from learning too much about your site and away from sensitive areas like your site’s login, admin, etc.
- Changes the URLs for WordPress dashboard areas including login, admin, and more
- Completely turns off the ability to login for a given time period (away mode)
- Removes theme, plugin, and core update notifications from users who do not have permission to update them
- Removes Windows Live Write header information
- Also Removes RSD header information
- Renames “admin” account
- Changes the ID on the user with ID 1
- Changes the WordPress database table prefix
- Also Changes wp-content path
- Removes login error messages
iThemes Security makes regular backups of your WordPress database, allowing you to get back online quickly in the event of an attack. Use iThemes Security to create and email database backups on a customizable schedule.
Other iTheme WordPress Security Benefits
- Makes it easier for users not accustomed to WordPress to remember login and admin URLs by customizing default admin URLs
- Detects hidden 404 errors on your site that can affect your SEO such as bad links and missing images
- Works on multi-site (network) and single-site installations
- Works with Apache, LiteSpeed, or NGINX (Note: NGINX will require you to manually edit your virtual host configuration)
- Features like database backups and file checks can be problematic on servers without a minimum of 64MB of RAM. All testing servers allocate 128MB to WordPress and usually don’t have any other plugins installed.
3. SUCURI WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
Sucuri is the industry leader in WordPress security. It is one of the best WordPress security plugins on the market. They offer a basic free Sucuri Security plugin that helps you harden WordPress security and scan your website for common threats.
But the real value is in the paid plans, which come with the best WordPress firewall protection. A firewall helps you block brute force and malicious attacks from accessing WordPress.
Sucuri website firewall filters out bad traffic even before it reaches your server. They also serve static content from their own CDN servers.
Apart from security, their DNS level firewall with CDN gives you a tremendous performance boost and speeds up your website.
Most importantly, they offer to clean up your WordPress site if it gets affected by malware at no additional cost. You can even take a website already affected by malware, and they will clean it up for you.
4. SHIELD WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
Shield Security is one of the simplest yet very effective WordPress security plugins. So, all you need to do is activate the plugin and tweak some settings that suit you best.
Moreover, one of its highlighting features is the automatic bot and IP blocking which uses points-based system that you control.
- Block Bot Attacks on Login, Registration, and Password Reset
- Limit Login Attempts along with Login Cooldown System
- Prevents Unauthorized Changes to Site even by the Admin.
- Automatic File Scanning which also Detects File Changes.
- Create a Custom Login URL by Hiding wp-login.php
5. WP FAIL2BAN WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
WP fail2ban delivers one feature, but it’s a rather important one: protection from brute force attacks. The plugin takes a different approach which many see as more effective than what you get from some of the security suite plugins listed above.
WP fail2ban documents all login attempts, regardless of their nature or successfulness, to the Syslog using LOG_AUTH. You have the option to implement a soft or hard ban, which is different from the more traditional approach of only choosing one.
There’s not much to know in terms of configuration for the WP fail2ban plugin. In fact, all you have to do is install it and let it do its magic. In addition, the brute force security plugin is completely free so you don’t have to worry about spending any money. This plugin is truly a standout, since the users consistently report that it works flawlessly.
Features That Make WP fail2ban a Great Choice:
- Choose between hard or soft blocks.
- Integrate with CloudFlare and proxy servers.
- Log comments to prevent spam or malicious comments.
- The plugin also logs information about spam, pingbacks, and user enumeration.
- You also have the option to create a shortcode that blocks users immediately before even having a chance to reach the login process.
Also Read: How to Maintain WordPress Website
6. ALL IN ONE WP SECURITY & FIREWALL
As one of the most feature-packed free security plugins, All In One WP Security & Firewall provides an easy interface and decent customer support without any premium plans.
This is a highly visual security plugin with graphs and meters to explain to the beginners metrics like security strength and what needs to be done to make your site stronger.
The features are broken down into three categories: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Therefore, you can still take advantage of the plugin if you’re a more advanced developer. The main ways this plugin works is by protecting your user accounts, blocking forceful attempts on your login, and enhancing the user registration security. Database and file security is also packaged into the plugin.
- The WordPress security plugin has a blacklist tool where you can set certain requirements to block a user.
- You can backup .htaccess and .wp-config files. There’s also a tool to restore them if anything goes wrong.
- The plugin shows one graph to specify how strong your website is and a graph that designates points to certain areas of your site. It’s one of the best features for the average user to visualize what’s going on with the security of a site.
- The plugin is free without any upsells along the way.
7. ANTI-MALWARE WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
Anti-Malware Security is another useful WordPress anti-malware and security plugin. The plugin comes with actively maintained definitions that help it find the most common threats.
It’s malware scanner allows you to easily scan all files and folders on your WordPress site for malicious code, backdoors, malware, and other known patterns of malicious attacks.
The plugin requires you to create a free account on plugin’s website to access the latest definitions and also get some premium features like brute force prevention. The plugin also makes call to developers website to look for the updated definitions.
While the plugin runs thorough tests, it often shows a large number of false positives. Matching each one of them with the source file is quite a lot of work.
8. WPSCAN WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
WPScan is a unique WordPress security plugin because it uses its own manually curated WordPress vulnerability database that is updated daily by dedicated WordPress security specialists and community members.
They scan your site for over 21,000 known security vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins, themes, and core software.
You can schedule automated daily scans and get email notifications of the results. They have a free security API which is suitable for most websites, but you can upgrade to the paid plan if you have a larger site and use a lot of plugins.
9. DEFENDER SECURITY
Defender Security is one of the best forms of defense for your WordPress website with all-around security. Therefore, it is also one of the best WordPress security plugins for you.
However, one of its highlighting features is one-click hardening techniques to add layers of protection to your site.
- Two Factor Authentication with Password and Mobile App Verification Codes.
- Login Masking and Lockout with Failed Login Attempts Lockout.
- 404 Detection and Geolocation IP Lockout.
- Disable Trackbacks and Pingbacks for Spam Prevention.
- WordPress Security Firewall to Block IPs
10. JETPACK WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
Jetpack is filled with modules to strengthen your social media, site speed, and spam protection. There are so many features in Jetpack that it’s definitely worth exploring.
Some security tools are included with Jetpack as well, making it an appealing plugin for those who want to save money and rely on a reputable solution. For instance, the Protect module is free and it blocks suspicious activity from happening. Brute force attack protection and whitelisting are also supported by the basic security functionality from Jetpack.
That said, the paid versions of Jetpack are more powerful when it comes to security. For instance, the $99 per year plan includes malware scanning, scheduled website backups, and restoration if anything goes wrong. Furthermore, the $299 per year plan offers on-demand malware scans and real-time backups for the ultimate protection.
- The free plan provides a decent amount of security for a small website, then you can upgrade to the reasonably priced premium plans and get full support and a plugin that’s one of the best on the market.
- The premium plans turn the plugin into more of a suite, with benefits like backups, spam protection, and security scanning.
- Plugin updates are managed entirely through Jetpack.
- You also get downtime monitoring.
- Jetpack is also a plugin that eliminates the need for other plugins. For instance, it has features for email marketing, social media, site customization, and optimization.
11. SECUPRESS SECURITY
SecuPress is a newer security plugin on the market (originally released as freemium in 2016), but it’s definitely one that’s growing rapidly. It’s actually developed by Julio Potier, one of the original co-founders of WP Media, who you might recognize, as they develop WP Rocket and Imagify.
There is both a free version and premium version which includes a lot of additional features.
Here are some of our most popular features:
- Anti Brute Force login
- Blocked IPs
- Security alerts
- Malware Scan
- Block country by geolocation
- Protection of Security Keys
- Block visits from Bad Bots
- Vulnerable Plugins & Themes detection (1)
- Security Reports in PDF format (1)
The UI in SecuPress is probably one of the best! This makes it very easy to use, even for beginners.
The premium version definitely adds a lot of value. Check 35 security points in 5 minutes, get a nice report, and then harden your WordPress site.
It includes the ability to change your WordPress login URL so bots can’t find it.
Helps you detect themes and plugins that are vulnerable or that have been tampered with to include malicious code.
12. BULLETPROOF WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
As mentioned in the name itself, BulletProof Security acts like a bulletproof vest with its firewall for your WordPress website. So, it is also one of the best WordPress security plugins you can use for your website.
Furthermore, one of its highlighting features is the firewalls with .htaccess Website Security Protection along with plugin and IP firewall.
- Login security and monitoring.
- Database backups and restoring.
- MScan Malware Scanner.
- Anti-spam and anti-hacking tools.
- A security log.
- Hidden plugin folders.
- Maintenance mode.
- A full setup wizard.
13. SECURITY NINJA
Security Ninja is also one of the best WordPress security plugins which provide additional protection to your website. Similarly, it also uses a vulnerability scanner that warns you if you have plugins with vulnerabilities.
Obviously, one of its highlighting features also includes a firewall which will help you to stay one step ahead from harmful attacks.
- The security tester module (available in the free version) performs over 50 security tests across your site.
- Not tech-savvy? No problem, the auto fixer module can resolve any issues detected.
- Scan WordPress core to ensure the integrity of the core files by comparing them to a secure and latest copy from wordpress.org.
- Scan plugins and themes in search of suspicious code and malware.
- Take advantage of a huge list of known bad IPs and automatically block them.
- Log all events that are happening on your WordPress site, from users logging in to settings being changed.
- You can schedule regular scans.
Also Read: Best WordPress Education Plugins
14. VAULTPRESS WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
It’s important not to forget VaultPress, since it works similar to plugins like iThemes Security Pro and Sucuri Scanner. You need to pay in order to get any type of protection, but the plans start at only $39 per year, making it one of the more affordable premium security plugins. The website states that this plan is more for small businesses and bloggers, but you also have the option to upgrade to a more powerful plan for either $99 per year or $299 per year.
- Automated Backups stored in Offsite Digital Vault in Real-Time.
- Quick Restoration Options for any Unfortunate Website Events
- Reliable Site Migration and Duplication Options
- Automatic Detection and Elimination of Viruses, Malware, or any other Exploits.
- Automated File Repair and Spam Defense Systems.
15. BBQ FIREWALL SECURITY
BBQ Firewall is one of the best firewalls as well as the best WordPress security plugins. Therefore, this plugin is also pretty capable to keep your website as safe and secure as possible.
However, one of its highlighting features is its light and efficient firewall which does an impressive job of protecting from a wide range of threats.
- Protects against SQL Injection and Directory Traversal attacks
- Scans all Incoming Traffic and Blocks Bad Requests
- Very Fast Web Application Firewall (WAF) for WordPress
- Frequently Updated and “Future Proof”
- Compatible with other Major WordPress Plugins
16. GOOGLE AUTHENTICATOR WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
The majority of plugins that have individual security features don’t make much sense to install. The reason for this is because you can typically go with a plugin like iThemes Security Pro and get that one feature along with dozens of other ones.
However, two-factor authentication is a different story, since it seems like most security suites don’t include it. Therefore, it might make sense to harden your login security with a plugin like this.
The Google Authenticator plugin adds a second layer of security to your login module, which is rather important since the majority of hacking attempts happen with the login. In addition to your regular password, this plugin either sends a push notification to your phone or some other form of authentication such as using a QR code or asking a security question.
This way, your login becomes far less penetrable since the second layer is most likely something that only you know or have on your person (like your phone).
Akismet is not only one of the best WordPress security plugins for spam protection, but it is also one of the most used WordPress plugins all over the world. So, it is pretty convincing that it does its job very well.
Hence, one of its highlighting features includes spam protection for your WordPress website by checking comments and contact form submissions.
- Automatically check and filters out spam comments.
- Provide Comment Status History for all the Spammed and Unspammed Comments.
- Discard feature to remove the spam permanently and save disc space.
- Built with Very Lightweight Framework to Provide Fast Operations.
- Displays URLs in Comment Bodies to show any Hidden/Misleading Links.
18. HIDE MY WP
Hide My WP is one of the other WordPress security plugins that can protect your website against spam very well. Similarly, it also hides your website from attackers and theme detectors.
Moreover, one of its highlighting features is its robust and fully secured yet simple antispam system for your WordPress website.
- Hides the name of the theme, plugins, changes permalinks, hides wp-admin, login URL, and more.
- Blocks direct access to PHP files, cleanup WP class names, disable directory listing.
- Notifies about any potential bad behavior with full details of attacker including username, IP address, date, etc.
- Includes a “trust network2 that automatically blocks traffic from bad source IP addresses.
- Easy to use, choose from pre-made settings for the one-click deployment.
- Compatible with multi-site, apache, Nginx, IIS, premium themes, and other security plugins.
19. ASTRA WEB SECURITY PLUGIN
Astra Web Security is a go-to ‘security suite’ for your WordPress site. With Astra you don’t have to worry about malware, SQLi, XSS, comments spam, brute force, and 100+ threats, which means you can get rid of other security plugins & let Astra take care of it all.
Astra’s super intuitive dashboard doesn’t come with a hundred buttons that make you feel like you’re a pilot in a cockpit!
Many prestigious brands like Gillette, African Union, Ford, and Oman Airways use Astra security solution. Their pricing starts from $9/m and they offer flat 20% off if the plan is billed annually. Overall, Astra can be a good investment if you’re planning to spend money on your website’s security.
- Astra security solution is installed as a WordPress plugin & there is no need to change DNS settings.
- They offer immediate malware cleanup, a rock-solid firewall that stops attacks like SQLi, XSS, Code Injection, Bad Bots, Brute force, SEO spam, and other 100+ cyber attacks.
- Complete security audit including the business error logic for your WordPress website.
- Intuitive Dashboard logs all attacks and gives you an option to block or whitelist country, IP range or a URL, continuous blacklist and reputation monitoring, hourly admin login notifications, and much more.
- Free community security or bug bounty management platform where you give hackers a safe and secure way to report any vulnerability that they find on your website. Every reported issue is validated by Astra’s engineers.
Also Read: Step By Step Ultimate Guide To SEO
UpdraftPlus is one of the best WordPress security plugins when it comes to providing backup and restoration for your website. Likewise, it is also one of the most popular plugins to provide scheduled backup.
Moreover, one of its obvious highlighting features is its capability to provide backup directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP, and many more.
- Supports both Manual as well as Automated Scheduled Backups.
- Easily Duplicates or Migrates Websites (By Migrator)
- Multisite and Multi-network Compatible
- Backups non-WP Files and Databases to Multiple Remote Destinations
- Incremental Backups along with Advanced Reporting Systems
21. WEBARX WORDPRESS SECURITY PLUGIN
WebARX is a premium website security platform that supports every PHP application. webARX is mostly known for its advanced endpoint firewall, which allows you to completely control the traffic among your websites via their cloud-based dashboard. In fact,
WebARX has a managed web application firewall which protects your site from plugin vulnerabilities, bot attacks, and from fake traffic.
- Firewall that Identifies and Blocks Malicious Attacks.
- Monitoring for Possible Security Issues and Vulnerabilities.
- Generate Weekly Security Reports and Alerts.
- Produce and Write Custom Firewall Rules.
- Prevents your Website from Malware Infections.
22. WP ACTIVITY LOG
If you want a WordPress security plugin for security logs for your WordPress website, WP Activity Log can be the one for you. Similarly, it provides an activity log of everything that happens on your websites.
However, one of its highlighting features is that it can provide the activity log for all your WordPress websites as well as multisite networks.
- Ensure and Improve Accountability and Productivity with Activity Log
- Spot Suspicious Behavior before they are Security Problems
- Reports based on Date and Time along with User Role and Source IP Address.
- Generate HTML and CSV Reports
- Configure Archiving and Mirroring of Logs.
There are other ways to keep your website secured like using the best hosting services, using a secured WordPress theme, or tweaking your WordPress login options. But, using a WordPress security plugin is one of the easiest and most effective methods of them all.