In this article we will learn about Best WordPress Security Plugins which we can use to harden WordPress security.
A blog, website or small business website requires an upfront investment in products and services such as hosting, themes, plugins and website development. This does not include any assistance you need, such as salespeople or customer service representatives.
This investment alone will protect your website. You’re also protecting the potential future income you make.
WordPress core come with some default security features, but they are nothing in comparison to the benefits of a trusted security plugin. The best WordPress security plugins offer the following:
- Monitoring active security
- Scan files
- Malware scanning
- Monitoring of blacklist
- Security hardening
- Actions after hacking
- Protection against a brute force attack
- Notifications when there is a security risk
You should make sure that your first priority is secure hosting
Your site’s security is dependent on the foundation and backend it runs on. It’s crucial that, before you look into security plugins for your WordPress website , you select a WordPress hosting platform with security measures in place. These safeguards can be much more effective than those implemented at the site’s level. You don’t need to spend your time configuring security settings in plugins that you may not understand.
We recommend that you use Cloudflare and Sucuri if you require additional protection or help with proxy traffic.
The Best WordPress Security Plugins
While we will discuss the pricing, it is more important to know what each plugin does for you. It’s about finding the best way to protect your investment from the bad guys. Sometimes that means spending some money.
1. Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner, and Security Hardening
The Sucuri Security plug is available in paid and free versions. However, most websites will be fine with the free version. The website firewall requires that you purchase a Sucuri plan. However, not all webmasters feel they need this type of security.
This plugin also includes security activity auditing to check how the plugin protects your website. It includes file integrity monitoring and blacklist monitoring. Security notifications can also be included. Premium plans offer more frequent scans and customer service channels. You might need a scan every 12 hours, for example. You’d need to pay some fee per month for this.
Sucuri Security is a great choice because of these features:
- There are many SSL certificates options. These certificates are available in packages, although you will need to pay for them.
- Customer service is available via email and instant chat.
- Instant notifications are sent when there is an issue with your website.
- Advanced DoS Protection is available with certain plans.
- You don’t have to spend any money but you will still get valuable tools for blacklist scanning, malware scanning and file integrity monitoring.
2. iThemes Security
The iThemes Security plug (previously called Better WP Security) offers over 30 options to protect your website from hackers and other unwanted intruders. It focuses on the detection of plugin vulnerabilities, outdated software, and weak passwords.
While the free version includes some basic security features, we recommend that you upgrade to Security Pro by paying annual fee. You get ticketed support and updates for one year, as well as support for up to two websites. You can upgrade to a higher-priced plan if you wish to protect more sites.
The primary features of the Pro version include strong password enforcement, locking out bad users, backups and two-factor authentication. This WordPress security plugin can help protect your site in many ways. iThemes Security Pro offers 30 security features, which makes it a great choice.
iThemes Security is a great choice because of these features:
- This security plugin allows file change detection. It is crucial because most webmasters aren’t able to notice when files have been modified.
- You can add an additional layer of security to your login with the Google ReCAPTCHA integration.
- This plugin will compare your WordPress core files to the current WordPress version, helping you identify if there is anything malicious in those files.
- To add complexity to your authentication keys, update your WordPress salts.
- For those times when you aren’t updating your site frequently, an “Away Mode”, can be set to protect your WordPress dashboard from all visitors.
- Other essentials include 404 error detection and brute force protection.
3. Wordfence Security
Wordfence Security has been a popular WordPress security plugin. This plugin combines simplicity with powerful protection tools such as strong login security features and security incident recovery tools. Wordfence’s main advantage is its ability to provide insight into traffic trends and hack attempts.
Wordfence is one of the most impressive free solutions. It offers everything you need, from firewall blocks to protection against brute force attacks. A premium version costs $99 per year and is available for one site. Developers can also get steep discounts from plugin creators when they sign up for multiple site keys. If you purchase 15+ licenses, you get 25% off, or $74.25 per license. Wordfence is a great choice if you are developing multiple websites and want to protect all of them.
WordFence Security is a great choice because of these features:
- For smaller websites, the free version is sufficient.
- Developers can save a lot of money by signing up for multiple site keys.
- It includes a complete firewall suite that includes tools for country blocking and manual blocking as well as brute force protection, real time threat defense, and web application firewall.
- The plugin’s scan section protects against malware, real-time threats and spam. It scans all files, not just WordPress files, for malware.
- This plugin monitors live traffic and displays information such as logins and logouts, Google crawl activity, logins, and human users, among others.
- You have access to several unique tools, including the ability to sign in using your cell phone or password auditing.
- This comment spam filter eliminates the need for a separate plugin.
- It monitors your plugins, and will let you know if any have been removed from WordPress plugin repository. This is usually due to unsafe plugins or hacking.
4. WP fail2ban
WP fail2ban provides one feature but it is a very important one: protection against brute force attacks. This plugin uses a different approach that many consider more efficient than the security suite plugins. WP fail2ban records all login attempts regardless of success or nature to the syslog using log_AUTH. There are two options: a hard or soft ban. This is a different approach to the traditional one-and-done approach.
Configuring the WP fail2ban plugin is easy. It’s easy to install and allow it to work its magic. The brute force security plug-in is free, so there’s no need to spend any money. The plugin is a real standout because users have consistently reported that it works flawlessly.
WP fail2ban is a great choice because of these features:
- You can choose between soft or hard blocks.
- Integrate with CloudFlare or proxy servers
- Log comments to stop spam and malicious comments
- This plugin logs information on spam, pingbacks and user enumeration.
- A shortcode can be created that will prevent users from logging in immediately.
5. All In One WP Security & Firewall
All in One WP Security & Firewall is one of the most powerful and feature-packed security plugins. It offers a simple interface and decent customer service without having to pay any premium plans. This plugin is highly visual and includes graphs and meters that show the user how to improve your site’s security.
There are three types of features: Advanced, Intermediate, or Basic. Even if you are a more experienced developer, you can still benefit from the plugin. This plugin protects your user accounts and blocks forceful login attempts. It also enhances user registration security. The plugin also includes file and database security.
The Features that Make All In One WP Firewall and Security a Wonderful Choice
- You can use the blacklist tool in WordPress security plugin to set restrictions that will block users.
- Backup .htaccess, and. WordPress configuration files can be done. If something goes wrong, there’s a tool that will restore them.
- One graph shows how secure your website is. The other graph designates specific areas on your site. This plugin is one of the most useful features to help users visualize the site’s security.
- You can use the plugin without paying any additional fees.
Most WordPress users are familiar with Jetpack. This is mainly due to the many features of the plugin, but also because WordPress.com made it. Jetpack contains modules that will help you strengthen your social media and site speed. It also provides spam protection. Jetpack has so many great features that it is definitely worth exploring.
Jetpack also includes security tools, making it a popular plugin for people who want to save money but still rely on reliable solutions. The Protect module, which blocks any suspicious activity, is available for free. Jetpack’s basic security functionality also supports whitelisting and brute force attack protection.
The paid Jetpack versions are still more secure. The $99 per-year plan offers malware scanning, scheduled backups and restoration in the event of an error. The $299 per-year plan provides on-demand malware scanning and real-time backups to provide the best protection.
Features that make Jetpack a great choice:
- You can get a good amount of security with the free plan for a small site. Then you can upgrade to the more expensive premium plans, which offer full support and a plugin that is the best available.
- Premium plans make the plugin more like a complete suite with benefits such as backups, spam protection and security scanning.
- Jetpack is the only way to manage plugin updates.
- You can also have downtime monitoring.
- Jetpack can also be used to replace other plugins. It has features that allow for social media, email marketing and site customization.
SecuPress, a security plugin that was originally released freemium in 2016, is now a more recent version. However, it’s growing quickly. Julio Potier is the creator of this plugin. He and WP Media are also co-founders of WP Rocket and Imagify. You can choose between a premium or free version, which offers many additional features.
SecuPress is a powerful security plugin with a simple interface and great UI. The free version includes anti-bruteforce login, blocked IPs and a firewall. It protects your security keys and blocks visits by bad bots, which you normally have to pay for with other security plugins.
Premium versions start at $59 per year for sites that require additional features. These include alerts and notifications as well as two-factor authentication, IP geolocation blocking, PHP malware scans, PDF reports, and two-factor authentication.
SecuPress is a great choice because of these features:
- SecuPress’s UI is undoubtedly one of the best. It is very user-friendly, even for beginners.
- Premium version offers a lot more value. In 5 minutes you can check 35 security issues and get a nice report. Then, harden your WordPress website.
- It allows you to modify your WordPress login URL so that bots cannot find it.
- This tool will help you identify vulnerable themes and plugins or those that have been altered to contain malicious code.
8. BulletProof Security
The BulletProof Security Plugin is available in premium and free versions. The paid version costs $69.95. It is actively developed and updated and likely contains more features than other security plugins. You get a 30-day money-back guarantee and features such as email alerting, quarantines, anti-spam and auto-restore.
You should first try the free plugin, as it provides the following tools:
- Login security and monitoring
- Backups of databases and restoring.
- MScan Malware Scanner.
- Anti-spam and anti hacking tools.
- A security log.
- Hidden plugin folders.
- Maintenance mode.
- The complete setup wizard.
Although it’s not the easiest WordPress security plugin to use, it can be used by advanced developers who need to access unique settings and features such as the Base64 decoder and anti-exploit shield. You can also use the setup wizard auto-fix to make things a lot easier.
BulletProof Security is a great choice because of these features:
- It boasts some of the best advanced security tools available, including BPS Pro ARQ Intrusion Detection and Prevention System, ARQ IDPS encryption solutions, scheduled crons and cURL scans, and folder locking.
- The free version has enough features to make a website great.
- Database backups are available in the free version.
- Individual plugin folders can be hidden.
- Maintenance mode functionality is not available in other security plugins.
9. WPScan – WordPress Security Scanner
The WPScan WordPress security plug is a unique approach to security. It uses a manually-curated vulnerability list that is updated daily by security experts and the community. The database contains more than 21,000 security vulnerabilities and is sponsored by Automattic.
It is capable of scanning your WordPress core and plugins as well as themes to identify security flaws.
The plugin has additional security checks such as scanning for debug log files that are not visible, backing up wp-config.php files and users with weak passwords. WPScan offers a free API plan, which should be sufficient for most WordPress sites. However, there are also paid plans available for those who might need to make more API calls.
WPScan is a great choice because of these features:
- It has its own vulnerability database that is constantly updated
- You can choose between paid and free options, depending on your requirements.
- Additional security checks
- You have the option to receive email notifications when vulnerabilities become known
- Schedule scans that will run at a specific time
VaultPress works in the same way as plugins such as iThemes Security Pro or Sucuri Scanner. The plans cost $39 per annum, which is one of the most affordable premium security plugins. This plan is more suitable for bloggers and small businesses, however you can upgrade to a more powerful plan at $99 or $299 per annum.
Daily and real-time backups are what the operation is built on. A beautiful calendar view allows you to specify when you want to complete your backups. Site restores can be done with just a click. The best part is that all restore files can be logged in your dashboard and stored in multiple locations so you can select the one that interests you. VaultPress’s backups are very good. They are always incremental. This is great for performance.
You can monitor suspicious activity on websites with tabs that allow you to view your history and see which threats have been addressed or ignored. A dashboard allows you to view stats and manage all your security details.
VaultPress is a great choice because of these features:
- It is more affordable than other premium WordPress security plugins.
- The dashboard is clean and easy to use for all users.
- A calendar can be used to make manual or real-time backups.
- The stats tab shows information about the most visited times on your site and also shows what threats were experienced during those times.
- VaultPress can help with site restorations and backups.
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11. Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication
Most plugins with individual security features are not worth installing. This is because plugins like iThemes Safety Pro can be purchased and include one of the security features along with many others. Two-factor authentication seems to be missing from most security suites. It might be a good idea to use a plugin such as this to increase your login security.
The Google authentication plugin adds an additional layer of security to the login module. This is important as most hacking attempts are made through the login. This plugin sends a push notification on your phone, or another form of authentication like a QR Code or asking security questions.
Your login is made less intrusive by this method. The second layer is likely something you only know about or have (like your phone).
The WordPress security plugin does not require payment and is simple to use. Another cool feature allows you to specify the user role that should be required to complete the authentication. Administrators can be granted access to the system, but authors and other users will need to go through the two-factor authentication.
Problem is, it’s difficult to log into your backend using a mobile device with the two-factor authentication.
Google Authenticator is a great choice because of these features:
- It almost eliminates the vulnerability of your login area.
- You have the option to choose which two-factor authentication system is easiest for you.
- You can choose which types of users need to be authenticated.
- This plugin includes a shortcode that can be used with custom login pages.
12. Security Ninja
Security Ninja is a product that has been around for more than seven years. It started out on CodeCanyon as a security plugin with four add-ons. In 2016, it became a freemium product. Now it has two versions: premium and free. The main module, which is the only one that’s free, performs more than 50 security tests. These range from checking files and MySQL permissions to setting various PHP settings.
Security Ninja also performs a brute force test on all user passwords in order to eliminate accounts with weak passwords like “12345” and “password”. This provides security education to users. Although it does contain an auto-fixer module, those who are interested in understanding the issue will find a detailed explanation and code to fix it manually. Security Ninja is a great alternative to plugins causing problems on your website. Additional modules are available in the paid version. Prices start at $29 per year for each site.
Security Ninja is a great choice because of these features:
- The security tester module, which is available in the free version, performs more than 50 security checks across your site.
- Are you not tech-savvy? You don’t need to be tech-savvy. The auto fixer module will resolve any problems.
- To ensure that WordPress core is secure, scan them and compare them with a secure copy from WordPress.org.
- In order to detect suspicious code or malware, scan plugins and themes.
- You can automatically block bad IPs by taking advantage of the huge list.
- All events on your WordPress site are recorded, from user logins to setting changes.
- Schedule regular scans.
Defender makes layering WordPress security simple. Both the pro and free versions include a list with the best hardening technology to instantly upgrade your WordPress security.
Free scans can be run to check WordPress for suspicious codes. Defender scans your WordPress installation and reports any changes. You can also restore the original file by clicking a button. A pro version is also available, which offers cloud backups up to 10GB, remote storage and audit logs. This allows you to monitor changes, run automated security scans and monitor blacklists. They will also help you to clean up a hacker site.
The Features that Make Defender a Great Choice
- Google 2-Step Verification.
- WordPress core file scanning and repair
- Login screen masking
- IP Blacklist Manager and Logging
- Unlimited file scans
- Login protection with Timed Lockout bruteforce attack shield
- For blocking vulnerability scans, use the 404 limiter
- Reports and notifications regarding IP lockout.
14. Astra Web Security
Astra Web Security provides a’security solution’ for WordPress sites. Astra doesn’t require you to worry about malware or SQLi, XSS and comments spam. It also allows you to get rid of any security plugins and let Astra do the rest. Astra’s intuitive dashboard isn’t packed with hundreds of buttons that make it feel like you are a pilot in the cockpit.
Astra security solutions are used by many renowned brands such as Gillette, Ford, African Union, Ford, Oman Airways, and Oman Airways. Astra security solutions start at $9/m. If the plan is paid annually, they will offer flat 20% savings. If you are looking to invest in security for your website, Astra is a great choice.
Astra Web Security is a great choice because of these features:
- Astra security solution can be installed as a WordPress plugin. There is no need for DNS settings to be changed.
- They provide immediate malware cleanup and a solid firewall that stops attacks such as SQLi, XSS or Code Injection.
- Complete security audit, including business error logic, for your WordPress website.
- The Intuitive Dashboard records all attacks and allows you to whitelist or block a country, an IP range, or a URL. It also offers continuous blacklist monitoring and reputation monitoring. Hourly admin login notifications are available.
- This platform provides hackers with a secure and safe way to report vulnerabilities on your site. Astra engineers validate every issue reported.
15. Shield Security
Shield Security‘s number one function is to help you with your site security. We all have limited time, so we need better defenses. A security plugin that can respond to threats and not bombard you with emails is a must. Shield is suitable for both novice and advanced users. It immediately scans and protects your site. You can explore all options in detail so that you have complete documentation.
Shield Security’s core is available for free for all time. Shield Pro is only $12 per site for professionals and businesses who require more protection and 24-hour support. Shield Security’s mission is “no website left behind” – the goal of Shield Security’s Pro-Grade security is to be available for all sites, not just the wealthy. Pro offers more scans that run more often and user password policies that are more thorough. It also supports WooCommerce traffic monitoring, audit trails that are larger, more frequent, and more robust security features.
Shield Security is a great choice because of its features
- This is one of the few security plugins that allows users to restrict their access to their settings.
- Smarter protection, with features that run in the background and don’t bother you with notifications.
- Only security plugin that offers three types of 2-factor authentication free of charge and allows you to choose which users may use it.
- Pro upgrades available for all at $12/site. Bulk pricing without bulk purchase
- Pro provides 6x more powerful scans to identify problems across all areas of your site.
16. Hide My WP
Hide my WP, a WordPress security plugin, hides that you are using WordPress as your CMS from spammers, attackers, and theme detectors such as BuiltWith or Wappalyzer.
This security plugin bundles a solid art intrusion detection (IDS), to block in real time security attacks such as SQL injection and XSS. Hide My WordPress is a premium WordPress security tool that costs $24. Kinsta might not be able to use certain features of this plugin.
Features that make Hide My WordPress a great choice:
- Hides the name and plugins of the theme, changes permalinks, hides WordPress admin, login URL, etc.
- Blocks direct access PHP files. Clean up WP class names. Disable directory listing.
- Notifies of any possible bad behavior and full details about the attacker, including username, IP address, and date.
- It also includes a “trust network2 which automatically blocks traffic coming from bad sources IP addresses.
- It is easy to use. You can choose from pre-made settings that are ready for deployment in one click.
- Compatible with Nginx and IIS premium themes, multi-site, apache, Nginx and Nginx security plugins.
WebARX provides a premium platform for website security that supports all PHP applications. WebARX is best known for their advanced endpoint firewall. This allows you to control all traffic between your websites through their cloud-based dashboard. WebARX actually offers a managed web app firewall that protects your website from plugin vulnerabilities, bot attacks and fake traffic.
You can use this plugin to set up firewall rules, protect your WordPress installation, make backups, monitor uptime and security issues, get alerts, export reports, and many other features. It is also very easy to set it up.
WebARX is a great choice because of these features:
- Advanced Website Firewall (Completely configurable from the WebARX portal).
- Virtual patching automatically receives rules for patching plugin and theme vulnerabilities.
- WordPress installation hardening 2FA, recaptcha.
- Monitoring site uptime: Receives email alerts and slack when a site is down
- You can create custom PDF security reports and send them to your clients with your logo.
- Unlimited websites protected by centralized security
Which WordPress Security Plugin Is Best?
After we have reviewed the top WordPress security plugins, let’s take a look below at our main recommendations. This allows you to choose one or two plugins, without needing to try them all. Security plugins may not be necessary depending on the features of your WordPress host.
These tips will help you decide when to use one security plugin and another.
- Get the best value – Sucuri Security and SecuPress, Jetpack Security, iThemes Security Shield Security and WPScan.
- Get a WordPress security plugin for free: All In One WP Security, Firewall, Sucuri Security (free), or Wordfence Security.
- Looking for a security plugin that is easy to use? All In One WP Security & Firewall or Defender are all options.
- If you need a more powerful brute force protection plugin, WP fail2ban and Astra are the best options.
- If you’d like two-factor authentication – Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication.
- A beautiful interface is available from SecuPress and VaultPress.
You can do more to increase the security of your websites than installing a plugin. Lockr’s Offsite Key Management (this premium service) protects your site from critical vulnerabilities and secures your data. WordPress can be integrated easily.
We can’t possibly cover all plugins. These are the plugins we recommend based upon our experiences. Let us know if you feel there is a better one.