Thinking that the best WordPress security plugins aren’t going to come cheap, not to mention free? Luckily, that’s not the case. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 WordPress security plugins we’ve used and would recommend to anyone.
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Just like any form of investment, your site needs to be secure from digital thieves or intruders. Or, as we’ve all been used to call them, hackers. WordPress is the world’s top content management system. You can imagine how that makes it the ideal target for many hacking attempts.
Picking one from the best WordPress security plugins should be a priority for any blog or website owner.
Even though WordPress is founded on a stable and secure platform, this doesn’t shield it from unscrupulous hackers. Especially since they are constantly crafting new mischievous skills day in, day out. WordPress currently powers more than 25% of the whole web. That’s huge. That’s a few billion websites, easy.
It’s become extremely important for blogs and website owners to add extra security layers. The measure is meant to prevent any case of information leak or incidents where years of hard work can be lost within hours. To do this, webmasters need to use the best of the best WordPress security plugins to secure their content.
This purpose of this article is to review some of the best WordPress security plugins on the market today. Without further ado, let’s jump straight in:
Overview of Wordfence Security WordPress Plugin
This plugin enjoys 1 million installs up-to-date. It secures and optimizes your site’s speed up to 50 times. Apart from hack and malware protection, Wordfence Security, has a scanning feature that determines whether your site has been already infected, and a two-step authentication feature that stops brute force attacks. It also provides users with a premium API key that allows them to access the support ticketing system at support.wordfence.com as well as country blocking and scheduled scans. Personally, I feel this is one of the best WordPress security plugins on the market.
Pros of Wordfence Security
- Real-time blocking of known attackers.
- Sign-in using your password or your cellphone to vastly improve login security<./li>
- Checks the strength of all user and admin passwords.
- Scans for the HeartBleed vulnerability.
- Includes support for other major plugins and themes.
- Cheap at $4.92/month for 1 site.
Cons of Wordfence Security
- Can be really expensive if you manage more than 1 site. Someone with 10 sites would have to pay $420+ / year. That’s a bit over $42/month. You can read more about their pricing here.
Is it right for you?
- With 1,000,000 downloads, Wordfence security is probably the most popular WordPress Security Plugin, if not the best. If you’re looking for a cheap, no thrills, no frills security solution for your blog, this might just be it.
Overview of iThemes Security
Formerly known as Better WP security, this plugin is the brainchild of iThemes, a company that develops and designs themes and plugins for websites. It is suitable for both novices and advanced users since it is a one-click installation plugin and all its configuration options and advanced settings are customized on the dashboard. iThemes help users to stop automated attacks, seal typical holes, and solidify user’s credentials.
Pros of iThemes Security
- User Action Logging – Track when user’s edit content, login or logout.
- Malware Scan Scheduling – Have your site scanned for malware automatically each day. If an issue is found, an email is sent with the details.
- 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.
- Monitors filesystem for unauthorized changes.
- 10 site license is valued at $100 / year. Cheaper than Wordfence Security
Cons of iThemes Security
- Not as mature as other options. Their sales page boasts “features coming soon” (here’s a link to their public roadmap – check me out). While I think it’s cool they’ve made their roadmap public for everyone to see, I still feel this is more of a side gig than a full blown solution from iThemes.
Is it right for you?
- Judging by its user base, it looks to be the 2nd most popular WordPress Security Plugin, with over 700,000 active installs. It’s cheaper than other alternatives and it looks like more features are coming soon. If you’re looking for a cheap WordPress security solution, this might just be it. Probably perfect if you’re just starting out and don’t have too much money to blow on security plugins.
Clef Two-Factor Authentication
Overview of Clef Two-factor authentication
This is a hassle free way of giving and maintaining passwords. With Clef app on your phone, you just hold your phone in front of the WordPress login dashboard, and once you line app the patterns on both devices, they will detect each other, and you will access your site.
This is useful to people who have a problem with remembering passwords. The best thing is that the service is available on both Android and iOS.
Pros of Clew Two-factor authentication
- Unique protection system
- Most features are offered for free
- Comprehensive protection
- They don’t make you pay for support
Cons of Clef Two-factor authentication
- Not everyone’s willing to use a combo of phone + browser to log in to their site. To me, it feels like some extra work involved every time I need to login to my WordPress dashboard – and that’s 5-10 times/day. Maybe if you’re only logging in once or twice per day and are looking to save money, this could be a great option
Is this right for you
- A unique security solution that combines using your phone with your browser for enhanced security. Similar to how QR codes work. If you don’t mind having your phone near you every time you need to log in, then this might just be the ideal WordPress security plugin.
All in One WP Security and Firewall
Overview of All in One WP Security and Firewall
All in One WP Security is an inclusive, comprehensive and user-friendly plugin that is great in checking and reporting vulnerabilities in your website. This plugin is suitable for individuals with less knowledge in advanced security settings. It uses an expedient grading system to monitor and see parts of your website that need improvement. It has features such as login lockdown; a feature that shields the site from any IP address that experiences continuously failed login attempts. It also allows you to block hot linking images and block Google bots from your site.
Pros of All in One WP Security and Firewall
- User Accounts Security
- User Login Security
- Database Security
- Completely free solution – although they upsell some hosting companies
- User Registration Security
Cons of All in One WP Security and Firewall
- Completely free product. Without a revenue model, I don’t think there’s a way they’ll be able to offer the same feature rich environment like their competitors or the best support. Free doesn’t always mean better.
Is it right for you ?
- Could be if you have absolutely no money to spend on WordPress Security Plugins. To be honest, I’d probably recommending going with Clef. Seems more up-to-date, supported and mature.
Overview of Sucuri Security
Sucuri Security is a free WordPress plugin that is recognized globally due to its outstanding authority in all issues relates to site security. The plugin is solely designed to monitor any changes in activity that can harm your site. The plugin is suitable for individuals and developers with good knowledge and understanding of file system, information analysis and security techniques overall. It also has advanced features such as post-hack security actions, remote malware scanning, and safety blacklist monitoring.
Pros of Sucuri Security WordPress Plugin
- Security Activity Monitoring
- Security File Integrity Monitoring
- Remote Security Malware Scanning
- Security Blacklist Monitoring
Cons of Sucuri Security
- Very expensive, compared to other solutions.I know they’ve been getting great reviews, but the starting price / month for 1 website could be considered too much for some people. Pricing starts at $16.66/month.
Is it right for you?
- If security is what matters most to you, then yes. Sucuri seems like the best all-in-one WordPress Security deal
BulletProof Security Pro
Overview of Bulletproof Security
BulletProof Security takes care of the three vulnerable areas: login, firewall and database security. The plugin is embedded with a .htaccess security filter designed to track nuisance and malicious attack patterns, thus maintaining website integrity and speed. It provides spam and hack protection services for a one-time fee. Besides that, it is one-click setup wizard thus it is easy to install and use.
Pros of Bulletproof Security
- Login Security & Monitoring
- FrontEnd|BackEnd Maintenance Mode
- HTTP Error Logging
Cons of Bulletproof Security
- Most features seem to be packed in the PRO version. The Free version seems quite crippled. Pricing starts at $59.95 which I feel is quite a bit for something that looks like a one man show. Personally, I feel most security plugins should actually be a SaaS rather than a one-time payment.
Is it right for you?
- I wouldn’t recommend it over better alternatives. The pricing isn’t helping either. With other plugins, you can get the chance of testing it a lower cost, there’s no such possibility here.
Acunetix WP Security
Overview of Acunetix WP Security
Acunetix WP Security is a top-notch plugin that offers security scanning to detect vulnerabilities in web applications. It’s developed by Acunetix, a well-recognized web application security company. It is a detailed plugin that helps you offer corrective measures to secure the database, files and protect the WordPress admin area. It hides information from the source code of the page thus preventing any vulnerability that originates from these sources.
Pros of Acunetix WP Security
- Easy backup of WordPress database for disaster recovery
- Disabling of PHP error reporting
- Disabling of database error reporting (if enabled)
Cons of Acunetix WP Security
- This plugin doesn’t seem as feature rich as other alternatives. Probably that’s why the low-ish WordPress.org rating – which you can check out here.
Is it right for you?
- If you’re looking for really basic WordPress Security then yes, this might be just what you’ve been looking for.
Overview of VaultPress
This is a default premium subscription plugin. It’s provided automatically by the makers of WordPress. VaultPress offers users a swift and easy way to back up their site’s information on a daily basis. It also allows real-time syncing of the site’s content. On top of this, the plugin scans and gets rid of threats detected in your files. Starts at $9/month.
Is it right for you?
- There’s no way for us to tell. No free version to test it out only subscription based. Lowest subscription starts at $9/month. Seems like too much for something you can’t even test out.
Two-Factor Authentication (Google Authenticator) – BONUS Recommendation
Overview of Two-factor Authentication
This is two-factor authentication plugin that is used when users are logging into a WordPress site. In addition to the user’s id that includes name and password, an additional identification method is required. This may be a voice call, a text or a mobile app. The security plugin also supports keys plugged into the USB port. The second authentication step is only required once, and you are only needed to re-enter it if you want to log on to your site from another different device.
Final thoughts on the Best WordPress security plugins
As a website owner, it’s your mandate to make sure that your content remains safe and secure. You don’t have to grapple with a loss of your hard-earned content online when malicious hackers attack and spam your website. As such, take appropriate measures. Ensure that you are adequately prepared by installing the Best WordPress security plugins on your site. Don’t wait to be a victim. Choose any of the plugins of your choice from the above list and start blogging safely.
UPDATE: Here’s another article on WordPress security plugins brought to you by Template Monster. Has some interesting tidbits and one plugin that we haven’t talked about, specifically WP Google Authenticator. Go check it out.