As a platform, WordPress is safe and secure to use. WordPress security is not only about the technology but also about the human factors. No matter how safe the platform is, your site can easily be hacked if you don’t take other security measures.
Actually, the WordPress website gets hacked so often because it’s used by half of the existing websites. And a lot of WordPress websites don’t follow basic security practices, weak password use is endemic, and outdated software is often used.
And implying one or two security measures won’t be enough, you need to take care of many measures and do it repeatedly like:
- Disable PHP error reporting
- Migrate to a more secure Webhost
- Turn file editing off
- Restrict Access using the .htaccess file
- Change the default WordPress database prefix
- Disable XML-RPC
- Hide the WP version
- Block hotlinking
- Manage file permission
Many of these needs coding and some might be alien to you and never heard of before. That’s where Plugin enters to save you from all the embarrassment of not knowing coding or any security measures.
The first step in security could be Your WordPress hosting service, as it plays the most important role in the security of your WordPress site. A good shared hosting provider takes extra measures to protect its servers against common threats.
And WordPress Security is a really terrifying thought for beginners.
Do I Need A WordPress Security Plugin?
You have invested so much effort, time, and money too… and that is more than enough reason to secure your website. And it’s not like WordPress is not secure, it is but still, there are attacks so we need to improve them.
Remember nothing is 100% secure, if government websites can be hacked then so can yours.
Attackers aren’t going away anytime soon. So, to protect your site, you need nothing but the best WordPress security plugins.
Hackers around the world are continuously trying to look for any loophole to try to intervene in the security system of the website. But thankfully enough a solid WordPress security plugin will be able to prevent hackers from doing that.
Why do People hack Websites?
Let’s start with some basic facts every day on average 30,000 new websites are hacked every day. And every 39 seconds a website is attacked even though it does not harm still, so don’t think yours can’t.
- Uber reportedly lost the information of 57 million riders and drivers after a data breach in 2016.
- Harbour Plaza Hotel Management, a hospitality management company in Hong Kong, suffered a breach of its accommodation reservation databases, impacting approximately 1.2 million customers.
- A hacker group breached the security systems of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for the Republic of the Philippines, compromising 60 gigabytes of sensitive voter information.
And now some people also think that their site is safe cause they don’t contain sensitive or valuable information. Often smaller sites are an easier target for hackers because they don’t take any security precautions. At this very moment, your website is probably getting attacks, and you just don’t know about it.
Let me tell you hackers don’t hack only for sensitive information but there are plenty of reasons:
- To spread malware
- black-hat Search Engine Optimization
- Just for Practice and fun
The point is once it’s online it’s attacked, and all we could do is protect it from getting the same.
The most common types of cyberattacks on WordPress websites are:
- Brute-Force Login Attempts: A brute force attack is a type of cyber-attack that uses a trial-and-error method to guess all possible combinations of a password, encryption key, or any login information. It is called “brute force” because the malicious actor will use repetitive, forceful attempts to gain unauthorized access to an account.
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS): is an attack in which an attacker injects malicious executable scripts into the code of a trusted application or website. Attackers often initiate an XSS attack by sending a malicious link to a user and enticing the user to click it.
- Database Injection: Allows an attacker to use an error page returned by the database server to ask a series of True and False questions using SQL statements to gain total control of the database or execute commands on the system.
- Backdoors: A backdoor is a malware type that negates normal authentication procedures to access a system. As a result, remote access is granted to resources within an application, such as databases and file servers, giving perpetrators the ability to remotely issue system commands and update malware.
- Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks: attack is an attack meant to shut down a machine or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with traffic or sending it information that triggers a crash
- Phishing: is an attack that attempts to steal your money, or your identity, by getting you to reveal personal information such as credit card numbers, bank information, or passwords on websites that pretend to be legitimate.
- Hotlinking: is the act of copying assets, usually images, by linking the file directly from other websites without authorization. It is a bad practice that negatively impacts web administrators
Here’s a quick overview of the best plugins you can use for your WordPress website’s security.
Best of Security plugins for WordPress
1. Sucuri Security:
The all-in-one security solution Sucuri Security is widely popular for good reason. It’s used by big websites like WPBeginner, so that’s a great indication of the kind of traffic it can handle.
They protect your website from hackers, malware, DDoS, and blacklists. When you enable Sucuri, all your site traffic goes through their cloud proxy firewall before coming to your hosting server. This allows them to block all the attacks and only send you legitimate visitors.
The plugin is best for all-round website protection & Active Monitoring.
- Blocks all the attacks; Sucuri’s firewall blocks all the attacks before it even touches our server.
- Site Audit Log; Sucuri’s WordPress plugin keeps track of everything that happens on your site.
- Server-side scanning; Sucuri’s server-side scanner goes through every single file (even non-WordPress files) to ensure that nothing suspicious exists on your server.
- Malware cleanup service; malware cleanup service with no page limits along with blacklist removal.
Sucuri Security plugin offers both free and paid versions, yet most websites should be fine with the free plugin. As for the free features, it has file integrity monitoring, blocklist monitoring, security notifications, and security hardening.
The premium plans open up customer service channels, more frequent scans, monitoring and automatic removal of malware, DNS change detection, and Web Application Firewall (WAF) to keep your website safe against DDoS attacks.
Sucuri offers a free plan and a 30-day moneyback guarantee if you upgrade and don’t like it. And the pricing starts from $9.99/month to $499.99/month.
It has a strong focus on recognizing plugin vulnerabilities, obsolete software, and weak passwords, making iThemes an all-encompassing security plugin for all types of WordPress sites.
The iThemes Security setup and onboarding experience are designed to allow anyone to secure their WordPress website in under 10 minutes. And it makes regular backups of your WordPress database, allowing you to get back online quickly in the event of a hack or security breach.
It comes with file integrity checks, security hardening, limited login attempts, strong password enforcement, 404 detections, brute force protection, and more. The plugin is best for all-round website protection & Active Monitoring.
iThemes also lets you change the WordPress database table prefix and the wp-content path, bans troublesome bots and spiders, prevents brute force attacks, and backs up your database.
It does not include a website firewall. It also does not include its own malware scanner and uses Sucuri’s Sitecheck malware scanner.
- Scans for Vulnerable plugins & themes to apply updates
- Automatically takes actions on your behalf to secure your site
- Blocks bad bots & reduces spam
- Stops Automated attacks
- Monitors for suspicious activity
- Strengthens user credentials.
iThemes offers a free plan and a 30-day moneyback guarantee if you upgrade and don’t like it. And the pricing starts from $80/year to $199/year.
3. Wordfence security:
Wordfence comes with a complete WordPress firewall, malware signatures, and prevents malicious IP addresses from accessing your website. It is also known as the best free security plugin, even though it is a freemium plugin. As the free version is powerful enough for smaller websites.
The plugin also comes with one interesting feature like Real-Time live traffic. It enables you to get real-time updates on the traffic as well as the attempt of hacking your site.
This plugin has its own firewall that runs on your server. The plugin is best for all-round website protection & Active Monitoring.
The free version of Wordfence also includes login attempt limits to stop brute force attacks and live traffic monitoring which tracks who is visiting your site and reports malicious intrusion attempts in real-time.
Wordfence Security offers a premium version that includes comment spam filters, country blocking, remote scanning, two-factor authentication, and premium customer support.
- Basic version is free to use for as many sites as you need
- Monitor visits and hack attempts with an analytics dashboard
- Easy to use interface
- File integrity monitoring for malicious code
- Brute force attack protection by limiting login attempts
- WordPress firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic
- Real-time malware signature update
- Two-factor authentication for login
- Login protection with strong password enforcement and two-factor authentication.
- Tracks and alerts you about breached password usage so you can create a new strong password immediately
- Check your website constantly for threats
- WordPress malware scanner
As it is a freemium plugin the premium plan starts at $99/year to $950/year. For small websites, the free version is more than enough.
Jetpack Security provides easy‑to‑use, comprehensive WordPress site security including backups, malware scanning, and spam protection.
Besides backups, malware scanning, and comment spam protection, Jetpack Security includes:
- Brute force attack protection – We automatically block attempts to hack your site from millions of known malicious attackers.
- Downtime monitoring – We’ll let you know instantly if your site goes down, so you can find out before your customers do.
- Activity log – Understand every site change and take the guesswork out of site management and repair.
- Secure authentication – Sign in to WordPress sites quickly and securely, and add optional two-factor authentication.
Back up your whole site in real-time without any storage limitations. It even restores everything in just a single click.
It offers both free and pro versions. In the free version, you get website downtime monitoring and brute force protection. And in terms of site management and performance, you can use its 100+ free WordPress themes, view recent activity, and see stats about traffic and revenue.
It is also a freemium plugin so the plan starts at $4/month to $39/month.
5. Hide My WP:
One of the great ways of securing your website is to actually hide the fact that it’s running on WordPress. Since Hide My WP is a great WordPress plugin for hiding that your website is even a WordPress website, it makes it much harder for hackers.
Hide My WP hides your WordPress server from attackers, spammers, and theme detectors. It will also hide your wp-login URL and renames the admin URL. It detects and blocks XSS, SQL Injection type of security attacks on your WordPress website.
You can hide the fact that your website uses WordPress. The Hide WordPress module will not change the original file structure. It will only hide it.
From a security perspective, this is very useful. Malicious users can exploit known plugin or theme vulnerabilities to hack your WordPress website.
- Block direct Access to PHP files
- Clean up WP classes
- Disable directory listing
- Minify HTML
- Intrusion detection with smart IDS engine.
- Import/Export settings
- Extremely easy to use & compatible with all themes & security plugins
- Anti-Spam included
- Prevent security breaches with IDS Firewall
- Change the default email sender
It is a premium plugin so the pricing starts from $22/year to $99/year.
6. All In One WP Security & firewall:
To minimize the vulnerability risk of your website, this plugin implements the latest recommended security techniques and checks,
The solution adds a powerful firewall to keep your site protected, improving your website’s security. Any change in the WordPress code by malicious scripts is prevented with this firewall.
As one of the most feature-packed free security plugins, All In One WP Security & Firewall provides an intuitive interface and decent customer support with no price tag.
This plugin mainly works by protecting your user accounts, blocking forceful attempts on your login, and enhancing user registration security. Database and file security are also packaged into the plugin.
The plugin shows one graph to specify how strong your website is and another graph that points to particular problem 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.
- There’s a temporary lockdown button for emergencies
- Free plugin without any sells
- User account monitoring
- Force logout of all users after a configurable period
- Let’s you manually blacklist suspicious IP addresses
- View a list of locked-out users to unlock individuals in just a few clicks.
- You can hide website information from bots and other intruders.
This plugin allows you to easily add a lot of firewall protection to your site via the htaccess file. An htaccess file is processed by your web server before any other code on your site.
7. Bulletproof security:
Bulletproof security works rather well as an all-around WordPress security plugin, especially considering it handles database backups and login security.
It’s not the most beginner-friendly WordPress security plugin. Still, it does the job for advanced developers who want to take advantage of unique settings and features like the anti-exploit guard and the FTP file locking.
It is a suitable choice for a more advanced, hands-on security plugin. This plugin does its tasks through the main .htaccess file, and its main features improve database security, firewall security, and login hardening.
Bulletproof Security is a proactive security plugin that automatically fixes 100+ known issues/conflicts with other plugins.
- One-Click Setup Wizard
- Setup Wizard Auto Fix (Auto Whitelist/Auto Setup/Auto Cleanup)
- MScan Malware Scanner
- WordPress Automatic Update Options
- Force Strong Passwords
- HTTP Error Logging
- Frontend/Backend Maintenance Mode
- .htaccess Website Security Protection (Firewalls)
- Hidden Plugin Folders/Files Cron (HPF)
- Login Security & Monitoring
- Idle Session Logout
- Auth Cookie Expiration
- Security Logging
- Extensive System Info (System Info page)
It is a free plugin so you can directly download it from the WordPress directory.
8. WP Scan:
WPScan is best for scan and blocking malware, viruses & suspicious IPs. The plugin scans your website and alerts you if it finds any vulnerability in the WordPress core as well as the installed plugins or themes.
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.
- Automatically scans for WordPress, plugin, and theme vulnerabilities
- Updated database of known WordPress threats
- Open-source tool with unique functionality that can be used to scan remote WordPress installations to pinpoint security issues
- Email notifications
- Scans for debug file logs and weak passwords
- Looks for plugin and theme vulnerabilities
- Receive risk scores to get a greater view of your site’s vulnerability.
- Use the security scanner to see what a hacker sees when trying to attack your site.
- Each vulnerability discovered offers links and references to guide you on how to fix the problem.
- Their database of vulnerabilities is updated daily by community members and dedicated WordPress security specialists
It is a freemium plugin if you have a small website you can use its free version or want more advanced features you can go for a premium one that starts at $2.31/month.
9. Malcare security:
Malcare is a comprehensive scanning and instantaneous malware cleanup and protection WordPress Security service. It constantly checks if the site is hacked and alerts you immediately.
The plugin features a one-click removal tool so that you can clean up your site before search engines see any problems with it.
MalCare Security also sends you a notification whenever your site goes down, allowing you enough time to respond to an attack.
- Malware Scanner
- Malware Removal
- WordPress Firewall
- Bot Protection
- Vulnerability scanner
- WordPress Backup.
- Activity log
- Emergency Cleanup
- Daily deep scans WordPress site for malware
- Auto-clean malware with 1-click
- Removes malware and backdoors to prevent reinfection
It is also a freemium plugin where your premium plan starts at $99/year.
10. Security Ninja:
Security Ninja is the Best to Scan for and Block Malware, Viruses, and Suspicious IPs.
This Plugin performs more than 50 security checks on your core files, themes, plugins, and password strength, then reports the safety status of your website in your dashboard.
It takes advantage of a massive list of known bad IPS & automatically blocks them.
The free version of Security Ninja only reports problems and does not alter your site in any way. Also, the free version features the security tester module that performs more than 50 security tests across your website.
On the other hand, if you need a plugin that implements fixes to these issues for you, consider an alternative or upgrade to Security Ninja Pro for $39.99 per year. In addition to an auto fixer, the pro version includes a firewall, malware scanner, events logger, and scheduled scans.
- You can schedule scans regularly
- To improve your site speed, you can also Optimize your Database.
- Free version doesn’t make any change to your site
- Perform over 50+ security tests with one click
- Protect login form from brute-force attacks
- Scan WP core files to identify problematic files
- Restore modified files with one click
It is a freemium plugin, and with a 30-day money-back guarantee the premium plan starts at $39.99/year to $199.99/year.
11. MiniOrange’s Google Authenticator:
The Google Authenticator plugin from miniOrange adds a second layer of security to your login module, which is vital since most hacking attempts happen with the login.
It Provides secure login to WordPress, using OTP login based on the 2-factor authentication method (Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) also called two-step verification, is a security process in which a user has to pass two different authentication methods to gain access to an account or a computer system).
WordPress 2FA plugin provides 2nd-factor authentication methods like Google Authenticator, OTP over SMS, OTP over email, Push Notifications, Security Questions, OTP over Telegram / WhatsApp, WebAuthn, and other 15+ 2-factor authentication methods for logging into WordPress.
If you’re looking to supplement a free security plugin, or you’re on a tighter budget and can’t afford a premium solution that offers a firewall, IP blocking, malware removal, and other security features, MiniOrange is a free, simple solution for getting extra login protection.
2FA acts as a second layer of security and helps bolster your site’s security against cyber-attacks.
- Secure Two Factor Authentication
- Back up log-in methods
- Customizable login UI pop up
- Custom SMS gateway
- Passwordless Authentication
- Risk-Based Access
- Advanced WP Security.
It is a freemium plugin the plan starts at $30/year to $199/year.
12. Anti-Malware Security & Brute-force firewall:
Anti-Malware Security and Brute-force firewall is best for hack repair. This anti-malware plugin searches for malware and other virus-like threats and security vulnerabilities on your server and it helps you remove them.
This plugin helps to determine if your website contains malware by running a complete scan on the same. Once it makes its determination, it then flushes away the malicious code.
The plugin offers basic security such as malware scanning, cleanups, firewall security, and more.
- Integrated Power Firewall
- Own a Firewall to stop threats
- In-depth scanning
- Automatically Updates Definitions
- Patch Wp- login to protect from threats
- Automatically runs a complete scan and removes possible threats
- Check the integrity of your WordPress Core files.
- Checks Regular Website Core files.
It is a free plugin and you can download it from the WordPress directory.
13. Shield Security:
Bots are the #1 cause of WordPress security hacking.
A shield security solution that defends and protects your WordPress sites against hackers and malicious bots, of all types. With our exclusive invisible “CAPTCHA” technology you can limit login attempts, block brute force attacks, and prevent 100% bot comment SPAM.
Shield Security automatically blocks bad IP addresses while optimizing performance so your WordPress site never slows down because of bloated security, with large IP lookup tables.
It offers some basic protection along with proper cleaning & scanning option. Suitable for both beginners and advanced users, They starts scanning and protecting your site from the moment you activate it.
It is also one of the best plugins for Hack Repairing. Shield Security for WordPress also has an awesome two-factor authentication feature that allows you to check your users’ identities with a simple email-based verification process.
The user interface of the plugin is sleek and easy to use.
- Powerful Firewall Security Rules
- Restricted Security Admin Access
- Add security to important forms to block bots
- Block Anonymous Rest API
- Block, Bypass and Analyse IP Addresses
- Automatic Detection and Bypass for Googlebot, Bing, and other Official Search Engines.
- built-in Bot Detector
It is a freemium plugin, and you can download the free version from the WordPress directory whereas the premium version starts from $59/year to $399/year.
14. Astra Web Security:
They protects you against SQL injections, Cross Site Scripting, Local File Inclusion, Remote File Inclusion, Bad Bots, and much more.
Astra Web Security is a web-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) that is packed with a wide variety of features, all developed to provide reliable and strong security for your business websites and other online services.
It is a great cyber and data security solution for small- to mid-sized businesses and large enterprises. It offers a wide array of features and tools to help protect your website from several potential threats, from attacking bots to malware.
The system scans in real-time for SQLi, XSS, malware, bad bots, spam, and over 80 attacks that your website might receive daily.
- Vulnerability scanning
- Behavioral Analytics
- Web Application Firewall
- Admin brute force protection
- Fake search engine bots blocking
- Hourly login summary of attacks stopped by Astra.
- Automatic blocking of known hackers
It is a freemium plugin, so as usual you can download the free one from the WordPress directory and the premium plan starts at $25/month.
As WordPress is an open-source platform, So when WordPress administrators use outdated core, plugins, themes, and other software they expose security holes for hackers to exploit. More significantly you should use a security plugin because Google Likes Secure Websites, Your visitors expect it, and it protects your information and reputation.
Hope this article makes it easier for you to select one or two plugins without testing every single one out. Hackers love WP for its vulnerability & widely indifferent user base, don’t wait for something to go wrong.