Blogging, creating a new e-commerce website or even launching a small business, requires a minimum budget and essential elements like host, themes, plugins, and web developers.
The initial investment can secure the launch of your website, but keep in mind, you will have to increase the security layers of the website to protect the initial investment and the product or services you are offering.
Without a doubt, WordPress is the best content management system in the market. But we can’t say for sure it’s the best option. If you don’t pay any attention to the security aspect of the website, then you are inviting hackers to gain access to your data.
In this article, we would like to introduce 20 best WordPress security plugins that would increase the security layers of your website and protect them against any known attacks and malware.
- 1. Sucuri Security
- 2. BulletProof Security
- 3. Wordfence
- 4. iThemes Security
- 5. All In One WP Security
- 6. Jetpack
- 7. WP fail2ban
- 8. Acuneti WP SecurityScan
- 9. Anti-Malware Security
- 10. 6Scan Security
- 11. VaultPress
- 12. Defender
- 13. MalCare
- 14. WebARX
- 15. Google Authenticator – Two-Factor Authentication
- 16. Block Bad Queries
- 17. Astra Web Security
- 18. Shield Security
- 19. SecuPress
- 20. StackPath
What is a WordPress Security Plugin? Why is it so important?
WordPress is the most popular CMS, and most websites on the internet are built with WordPress and hackers around the world are interested in gaining access to WordPress websites.
WordPress always encourages its users to keep their websites updated. However, using third-party themes and plugins can put WordPress’ security at risk.
This means hackers can find the weakness of your website and gain access to WordPress and even the server.
By default, the core files are designed to provide the basic security of WordPress. However, the security provided by WordPress is quite weak compared to plugins designed specifically to increase the security of WordPress.
By installing the plugin, you can actively monitor and scan WordPress. The right security plugin can add extreme security layers to WordPress and notify you if there’s any security breach.
Even if your website is hacked, they begin the process to restore WordPress.
Best WordPress Security Plugins
Here are our picks form a long list of WordPress security plugins:
1. Sucuri Security
Sucuri is available in both free and premium versions. Although, the free version is more than enough for personal websites, if you want to use the web firewall or some other features, you need to purchase the premium version.
However, most website owners think this feature is unnecessary.
In the free version, you can manage files and the blacklist. Besides, you receive security notifications.
The premium version allows you to scan WordPress as much as you like. For example, by paying $17 a month, you can scan WordPress every 12 hours.
Why Sucuri is a good choice?
- Different SSL types in the premium version.
- Customer support via either live chat or ticket.
- It notifies you if there are any attacks.
- It offers advanced DDoS protection.
- The free version offers the blacklist and malware scanning and increases the overall security.
2. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security is another verified WordPress security plugin. This plugin protects the database, firewall, and user login page.
BulletProof Security limits login attempts and blocks any activity on scanning your files or viewing the WordPress code.
Also, this plugin blocks hackers from blocking IP addresses. It scans lines of code related to WordPress core files, templates and active plugins to make sure there aren’t any issues with them.
It protects your website from XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, code injection, and SQL. Therefore, if you are going to use this plugin, we recommend to update it regularly.
The premium version offers more and advanced features and protects WordPress in every aspect. However, the free version is as popular as the premium version and its probably enough for blogs and small businesses.
Wordfence is yet another popular WordPress security plugin on our list. This plugin may seem simple at first. But, it offers powerful features to protect your website from any attacks.
Securing the login page and repairing files are only two of the many features this plugin offers. In addition, it analyzes the behavior of users on WordPress and displays them in a chart.
In the premium version, Wordfence offers a lot more features. However, it costs $99 per year for a website. They offer significant discounts for multiple purchases. Some of the key features of this plugin are:
- The free version is enough for small websites.
- Web developers who manage multiple websites can reduce their security costs by using this plugin.
- The firewall in this plugin can offer blocking based upon location, immediate protection against on-going attacks, And malware protection.
- The scan feature in this plugin scans every single file installed on your server and detects malware and spams in time.
- The ability to filter comment spam. Eliminating the need to install another plugin.
4. iThemes Security
This plugin is formerly known as Better WP Security, and they claim to provide more than 30 features to optimize your website and block hackers.
The main focus of iThemes Security is on weak passwords and weak spots of installed plugins on WordPress.
In the free version, your day to day need is provided. However, you can access the premium version by paying $80 for a year.
The premium version offers live chat, constant updates and supports multiple websites.
If you manage more websites there are other programs that cost a lot more. In the premium version, the plugin forces users to choose strong passwords, deletes inactive users, backups database and adds two-factor authentication to the login page.
These are only some of the features offered by this plugin.
So, why should you use iThemes Security?
- File comparison. When a file is changed, it scans it to make sure if it’s malware or it was changed by the user.
- Google reCAPTCHA. By using this service, this plugin adds an extra layer of security to the login page of WordPress.
- It checks the core WordPress files and helps you detect the malware. If there are any.
- WordPress Salts and Security Keys. The iThemes Security makes it simple for you to update WordPress keys and salts.
- By using the “Away Mode” you can lock WordPress Dashboard so no one can access it.
5. All In One WP Security
The All in One WP Security plugin comes with a user-friendly interface and great support and features.
In addition, it uses visual tools like graphs so that beginners can understand the standards of security levels and how to increase it.
The security levels in this plugin are offered in three main levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.
Therefore, even if you are an advanced web developer, this plugin is still a good option for you. The All In One WP Security plugin secures accounts, prevents brute force login attack, and increases the security level of the signup page. In addition, it protects your WordPress files and database.
Why should you choose this plugin?
- It supports blacklist. You can define when a user gets blocked from accessing the website.
- You can backup .htaccess and wp-config files. Thus, if anything goes wrong with those files, it restores them back to their original state.
- This plugin is offered for free to the general public.
Most WordPress users are familiar with the Jetpack plugin. Because it comes with many features and most importantly, it is developed by WordPress.com
This plugin offers a variety of modules to improve your social media, prevent spams, and optimize WordPress in general.
In addition, this plugin comes with many security tools which makes it feasible for users with low budgets that are looking for a viable plugin. For example, security modules are offered for free and can prevent any abnormal activities.
Protecting WordPress against brute force attack and whitelisting is offered in the free version of Jetpack.
If you are looking for more features, you must purchase the premium version of this plugin which comes with $99 yearly. This plugin scans malware, backup different sections of your website and restore them in case there are any attacks.
In addition, by paying $299 it allows you to scan for malware and backup anytime you wish.
Why is this plugin is a good choice?
- If you have a small website, by using the free version of this plugin, you can satisfy the security needs of WordPress. Also, by purchasing the premium version you can unlock all the other features.
- The premium version covers backup, protection against spams and the website.
- Regular plugin updates are managed by the Jetpack plugin.
- Jetpack eliminates the need to download other plugins. For example, it does email marketing, social media marketing, and it allows you to customize and optimize WordPress.
- Jetpack is constantly monitoring the website. Therefore, if there are any issues on the website, it quickly fixes them.
7. WP fail2ban
The WP fail2ban plugin only offers one service to the user. It prevents any Brute force attacks.
This plugin uses different methods compared to other plugins to deal with brute force attacks. The WP fail2ban plugin saves every login attempt in Syslog with LOG_AUTH.
In addition, it allows you to come up with simpler or more advanced login methods. However, this feature overwrites the default login method of WordPress.
There isn’t any special configuration with the WP fail2ban plugin. Simply install and let it do its work.
The brute force feature of this plugin is offered freely to users, according to user reviews the WP fail2ban plugin protects WordPress login page without any issues.
Why this plugin?
- It gives you the ability to define new rules for the login page.
- Compatible with CloudFare and other proxy servers.
- It keeps a full record of comments. Therefore, it can prevent spam comments.
- It records pingbacks, spams, and users.
- It gives users the ability to use shortcodes. It can block the user login page without giving them the opportunity to log in.
8. Acuneti WP SecurityScan
The Acuneti WP SecurityScan plugin is designed by Acunetix to increase the security level of a WordPress website. This company is well known for designing top-notch security programs.
The Acuneti WP SecurityScan plugin, it fully scans your website to detect any weakness and offers a variety of methods to secure them.
Why this plugin? What are the features?
- File permission security.
- Hides the WordPress version.
- Removes meta tags from the database.
- Disables PHP error reports.
- This plugin also hides backend code so hackers can’t use any information against your website.
- Removes WordPress plugin, theme and version update information from non-admins.
- Disables database and PHP error reporting. So hackers can’t use any of this information against you.
- Live Scan.
In addition, the Acuneti WP SecurityScan, regularly backup the database and you can manage the live audience on WordPress.
9. Anti-Malware Security
As you can probably tell by the name of this plugin, Anti-Malware Security protects WordPress against malware. The Anti-Malware Security plugin actively looks for common risks.
The malware scanner of this plugin allows you to scan all files, folders to find destructive code, backdoors, malware and other known methods hackers use to gain access to a website.
First, you need to create a new account on the Anti-Malware Security website to gain access to the latest version and definitions.
In the premium version of this plugin, the brute force prevention is provided. In addition, it notifies you if there is any update for the Anti-Malware Security plugin.
10. 6Scan Security
6Scan Security is most popular for repairing and restoring damaged files in WordPress. This plugin recommends rule-based protection security rules and generally tries to keep the security layers of WordPress updated.
This plugin scans your website for SQL injectors, Cross-Site Scripting, CSRF, Directory traversal, DDoS attacks, and ten more common attacks.
The key feature of this plugin is the fact that it detects and repairs the issues on its own. Once it finds a destructive code, it begins the process. Besides, it comes with the ability to detect and delete malware, automatically.
If there are any issues with any installed plugins or themes, it will notify you via email.
VaultPress is another important security plugin that works like iThemes Security Pro and Sucuri Scanner.
If you want to use the features provided in this plugin you must pay $39 yearly which is a bargain compared to other premium plugins mentioned in this list.
However, according to the developers of this plugin, the $39 version of this plugin is enough for small websites and bloggers. If you need more powerful features, you could upgrade to the $99 or $299 version.
The ability to take daily backup or instant backup with a calendar to schedule your backups are interesting features of this plugin.
The restoration is only one click away. Also, restored files are saved in the WordPress Dashboard. While getting a backup, different versions are picked so you can choose the right version amongst them.
The best feature of this plugin is the optimized method when getting a backup. This means, when you are getting a backup, it doesn’t overwrite the files. Instead, it saves the new information and adds them to the backup file. This process saves a lot of time and space on the server.
In addition, you can check the statistics of your website with one main dashboard.
What are the main features of VaultPress?
- The price you pay for the premium version is relatively lower compared to other plugins mentioned in our list.
- The interface is very user-friendly.
- By using the calendar provided in the plugin, you can backup files manually and instantly.
- By using the statistic feature provided to you by this plugin you can see the peak time and any attacks that may have occurred during that time.
If you require more information about this plugin, you can contact their support team and ask them for more information regarding restoring and getting a backup.
Defender is a layered security plugin. This plugin has a very simple interface and it is available in both free and premium versions.
This plugin allows you to freely scan your WordPress website and find any suspicious code. The scan feature compares the installed WordPress version with directory to ensure there aren’t any suspicious malware and it will display a report. In addition, the broken files can be restored with a simple click.
The premium version gives you 10 GB cloud storage to upload your backup files. Saved data are used for any changes. Security scans and blacklist are other features provided in the premium version.
What makes the Defender plugin so good? What are the features?
- If your website is hacked, the support team can help you restore your website.
- Google 2-step verification.
- WordPress file scanning and repair.
- IP Blacklist and logging.
- Unlimited file scans.
- Timed protection for brute force attacks.
- 404 limiters to block vulnerable scans.
- IP lockout reports and notifications.
After reviewing more than 240 thousand websites and researching security layers of WordPress, the MalCare plugin was designed and developed to satisfy the security needs of a WordPress website.
By using layered security, it finds hidden and complex malware in a matter of minutes.
What are the key features of MalCare?
- Simultaneously scans the whole website.
- Increases the security of WordPress.
- Protects the login page.
- Comprehensive client reporting.
The premium version offers more features and fully protects your website against any destructive malware. In the pro version, you can update plugins, themes, and WordPress in one single dashboard.
It increases your website in a way that unauthorized personnel cannot access it. You can create a backup any day of the year.
If you are managing other people’s websites, the MalCare plugin offers white-labeling and can create client reports.
WebARX is a premium security platform which supports all PHP applications. WebARX gained its popularity due to its advanced firewall. This feature allows full traffic control between your websites from a cloud dashboard.
In other words, WebARX is a security wall that protects your website against plugins, attacks, bots, and unrealistic traffic.
You can write custom firewall rules. In addition, it optimizes WordPress, allows you to backup, monitors up-time and security issues, and you can receive email notifications. Installing and running the application is very simple as well.
Why should you choose this plugin?
- Advanced firewall.
- It automatically receives commands to check the weaknesses of installed plugins and templates and repairs them.
- Monitors website up-time. When the website goes down the admin will be notified via email or Slack.
- Creates full security reports in PDF format. (you can customize it and add your logo to this report and send it to your clients.)
- Creates security for unlimited websites.
15. Google Authenticator – Two-Factor Authentication
In most cases, WordPress security plugins offer limited security features and it doesn’t make enough sense to install one plugin for one feature. Often, by installing a plugin like iThemes Security Pro you can get that feature along with dozens more.
On the other hand, two-factor authentication is a whole other story. Because most plugins don’t offer this feature. Thus, installing the Google Authenticator plugin is very reasonable.
The Google Authenticator plugin ads an extra security layer for the login page. This security layer is very important because most hackers tend to gain access by hacking the login page.
This plugin other than the usual login method, which is by typing in a password, offers other methods to gain access to your account. For example, SMS, QR code or a security question.
This plugin minimizes the possible ways a hacker could use to gain access to WordPress. Because only you know and can access the added security layers. (for example, your mobile phone for SMS password)
The Google Authenticator is a free plugin with a user-friendly interface. Other than selecting the second security level, you can also choose who needs to use two-factor authentication to gain access to your WordPress account.
For example, you can allow admins to enter the website without using the two-factor authentication, but editors and authors should use the two-factor authentication. As you know, hacking two-factor authentication is very difficult especially if you are using the mobile method.
Why do we recommend this plugin?
- It adds two-factor authentication to WordPress.
- You can choose which method you would like to use for the two-factor authentication.
- You can define which users should use two-factor authentication.
- This plugin can be added to a customized login page with a shortcode.
16. Block Bad Queries
Block Bad Queries (BBQ) is one of the best WordPress security plugins on our list. The features provided in this plugin dramatically increase the security level of your website.
Block Bad Queries is very easy to use. This plugin protects your website against malicious requests, suspicious URLs and monitors the incoming traffic eval, base64_ and blocks loop requests.
This is a solid plugin for websites that are unable to use a strong .htaccess firewall. BBQ is the best solution to protect your website against SQL injectors.
What are the key features of the Block Bad Queries plugin?
- It’s a plug-n-play.
- Don’t need any configuration.
- Simple and fast.
- It mainly focuses on security and performance.
- Blocks a wide range of malicious requests.
- Designed based on a 5G/6G firewall.
17. Astra Web Security
Astra Web Security is a complete security package for WordPress websites. This plugin protects your website against malware, SQLi, XSS, comment spam, brute force attacks, and hundreds of attacks. Therefore, you don’t need to install any extra security plugins.
Its dashboard is very user-friendly and easy to use. Famous companies like Gillette, African Union, Ford, and Oman Airways use this plugin.
Astra plans start from $9 a month and if you pay for the entire year, you will get 20% off. To summarize, if you want to invest in the security of WordPress, Astra Web Security is the best choice.
What are the features of Astra?
- Astra Security can be installed as a plugin and you don’t need to change any DNS.
- Other than malware removal, its powerful firewall prevents SQLi, XSS, suspicious bots, brute force, comment spam and etc.
- Its dashboard allows you to see all the necessary information in one place. You can block a country, IP or URL. In addition, you can see login activities.
- It offers a free platform and creates a report of any attacks.
18. Shield Security
Shield Security‘s main goal is to increase your website’s security. If you are a busy person and don’t want to deal with security emails, then you should install a smart security plugin that doesn’t spam you with hundreds of emails in a short time-frame.
The Shield Security plugin can be used for both advanced and beginner web developers, and it begins its job as soon as it is installed on WordPress. It stores all the scanned data in itself. Therefore, if you need to know the results, you must check the plugin.
The core of this plugin is completely free. Experts and people with big businesses that require 24/7 security, can purchase the premium version by paying $12 a month.
The premium version, does more scans and follows strict rules for username and password and run more tests. In addition, the pro version is compatible with the WooCommerce plugin, monitors website traffic and etc.
Why Shield Security?
- One of the few plugins that restrict access to its settings to certain users.
- Smart protection. It automatically checks and monitors the activities in the background without sending you hundreds of emails.
- The only plugin that offers three types of two-factor authentication for free.
- Pro version is only $12 per site.
- Pro version comes with a 6x powerful scan to detect issues on your website.
The SecuPress plugin is a brand-new name in the WordPress security. However, it’s rapidly improving. This plugin is available in both free and premium versions.
If you are looking for a plugin with a unique interface, SecuPress is the best option. In the free version, you have access to firewall, brute force attack prevention and blocking IP addresses.
Protection of security keys and blocking bad bots are offered in the free version. (in most plugins, you must pay for the premium version to unlock these features)
If you are looking for more security features, by paying only $59 a year/site you can unlock features like two-factor authentication, blocking IP addresses based on geolocation, scanning for malware in PHP and creating reports in the PDF format.
Why should you choose the SecuPress plugin?
- It has one of the best interfaces that makes the plugin easy to use for beginners.
- The premium version checks 35 security measures in 5 minutes and sends you the report.
- It can change the login URL.
- It helps you detect destructive plugins, themes, and code.
StackPath is generally known as a CDN which allows you to publish your website with high speed. In addition, this platform manages the security of your website as well.
StackPath protects your website against DDoS attacks. All of the packages offered in this plugin support DDoS attacks levels 3 and 4 and fully cover the website.
StackPath is designed in a way to encrypt your website in the network, scan the network and protect it against malware and serious attacks.
This plugin not only protects your website but it also optimizes WordPress and increases its speed.
In this article, we discussed the top 20 best WordPress security plugins with different and often similar features. WordPress users can choose either premium or free versions based on their requirements.