The following article familiarizes you with some of the best WordPress security plugins. Before starting, let’s take an example. Suppose you purchase a new house and this latest investment needs a hefty down-payment which you perhaps not used for spending. You may be afraid of the inspection fees before buying. Besides, mortgage and insurance payments also need to be considered. All of these add up to a significant expense.
Related: Best Free WordPress Security Plugins
It is said that buying real estate is one of the finest investments you could make. However, this investment is expensive. You would want to protect it as much as you can for such a hefty investment, isn’t it?
Therefore, you purchase insurance and consider installing an alarm system or any kind of security camera. Several experts recommend at least including a security system sign over your door. By doing this, it will frighten those who do not wish to take a risk. This security is intended to secure the initial investment and the prospective for that investment in the future.
And you should think a similar way for your WordPress website.
The upfront investment is required when starting a blog or a small business, or an e-commerce website. This investment needs to be made for the products and services such as plugins, themes, hosting, and website development. The same does not contain any assistance you should hire like salespeople or customer service reps.
This preliminary investment is adequate to protect your website from the beginning. But significantly, you guarantee that you don’t overlook to secure the potential money you will make in the future.
As a default, WordPress core has specific security measures. However, it is negligible compared to what a trustworthy security plugin accomplishes for you. For instance, the best WordPress security plugins offer the following:
- Active security monitoring
- Malware scanning
- File scanning
- Blacklist monitoring
- Post-hack actions
- Security hardening
- Brute force attack protection
- Notifications whenever a security threat is identified
- and much more
Your Foremost Priority Must Be Secure Hosting:
The security of your website is equally good as the foundation and the backend it is running on. Before going through security plugins, it is significant to select a WordPress host that has organized security measures. For example, HostingXP is one of the best WordPress hosts with security measures in place.
Many of these protections are implemented at the server level. Moreover, they can be so effective without severely influencing the performance of your website. You need not spend time going through many security settings within plugins in which you may not understand their working mechanism.
Below are certain security features that HostingXP provides on every WordPress managed hosting plan:
- HostingXP identifies DDoS attacks, checks for uptime, and automatically prohibits IPs that have over 6 failed login attempts within a minute.
- Only encrypted SSH and SFTP connections (no FTP) are maintained while directly accessing your WordPress websites.
- Hardware firewalls, together with added active and passive security measures, are implemented to avoid access to your data.
- The open_basedir restrictions also prevent the execution of PHP inside standard directories, which are susceptible to malicious scripts.
- HostingXP utilizes Linux containers (LXC) and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) that offers absolute isolation not just for each account but also for each specific WordPress site. This is a more secure approach than the one provided by some other competitors. GCP too implements data encryption at rest.
- HostingXP only executes the PHP versions like 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4. The unsupported PHP versions are risky because they no longer include security updates and are susceptible to unpatched security risks.
- Nothing is entirely hack-proof, and so HostingXP offers free hack fixes for every client.
Note that plenty of security plugins lead to performance problems because of their uninterrupted and scanning features. Therefore, HostingXP prohibits some security plugins. Furthermore, HostingXP also uses load balancers through the Google Cloud Platform. This implies that IP blocking functionalities of few security plugins will not work as planned in some instances.
If you are a HostingXP client, it is advisable to use a solution like Sucuri or Cloudflare, together with HostingXP. By doing this, you will get additional protection or assistance to reduce bot and/or proxy traffic.
But every host does not offer so much high security as HostingXP. This is where WordPress security plugins prove to be advantageous.
Best WordPress Security Plugins in 2019:
Take a look at the list of the best WordPress security plugins. The later section highlights a detailed analysis of each of them.
- Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening
- iThemes Security
- Wordfence Security
- WP fail2ban
- All In One WP Security & Firewall
- BulletProof Security
- Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication
- Security Ninja
- Astra Web Security
- Shield Security
- Hide my WP
Most useful security plugins come at a high price. However, some plugins are available free of cost with limited functionality.
It is vital to understand the functionality of each plugin, in addition to the price. It is about finding out the most acceptable way to stay away from the bad guys, and for that, you may need to spend a little money.
Now let’s get into details of each WordPress security plugins:
1. Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner, and Security Hardening:
The Sucuri Security plugin provides free as well as paid versions. Though, most of the websites must be acceptable along with the free plugin. For example, the website firewall demands payment for a Sucuri plan. However, all webmasters don’t feel as if they require that level of security.
Looking at the free features, this plugin supports security activity auditing to monitor how efficiently the plugin is securing your website. Moreover, it includes blacklist monitoring, file integrity monitoring, security hardening, and security notifications. On the other hand, the premium plans bring in customer service channels and more recurrent scans. To understand this, for example, you want a scan to be finished after every 12 hours. To benefit from this, you will need to pay $17/month.
Features That Make Sucuri Security a Great Choice:
- It provides numerous variations of SSL certificates. No need to pay for them, but it’s present in the packages.
- The customer service is accessible through email and chat.
- You get immediate notifications whenever something is incorrect with your website.
- Advanced DDoS protection is offered in some plans.
- When you don’t wish to pay any money, you can still get to use helpful tools for malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, blacklist monitoring, and security hardening.
2. iThemes Security:
The iThemes Security plugin (formerly recognized as Better WP Security) presents an extraordinary approach to secure your website. It comes with more than 30 offerings to avoid cases like hacks and unnecessary intruders. This plugin focuses more on identifying plugin risks, out-of-date software, and weak passwords.
Though certain fundamental security features are implemented in the free version, upgrading to the iThemes Security Pro is recommended for $80 per year. The exact offers ticketed support, plugin updates for one year, and excellent support for two websites. If you prefer o secure multiple sites, there is an option to upgrade to a costlier plan.
Discussing the main features in the pro version, this plugin offers strong password enforcement, database backups, keeping away the wrong users, and two-factor authentication. All these are just some of the ways to secure your website using this plugin. You can set off 30 security measures that make the iThemes Security Pro more beneficial.
Features That Make iThemes Security a Great Choice:
- This plugin provides file change detection that is vital because most web admins do not perceive when a file is being messed.
- Include an additional protection layer into your login with the use of the Google reCAPTCHA integration.
- The plugin makes a comparison of your WordPress core files with the existing version of WordPress. This lets you know if anything malicious is included in such files.
- Update your WordPress salts and keys to supplement an additional layer of difficulty to your authentication keys.
- It allows setting an “Away Mode” that helps when you are not creating continuous updates to your site and is willing to lock your WordPress dashboard from every user fully.
- Other features like brute force protection, 404 detections, and powerful password enforcement.
3. Wordfence Security:
Wordfence Security is one of the highly famous WordPress security plugins. It combines minimalism with efficient protection tools like robust login security features and security incident recovery tools. A vital benefit of this plugin is that you understand the traffic trends in general and hack efforts.
Wordfence presents unique free solutions with everything ranging from firewall blocks to security against brute force attacks. But, a premium version comes at a price of approx. $99/year for a single site. Moreover, the plugin creators too make it more cost-effective for developers. As a result, they provide significant discounts whenever you sign up for numerous site keys. For example, if you purchase more than 15 licenses, you will receive a 25% discount or $74.25 for each license. On the whole, Wordfence is helpful if you want to develop multiple websites and wish to protect all of them.
Features That Make WordFence Security a Great Choice:
- Its free version is efficient enough for smaller websites.
- Developers can save a lot of money whenever they sign up for several site keys.
- It comes with a complete firewall suite along with the tools for manual blocking, country blocking, real-time threat defense, brute force protection, and a web application firewall.
- The scan section of the plugin combats malware, spam, and real-time threats. It also scans each of your files for malware instead of just WordPress files.
- The plugin supervises live traffic after observing logins and logouts, Google crawl activity, bots, and human visitors.
- You get access to some exceptional tools, such as the option to sign in through your cell phone quickly. Also, there is support for password auditing.
- The comment spam filter discards the requirement to install a separate plugin.
- It supervises your plugins and helps you know whether they are discarded from the WordPress plugin repository or not. It also lets you know if they are no longer updated and have been deserted.
4. WP fail2ban:
WP fail2ban comes with an important feature, i.e., protection against brute force attacks. This plugin implements a unique approach that may seem more effective than what you obtain from a few of the security suite plugins discussed above. WP fail2ban notes down every login attempt, irrespective of their nature or effectiveness, on the syslog through LOG_AUTH. There is an option to execute a hard or soft ban. It is different from the conventional approach of just selecting one.
There is little to know in regards to configuration for this plugin. You just need to install it, and it works automatically. Furthermore, the brute force security plugin is entirely free, so there is no need to concern about spending money. It is found that this plugin is really unique because the users time and again mention that it works smoothly.
Features That Make WP fail2ban a Great Choice:
- Select between hard or soft blocks.
- Incorporate with CloudFlare and proxy servers.
- Log comments to avoid spam or malicious comments.
- The plugin too records information about pingbacks, spam, and used inventory.
- The option to make a shortcode immediately blocks users before even possessing a chance to get to the login procedure.
5. All In One WP Security & Firewall:
Being one of the most excellent feature-rich free security plugins, the All In One WP Security & Firewall offers a simple interface. It is also famous for providing excellent customer support with no premium plans. Essentially, this plugin incorporates meters and graphs. Hence, it is renowned as a visual security plugin. With the graphs and meters, the beginners can understand the metrics like security strength and steps required to be taken to increase the strength of your site.
The features are categorized into 3 categories, namely Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. , you can still benefit from this plugin if you are an advanced developer. This plugin function’s significant way is by securing your user accounts, obstructing vigorous attempts on your login, and improving user registration security. Besides, the database and file security is too included in the plugin.
Features That Make All In One WP Security & Firewall a Great Choice:
- This security plugin contains a blacklist tool wherein you can fix several criteria to block a user.
- It allows backup of .htaccess and .wp-config files. Also, a tool is available to restore them if something goes wrong.
- The plugin depicts a graph to state how influential your website is. The graph assigns points to some definite regions of your website. It is one of the most delicate features for the regular user to envisage the process happening with the security of a website.
- The plugin is free without any upscales.
The majority of the people who utilize WordPress are acquainted with Jetpack. This is chiefly because the plugin includes plenty of features. Also, since the people from WordPress.com create the plugin, this plugin is packed with modules to improve the strength of your social media, website speed and enhance spam protection. In this plugin, there is a myriad of features that are so much helpful.
Specific security tools are packed with Jetpack, making it an exciting plugin for those who wish to save money and benefit from reliability. For example, the Protect module is free, and it obstructs the occurrence of mistrustful activity. The Jetpack’s essential security feature also supports brute force attack protection and whitelisting.
In terms of security, the Jetpack’s paid versions are more efficient. For example, the $99/year plan contains malware scanning, planned website backups, and restoration if something goes incorrect. Besides, the $299/year plan provides on-demand malware scans and real-time backups for outstanding protection.
Features That Make Jetpack a Great Choice:
- Its free plan offers enough security for a small website. Later, you can upgrade to the premium plans at affordable prices and receive full support.
- The premium plans make the plugin similar to a suite, with advantages like security scanning, spam protection, and backups.
- Plugin updates are fully organized through Jetpack.
- You also receive downtime monitoring.
- Jetpack plugin discards the requirement to use other plugins. For example, it comes with social media features, email marketing, site customization, and site optimization.
SecuPress is a new security plugin (formally launched as freemium in 2016). However, it is undoubtedly one that is proliferating. It is being developed by Julio Potier, who is known as one of the original co-founders of WP Media. Both a free version and a premium one are available for this plugin that contains plenty of extra features.
If you are looking for a security plugin that contains an excellent user interface that is simple to use, then SecuPress is a perfect choice. Its free version comes with a firewall, anti-brute force login, and blocked IPs. Also, it contains protection of your security keys and can blocks visits from the bad bots. In other security plugins, you usually need to pay to block the visit from the bad bots.
To benefit from more features, you can go for its premium versions that begin at $59/year per site. This version contains extra features like two-factor authentication, alerts and notifications, PHP malware scans, GeoIP blocking, and PDF reports.
Features That Make SecuPress a Great Choice:
- The UI in this plugin is perhaps one of the finest. The same makes it simple to use, especially for beginners.
- Its premium version comes with a myriad of features. You can check 35 security points within 5 minutes, obtain a report, and then set up your WordPress site.
- It comes with the capability to alter your WordPress login URL so that bots could not find it.
- Assists you identify themes and plugins that are risky or that have been interfered with to incorporate malicious code.
8. BulletProof Security:
The BulletProof Security plugin comes with free as well as premium versions. Its paid option charges a one-time payment priced at $69.95. Moreover, this option is dynamically developed, updated and perhaps includes additional features that most other security plugins on the market do not. They also offer a money-back guarantee for 30 days. You will get features like email alerting, quarantines, auto-restore, anti-spam, and many more.
It is better first to try the free plugin because it provides the below tools:
- Database backups and restoring
- Login security and monitoring
- Anti-spam and anti-hacking tools
- MScan Malware Scanner
- A security log
- Maintenance mode
- Hidden plugin folders
- A full setup wizard
Though this plugin is not highly user-friendly, it accomplishes the task for the advanced developers willing to benefit from the exceptional settings and features. These features include the online Base64 decoder and the anti-exploit guard. Also, it possesses a setup wizard auto-fix feature for making it more straightforward.
Features That Make BulletProof Security a Great Choice:
- The plugin boasts a few of the most exceptional advanced security tools in the market. These tools have features like BPS Pro ARQ Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (ARQ IDPS) encrypting solutions. Additionally, they support cURL scans, scheduled crons, folder locking, and more.
- Its free version is loaded with good features for the standard website.
- The database backups are available in its free version.
- You can conceal distinct plugin folders.
- Its maintenance mode is not found in other security plugins.
VaultPress functions identically to plugins like Sucuri Scanner and iThemes Security Pro. You will be charged some fees to obtain specific protection. The plan begins just at $39/year, which makes it a cost-effective first-class security plugin. Its corresponding website mentions that this plan is suitable for bloggers and small businesses. However, you also get the option to upgrade it to a more feature-rich plan for $99/year or $299/year.
The daily, as well as real-time backups, are the vital components of the operation. The elegant calendar view lets you know when you will prefer to accomplish your backups. Also, you can complete site restores through an instant mouse click. It is important to note that the restore files are logged within the dashboard. Many of them are saved so that you could choose the preferred one. One of the best things about VaultPress in terms of backups is that they are escalating. The same boosts the performance.
The key security tools supervise suspicious activity going on your website. There are tabs available for looking at your history and observing which threats have been worked upon or neglected. Also, you can look at the statistics and organize your whole security detail from the clean dashboard.
Features That Make VaultPress a Great Choice:
- The pricing is more affordable than the majority of the other premium WordPress security plugins.
- Its dashboard boasts a clean interface, and it is easy to understand for every user.
- Through a calendar, it allows you to create real-time or manual backups.
- The stats tab shows the information on the most famous visiting periods on your website. Besides, it shows what threats have taken place during such times.
- You can approach the experts from the VaultPress team to assist you with tasks such as site backups and restoration.
10. Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication:
Most of the plugins equipped with distinct security features don’t prove so valuable for installation. This is because you can opt for a plugin like iThemes Security Pro and obtain that feature and tons of other features. But, two-factor authentication is a unique feature because it appears that the majority of the security suites don’t contain it. This, it is better to strengthen your login security using a plugin in the present discussion.
The Google Authenticator plugin includes a second layer of security within your login module. This is quite essential because most of the hacking attempts take place with the login. Apart from your regular password, the particular plugin either delivers a push notification into your phone or a few other forms of validation like a QR code or inquiring about a security question.
With this approach, your login turns less vulnerable because the second layer is probably the only one you identify or save on your personal devices.
The particular WordPress security plugin does not need any payment. Its interface is also quite simple to understand. Apart from selecting the type of authentication, the other exciting features help you identify which type of user role you must pass through the authentication. Henceforth, you can enable admins to get easy access, but you may ask that authors or other users pass through the two-factor procedure.
The only issue is that the two-factor authentication makes it tricky to log in to your backend through a mobile device.
Features That Make Google Authenticator a Great Choice:
- It almost discards the susceptibility, i.e., your login area.
- You get the freedom to select which two-factor authentication system is the simplest for you.
- You can choose which user types have to pass through the authentication procedure.
- The plugin possesses a shortcode for use with the custom login pages.
11. Security Ninja:
Security Ninja is prevalent for 7 years. Began as one of the foremost security plugins traded on CodeCanyon, later in 2016, it shifted to a freemium model. The add-ons were removed instead of just 2 versions, i.e., free and premium. The main module that is available free of cost carries out more than 50 security tests. These tests vary from inspecting files and MySQL permissions to diverse PHP settings.
This plugin even performs a brute force check of every user password to remove accounts with weak passwords like “1234” or “password.” The same assists in training users about security. It also contains an auto-fixer module; however, for those users who wish to comprehend the process, an in-depth clarification of all tests, including code to fix the security problem on your own.
If you dislike the plugins cluttering your website, Security Ninja provides a wonderful alternative to the typical “just click here to fix it” method. Many other modules inside the paid version begin at $29/year per site.
Features That Make Security Ninja a Great Choice:
- The security tester module that is present in its free version accomplishes 50+ security tests on your site.
- For non-tech-savvy individuals, the auto fixer module can solve any issues identified.
- Scan WordPress core to guarantee the integrity of the core files after weighing them against a secure and recent copy from wordpress.org.
- Scan plugins as well as themes to find out malicious code and malware.
- Present a large list of recognized bad IPs and then block them automatically.
- Record all events that are going on your WordPress site. They range from users logging in to settings being modified.
- Allows scheduling the regular scans.
Defender is basically a layered WordPress security plugin with a simple interface. Its free and pro version begins with a list of the most effective techniques for immediately upgrading your WordPress security.
It allows you to perform free scans that monitor WordPress for malicious code. The Defender scan tool puts side by side your WordPress install with the directory. Also, it compares report changes. Subsequently, it allows you to restore the original file with a click. Besides, they offer a pro version that contains cloud backups with a remote storage space of 10 GB. The pro version also has audit logs for supervising changes, automatic security scans, and blacklist monitoring. This plugin’s experts will assist you in resolving a hacked site.
Features That Make Defender a Great Choice:
- WordPress core file scanning and repair
- Google 2-Step Verification
- IP Blacklist manager and logging
- Login Screen Masking
- Timed Lockout brute force attack safeguard for login protection
- IP lockout notifications and reports
- 404 limiter for blocking vulnerability scans
- Unlimited file scans
13. Astra Web Security:
Astra Web Security is a valuable security suite for a WordPress site. There is no need to concern about malware, XSS, SQLi, brute force, comments spam, and over 100 threats using this tool. This implies that you can stay away from the other security plugins and allow Astra to monitor the rest. The user-friendly dashboard does not include a lot of buttons. Its user interface is clean and easy to use.
Many popular brands like Gillette, Ford, African Union, and Oman Airways use the Astra security plugin. The pricing begins from $9/month, and they provide a flat 20% off when the plan is billed yearly. It seems that Astra can be a decent investment if you intend to spend money on the security of your website.
Features That Make Astra Web Security a Great Choice:
- Astra security solution is set up in the form of a WordPress plugin. No need to modify DNS settings.
- They provide instant malware cleanup, a reliable firewall that prevents attacks like XSS, SQLi, Bad Bots, Code Injection, SEO spam, Brute force, and other over 100 cyber attacks.
- Comprehensive security audit containing the business error logic for a WordPress website.
- User-friendly dashboard records all attacks and presents you with an alternative to whitelist IP range or a URL, block country, constant blacklist, reputation supervising, hourly admin login notifications, etc.
- It presents a bug bounty management or free community security platform in which you provide hackers a secure method to state any susceptibility that they detect on your website. Astra’s engineers authenticate each reported issue.
14. Shield Security:
The key function of Shield Security is to undertake your rising load of site security. Generally, we are always short on time. Therefore, it is essential to use more ingenious defenses and a security plugin that owns the ability to revert to threats devoid of bugging you with emails. Convenient for beginners and advanced, Shield begins scanning and shielding your site as soon as you activate it. Every option is fully documented. Thus, you can go in deep into your site security whenever you like.
The core of Shield Security is always free. Those businesses and professionals, who require intense protection and practical 24-hour support, can go for the Shield Pro at a nominal price of $12/site. The Shield Security’s mission is ‘no website left behind.’ The objective is to make Pro-Grade security reachable for all sites. The Pro version offers more scans (which operate more frequently), user password policies, traffic monitoring, more extensive audit trails, excellent support for WooCommerce, and functionalities that turn security policies smooth for the users.
Features That Make Shield Security a Great Choice:
- Only a security plugin that limits access to its own settings to some users.
- More competent protection is implemented with features that function efficiently in the background. They don’t bug you with notifications.
- The only security plugin that provides 3 kinds of two-factor authentication free of cost. Also, it offers the option to choose which users may use it.
- Pro upgrades for all users for $12/site – voluminous pricing without the voluminous purchase.
- Pro provides 6 times efficient scans to identify problems in all portions of your sites.
15. Hide My WP:
Hide My WP is a well-known security plugin for WordPress that conceals the truth you use WordPress as your CMS to spammers, attackers, and even the theme detectors like BuiltWith or Wappalyzer.
It comes packed with the solid art intrusion detector (IDS) to restrict real-time security attacks such as XSS, SQL injection, etc. The premium version comes for $24. Note: Some features of this plugin may not function at HostingXP.
Features That Make Hide My WP a Great Choice:
- Conceals the name of the plugins, theme, modifies permalinks, conceals wp-admin, login URL, and much more.
- Restricts direct access to PHP files, clears out WP class names, and disqualifies directory listing.
- Informs about any possible bad behavior with complete details of an attacker like IP address, username, date, etc.
- It contains a “trust network2 which automatically restricts traffic from the bad source IP addresses.
- The pre-made settings are easy to use with the one-click operation.
- Compatible with multi-site, premium themes Nginx, Apache, IIS, and other security plugins.
WebARX is extensively known as a premium website security platform that supports all PHP applications. Mostly, it is well-known for its innovative endpoint firewall allowing you to fully control the traffic within your websites through its cloud-based dashboard. WebARX possesses a managed web application firewall that shields your site against bot attacks, plugin vulnerabilities, and fake traffic.
The plugin enables you to prepare your personal firewall rules, strengthen your WordPress installation, prepare backups, check uptime & security issues, export reports, obtain alerts, and so on. It is pretty simple to set up.
Features That Make WebARX a Great Choice:
- Advanced Website Firewall fully customizable from the WebARX portal).
- Virtual patching automatically obtains rules to reinforce plugin and theme susceptibilities.
- WordPress installation coagulation: recaptcha, 2FA, automatically include security headers, restrict brute-force attacks, add cookies, modify wp-admin, etc.
- Uptime monitoring: Obtains slack and email alerts whenever a website goes down.
- Custom PDF security reports (personalize them using your logo to deliver to clients).
- Unified security for unlimited websites.
Which WordPress Security Plugin is Best for You?
Well, we have gone through the details of the top WordPress security plugins. Now it is essential to look at the recommendations. The same makes it simpler for you to choose one or two plugins without testing each one. Keep in mind that security plugins might not be required based on what is already offered by your WordPress host.
These recommendations work in several situations where you may choose a security plugin compared to another.
- For the best value – SecuPress, Sucuri Security, iThemes Security, Jetpack, or Shield Security.
- For a free WordPress security plugin – Sucuri Security (free version) All In One WP Security & Firewall, or Wordfence Security.
- For a security plugin for beginners – Defender, All In One WP Security & Firewall, or Security Ninja.
- When you need a more innovative brute force protection plugin – Astra or WP fail2ban.
- For obtaining two-factor authentication – Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication.
- For elegant interface – SecuPress or VaultPress.
In addition to installing a plugin, you can take additional steps to enhance the security of your website. For instance, Lockr’s offsite key management solution shields websites against critical site susceptibilities. It also assists in protecting your data. Easy integration is accessible for WordPress.
The above section highlights only the recommended plugins depending on the user experience.