Best WordPress Security Plugins for Website Protection


Best WordPress Security Plugins for Website Protection
Best WordPress Security Plugins for Website Protection

Before we delve into WordPress security plugins, let's start with an example: suppose you purchase a new house, an exciting new investment that may require a large down payment and, along with it, various hidden costs during the home transaction, followed by renovations and furnishings, all of which come directly out of your pocket.

Buying real estate is probably one of the best investments you can make, and for such an expensive, high-value investment (and one that could make you a fortune in the future), you definitely want to do your best to protect it, right? Therefore, you would consider having some kind of security system, such as smart door locks, home cameras, etc. Many experts recommend placing at least one security system sign on the front door to scare off those who don't want to take the risk, and all of these security measures are designed to protect the initial investment (and the potential for future growth).

Similarly, starting a blog, e-commerce site, or small business site requires an upfront investment in services and products (e.g., hosting, themes, plugins), and that doesn't include the customer service representatives and salespeople you must hire.

Security - this initial investment alone is enough to protect your site and, more importantly, will help you make more money in the future. By default, WordPress core has taken some security measures, but this is no help compared to reputable security plugins, such as the top security plugins that offer the following features.

  1. Active security monitoring
  2. Document scanning
  3. Malware Scan
  4. Blacklist Monitoring
  5. Security Reinforcement
  6. Identify hacking behavior
  7. Network Firewall
  8. Brute force cracking protection
  9. Security threat detection and notification
  10. And more...

The first priority should be to choose a secure hosting service

The security of a website depends first and foremost on the platform it is running on, so before looking into security plugins, it is important to choose a dedicated WordPress host with the proper security measures (such as Kinsta), who have done a lot of work at the server level to make the site more secure and not sacrifice site performance.

It is important to note that many security plugins cause performance issues due to the always-on and scanning features, which is why many WP dedicated hosts disable some (not all) security plugins, however, not all hosts have strict security, so WordPress security plugins can be very beneficial. Most useful security plugins come with a price tag, and there are some free options with limited functionality, and ultimately, it's about finding the best way to avoid downtime, and sometimes, that means spending a little money.

1. Sucuri Security

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Sucuri Security offers both free and paid versions, but for most websites, choosing the free version will be sufficient. For example, website firewalls require you to pay a subscription fee, but not every webmaster feels they need this type of security.

As for the free option, the plugin comes with a security activity audit in order to see how well the site is protected, plus file integrity monitoring, blacklist identification, security notifications, security enhancements and more. The premium plan opens up customer service channels and scans more frequently.

Sucuri Security is the first choice for protecting WordPress websites based mainly on the following features.

  1. Various SSL certificates are available, but you have to pay for them
  2. Customer service in the form of live chat and email
  3. You will be notified immediately when there is a problem with the site
  4. Advanced DDoS protection is available through certain plans
  5. If you don't want to spend the money, you can still get valuable tools for blacklist monitoring, malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, security enhancement, and more
  6. Sucuri detailed review

2. iThemes Security

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iThemes Security (formerly known as Better WP Security) is one of the best ways to protect WordPress sites, they offer over 30 products to protect against hackers and various unexplained attacks, and focus on identifying code vulnerabilities, outdated plugins, and insecure passwords.

Although the free version includes some basic security features, we highly recommend upgrading to the Pro version, where you will get Ticket support, plugin updates, and support for two sites, with the option to upgrade to a more expensive plan if you want to protect more sites.

The Pro version offers strong password measures, locking out dangerous users, database backups, double authentication and more, but these are just a few simple ways to protect your website. In addition, you can activate 30 security measures to make iThemes Security Pro worthwhile.

  1. File change detection, which is important because most webmasters don't notice when a file is messed up
  2. Google reCAPTCHA integration to add a layer of protection to your login
  3. Compare WordPress core files with the current version to help understand if malware is present
  4. Update WordPress Salts and Keys to Add an Extra Layer of Complexity to Authentication
  5. Leave mode can be set when you do not keep the site updated and want to lock the dashboard for all users
  6. Other essential elements such as 404 detection, brute force protection, strong password measures, etc.

3. Wordfence Security

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Wordfence Security combines simplicity with powerful protection tools, such as login security features and security event recovery tools, to give you insight into overall traffic trends and network attack attempts, making it one of the most popular security plugins.

The free solution is impressive, with everything from firewalls to brute-force attack protection. The premium version is more powerful and expensive, but you can get a significant discount for registering multiple sites. So, if you need to develop multiple sites and want them all protected, it's worth considering Wordfence.

  1. For smaller sites, the free version is powerful
  2. Developers can save a lot of money when registering multiple site keys
  3. Complete firewall suite with country/region blocking, manual blocking, brute-force protection, real-time threat prevention, web application firewall and other tools
  4. Scanning feature protects against malware, real-time threats and spam, and also scans all files (not just WordPress files)
  5. Record search engine crawls, logins, logouts, visitors, bots, and other activity, and use it to monitor real-time traffic
  6. You can use some unique tools such as mobile login and password audit
  7. Spam comment filter so you no longer need to install separate plugins
  8. Monitor installed plugins and notify you if they have been removed from WordPress (usually due to insecurity or hacking)

4. WP Fail2ban

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WP Fail2ban provides a feature, and a rather important one at that: protection against brute force attacks. The plugin logs all login attempts (regardless of nature and result) to syslog using LOG_AUTH, and you can choose to disable it temporarily or permanently, unlike the traditional approach that provides only one option.

There is very little manual configuration, in fact, all you need to do is to install and activate the plugin and then quietly enjoy the magic it exudes. Moreover, this plugin is completely free, so you don't have to worry about any hidden costs.

  1. Choose between temporary or permanent ban
  2. Integration with Cloudflare and proxy servers
  3. Log comments to prevent spam or malicious messages
  4. Logging information about spam, PingBack and user enumeration
  5. Allows you to create short codes to block visitors before they get to the login page

5. All In One WP Security & Firewall

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One of the most feature-rich security plugins, All In One WP Security & Firewall offers an easy-to-use interface and good customer support. It is a highly visual security plugin with graphics and tables to explain to beginners metrics such as security strength and what needs to be done to make the site stronger.

All features can be roughly divided into three categories: basic, intermediate and advanced, so if you are an advanced developer, you can still take advantage of this plugin. The main way it works is to protect user accounts, block forced login attempts, enhance registration security, plus protect databases and website files.

  1. Provides a blacklisting tool where you can set certain requirements to block users
  2. Backup .htaccess and .wp-config files to be able to restore them whenever you encounter any problems
  3. Use charts to show the security strength of a site, one of the best features for visualizing site security for the average user
  4. Free to use, no upsell

6. Jetpack

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Most people are familiar with Jetpack, mainly because the plugin is feature-rich and made by WordPress.com developers. Jetpack includes modules for enhancing social media, site speed, spam comment protection, and plenty of other features that are definitely worth exploring.

There are also security tools, a protection module that is free and can block suspicious activity, and basic security features that also support brute force attack protection and whitelisting. The paid version is more robust in terms of security and includes malware scanning, automatic site backups, and the ability to recover from any problems that arise, among other things.

  1. The free plan offers good security for small sites, and then you can upgrade to a reasonably priced premium plan with full support and optimal features
  2. Premium plans offer more suites with benefits such as data backup, spam comment protection, security scanning and more
  3. Plugin updates are fully managed through Jetpack
  4. Some other features such as email marketing, social media, website customization and optimization, etc.
  5. Downtime monitoring

7. SecuPress

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It's a relatively new security plugin, but definitely growing fast. In fact, SecuPress was developed by Julio Potier, one of the original co-founders of WP Media, a man who also worked on projects like WP Rocket and Imagify.

If you want an easy-to-use, beautiful interface and feature-rich security plugin, SecuPress is definitely one of the best choices. The free version features brute force cracking protection, IP ban, firewall, security key protection, blocking malicious crawlers, etc. The premium version offers more, such as alerts and notifications, dual authentication, GeoIP blocking, PHP malware scanning, PDF reporting, and more.

  1. One of the most beautiful security plugins, easy to use even for beginners
  2. Premium version offers more value: check 35 security points in 5 minutes, get a nice report, then harden your WordPress site
  3. Change the website login link so that the robot cannot be found
  4. Detect themes and plugins that are vulnerable to attacks or tampering

8. BulletProof Security

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BulletProof Security offers both free and paid versions, the plugin is always actively developed and updated and contains probably more features than most other security plugins on the market. You will get features such as segmentation management, email alerts, anti-spam comments, automatic recovery and more. We recommend that you try the free version first, as it offers the following tools.

  1. Login security and monitoring
  2. Database backup and restore
  3. Malware Scan
  4. Anti-spam comments, hacker blocking
  5. Security Log
  6. Maintenance Mode
  7. Hidden plug-in folder
  8. Complete installation wizard

It's not the most user-friendly WordPress security plugin, but it's certainly up to the task for advanced developers who want to take advantage of unique settings and features. It also has an auto-fix feature for the installation wizard that makes it a little easier.

  1. Some of the most unique and advanced security tools such as ARQ intrusion detection and prevention system, cron/curl scanning scheduled tasks, folder encryption, etc.
  2. The free version contains enough features for an ordinary website
  3. Possibility to hide individual plug-in folders
  4. Maintenance Mode

9. VaultPress

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VaultPress works similarly to iThemes Security and Sucuri, but you need to pay to get any type of protection, the good thing is that it is more affordable and the cheapest plans are suitable for small businesses and bloggers.

Daily and live backups are the basic operations, plus there is a nice calendar view for specifying when you want the backup to be completed. In addition, you can tap a few buttons to complete a site restore operation, and the restore files are recorded in the dashboard and several versions of them are stored to let you choose the most appropriate one. The best feature is the incremental backups, which are very useful to improve the site performance.

By viewing historical, addressed or ignored threats, the security tool will monitor suspicious activity on the site and display statistics through a neat dashboard.

  1. Price is more affordable than most premium WordPress security plugins
  2. The dashboard looks very neat and understandable for all users
  3. Live or manual backup using the calendar
  4. Shows the time period with the most traffic on the site and what threats occurred during that period
  5. Contact VaultPress experts for tasks such as website restoration and backup

10. Google Authenticator

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Most single-function security plugins don't make much sense, as you can usually get the same functionality, along with more advanced features, using options like iThemes Security. However, dual authentication is another matter, as most security suites don't seem to include it.

Google Authenticator can add a second layer of security to the login module. In addition to the regular password, the plugin will push a notification to your phone or authenticate you by other means (such as QR codes or security questions). The only problem is that the dual authentication makes it quite difficult to log in on mobile devices.

  1. Eliminates almost all security hazards in the login area
  2. You can choose the simplest method of double authentication
  3. You can select the type of user that needs to be authenticated
  4. Provide shortcode for custom login page

11. Security Ninja

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Security Ninja has been around for many years, as one of the first security plugins sold on CodeCanyon, it switched to a freemium model in 2016 and the add-ons were abandoned. Now there are only two versions: free and premium, and the main module (free) is able to perform more than 50 security tests: check files, MySQL permissions, PHP settings.

The plugin does a brute force check of all users' passwords to remove weak password accounts. There is also an auto-fix module, and for those who want to know everything, each test is explained in detail. If you don't like plugins messing up your site, Security Ninja also offers a nice alternative to the usual just click here to fix it.

  1. Security testing module (free) to perform more than 50 security tests on your website
  2. Not technically savvy? No problem, the auto-fix module can fix all the problems detected
  3. Scan WordPress core and compare it to the latest copy of WordPress.org to ensure core file integrity
  4. Scan plugins and themes for suspicious code and malware
  5. Identify a large number of known false IPs and block them automatically
  6. Log all events that occur on the WordPress site: user logins, changes to settings, etc.
  7. You can set up periodic scans

12. Defender

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Defender makes setting up WordPress security very easy, and both the free and pro versions begin with a list of the most effective hardening techniques that can instantly improve site security.

You can run a free scan to check if it contains suspicious code, Defender compares the local installation with WordPress.org, reports the changes, and then restores the original files with a single click. They also offer a Pro version that includes a 10 GB cloud backup, audit logs for monitoring changes, automatic security scans, blacklist monitoring, and technical support experts will even help you clean up hacked websites.

  1. Google two-step verification
  2. WordPress core files scan and repair
  3. Login screen watermark
  4. IP blacklist management, logging
  5. Unlimited document scanning
  6. Timed lockdown brute force attack for login protection
  7. 404 limiter to block vulnerability scans
  8. IP Lock Notification and Reporting

13. Astra Web Security

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This is the preferred security suite for WordPress websites. With Astra, you won't have to worry about malware, XSS, SQL injection, spam comments, brute force cracking and over 100 other threats, which means you can get rid of other security plugins and let Astra take charge.

Gillette, African Union, Ford, Aman Airways, and many other well-known brands use Astra's security solutions, making it a good investment if you plan to spend money on your website's security.

  1. Astra Security Solutions installed as a WordPress plugin without changing DNS settings
  2. Provides instant malware removal and a rock-solid firewall that blocks over 100 types of cyber attacks
  3. Complete security audit, including business error logic for WordPress sites
  4. Simple, modern dashboard with an option to block or whitelist countries, IP ranges, URLs
  5. Free community security and vulnerability management platform that lets you report any vulnerability in a safe and secure way, with every issue validated by Astra engineers

14. Shield Security

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Shield Security's primary role is to take on the increasing burden of site security. we are pressed for time and therefore need a smarter security plugin that should know how to respond to threats without always sending you emails. shield is suitable for both beginners and advanced users, scanning and protecting your site from the moment of activation, with all options fully documented, so you can further research site security at your leisure.

The core features are always free, and for deeper protection and 24-hour technical support, pay a small fee to get the premium version, plus access to more scans, user password policies, more audit logs, support for WooCommerce, traffic monitoring, and other features that make security policies smoother.

  1. Restrictions on certain users to prevent them from accessing the security plug-in itself
  2. Protection is smarter, works tirelessly in the background and doesn't bother you in any way
  3. Three types of dual authentication are available for free and can be configured differently for different users
  4. The Pro version is affordable and offers 6x more powerful scanning capabilities to detect problems in all areas of the site

15. Hide My WP

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This is a popular security plugin that hides the fact that you are using WordPress from attackers, spam comment senders, detectors like Wappalyzer or BuiltWith. This plugin comes bundled with an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) to block real-time security attacks such as SQL injection, XSS, and more.

  1. Hide theme, plugin, wp-admin, login address, change permanent link
  2. Block direct access to PHP files, clear WP class names, disable directory listing
  3. Log any potential malpractice, including full information about the attacker, such as username, IP address, date, etc.
  4. Provides a trusted network that automatically blocks traffic from incorrect source IP addresses
  5. Easy to use, with direct access to preset configurations
  6. Compatible with multisite, Apache, Nginx, IIS, premium themes, other security plugins

16. WebARX

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It is an advanced web security platform that supports all PHP applications and is known for its advanced endpoint firewall that gives you complete control over the traffic between sites through a dashboard. In fact, WebARX has a hosted web application firewall that protects your site from plugin vulnerabilities, bot attacks, fake traffic, and more.

The plugin allows you to create custom firewall rules, enhance your WordPress installation, create backups, monitor uptime, set security issues, receive alerts, export reports, and more - all with easy setup.

  1. Advanced website firewall, fully customizable
  2. Virtual patcher will automatically receive rules to patch plugin and theme vulnerabilities
  3. Enhanced site security: double authentication, reCAPTCHA, auto-add security headers, block brute force cracking, change wp-admin, add cookies, etc.
  4. Uptime monitoring: you will receive email alerts when the site goes down
  5. Customized PDF security reports with your own logo to send to customers
  6. Centralized security for unlimited sites

Summary

Now that we have browsed through the best WordPress security plugins, and of course you don't have to test every plugin, just choose one or two of them, here are our main recommendations.

  1. Best Value: Sucuri Security, SecuPress, Jetpack, iThemes Security, Shield Security
  2. Free security plugins: All In One WP Security & Firewall, Sucuri Security, Wordfence Security
  3. For beginners: All In One WP Security & Firewall, Security Ninja, Defender
  4. More advanced brute force cracking protection: WP Fail2ban, Astra
  5. Dual Authentication: Google Authenticator
  6. Beautiful and refined interface: SecuPress, VaultPress

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Conclusion

The only question is, which side are you going to pick?

Let me know in the comments.

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