We’ve learned that every day, someone asks the question, “which is the best WordPress security plugin?” So we decided to answer it. Every day, about 30,000 websites are hacked. Using a WordPress security plugin is one of the best things you could do for your site. It protects your WordPress website from hackers and malware.
Malicious cybercriminals target many websites daily, and these security plugins are designed to prevent them from attacking yours. The plugins have different features, such as site web application firewalls and entire site scans. There are some free versions as well as paid ones.
5 Best WordPress Security Plugins:
The issue with choosing a top WordPress security plugin is that selecting the wrong one can ironically make your site more susceptible to a cyberattack. On the other hand, the perfect one will give you better protection than basic security best practices.
Here, we’ve tested and reviewed the best featured and maintained paid and free WordPress security plugins. We have compiled them here in this list so that you can view them and choose the one whose features impress you the most. Let’s dive in:
Wordfence is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins around. It comes with an endpoint firewall and malware scanner for WordPress websites. Its regular updates make it quite attractive.
The web application firewall of Wordfence is designed to identify and block malicious traffic. With the premium version of this plugin, the real-time malware signature and firewall rule update through the threat defense feed. On the other hand, the free version updates delay by 30 days.
What’s more, the Wordfence premium version has a real-time IP Blocklist with which it blocks malicious IP requests. Apart from protecting your website, this also reduces its loading times. Wordfence protects your website at the endpoint, which enables the site to integrate deeply with WordPress.
With Wordfence, your site will be able to limit login attempts, therefore protecting it from brute force attacks. The malware security scanner will assess the themes, plugins, and core files for malware, malicious redirects, SEO spam, backdoors, and bad URLs. Wordfence will report any changes in the integrity of their files to you.
This best WordPress security plugin means that you have a login page CAPTCHA that will stop bots from accessing your site. Wordfence will also enable you to block logins from admins who try accessing the site using compromised passwords. It has a 2-factor authentication which means an extremely secure form of remote system authentication. The system is accessible through any authenticator app or service based on TOTP.
What’s There to Like about Wordfence?
It is a full security plugin whose free version is quite excellent
Its free version comes with amazing features, such as live traffic monitoring and a firewall
When adding over 15 sites to the premium plan, you are eligible for a 25% discount
You get a prompt from the Wordfence support to help you out if you’re having issues with the plugin setup
It may have a slight effect on the performance of your website during scans
iThemes is one of the best WordPress security plugins for identifying and stopping threats on your site. Its setup and onboarding experience is one of the smoothest, taking less than 10 minutes for inexperienced users.
With iThemes, you get to choose the template that suits your site niche from 6 options. The choices include eCommerce, network, blog, non-profit, brochure, and portfolio. This plugin provides real-time protection with a special dashboard for your website.
Like with Wordfence, iThemes comes with two-factor authentication, which makes your site’s login impregnable. You can add a security code and password that will work together as you take advantage of this feature. iThemes enables you to create and activate a password policy for the sake of your users without spending a minute on it.
The PRO version of iThemes comes with ReCAPTCHA, which gives you additional protection against unwanted access via compromised passwords. This version of the plugin enables your real users to access your website without having to reenter passwords every time. iThemes PRO lets your site identify trusted devices and block out users who aren’t trusted and can’t verify their genuineness.
The security requirements per user level on your website are different. iThemes has a setup process that lets you identify your site’s user groups and helps you apply the ideal security level for each. You will decide whether or not clients will need to submit to the 2-factor authentication. iThemes will also let you choose whether you want customer accounts to have password policies.
What’s to Like about iThemes?
iThemes lets you block repeat offenders permanently so they’ll never access your site
The plugin is incredibly easy to install even without demanding a cybersecurity background
iThemes enables you to run Google scans that pick out malware on your website
Its premium version allows you to create secure temporary admin access to your website
If you want full protection, only the premium version works
All In One WordPress Security
All In One WordPress Security is a well-written and designed plugin, which makes it easy to use. It checks for vulnerabilities and remains robust, implements, and enforces the latest security techniques and practices recommended by WordPress. Its light build ensures that it doesn’t slow down your site.
This plugin detects user accounts with the username, “admin” and makes it easy for you to change it to a username that’s more meaningful to you. It will also notify you of any user accounts with identical login names, which makes you more susceptible to hackers. All In One WordPress Security has a password strength tool to give you the strongest passwords.
With its user login lockdown feature, this plugin protects your site against brute force login attacks. You will be notified of repeated unsuccessful login attempts. As the admin, you will easily view a list of all users that have been locked out. All In One WordPress Security will monitor failed login attempts and give you their IP addresses, usernames or user IDs, date, and time of failed login attempt.
You can even configure the period of time after which all users will be logged out. All In One WordPress Security shows you all the activities of all user accounts. That includes the IP address, username, and login & logout date and time. The plugin allows you to add plain math captcha or Google ReCAPTCHA to the login or forgot password forms of your WP system.
What’s Best about All In One WordPress Security?
Fully free plugin with no upsells
Enables you to backup and restore faulty .wp-config and .htaccess files
Its blacklist tool is robust and helps restrict access for certain users
The plugin ensures that you implement basic security reinforcement practices
It lacks malware scanning and some other features that Wordfence carries
Jetpack is one of the best WordPress security plugins that you can see around. You can see why it is preferred, from its easy-to-use interface to protection and backups. It even provides free uptime and downtime monitoring.
Jetpack will carry out automatic and real-time backups and restoration in single clicks. You will have unlimited storage, which is great for your eCommerce store, especially a WooCommerce one. With this plugin, you get to manage the migration of plugins and themes to new databases and make backups.
You will see each change that has been made on your website with the activity log that tells you who made it. You will need the logs for maintenance, debugging, coordination, and troubleshooting. You can perform security and malware scans automatically for different code threats. It will take just a single click for your site’s restoration after malware attacks.
You can block spam form submissions and comments with Akismet-powered anti-spam features. Jetpack protects your WordPress login page against brute force attacks. The plugin monitors the uptime and downtime of our site and alerts you of any changes via email. It also offers 2-factor authentication for additional protection.
Jetpack works with Google AMP to facilitate the best features without slowing your site down. It also gives you the Lazy Load for your images for an even faster experience. You get free, high-speed, and unlimited video hosting that ensures that your visitors are focused on your vital content and not the ads or leave.
What’s to Love about Jetpack
Jetpack’s one-click backup and restore functions
It even scans the backup versions of your site and scans won’t affect your site performance
The versatility of the plugin eradicates the need to find other plugins for email marketing, social media, and optimization
Perfect for small websites
It lacks a free version
It can’t help you with malware problems that your site had before you started using its scan
Sucuri is another one of the paid and free WordPress security plugins that grows ever popular among users. Its free version is enough to give you massive control over the security of your website. You also get a comprehensive overview of its security-related aspects.
The scanner that comes with Sucuri is designed to detect malware, outdated code, errors, and blacklist status. What’s more, the plugin ensures that you get email alerts. Having guides for post-hacking scenarios and core integrity checks makes Sucuri even more appealing.
It is important to note that the Sucuri scanner doesn’t scan your core files that are involved in your backend control. The plugin does identify and locate any vulnerabilities that you may have in your web pages. This action and limitation are because it is a remote tool.
You may have to get the premium Sucuri version if you want to access some features such as CDN performance optimization, bot blocking, DDoS protection, and virtual patching and hardening.
What’s So Appealing about Sucuri?
It provides a few SSL certificates
It alerts you to any errors on your site
Its free version has great tools for security hardening and malware scanning
Very limited free version and the best features are only available in the PRO version
Its malware scanning will only detect the malware that you can already see on the frontend of your website
SiteGround is a plugin that aims to provide all that you need to protect your website against security threats. The plugin allows you to protect your login page from any malicious behavior, including bots and unauthorized visitors. SiteGround lets you change the default login URL to prevent attacks.
You can limit your login page’s access to specific or a range of IP addresses to avoid brute force attacks and malicious access attempts. SiteGround has 2-factor authentication for admin users. They will have to give a token that the Google Authentication application will generate during login.
Another way through which SiteGround protects your site is by disabling common usernames like admin. The plugin will let you know that there are weak usernames and users can have to provide new ones. You can limit login attempts and repetitive failures will be restricted for 24 hours, after which they’ll be barred for 7 days.
Since SiteGround helps you hide your WordPress version from the public, you can avoid being the target of mass attacks. You can disable themes and plugins to avoid having coding errors through the WP editor. The free WordPress security plugin enables you to prevent WordPress from communicating with 3rd party systems by disabling the XML-RPC protocol.
Disabling RSS and ATOM feed will help you prevent specific attacks and content deletion from your site. SiteGround will also help prevent XSS attacks by offering advanced protection. The plugin will always give you full activity logs of all users and visitors on your site.
What’s There to Like with SiteGround?
SiteGround protects your system folders from unauthorized scripts
It lest you force 2-factor authentication for some user roles
Easy IP address action management
MalCare is another one of the best paid and free WordPress security plugins. It has some excellent free services that range from cloud-based malware scanning to a web application firewall.
The cloud-based malware scanning function of MalCare will ensure that no impacts hit your site. On the other hand, the web-application WordPress firewall gives you real-time protection against bots and hackers before they harm your website. MalCare has captcha-based login page protection. It will prevent brute-force attacks and other malicious traffic around the clock.
When you get the paid version of MalCare, you get details of infection and hacking. You can view the infected files and know which plugins or themes were attacked. MalCare PRO has a cleaner that takes less than a minute to clean your hacked site. This prevents your site from being blacklisted by Google or taken down by your host.
The dashboard you get with MalCare is easy to use so you need no technical knowledge to operate it. If you want, you can then block users according to their geographical locations. With its uptime monitoring, MalCare PRO keeps you informed on your site’s performance.
The cloud-based malware scanner that this plugin offers is available on-demand and won’t slow down your website. The cleanups the premium version offers you are unlimited.
What’s Impressive about MalCare?
Scans that reduce the server load
Very accurate scans
Effective testing for over 100 signals
Email and chat support with the paid version and free support on the WordPress forum
Completely centralized management via a superb dashboard
Robust site speed monitoring
It is unable to tell identify the specific files that are flagged on your site
Most of the features in each plugin are also in some other plugins. However, some have a few unique features, which make it so that you like them better. This is how you get to choose one. For instance, if you want a plugin that has its main focus on the full security of your site, Wordfence and iThemes could be your first choices.
On the other hand, All In One WP Security focuses on basic site security hardening. Jetpack concentrates on backups and malware scanning while MalCare has its attention on malware scanning and removal. Sucuri’s features are geared toward offering a robust firewall system.
If you want a fully free one, All In One WP Security could be what you are after. However, it is important to note that we don’t recommend the free versions of iThemes, Sucuri, and MalCare. Their paid versions are exceptional, but we find their free versions to be very lacking in the features that are most necessary.
In one breath, what you may choose to go with is different from what the next person will prefer. All the best as you make your choice.