The launch of a new WordPress blog, eCommerce, or small business website includes an early investment in infrastructure and products such as hosting, templates, plug-ins, and the actual creation of the website.
By default, the WordPress core has certain safeguards in place, but nothing compared to the features that a reputable security plugin can offer. Furthermore, WordPress security plugins are really necessary if you take into account how the average website is attacked multiple times every single day. If any of these attacks succeed and your data is breached, your business and online reputation may be seriously hurt.
During any data breach, the following may happen:
- Cybercriminals may steal sensitive data belonging to you and your customers
- The stolen private/sensitive data could be exposed online
- Your website’s content, graphics, and other information may be deleted or overwritten
- Your site could distribute malware to your customers, hurting your brand’s credibility
- It may be a very complicated and costly process to regain control of your website
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought innumerable challenges to most small and medium-sized businesses this year. Adding any one of these threats to an increasingly struggling economy due to the current economic climate makes the installation of a WordPress security plugin on your website exceptionally important.
In this article, we have looked at the best WordPress security plugins on the market today.
WordPress has fantastic security plugins to consider if you want to add an additional layer of protection on your website.
Looking at the Best WordPress Security Plugins
When thinking of your website’s security, you have to focus on the security essentials. Always remember that it’s best to approach it exactly the same way as you would your home security.
You need a virtual fence (firewall), a gate to keep the salesmen and scammers at arm’s length, a digital smokescreen to keep your data private, an alarm system (notifications of suspicious activity), as well as a good defense system when it comes to actual intrusions.
Jumping right into it, which plugin offers the best security for your WordPress site and would be best suited for your requirements and budget? Let’s take a look at the list of popular security plugins:
Sucuri is the best free WordPress security plugin available today. The all-in-one security platform is very popular for several good reasons. Firstly, this WordPress security plugin has a free version, however, the pro version features everything you need and more.
- Sucuri will clean up your WordPress website if it gets infected with malware at no additional cost
- The built-in firewall security helps you block brute strength as well as malicious attacks from breaching your WordPress site
- Allows you to conduct malware sweeps
- It keeps track of all your site events, including file updates, last logins, and failed login attempts
- Sucuri reduces server loading times and improves the performance of your site by blocking malicious nodes
- Static content is served via their own CDN servers
- Protects your website from SQL Injections, XSS and other known attacks
Sucuri comes with a free option but if you want to go for the Pro version you will need to budget for an additional $299/year.
2. iThemes Security Pro
If you’ve been a WordPress customer for a number of years, you might well be acquainted with the iThemes Security Pro team as they also developed the famous BackupBuddy browser extension as well as other wonderful themes and plugins. These guys know a thing or two when it comes to securing websites. All their available tools provide an easy-to-use interface that secures protection against brute force attacks and more.
- An additional layer of security is added through two-factor authentication
- Efficient enforcement of passwords
- It offers over 400 plugin and detection scans
- Enables you to schedule your WordPress backups
- The system will lock out any suspicious IP that analyzes your site’s vulnerabilities
- Sends e-mail alerts to notify you of any file updates that may be malicious
- Has the capacity to limit login activities
- There is no malware scanner or firewall, but they make use of Sucuri’s malware scanner
You can get iThemes Security Pro from $80/year depending on the number of features you would like enabled.
3. Jetpack Security
Jetpack is another prominent all-in-one solution we highly recommend on the list of the best WordPress security plugins. The renowned Jetpack plugin allows you to easily inspect your website for safety risks and currently has more than 5 million installs.
- Alerts you via email when your WordPress website is down
- Protects your website from brute force attacks, spam, and malicious malware
- Features website backups and a 1-click restore option
- Includes features to easily design websites as well as automated marketing tools
- The ability to filter comments automatically
- Features and events dashboard as well as organized site activity
- Provides safe authentication through WordPress accounts
- Automatically updates and maintains any WordPress plugins
There is a free version with very few features so you definitely have to consider the Premium version starting at $9 per month. The Jetpack Simple Payment Button is easy to enable and set up if you have to create digital invoices or accept any payments via your website.
Looking at one of the various 100% free options on this list, Wordfence comes with some stunning security features that secure your WordPress site without needing to spend a “cent.”
- This plugin is free for as many websites as you want
- Tracks visits and hack attempts in real-time including their sources, IP addresses, as well as the duration and time of the attacks on your website
- Monitors and warns you about any possible password breaches so as to enable you to quickly secure new, strong passwords
- Protects against brute force attacks and offers limits on failed login attempts
- Not cloud-based, but rather features your own server
Wordfence is 100% free to use.
The free options on this list are just as good as the paid options, but paying might mean additional safety features.
5. BulletProof Security
This plugin may not look as nice as the others, but BulletProof Security gives you several important safety features 100% free. As ransomware attacks aimed at WordPress websites are becoming increasingly common, we had to add it to the list.
- It features a user-friendly configuration wizard
- Scans for malware and features a firewall
- Includes database backups
- Secure logins with additional login protection
- Offers email alerts with security logs if users should get locked out for any reason
- Logouts for any idle sessions
BulletProof Security is free to use.
6. All In One WP Security & Firewall
Although this is another great free option, All In One WP Security & Firewall offers most of the basic best practices to secure your WordPress website. However, the tool is quite rudimentary and not as beginner-friendly as some of the other popular solutions.
- Performs a malicious pattern scanning
- Includes IP filtering to block certain individuals and/or locations
- Continuous failed login attempts will trigger a login lockdown
- Provides a list of locked out users and the ability to unlock individuals easily
- Includes a password tool that enables the generation of strong passwords
- Monitoring of user accounts
- A firewall at website level (but without a DNS-level firewall)
- Allows you to blacklist suspicious IP addresses manually
All In One WP Security & Firewall is free to use.
7. Google Authenticator
Configuring two-factor authentication for additional security is a good idea to keep your website secure. Google Authenticator helps you to do that. And it’s featured on our list, as most safety plugins do not.
- Adds an additional layer of protection to the login process
- Offers a quick and easy to use interface
- You can select which form of two-factor authentication you would like to implement
- Offers shortcodes that you can apply where needed i.e. personalized login pages
Google authenticator is free to use.
If you’re hunting for a WordPress security plugin that includes almost everything you can think of (and even some you can’t) a paid option will provide you with all that you need and perhaps more.
These may include website scanning, firewalls at the DNS level (not just website) as well as their own cloud-based servers (makes your website faster) and CDN networks. However, if you prefer to look at free options first (before you invest in a paid option, which may not work for you because of its interface or issues with usability), it wouldn’t hurt you to consider the ‘All In One WP Security & Firewall’ plugin. Good luck with securing your website!