The 8 Best Security Plugins for WordPress

Over a third of all websites on the internet are hosted on WordPress, making it by far the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. Due to the ease of use, flexibility, and extensive functionality, it’s become a go-to choice for website designers across the world. Whether you’re running a simple personal blog, or an e-commerce website to sell your products, WordPress can be a solid option for starting your website.

While this popularity that the platform has seen is good for WordPress, it’s also good for cybercriminals looking to exploit websites and harm businesses. Due to the massive number of websites hosted on WordPress, as well as the plethora of themes and plugins available, hackers can leverage any security vulnerabilities to potentially gain access to many websites.

Although maintaining a high level of security on your WordPress site goes far beyond just using security plugins, they are a vital tool for helping to keep your website protected. With the sheer variety of security plugins available however, it can be difficult to decide which ones to use!

In this guide we’re going to be looking at 8 of the best security plugins for WordPress, each with their own set of features and pricing models. So let’s get into it!

1. Wordfence

 Wordfence is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins in the world, and when you take a look at the extensive feature set, it’s easy to see why!

Included in Wordfence are a number of useful tools to help protect WordPress sites against various types of attacks, and to recover from an attack if one occurs. Some of these tools include:

  • A strong Web Application Firewall (WAF) that blocks malicious traffic before it even reaches your website
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and login limits, to help prevent brute force attacks
  • Real-time live traffic monitoring and analytics
  • Malware scanning to check files, plugins, and themes before they are upload to the website

One of the best parts of Wordfence is the pricing model. The free version of the plugin includes all of the features listed above, even the WAF! You can of course opt for the premium version if you need – with advanced features such as spam protection and more frequent scans, at a cost of $99 per year.

2. Sucuri Security

Next up on our list is the Sucuri Security plugin, developed by the security and auditing company Sucuri. 

Sucuri has a reputation for being one of the most comprehensive and effective security plugins available, with a wealth of free services for increasing the security of your website.

Some of the best features that the free version of Sucuri Security provides include:

  • File monitoring
  • Activity auditing
  • Blocklist monitoring
  • Front-end malware scanning tools
  • Automatic security notifications

For a free plugin, this already provides a great selection of tools to help secure your website. If you opt for the paid version however, you can make use of more features such as a Web Application Firewall, SSL support, and malware cleanups. Licenses for Sucuri premium start at $199.99 per year.

3. MalCare Security

MalCare security is another successful WordPress security plugin, that focuses on ease-of-use and a lightweight installation.

This plugin claims to be set up and installed within a minute, and comes with a good selection of protection features that are very easy to use, while still providing good functionality. 

Beyond it’s quick install time and intuitive design, some of the features MalCare includes are:

  • Firewall protection
  • Remote malware scanning that won’t slow down your website
  • One-click malware removal
  • Brute-force attack prevention
  • Email notifications

One thing to note with this plugin is that while the free version does provide basic malware scanning facilities, in order to use the best features like one-click malware removal and white-labeling, you’ll need to pay for the premium version which starts at $99 per year.

4. iThemes Security

Another big name in WordPress security plugins is iThemes Security, formerly called Better WP Security. Alongside the previous 3 plugins in this list, it’s one of the most popular and trusted WordPress security plugins out there.

Included with the free version of the plugin are a range of useful tools for protecting your website, such as:

  • 404 error detection
  • Brute force attack prevention
  • Malware scanning
  • Strong password enforcement
  • File change detection
  • Bot blocklist

The paid version of the plugin, iThemes Security Pro, incorporates additional security features such as two-factor authentication, increased malware scanning, forced password expiration, and many more. The Pro version of the plugin is slightly more affordable than some of the alternatives, starting at $80 per year.

5. All in One WP Security & Firewall

All in One WP Security & Firewall is another example of a functional, comprehensive free security plugin for WordPress.

This plugin’s popularity might be in part due to the extensive feature set it provides, at absolutely no cost! Some of the most useful features All in One WP Security & Firewall provides are:

  • Firewall protection
  • A ‘Login Lockdown’ feature, preventing brute force attacks
  • File change detection scanning
  • Comment spam security
  • File protection, backups, editing, and restoration
  • Front-end copy text protection

All of the best features of this plugin are completely free, which really sets it apart from some of the others in this list. Simply put, using this plugin to protect your website won’t cost you a penny. Premium support does exist in case you run into any complex issues, but it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to use it.

6. Defender

Moving on to some of the slightly lesser-known plugins, we have Defender, developed by the WPMU DEV team. 

This freemium plugin provides some of the key security features you’ll be looking for in a plugin, at no cost. For example, the plugin includes:

  • IP blocklists
  • Two-factor authentication
  • WordPress core file scanning
  • Brute-force attack protection

While the free version of this plugin can be a bit limited when it comes to features, especially when compared to some of the others on this list, it can still help add an extra layer of security to your website. 

The Pro version of Defender is more complete and comes with extra features such as vulnerability reports, additional scans, and audit logs. You’ll need a WPMU DEV membership to access the Pro version, which starts at $49 per month. This subscription service also provides access to over 100 premium plugins for your websites.

7. SecuPress

SecuPress is another freemium WordPress security plugin, aimed at providing an easy way of adding and maintaining security on your website.

With a stunning, intuitive user interface, SecuPress is one of the better-looking plugins on this list, with tools to help you save time managing your site’s security.

Some of the features bundled with the free version include:

  • Firewall protection
  • Brute-force attack prevention
  • IP and bot blocklists
  • User activity logging

The premium version of this plugin is billed as the best option for those looking to save time managing the security of their website. The Pro version of SecuPress includes automated task scheduling, as well as some useful features like two-factor authentication, file backups, and PHP malware scanning.

8. BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security might be less popular than some of the other WordPress security plugins you’ll come across, but that doesn’t mean it should be discounted entirely!

The free version of BulletProof Security includes a variety of useful services to boost the security of your website, including:

  • Built-in firewall
  • Malware scanning
  • One-click installation wizard
  • Security and HTTP error logs
  • Automated backups and database security

If you want more functionality on top of this, you can upgrade to the Pro version which includes over a dozen new features, including malware quarantining, an uploads anti-exploit guard, and much more.


In Conclusion

The 8 plugins we’ve listed in this post are some of the best plugins that provide the most useful features for protecting your site, however there are hundreds out there.

It’s always worth doing some research first before deciding which one to use. Many provide similar features, so personal preference is of course a consideration, but you should first consider the most important protections for your website.

WordPress websites by themselves are not very secure, so using at least one good security plugin can make a world of difference when it comes to protecting your website.

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