The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best WordPress Security Plugins

Punit Makwana Wordpress Leave a Comment

Most small website owners who don’t use WordPress security plugins believe that only those websites with huge traffic base are prone to malicious attacks. The reality is that just because your website is small, doesn’t mean that your site is secure from malicious attacks.

In fact, small websites are actually an easier target for hackers because most of them don’t take any safety precautions to protect the site from hackers.

If that sounds like you, your website is probably being attacked right now. You’re not aware of it just yet – but if you had to look at logs, you’ll see that there are plenty of malicious probes going on, seeing whether they can find a problem in your website which can be exploited.

Unless you take any safety precautions quickly, you could be allowing the bad guys to sabotage your online business. This roundup post on best WordPress security plugins wants to make sure everybody is protecting their WordPress from hackers.

When it comes to choosing a WordPress security plugin, there is no one size fits all solution. Each one is unique in terms of the features it offers.

Take a look at each one of them below, and install those plugins on your site that you believe best suit your needs. Whatever you do, DO NOT leave this website without having installed a WordPress security plugin – for sure one of the best WordPress security tips one can give you.

1. All in One WP Security & Firewall

Looking for a complete and convenient WordPress security plugin that enforces a lot of good security practices on your site? Then, all in One WP Security & Firewall plugin is one of your first stops and definitely worth trying.

This plugin is one of the highest rated WordPress security plugins in the official WordPress plugins directory.

It is a fully featured plugin despite being a free one. It comprises almost every security features you’ll ever need.

  • User account security
  • User log in security
  • Database security
  • File system security
  • Blacklist and firewall functionality

Pros: This is the only plugin in the list that doesn’t offer a pro version. Undoubtedly, this one is the best free WordPress security plugins.

Cons: This plugin may create a conflict with other plugins if the advanced functionality is enabled. You may need to test it before enabling it on your live site.

Should you install it on your site?

As the name denotes, the plugin is an all-in-one security solution for most of the beginner bloggers will ever need. Since it is a free plugin, there is nothing to complain about it. It works as it describes.

Price: Free

Download the all in one WP security and firewall WordPress plugin

2. iThemes Security Pro

iThemes security

iThemes Security is one of the best WordPress security plugins in the WordPress official plugin directory, which formerly known as Better WP Security. With 30+ ways to protect your website, it ensures that your WordPress website is not an easy target for hackers.

If you would like to try their free plugin before switching to the premium version, you can download it from here.

Some of the pro features includes but not limited to

You can easily review and take action if you find any potential threats. Once you logged in to WordPress admin navigate to Security >> Settings to assess the security of WordPress site and enable only those security features you need on your site.

iThemes dashboard

Pros: One of the best WordPress plugins for any kinds of WordPress website with advanced features you’ll ever need for your site.

Cons: Like any other advanced security plugins, it also has the potential to cause problems because it could make significant changes to database and site files. This is not the right plugin if you’re on a shared hosting platform because it could consume lots of resources during the scan.

Should you install it on your site?

The pricing starts from just $48, so it is worth every penny. Indeed, it is one of the most advanced WordPress security plugins in the market and quite possibly, the only one you’ll ever need.

Price:

  • Personal- $48 for 2 sites
  • Freelancer- $60 for 10 sites
  • Developer- $90 for unlimited sites
  • Plugin suite- $149 for developer license for all of the iThemes plugins
Download iThemes Security Pro plugin

3. Wordfence

With 1.8+ million downloads, Wordfence Security is the most downloaded WordPress plugins in the official WordPress plugin directory.

If you would like to try its free version, you may download it from here

Wordfence is for you if you’re looking for one of the best WordPress security plugins out there that bundles with tons of features you’ll ever need. The downside is that there is a bit of learning curve because if you enable high sensitivity scanning, it might return lots of false positives.

wordfence

Depending on your level of expertise, Wordfence lets you scan and fix issues by yourself. Once you scanned the site, it shows you the result as either ‘critical’ or ‘warning’ level issues. When you need more help, you’ll need to take a look at their extensive documentation to see how to fix most of the issues the plugin reveals.

Pros: Offers tons of features and is being consistently updated to fight against known vulnerabilities.

Cons: The downside is that there is a bit of learning curve because if you enable high sensitivity scanning, it might return lots of false positives. It could affect the performance of your site if your site is on a shared hosting server.

Should you install it on your site?

This is the right plugin for those who take WordPress security seriously. The pro version is not for you if you wanted a simple plugin that works out of the box.

Unlike most other plugins in this list, Wordfence requires a recurring subscription.

Price: Pricing starts from $8.25 per month

Download the Wordfence plugin

4. Sucuri

When you enable the Sucuri plugin, your entire site traffic goes through Sucuri’s cloud proxy firewall before reaching your web host. That means firewall blocks most of the brutal attacks before it reaches your site.

Best of all, as it sends only legitimate traffic to your website it consumes less bandwidth and improves WordPress performance. Unlike all other WordPress plugins I featured in this post, Sucuri is billed annually.

As of now, the pricing starts from $199.99/year.

If you’re looking for a free version, you may download it from here. The free version offers seven key features including activity audit logging, file integrity monitoring and blacklist monitoring, etc.

By installing the premium plugin, you can take an in-depth scanning which helps you to figure out if there are any server-side or theme/plugin issues.

Sucuri website scan

Pros: Sucuri is a website security company that creates tools and plugins for securing websites on different platforms including WordPress. No other security plugin offers a DNS level firewall. Best of all, it improves the performance of your WordPress site.

Cons: The price is huge comparing to other WordPress plugins.

Should you install it on your site?

Sucuri plugin is the best bet if you’re looking for the most comprehensive WordPress security plugins in this list. If the price is OK with you, I’ll strongly recommend you to start using their service.

Price: $199/year

Get Sucuri premium

5. Swift Security Bundle

swift security bundle

One of the best things about Swift Security Bundle is that it totally hides the fact that your website is created on WordPress platform.

hide wordpress swift security

By enabling Hide WordPress module, you can rename your original file path, which makes it harder for malicious users to access and exploit any known themes or plugins vulnerabilities.

Another useful feature is their WordPress Firewall plugin module. It helps you prevent common threats like SQL injection, file path manipulation and vulnerable file uploads.

The plugin also scans all of your WordPress files before installing it on your website. Besides that, it automatically scans your website at a specified interval.

Pros: This plugin helps you to protect your site from mass hacking attempts that are primarily targeted at WordPress platform. Additionally, it offers basic code scanning and malware protection functionalities. It is being updated regularly and works seamlessly with almost any kind of sites like eCommerce, forums and niche social networks, etc.

Cons: In order to hide the platform of your site, this plugin simply changes the file path. However, there are hundreds of other ways to figure out the CMS of your website, so it doesn’t completely hide that you’re on WordPress.

Should you install it on your site?

If you’re looking for a basic WordPress security plugin that allows you to scan your site and protect your site from some common security threats, this plugin could be the right choice. It does what it claims, so definitely worth the price.

Price: $36

Download the Swift Security bundle plugin

6. WP Security Manager

security manager

WP Security Manager offers every security solution you’ll ever need for your WordPress website to protect from alleged entry. Some of the key security features of WP Security Manager are listed below.

  • Block malicious IPs both automatically and manually.
  • Its virtual keyboard prevents keylogging.
  • Customize WP log in URL and hide it from general access.
  • Blocks bots log in by enabling captcha log in

After installing the plugin, visit WordPress admin panel and navigate to Settings> Security Manager. Here you can manage the plugin settings and monitor how secure your website is.

wp security manager settings

Pros: This plugin is primarily focused on preventing alleged entry to your WordPress admin. It is one of the best plugins that prevents your site from brute force attack for the cheapest price.

Cons: If you’re looking to protect your site from theme or plugin vulnerability exploitation, this might not be the right plugin.

Should you install it on your site?

If you used to log in to your site from publicly accessible computers (e.g. internet cafe) you may consider using this plugin on your site because it protects your site from keylogging and other security threats. Since it offers some specific security features only, you’ll need to take a detailed look at the full list of features and ask yourself if you need them on your site before making the purchase.

Price: $17

Download the WP Security Manager plugin

7. Hide My WP

hide my wp

Hide My WP is one of the best WordPress security plugins in the CodeCanyon marketplace with 10k+ downloads. It prevents attacks from wannabe hackers by hiding the fact that your website is on a WordPress platform.

Similar to Swift Security Plugin, it modifies the paths of your files and directories without changing the locations.

Some other useful features of this plugin are:

  • Hides page and wp-admin area.
  • Spy notification feature
  • Disallow direct access to theme files
  • Allows you to set custom URL to CSS, JavaScript and images

Once you installed the plugin, in the General settings tab of the plugin configuration page, you can check those options you would like to hide.  You can change the permalinks structures by clicking on the Permalinks & URLs tab.

hide my wp settings

Pros: Similar to Swift Security Bundle, this plugin also protect your site from mass hacking attempts that are primarily targeted at WordPress platform by hiding that you’re site is on WordPress. Best of all, it costs nearly half the price of Swift Security Bundle. However, do keep in mind that it doesn’t offer as many features like Swift Security Bundle

Cons: Even though it helps you to protect your site WordPress targeted attacks, according to many security experts, securing through obscuring is a practice that should be discouraged.

Should you install it on your site?

If you’re looking for a plugin that simply obscures WordPress, this plugin is the right choice.

Price: $19

Download the Hide My WP plugin

8. Smart Security Tools

smart security tools

It is always recommend to scan your WordPress themes and plugins before installing it on WordPress website using a free malware checker tool like VirusTotal.com. It helps you analyze suspicious files using 40+ antivirus applications.

If you’re looking for a premium plugin that integrates with VirusTotal and Sucuri Free Security Scanners for malware scanning, Smart Security Tools could be an excellent choice. Unlike most other WordPress security plugins, after scanning your website, the plugin not only would provide the vulnerability report but also security suggestions you need to follow to secure your site.

After installing the plugin, you can access the plugin dashboard where you can find how secure your site is.

smart security tools

If any action is needed at your end, the menu changes to red color. If you clicked the menu, you’ll be asked to take a collection of security tweaks for better security.

smart security settings

Pros: This is one of the best WordPress scanner plugins in the Themeforest marketplace. It also allows you to do easy to set up WordPress security tweaks and powerful .htaccess enhancement. Best of all, it has been regularly updated.

Cons: Tweaking .htaccess can be risky especially if you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing. You’ll need to read the documentation properly before tweaking it.

Should you install it on your site?

This is the right plugin if you’re looking for a comprehensive tool for finding and fixing WordPress vulnerabilities.

Download the Smart Securiy tools plugin

9. WPMUDEV Defender

defender

If you’re looking for the best WordPress security plugin that allows you to conduct regular security scan on your WordPress website, Defender could be an excellent choice. After scanning your WordPress websites, aside from providing WordPress vulnerability reports it also gives you safety suggestions so that you can guard your site for better security without hiring a WordPress expert.

Do keep in mind that Defender plugin is the part of WPMUDev’s premium membership. You can only access it by becoming their premium member.
Below are a few benefits of using WPMUDEV Defender.

  • Conduct plugins, themes and core vulnerability scans
  • Its audit logging functionality tracks everything happens on your website including log in attempts, logs of comments and posts, etc.
  • Always monitor whether your site is being flagged as unsafe.

The plugin’s dashboard is beautiful and intuitive.

You can easily harden the security, scan your site or monitor if your site is blacklisted right from plugin’s dashboard page.

defender options

Pros: If you’re looking for a security plugin that scans, audits, and take backups of your site, Defender has got you covered.

Cons: You need to become a premium member of WPMUDev in order to access the plugin.

Should you install it on your site?

One of the best things about WPMU premium membership is that it offers 24/7 expert WordPress support. By signing up for the premium membership and by installing the Defender plugin, you can assure that you get a premium expert support all day long.

Price: You’ll need to become a premium member of WPMUDev.org in order to download and install the plugin. The membership cost is $49/month.

Download the WP Defender plugin

Which WordPress Security plugin works for you?

We do strongly believe that installing one of the WordPress security plugins out there should be one of the very first things you should do on all of your WordPress sites. There are much too many risks to take take WordPress security lightly. If you’re not using one of the above WordPress security plugins, which do you use? Have you found any problems with the above, or is there anything you’d like to comment. Speak to us below.

The following two tabs change content below.
Punit Makwana is the founder of VScripts and a passionate blogger. When he’s not writing and brainstorming content ideas, this Mumbai native spends his time reading books, hanging out with his friends and watching movies

Leave a Reply