Most often the WordPress site's security is often an afterthought. We all are so hyped up about the content, SEO ranking, and what not; that we sideline the most important thing of any website – its security. Your site is at risk of being hacked or unauthorized access, spammers, viruses and more if you have not given a thought to it yet! And it might just be too late if you delay it further.
So, today we talk about the benefits of security plugins for your WordPress site and also list out 7 best WordPress security plugins with their key features in this article. These plugins will protect your site so you can focus on your business and brand rather than worrying about its online vulnerabilities.
Before we dive into the list, let us talk about why you need security plugins on your site and what are the benefits they offer.
What are the benefits of security plugins?
By default, WordPress core has some security measures in place. You can even carry out some crucial WordPress maintenance tasks to keep it running smoothly. But the best option to secure your WordPress site is to install a security plugin. It protects your site and its data. Here are some benefits that WordPress security plugins offer:
- Avoid losing access to your website – hackers can lock you out of your site leaving you high and dry
- Prevent brand reputation and SEO rankings from damage
- Stop brute force attacks (when an attacker uses trial-and-error method to crack your password or decrypt encrypted data)
- Protect confidential data such as site data and customer's data
- Scan files being uploaded on your site
- Security breach notifications to site administrators
- Malware scanning and removal
- Real-time security monitoring and much more
- Keep track of file changes, login attempts, login activity logs, file permissions
- Protection against XSS, SQL injections, DDoS, and all other known attacks
7 best WordPress security plugins
The above-mentioned benefits are the basic features in most of the popular security plugins. You'd want these security basics covered for your site. Having said that, let’s see the 7 best WordPress security plugins out there:
- Sucuri Security
- iThemes Security
- BulletProof Security
- All In One WP Security
- Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication
Let’s dive into the key features of each security plugin.
The Sucuri Security plugin packs a punch of features with protection against brute force attacks, malware, DDoS, and any other security threats that pose against your site. The cloud-based security platform is flexible to meet the security needs of big and small businesses alike.
- Offers CDN to speed up site performance
- Conduct security audit
- Scans for SEO spam
- Security scans for monitoring threats
- Restores and repairs already hacked websites
- Post-hack security actions
- Provides fast HTTP/2 support
- Blacklist monitoring
- Malware detection
- Instant security notifications
- Website firewall
- Zero-day exploitation protection
- Offers multiple variations of SSL certificates
There is a free version of the plugin available in the WordPress repository. There are three pricing plans for the firewall feature – Basic plan at $199.99/year, Pro plan at $299.99/year and Business plan at $499.99/year for one site each. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you wish to take the plugin for a spin.
Another premium security plugin that secures and protects your WordPress site against hackers is the iThemes Security plugin. The plugin is designed and built by WordPress security experts to keep the bad guys out.
- Instant email notifications
- File change detection
- Brute force attack protection
- 404 error detection
- Enforce strong passwords for users
- Lockout bad users who have too many failed login attempts, generated too many 404 errors, who are on a bot blacklist
- Away mode to make the WordPress Dashboard inaccessible during specific hours
- Schedule database backups
- Hide the login and admin or change the default URL your WordPress login area
- Supports two-factor authentication methods such as Google Authenticator, FreeOTP, Toopher, and Authy
- Security dashboard to display security logs of your website
- Malware scanner
Plans start at $80 for 1 site license with 1-year support and updates, $127 for 10 sites license with 1-year support and updates, and $199 for unlimited sites with with 1-year support and updates.
Jetpack is a product by Automattic, the powerhouse behind WordPress itself. It offers a complete solution for increasing your site's performance, protecting your site against hackers and managing the site activity. Along with brute force protection, it gives you insights on website downtime. It offers both free and a pro version, each with its own perks.
Jetpack is filled with different modules to strengthen your site's speed, social media, and spam protection.
- 30-day archive
- Automatically fixes security threats
- Automated spam filtering
- Monitors site activity
- Malware scanning
- Daily automated website backups
- Features for email marketing, site customization, social media, and optimization
- Reasonably priced premium plans
- Brute force attack protection
The FREE version is available in the WordPress repository. The pro version starts around $22/year for the essential Jetpack Security features. The premium plans turn the security plugin into a suite with benefits like spam protection, backups, security scanning, and much more.
BulletProof Security is another popular security plugin to protect your WordPress site from hackers. Although the plugin doesn't have a user-friendly interface, it does offer come nifty features that make it worth using.
- Security logging
- Schedule database backups and restoring
- HTTP error logging
- Login security and monitoring
- Front-end and back-end maintenance mode
- Idle session logout
- Real-time file monitor
- Malware scanner
- PHP error logging
- Anti-spam and anti-hacking tools
- Hidden plugins folder
- Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (ARQ IDPS)
- Anti-exploit guard
- Online Base64 decoder
The FREE version of the plugin is available in the WordPress repository. The pro version is sold for a one-time payment of $69.95. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. We'd suggest you try the free version first to see if it meets your requirements.
The most popular and the plugin with most active installs of 4+ million – Wordfence is one the most impressive free solutions out there in the WordPress security plugins market. The amazing features will stop hackers from breaching your site and also offers a WordPress firewall, malware signatures, two-factor authentication support, and prevents malicious IP addresses from accessing your site.
- Analytics dashboard for monitoring visits and hack attempts and overall traffic trends
- Live traffic monitoring with Google crawl activity, logins, logouts, human visitors and bots
- Malware scanner for core files, themes, plugins, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections
- Monitors your plugins and checks if they have been removed from the WordPress plugin repository
- Comment spam filter
- Blocks requests from malicious code or content
- Real-time malware signature update
- Constantly checks your website for threats
- Supports two-factor authentication for login
- User-friendly interface
- Block attackers by IP address, IP range, hostname, user agent, and referrer
- Templates for configuring Wordfence
- Brute force attack protection
The FREE version is powerful enough for smaller websites. Premium version is sold starting at $99. Wordfence offers discounts if you buy licenses in bulk.
All In One WP Security & Firewall is a nifty security plugin which has over 900,000+ active installs. It is a free plugin that offers a complete package of security features for user accounts security, user login security, user registration security, database security, file system security, firewall functionality, blacklist functionality, brute for attack prevention, and much more.
- Password strength tool for creating strong passwords for user accounts
- Protection against brute force attacks
- Ability to restrict certain IP addresses or range for a configured amount of time
- Email notifications for security issues
- Force logout all users
- Monitor/view failed login attempts
- Monitor/view account activity of all user accounts
- Ability to add Google reCaptcha or plain maths captacha for WordPress login forms
- Ability to add Google reCaptcha or plain maths captacha for password recovery forms
- Automatic backups and email notifications for database
- Restrict access to readme.html, license.txt and wp-config-sample.php files
- Disable file editing from the WordPress admin dashboard
- Manage file permissions and monitor file changes
- Add firewall protection via htaccess file
- Protection against Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
- Disable content copy option on the front-end
- Ability to export/import security settings
- Prevent comment spam
The plugin is available for FREE in the WordPress repository.
The Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication lets you add an additional layer of security for 2 factor authenticator to your site to prevent unauthorized access. The plugin is simple and easy to use. You can choose to verify a user with different authentication methods including SMS Verification, Google Authenticator, Email, Duo Authenticator, Authy Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, Security Questions, TOTP Based Authenticator, and many others. Easy OTP Verification with SMS Verification and Email Verification.
The plugin also supports integrations with popular WordPress plugins such as WooCommerce, bbPress, BuddyPress, Digimember, MemberPress, Paid Memberships Pro, Ultimate Member, LearnDash, LearnPress, LifterLMS, Restrict Content Pro, and many more.
- Adds an extra layer of security to your login page
- Easy-to-use and simple interface
- Offers numerous tow-factor authentication methods to choose from
- Allows you to use shortcodes on custom login pages
- Enable two-factor for users based on WordPress roles
The core plugin is free. For premium features on unlimited sites, miniOrange offers two plans – Premium at $30/year and Enterprise at $59/year. And for premium features on unlimited users' plans, miniOrange offers Standard Lite at $49/year and Premium Lite at $99/year.
We'd personally recommend Wordfence, for being the most popular free solution, its powered-packed features and with over 4+ million active installs. What's your pick for the security of your WordPress site, let us know in the comments below.