WordPress is a PHP and database-based CMS which is often targeted by hackers. However, there are many WordPress plugins out there which are useful in preventing WordPress hacking.
Therefore, I have created a list of the Top WordPress Security Plugins which will help you protect your blog from hackers.
This article focuses on the popular security plugins that your WordPress blog website needs to have to prevent hacking or spamming activities and improve the security system.
One way to protect your blog is by implementing security measures from day one, you can always use .htaccess method to hardened your security, but as we know WordPress is full of plugins and here I’m sharing some of the best WordPress security plugins, which will help you to make your blog more secure.
As Harsh has discussed earlier, using too many plugins may hamper down your site performance, I recommend you to read the description and use only a few of these plugins that you need.
Though, some of the plugins listed below like Login Lockdown and Akismet are one of those security plugins, which I highly recommend you to Install.
Apart from these plugins, I recommend you to read following posts that will help you to harden your blog security further:
- Create a WordPress Security Audit Log of all activities
- WordPress Security: 14 Pro Tips To Secure A WordPress Website
Best WordPress Security Plugins to Improve Security:
As we say, prevention is better than cure, and the same is with WordPress security. WordPress is a PHP and MySQL based system, and it’s vulnerable to hack attempt, so make sure you set up a proper backup system to take backup of your database and wp-content folder regularly.
1. Sucuri Security WordPress plugin (Free + Paid option)
With more than half a million downloads, “Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening” is the top security plugin for WordPress. There is a free version and a paid option also available. For most of the basic WordPress site, the free version is good enough and offer great protection.
The plugin comes with plenty of options including options to integrate with Sucuri web application firewall which is active monitoring of your WordPress site health.
Once you have installed an activated the plugin, you can start by configuring the settings.
Here are features of the plugin:
- Security Activity Auditing
- File Integrity Monitoring
- Remote Malware Scanning
- Blacklist Monitoring
- Effective Security Hardening
- Post-Hack Security Actions
- Security Notifications
- Website Firewall (premium)
- Away mode ( Disable access to the WordPress Dashboard when on vacation)
Most of the security checklist gets activated automatically when you use the security check feature.
“DON’T REMAIN DEFENSELESS!” That’s the motto of SecuPress. As you are done installing SecuPress plugin, it will let you run the security scanner and generate a security report of your WordPress website.
As you can see in the screenshot above, it grades the site based on current security settings.
Here are a few things you can find out from the first scan itself:
- Outdated plugins
- Reminder to delete deactivated plugins
- Security suggestions for wp-config.php
- Security key settings
- Status of wp-admin/install.php
- Users and login status
- WordPress core tweaking
- Malware Scan
- Firewall scan
Everything is shown in a beautiful way under different modules. You can click on any module settings to make changes and make your WordPress anti-hack.
This is perhaps most beginner friendly security plugin for WordPress out there.
3. iThemes Security Pro ($80)
iThemes Claimed to be this one as a trusted WordPress security plugin. This plugin offers a comprehensive security dashboard for you to monitor your WordPress website security status. Another feature that I loved about iThemes security pro is Security grade report.
This is super useful for anyone who is offering WordPress security services and can quickly scan the website to create a report of the current security level.
- One-click “Secure Site” WordPress security check
- Ban bad users and I.P
- Hide login and Admin URL
- Rename admin account
- Change the WP-content path
- Brute force protection
- Logs of security
- File permission and integrity check
- Get a notification when a file is updated
- Two-factor authentication
- Many more… (Check here)
All things considered, this is indeed an awesome plugin. The only thing which I feel it lacks is firewall and that you need to complement with another service like Sucuri or Cloudflare. If you don’t need a Firewall, then this is the only security plugin you need for WordPress.
4. All in one Security plugin and Firewall
At the time of writing, this is the most downloaded and well-maintained plugin for improving your WordPress security. The plugin offers all essential features such as :
- Login lock down
- Security strength meter
- System info
- Backup Wp-config file
- Force user logout
- Account activity logs
- Enable manual approval of new registrations:
- Change database default prefix of WP (A highly recommended WordPress database security setting)
- Check and improve file system permission
- Block IP or IP range as well as user agents.
- Block external access to XMLRPC
- View last file change (Useful to find hacked WordPress files post hack)
And then there are many more features. If you are looking for a standalone security plugin, All In One WP Security & Firewall WordPress plugin is the best option.
5. Jetpack Security
If you have been using WordPress for a while, you must have heard of Jetpack plugin. It’s a multi-purpose WordPress plugin by the same team behind WordPress.
They are constantly adding new features and one of the well-developed plugins in the whole WordPress ecosystem. There are a few features of Jetpack plugin that you should use to keep the bad guys away from WordPress.
The free version has limited features, but it’s the premium plan that cost about $84/year is something you should subscribe to.
Here are those modules:
- Protection from Brute force attack
- Downtime monitoring
- Jetpack Backups
- Security scanning
The daily, automated scanning ensure your WordPress files are clean from any infected code. Apart from the security feature, the backup feature alone makes it worth the investment. You should know, Jetpack is part of best WordPress plugins.
6. Login LockDown
Brute force attack is the most common type of attack a WordPress site gets and login lockdown is the simplest plugin that you can use against brute force attack. What this plugin does is; it logs the login attempt to your site and if too many failed login attempt made from the same I.P within 5 minutes, it will block access of that I.P. for next one hour.
You can always configure and change the time to match your requirement. But before you install this plugin I would suggest the look at other mentioned options, as other WordPress security plugins offer more options along with limit login option.
7. Restricted Site Access
If you intend to restrict access for users/ visitors on one part of your website, then add this plug-in to your blog. For example, you can restrict one part of your website for parallel development or testing. Adding this plug-in will help you handle unwanted visitors to your blog or site as you can define the visibility settings for the same.
Restricted site access implies that visitors who are not logged in to your or allowed by IP address will not able to browse your site. You can a re-direct them to a custom location or display a message, or send them to the login page.
You will also be able to add a range of imp addresses as well as yours to an unrestricted list. The re-direct location can be any path of your choice, choose to send the visitor to the same path and set the HTTP status code to facilitate a friendly search engine.
8. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security plug-in is the ultimate plug-in that uses .htaccess website security files to protect your root website folder and wp-admin folder and also provides additional website security protection. The different security modes are Root .htaccess security protection, wp-admin .htaccess security protection, Deny All .htaccess self-protection, WordPress default .htaccess mode and .htaccess Maintenance Mode (503 Website under Maintenance).
When you would like to work on your website, use the BPS maintenance mode and allow only yourself to access your WordPress Dashboard or add specific IP addresses that can also access your Dashboard in maintenance mode.
In BulletProof Security Mode, your WordPress website is protected against XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection hacking.
<Download BP security plugin>
Akismet fights against comment and trackback spam and keeps your blog secured through its Akismet web service. To use this plug-in, you need an API key that you can get from Akismet.com.
A comment status history is where you can list of comments that were found as spam. If any comment has a missing link or a hidden link, they will be highlighted, and you will get more information from the spam and Unspam reports.
Conclusion: Which WordPress security plugin is best for you?
Noe one size fits all and similarly, not every plugin is right for you. You should pick one based on the hosting, your architect and threat level to your site. The basic security is recommended for every WordPress website, but for someone who is into a niche where the attacks are quite common, hardening the security should be taken seriously.
- Evergreen and reliable: Sucuri security, Jetpack, iThemes security
- Beginner Friendly: SecuPress
- Free WordPress security plugin: Sucuri security (free), All in one Security plugin and Firewall
- Two-factor authentication: iThemes Security Pro or Google authenticator
WordPress community has a plugin database of more than 34000+ plugins ranging from security to adding widgets. Choose to add only those WordPress security plugins that will keep your WordPress site a safe and secure free from virus and hackers.
I hope you enjoyed reading my choice of best WordPress security plugins, and if you believe I missed something do let me know via comments.
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