Choosing the best WordPress security plugin can be hard as these tools usually pack dozens of features. Here's a guide to our favorite options you should think about using!
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the web. It powers over 40 percent of all websites. Unfortunately, this means the CMS has a big target on its back. Any exploit or bug can leave thousands of websites vulnerable. So, investing in WordPress security plugins could be wise.
Security plugins can protect your website from many types of attacks. Using one, you can defend your website against brute-force attacks, plugin exploits, file changes, and more.
In this article, we'll introduce you to our three favorite WordPress security plugins. We'll also help you pick the best option for your needs. Before that, let's talk about why you need a security plugin!
Why you need a WordPress security plugin
Before we get any further, it's important to understand that there are many kinds of WordPress security plugins. Some of them focus on backup functionality that can restore your website if it suffers a hack or you lose critical data.
In contrast, other plugins focus on firewalls and blocking malicious traffic to your website. Also, those are just a few of the features these types of tools offer.
Some of the most popular WordPress security plugins are all-in-one solutions. That means they include dozens of features.
For example, if you use a managed WordPress plan, your web host probably offers vulnerability scans, automatic backups, and firewall functionality:
If you use a web host like this one, adding a WordPress security plugin with firewall functionality won't be necessary. However, you can still benefit from other features like IP whitelisting for dashboard access and login-screen protection.
Ideally, you shouldn't just depend on your web host's security features to protect your website. WordPress security failures are all too common. 52 percent of all attacks can be traced back to plugin weaknesses and nulled plugins. Additionally, 44 percent of breaches come from using outdated versions of WordPress.
Following basic security practices, such as updating WordPress, can go a long way toward protecting your website. On top of that, using a WordPress security plugin and a great web host will help make sure that your website is as protected as possible.
Overall, your chosen security plugin should have features that you can't handle manually and those not offered by your web host. That way, you'll cover all of your bases.
3 best WordPress security plugins
There's no one-size-fits-all security plugin perfect for every website. With that in mind, we put together a list of the best all-around WordPress security plugins. Let's get to it!
Wordfence Security is a powerful security plugin that offers similar features to our other picks. However, it is also one of the only security plugins that offer Web Application Firewall (WAF) functionality with its free version. On top of that feature, you also get access to:
- Full malware scans when you upload WordPress theme, plugin, and media files
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
- Login attempt limits
- Real-time traffic monitoring and statistics
- Rated 4.7/5 on WordPress.org
Unlike some other plugins, setting up Wordfence is simple. The tool enables you to choose which features to enable. However, if you're more security-savvy, you'll likely appreciate that Wordfence also offers advanced settings.
Who should use Worfence Security: If your web host doesn't offer firewall functionality, Wordfence Security can greatly improve your site's security. Additionally, the plugin makes it easy to protect your login page from brute-force attacks and password theft.
Price: The free version of Wordfence Security includes all of the features that we just discussed. You can also pay for a premium license, starting at $99 per year. It offers automatic firewall-rule updates and IP blacklisting.
Sucuri Security is another one of the most popular security plugins. It's an all-in-one security tool that offers a broad range of features, including:
- File monitoring
- Malware scanning using Sucuri's security database
- Security logs
- IP blacklisting
- Rated 4.3/5 on WordPress.org
With Sucuri Security, you can access in-depth logs. These show you everything that happens on your website from a security standpoint. You can monitor changes to files and see who made them, check login attempts, and see which IPs try to access your website.
Sucuri also enables you to set up a broad range of security notifications. That means if anything out of the ordinary happens, you'll get an email informing you of it.
Who should use Sucuri Security: This plugin could be perfect if you want to keep logs of everything that happens on your website. Carefully looking at records can reveal security breaches that might not be obvious. However, if you don't have the time to review logs manually, Sucuri Security might not be ideal.
Price: Sucuri Security is free.
Defender Security is part of the WPMU DEV family of plugins. It's a free tool with a user-friendly interface. Using it, you can protect your website without an in-depth knowledge of web security configurations.
With Defender Security, you get access to a long list of features, including:
- A built-in firewall
- Geolocation blacklisting
- 404 error detection
- Login URL masking, 2FA, and a limit on login attempts
- Forced password resets
- Security scans and repairs for WordPress core files
- Rated 4.7/5 on WordPress.org
In addition, Defender Security focuses on repairing your website after a malicious attack. The plugin can help restore critical files and force users to update their passwords to prevent future security breaches. Plus, there are options for securing your login page, which is one of your site's most sensitive areas.
Who should use Defender Security: This plugin could be a great option to increase login security. It could also be ideal for repairing your website if something goes wrong.
Price: Defender Security is a free plugin. The premium version starts at $60 per year for daily backups and other advanced features.
WordPress security plugins offer multiple features that can protect your website from malware, brute-force attacks, data breaches, and more worst-case scenarios. Additionally, if you pair your plugin with a great web host, your WordPress site should be prepared for any scenario.
Here are our top three picks for the best WordPress security plugins:
- Wordfence Security: Every time that you upload a plugin, theme, or media file, Wordfence will scan it for malware.
- Sucuri Security: An all-in-one security plugin that gives you access to in-depth activity logs.
- Defender Security: This plugin can protect your login page against any type of attack. You also get access to tools that help you repair your site after a breach.
Your choice of plugins plays a huge role in your website's security. With Formidable Forms, you get access to regular updates so that your forms aren't vulnerable to attacks. Try out Formidable Forms today!