WordPress is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that has been used by millions of bloggers & website owners.
However, it doesn’t come with security features by default and you have to install security plugins to protect your website.
Some WordPress plugins are more effective than others and some can even be vulnerable. In this article, we will discuss what security plugin is necessary for a WordPress site and the pros and cons of using it.
A security plugin is necessary for WordPress sites as it provides protection against hackers. It also helps to identify malicious code in websites that might get executed if not detected in time.
Table of Contents
How to Choose the Best Security Plugin for WordPress Website?
When selecting the best security plugin for your WordPress website, consider the following steps:
- Identify Your Needs: Assess the specific security requirements of your website. Determine which security features are essential for protecting your site against potential threats such as malware, brute force attacks, and vulnerabilities.
- Research and Compare: Explore different security plugins available for WordPress. Read reviews, ratings, and user feedback to understand the effectiveness and reliability of each plugin. Compare features, performance, ease of use, and pricing to narrow down your options.
- Check Compatibility: Ensure that the security plugin you choose is compatible with your WordPress version and other plugins or themes installed on your website. Compatibility issues can lead to conflicts and compromise the security of your site.
- Look for Essential Features: Prioritize security plugins that offer essential features such as firewall protection, malware scanning, login security measures (e.g., two-factor authentication), brute force attack prevention, and file integrity monitoring.
- Consider Performance Impact: Choose a security plugin that doesn’t significantly impact your website’s performance. Opt for plugins that are lightweight, well-coded, and optimized for efficiency to minimize any slowdowns.
- Review Support and Updates: Check the level of support and frequency of updates provided by the plugin developer. Look for plugins that offer responsive customer support, extensive documentation, and regular updates to address new security threats and vulnerabilities.
- Evaluate User-Friendliness: Select a security plugin that is user-friendly and easy to configure, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. Look for intuitive interfaces, straightforward setup processes, and customizable settings to meet your specific needs.
- Consider Budget: While many security plugins offer free versions with basic features, evaluate whether investing in a premium plugin is worthwhile for additional advanced security measures and dedicated support services that align with your budget and website requirements.
9 Best Security Plugins to Protect Your WordPress Websites
1. Wordfence Security Plugin
Wordfence Security is a security software company that specializes in web application security.
This company has introduced a new product called Wordfence Security to help users manage their security without the need for constant updates.
Wordfence Security plugin is an AI-powered cloud service that helps its users stay secure by scanning their websites automatically and detecting any potential threats.
It uses a unique algorithm to scan websites for security threats. This algorithm is the product of artificial intelligence which has been trained to recognize common web application vulnerabilities and adapt its strategy accordingly.
The Wordfence security application also uses machine learning algorithms to detect patterns and anomalies in traffic, behavior, and user engagement that would indicate malicious activity.
Using these methods, Wordfence Security flags potential threats and provides users with an alert. Wordfence is included as an option in the Wordfence Security Suite.
Wordfence Security Suite has been designed to comply with a variety of regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS and FISMA.
This WordPress security software also keeps track of all login activities and can provide a log of all machine and user activity. Wordfence also has the capability to monitor URLs for phishing, malware and other malicious content.
The software also comes with a comprehensive reporting feature which gives users the ability to set up reports that can be emailed or printed.
2. Sucuri Security Plugin
The Sucuri Security plugin is the most recommended security plugin and comes with a free version as well as paid versions.
It has automated malware scanning which is powered by Sucuri and gives you a detailed report of your website.
This plugin is indispensable for scanning security vulnerabilities and provides protection against brute force attacks, XSS (cross-site scripting), SQL injections, malware and more.
Sucuri Security Plugin does come with a free version as well as paid versions. The paid version comes with malware detection features that you can use to scan your website.
The plugin can help you eliminate comments and spam, remove broken images and track backlinks.
The free version is sufficient for websites that don’t require any additional features and is perfect for small websites. and blogs.
3. Online Malware Scanner
Online Malware Scanner is an online tool that comes with many cool features. It scans your website for malware and is great for finding vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. It also gives you security tips to protect your website.
It’s perfect for large websites as it comes with many features. and is highly configurable. Along with that, it’s free for up to ten websites, but after that, you’ll have to pay a small fee.
4. All In One WP Security & Firewall
All In One WP Security & Firewall is a WordPress plugin that provides a suite of security features to protect your website from hackers and malware.
It also has an easy-to-use interface for creating custom rules for the firewall to help you manage the security of your website.
The All In One WP Security & Firewall plugin has been rated 4 stars out of 5 by its users on the official WordPress repository. ,
It is the most popular security plugin on this repository with more than 400 000 downloads.
This security plugin has also been applauded as an “easy-to-use interface for creating custom rules for the firewall to help you manage the security of your website.
5. MalCare Security
Malcare Security is a plugin that can be used to protect your WordPress website from malicious code. It uses machine learning to identify and block malicious code.
It also provides an easy way to find out if you have been hacked or not. Malcare Security has a free version and a premium version.
The free version has some basic security features but it comes with ads. The premium one removes the ads and provides additional features such as automated updates, malware removal, and more.
6. BulletProof Security
BulletProof Security is a WordPress plugin that helps to keep your website safe from hackers and cybercriminals. It also helps in keeping your site from malware attacks.
The BulletProof Security plugin is a must-have for any WordPress website owner. It can be installed within minutes and the installation process is easy and hassle-free.
The plugin has been developed by a team of security experts who have years of experience in this field.
It also has features like
- IP blocking
- URL blocking
- Phishing protection
- Spam protection
- Per-user options for managing security settings (Whitelist, Blacklist, Deny)
- Regular backups of your website in WordPress’s native format
- It has the best performance compared to other plugins
- Free and highly configurable
- 100% Free and no hidden license fees
With the ability to make your site secure, there are no limits to how much you can protect your website from attacks.
The plugin is currently in beta and their development team is constantly adding new features based on the feedback they receive.
Their help center has a list of helpful resources for people who want more information about the plugin and what it does. If you have any issues, the team is happy to help you.
Jetpack is one of the most popular WordPress plugins that help in managing your website. It includes a security plugin that helps you to protect your website and your content from hackers.
Jetpack Security is a new feature introduced by Jetpack that helps in protecting websites from hackers, malware, and other online threats.
It also scans for malicious code on web pages and blocks them before they can be accessed by visitors.
The plugin has been designed to work with versions above WordPress 4+ and WP-Cron which allows you to schedule automatic scans for the site in between regular updates or even during periods when you don’t have access to the site at all.
The plugin also has a feature named “Secure by default” which is enabled by default.
This feature lets the plugin take over the website’s media uploads, PDFs and other content so that it cannot be modified or deleted without your permission.
This can be disabled in the settings tab of the Jetpack Security plugin. The plugin will also block any malware or content that contains malware.
8. iThemes Security
The iThemes Security plugin is a WordPress plugin that helps to protect your website from hackers and malicious users. iThemes Security is one of the best security plugins available for WordPress.
It offers comprehensive protection against hackers, malware, and other threats. It also comes with a proactive approach to security that can help you avoid potential threats altogether.
It provides an easy-to-use dashboard for managing your site’s security and gives you the ability to set up more than one account in case you need more than one person managing it.
The iThemes Security plugin comes with a lot of features that are essential to website security.
Some of the key security features include:
- Malware Scanning, which can scan the content of your WordPress site for malware and detect potential threats like malicious attachments, hidden content, or malicious links.
- You can also schedule scans so they happen automatically every day or every week.
- Brute-Force Testing, which lets you test your site’s vulnerability to brute force attacks. This is a special type of test that will try one password after another to see how easy it is to break into the target website.
- Search and Replace Protection, which will scan your post content and replace anything with a masked character with something else.
9. Shield Security
Shield Security is a plugin that protects your site from malicious attacks. It has an easy-to-use interface, and it can be installed on any WordPress blog.
One of the most common ways to avoid malicious attacks on your site is with a plugin like this one. In case your site comes under attack, it helps protect you from issues like malicious bots and content injection attacks.
If a hacker attempts to steal your content or inject their malicious code, the plugin will stop them.
How to Check If a WordPress Plugin is Safe?
The best way to check if a plugin is safe is by looking at the rating or reviews of the plugin on the official WordPress repository.
If you don’t want to dig through reviews, you can also check the plugin website if it has information about its security.
WordPress plugins are often created by third-party developers who do not have as much knowledge of security as WordPress itself does.
They might not take into account all of the vulnerabilities that could be found in their code and might not have taken measures to protect against them.
This means that your website could be vulnerable to attack from hackers who find these vulnerabilities in malicious ways.
Don’t install any plugins from untrusted sources. A common way to get a potentially dangerous plugin is by downloading it from outside of the official WordPress repository.
These plugins can be infected with malware or may contain malicious code that can lead to an attack on your website, regardless of if you use it or not.
Recently, major vulnerabilities were discovered in the Akismet plugin that could potentially allow hackers to gain control of your site.
This was fixed by the developers, but it’s worth taking the extra time to research plugins before you install them.
**Pro tip: Buy a genuine security plugin from the official website of the developers.