Why do you need WordPress security?
Did you know that an average website powered by WordPress gets attacked 44 times in a single day? That’s a substantial number. All it takes is one successful attack that can lead to significant loss of revenue. It can also give a serious blow to your website’s online reputation.
If your website gets hacked, here are a few bad things that can happen:
- Someone may delete your website content complete.
- Someone can steal all the financial and personal data of your site’s customers.
- Your business’ private data can be compromised.
- A malware injection to your site can hurt your SEO rankings and if the hacker makes your website distribute malware to your readers’ computers, your reputation can take a serious hit.
Yes, it is possible to recover your website after a hack or malware injection, but that can be a very time-consuming processes, and an expensive one.
Well, hacking and malware injections are only a couple of types of online threats your website has to deal with. There are many more. Ever wondered what will happen if your website comes under a massive DDoS attack? Your website can become painstakingly slow, or your visitors might not be able to access your website at all!
Are these reasons good enough for you to consider the security of you seriously?
Now that I have your attention, I will walk you through the list of 17 best WordPress security plugins that you can rely on for your website’s security in 2021.
So, let’s weed out the unnecessary talks, and get started…
Best WordPress Security Plugins for 2021
#1. Sucuri Security
No matter how many lists you follow on the web for finding the best WordPress security plugins, it is almost certain that you will come across Sucuri Security. Not just that, this plugin will almost always top the list.
Yes, Sucuri Security is a free plugin, but they also have paid options. For majority of the blogs and websites out there, the free version is powerful enough to give robust security features.
The free version will give you various features that include things like monitoring file integrity, blacklist monitoring, security hardening, and security notifications. In case you decide to upgrade to one of their premium plans, you can get frequent scans for your website and direct access to their customer service team.
Here is what you can expect from the free (or) premium versions of the Sucuri:
- Some plans will offer advanced DDoS protection.
- Some packages will offer different variations of SSL certificates.
- For paid customers, support is available in the form of email and chat.
- The free version gives features like security hardening, monitoring of file integrity, malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, etc.
Sucuri Security is a lightweight plugin that doesn’t slowdown your website.
#2. Wordfence Security
Wordfence has one of the most impressive security options you can get without paying a dime. Yes, they do have premium features available that you need to pay for, but the free option comes packed with features like Brute Force attacks, firewall blocks, etc.
Here is what you can expect from the Wordfence:
- There is a full firewall suite. The suite contains tools like web application firewall, real-time threat defence, brute force protection, country blocking, and manual blocking.
- It has a live traffic monitoring feature where it looks for bots, human visitors, login activity, Google crawl activity, etc.
- It can scan for real-time threats, and protects from spam. It even scans for malware infections in all file types (not just WordPress files).
- It comes with an integrated comment spam filtration system, thereby eliminating the need for a separate antispam plugin.
- Wordfence can even monitor installed plugins and warn you whenever a plugin is removed from the WordPress repo because of security vulnerabilities.
#3. iThemes Security
Previously, this plugin was known by the name Better WP Security. Currently known as iThemes Security, this plugin can identify weak passwords, obsolete software, and plugin vulnerabilities. It can also thwart intruders and hacking attacks.
If you want more features, you can always settle for their pro version that will give features like two-factor authentication, database backups, locking out bad users, and strong password enforcement, and more. In total, there are 30 security measures that you can enjoy with the premium version.
Here is what you can expect from iThemes Security:
- Detects changes in files. This is often the most ignored ones.
- Integrates Google reCAPTCHA.
- Compares core WordPress files with the version installed on your website to detect malicious codes.
- Quickly updates WordPress SALT keys.
- Gives something called ‘Away Mode’ that you can activate if you are not making constant updates to your site. This mode will lock the admin section from every other user.
- It detects and notifies 404 errors.
- Enforces strong passwords.
- Offers two-factor authentication.
#4. All In One WP Security & Firewall
This security plugin is free and comes with a lot of features. There are no premium plans and yet the customer service is decently good. It has graphs and meters for visualization of security metrics. It can help noobs understand the strength or weaknesses of the security measures in place and what needs to be done for improvement.
All features are neatly categorized in basic, intermediate, and advanced categories. The advanced segment is far more beneficial for developers. The plugin enhances the user registration security, blocks unauthorized login attempts, takes care of file and database security.
Here is what you can expect from All In One WP Security & Firewall:
- A blacklist tool allows blocking users on the basis of certain parameters.
- It can back up wp-config and .htaccess files. It can even restore those files should anything go wrong.
- The graphs allows you to visualize the strengths and weaknesses of your website.
SecuPress is pretty new and comes from the same developer who created WP Rocket and Imagify. SecuPress has an excellent UI and it is very simple to use. There are both free and premium versions available. The free version will give your site protection against brute force attacks and even offer a fantastic firewall and the capability of blocking IP addresses.
The free version also includes security key protection and bad bot blocking. In case you are not happy with those features and want more, you can cough out some money and get the premium version that will give you PHP malware scans, GeoIP blocking, two-factor authentication and more.
Here is what you can expect from SecuPress:
- A rookie-friendly UI.
- Checks 35 security points in 5 minutes (premium version).
- Detects vulnerable themes and plugins or those that have been tampered with.
- Changes WordPress login URL to prevent bots from finding it.
#6. BulletProof Security
Available in both free and premium flavors, BulletProof Security is yet another famous security plugin for WordPress sites. You can trust it! What’s interesting is that unlike other premium security plugins, this one’s premium version can be purchased with a one-time fee. There is no subscription!
The free plugin offers a setup wizard, a maintenance mode, antispam and anti-hacking tools, MScan malware scanner, database backup and restore, login security and monitoring, etc.
Developers can greatly benefit from the plugin because it has features like online Base64 Decoder, anti-exploit guard, etc.
Here is what you can expect from BulletProof Security:
- Ability to hide individual plugin folders.
- Access to some unique security tools like cURL scans, folder locking, scheduled crons, BPS Pro ARQ Intrusion Detection and Prevention System encrypting solutions.
- Maintenance mode.
- Database backups.
The free plugin is more than enough for most of the WordPress sites out there. If you are a developer who needs advanced features, you can always opt for the premium version.
#7. Security Ninja
Security Ninja was premium plugin sold on CodeCanyon. It had four add-on modules. In 2016, the developers switched to a freemium model and removed the addons. Now they have one free option and a premium option.
The free option is actually the main module but it is capable of running 50 security checks that spans over PHP settings to MySQL permissions, to file checking.
This plugin will perform a brute force check on all user accounts and find out the ones that have weak passwords. The plugin has an auto-fixer module but in case you want to know what’s going on, you can find detailed explanation of every security measure.
There is something interesting called ‘just click here to fix it.’ This feature is handy when you don’t want plugins to mess around with your WordPress site.
Here is what you can expect from Security Ninja:
- Auto-fixer module for non-techy folks.
- Scans core WordPress files on your site against the core files on WordPress.org.
- Regular scan scheduling.
- Scans plugins and themes for vulnerabilities and malicious codes.
- Automatically blocks bad IPs.
- Logs every event happening on your site. It can be anything for settings changes to user logins.
#8. Shield Security
Designed for both rookies and nerds, Shield Security is a fast-acting security plugin that starts scanning your website the very moment you activate it. There is a core version of the plugin that is forever free. However, you can always opt for premium versions. There are two premium versions available.
With premium version, you will get 24-hour support!
The core philosophy behind Shield Security is to ensure that no site is left behind when it comes to getting security. They say that every website should be entitled to get pro-level of security and not just the wealthy sites who can afford it.
Here is what you can expect from Shield Security:
- For certain users, this security plugin will block access to its own settings.
- It will not keep bugging you with notifications, but it will continue to work in the background tirelessly.
- You will get three different types of two-factor authentication.
- If you are opting for their premium version, you will get 6x more powerful scans.
It is a premium security plugin. To use it, you need to pay. However, the starting plan is quite affordable. The plugin will conduct real-time backups every day. You can restore the backups with a single click. All restore files are logged and there are several versions stored so that you can select which one to restore.
What’s interesting is that VaultPress backups are incremental. This means that only those that change are backed up. Whatever remains unchanged will not be backed up again. This is great for performance boost as it takes fewer server resources.
VaultPress will also monitor your site for all suspicious activities. There is a dedicated tab where you can see which threats have been ignored and which ones have been dealt with.
Here is what you can expect from VaultPress:
- Clean and easy-to-understand dashboard.
- Manual backups using a calendar or real-time backups.
- Allows quick restore of the website of a single click.
- Shows the most popular visiting time and the threats that originated during that time.
#10. WPScan – WordPress Security Scanner
This plugin uses a manually curated database of 21,000 known security vulnerabilities. The database is sponsored by Automattic and it is updated on a daily basis by security specialists.
This security plugin scans a website’s core WordPress files against the core WordPress files from WordPress.org. It also scans plugins and themes for security vulnerabilities. There are different security checks performed by the plugin and it scans backed wp-config.php files, exposed debug logs, weak user passwords, and more.
The free API plan is very much suitable for most of the users out there, but if you need something more, you can always go for their paid plans.
Here is what you can expect from WPScan:
- It uses a manually curated vulnerability database that is updated constantly.
- You can get email notifications whenever the plugin finds any vulnerability on your site.
- It can run scheduled scans at times specified by you.
Do not think that the list mentioned above is complete. These are the ones I worked with and found to be extremely powerful. However, you can always go for several other options available. Here are some honorable mentions that you can try:
- JetPack – It has many security features that you can explore. The paid version has more.
- Google Authenticator – Adds a second layer of security when it comes to login. In case you are not aware, most of the hacking attempts target the login feature.
- Defender – It makes WordPress security super simple. Brute force login attempt blocker, login screen masking, two-factor authentication – there are a lot of features to harden the security of your WordPress site.
- Astra Web Security – With this, you can use the fire and forget approach towards malware, XSS, brute force, comment spam, SQLi, and various other threats.
- Hide My WP – It is a very popular security plugin that blocks SQL injections, XSS, and other threats in real-time. It is a premium plugin and no free version is available.
- WP fail2ban – It does one thing – blocks brute force attacks. You can integrate it with proxy servers and Cloudflare.
- WebARX – It is a website security platform that offers advanced endpoint firewall, allowing you to completely control your traffic flow. It can protect from bot attacks, plugin vulnerabilities, and fake traffic. The WordPress plugin will allow you to create your own firewall rules. It can create backups and monitor security issues and uptime.
Securing your WordPress website is necessary. Attacks, hacks, malware injections, and all other online threats can destroy your hard work in a jiffy. Everything that you built over months and years will be gone in an instant. Why take that risk?
Using a security plugin can help your site and keep it protected. All of the plugins I mentioned above are great. I will personally recommend going for Sucuri, but you can choose any other. It is totally up to you! But do make sure that you have something that can keep you protected. Your site deserves such protection.