As website owners, we often get caught up in the looks of our website and the functionality which lets us do all the things we want our website to do, be it adding a member’s area, selling products, booking appointments, organizing events, and more. But there is one thing that most of us completely forget to take into consideration: how safe our website actually is.
The web is a scary place and there are evildoers out there who won’t hesitate to hack a website just for the fun of it or to prove their computer skills. Considering our website is paramount to our business success or in some cases, serves as our online home, ensuring its safety should be a top priority.
How Do I Keep My Website Safe?
Keeping your WordPress website safe is not as hard as it seems. By default, WordPress is secure but there are always additional tasks that you can do to make it even more secure. This involves not using admin as the username and keeping your passwords strong. However, there are also additional tweaks that you can perform manually but they would take you a long time. Not to mention, some of the security tweaks are far too advanced for regular users. That’s where security plugins come in handy.
What Do These Security Plugins Offer?
The security plugins on our list offer a comprehensive set of tools that will protect your website from the latest malware. They will also prevent anyone who tries to log in to your website by trying to guess your password in a short amount of time. Additionally, some of them will let you hide your WordPress version and mask the URLs for the admin area. Blacklisting of IP addresses, scheduled scans, and regular backups are also included in the feature list.
Make Your WordPress Website Secure
We rounded up the best WordPress security plugins to save you time from trying to go through the list yourself so keep on reading to find the one security plugins to keep your website safe and secure. Oh, do you know of any security plugins that deserve to be on this list? Be sure to leave a comment with any links below!
Wordfence starts off the list strong, touting itself as the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin. The plugin is powered by the constantly updated Threat Defense Feed which allows it to monitor your website against the latest threats. Wordfence offers complete protection against malware by alerting you quickly in the event your site is compromised. Thanks to its Live Traffic view you get real-time visibility into traffic and hack attempts on your website.
You can also tweak additional security settings which allow you to prevent brute-force login attempts by setting the maximum number of login attempts and setting the locked-out rules for repeat offenders. On top of that, you can also block certain IP addresses from accessing your website. A stand out feature is the ability to schedule regular scans of your website which scans all the files and folders on your website for known vulnerabilities.
BulletProof Security offer a one-click setup wizard that will instantly make your website more secure. Among its many features, this plugin offers a complete firewall solution to protect your website from the threats and it also gives you the ability to prevent unwanted login attempts. The security features are implemented through your .htaccess file which prevents malicious code before it even has the chance to get to your website files.
Additionally, this plugin will allow you to create scheduled backups of all your files and database for an extra peace of mind and you can even display a custom maintenance page in case you are working on a redesign. Best of all, the plugin is optimized in terms of performance so it won’t cause any unnecessary load on your server and slow down your website. If you want a complete security suite along with the ability to backup your website, look no further than BulletProof Security.
All In One WP Security is a simple to use plugin packed with features that will make your website more secure. You can see how secure your website is through simple graphs and illustrations and the plugin organizes the features into basic, medium, and advanced. This plugin will detect if you have a user on your website that still uses the admin as the username and allow you to change it with one click. It will also tell you if you are using strong passwords and stop user enumeration so users/bots cannot discover user info via author permalink.
It comes with a login lockdown feature allowing you to lock out anyone trying to perform a brute force attack on your website and you can also add a CAPTCHA form to your registration pages to minimize the amount of spam registrations. Firewall protection is implemented through your .htaccess files and you can also blacklist certain IPs from accessing your website.
iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)
iThemes Security is a well-established security plugin that was formerly known as Better WP Security. It offers a comprehensive set of tools to protect your website from malicious attackers, including the ability to change the admin username with one click, removing/changing the ID 1 of the administrator account, and the ability to perform the most basic hardening of your website with a single click.
You can also set a two-factor authentication using Google Authenticator or Authy to generate a code or have a generated code emailed to you. The plugin will also change your WordPress salts keys and scan your website for malware on a daily basis. Additionally, you can change the URLs for WordPress dashboard areas including login, admin, and more as well as completely turn off the ability to login for a given time period.
Sucuri Security is a security auditing plugin meaning it will scan your website for any potential problems and harden your WordPress installation with one click. It will also detect if your website is blacklisted by Google and many other security blacklist engines. What makes Sucuri stand out is the unique feature of walking you through the basic steps you should take if you discover your website has been compromised in some way.
However, the coolest feature that Sucuri offers is an enterprise grade website firewall known as CloudProxy. It is designed to give you the best security protection any website can hope for and it protects your website from Denial of Service Attacks, exploitation of software vulnerabilities, and more. It’s worth mentioning that this is a paid feature but well worth the money for the peace of mind it will bring you knowing your website is fully secure.
Acunetix WP Security is a free and comprehensive security tool that helps you secure your WordPress installation. Upon activating this plugin, it will perform an analysis of your website and disclose the vulnerabilities. It will then suggest what measures you need to take to secure your website. You can change the passwords, file permissions, hide the WordPress version and remove the WP Generator META tag from core code which will make it harder for hackers to guess your website is running on WordPress.
You can also protect the admin area of your website and hide the error information on the login page so hackers won’t know if the username or password is wrong. The plugin is multi-site ready so it’s nice to know there won’t be any issues if you’re running a multi-site installation of WordPress. On top of that, the plugin will also backup your WordPress database in case of a disaster.
WP Security Ninja takes less than a minute to perform the scan after which you’ll immediately see the color coded results along with links to detailed explanation of the problem and ways to fix it. This is a paid plugin but considering it will protect your website the price tag shouldn’t be an issue. Besides, the license is only $39 for a single site and it protects your website from known malware, brute force login attempts, zero-day vulnerabilities, and so much more.
The plugin even has additional modules to make your site even more secure such as scheduled scanner, event logger, core scanner which will let you restore changed files with a single click. It’s worth mentioning that all the additional modules are included with the plugin so you can really take your website’s security to the next level.
VaultPress is a real-time backup and security scanning service designed and built by Automattic, the same company behind WordPress so you can rest assured the plugin is high-quality. The VaultPress plugin provides the required functionality to backup and synchronize every post, comment, media file, revision, and dashboard settings on their servers so nothing will get lost even if the worst happens.
This is a subscription-based service and it’s one of the more affordable ones, considering personal plans start at $3.50/month. The plugin offers daily backups of your website, automated restores, spam protection, and easy website migration in case you decide to change your hosting company. Finally, this plugin makes it easy to review suspicious code and fix the most common threats with a simple button click.
Yasar AliJanuary 25, 2017 at 2:00 am
Many thanks to you for sharing these awesome & useful plugins. I’ve been using iTheme Security which is very simple & easy to configure. I also added some of the plugins from your post to my video on youtube.
Thanks & keep it up.
Sarah BishopJanuary 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm
Thank you for the kind words, and we are happy that you found our roundup helpful. Excellent video of useful security plugins!
UchchashFebruary 7, 2017 at 9:10 am
All in one is pretty good and pretty enriched!
Tried both Wordfence and iThemes security!
But, they have some features missing on free version!
Sarah BishopFebruary 7, 2017 at 5:02 pm
Thanks for the feedback!
Danial WilsonMarch 7, 2017 at 4:26 am
Very nice and helpful list of security plugins.
I want to recommend User Activity Log Pro. It can track all the activities occurs on the admin side.
Sarah BishopMarch 8, 2017 at 6:25 pm
Thanks, Danial! Another great resource for to keep your site safe.
Michael AmaralMay 1, 2017 at 11:24 pm
Good article. Thank you.
I want to recommend you User Blocker plugin.
It has nice features regarding block or unblock use
Sarah BishopMay 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm
Thanks for the recommendation! What else do you find beneficial with using User Blocker Plugin?