WordPress is one of the most popular content management system on the Internet today. It powers millions of websites. WordPress CMS is free and open-source which makes it very popular. Unfortunately, for the same reason, WordPress is a juicy target for hackers. They are constantly looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit to break into websites.
Vulnerable WordPress plugins, themes, misconfigured file permission settings, easy to guess passwords are usually the reasons most WordPress websites get compromised. Safe web development practices combined with good WordPress security plugins can ensure that your WordPress website does not get compromised. You must always install WordPress plugins and themes from sources you completely trust. Make sure your WordPress file permission settings are properly configured and keep your WordPress passwords difficult to guess. Using a password generator tool for your WordPress administrative password is also a good practice.
We have compiled a list of 6 best WordPress security plugins that you can use to secure your WordPress website.
Sucuri Inc. is a famous web security company with expertise in securing WordPress websites. This is a free plugin that provides all the security features a regular WordPress website needs. With more than 500,000 active installations and regular updates, this plugin is certainly worth checking out for your WordPress website.
• Security Activity Auditing
• File Integrity Monitoring
• Remote Malware Scanning
• Blacklist Monitoring
• Effective Security Hardening
• Post-Hack Security Actions
• Security Notifications
• Website Firewall (premium)
WordFence Security is a firewall and malware scan plugin. It has more than 3 million active installations at the time of writing this article and a 5 star rating. It has a free and a premium version. Constant updates in this plugin ensure that it has access to the latest identified malware signatures and malicious IP addresses and uses this information to keep your WordPress website secure.
Additionally, WordFence is an end-point firewall that integrates with your WordPress to provide better protection than cloud firewalls.
• Web Application Firewall
• [Premium] Real-time firewall rule and malware signature updates
• [Premium] Real-time IP Blacklist
• Integrated malware scanner
• Protection from brute force attacks by limiting login attempts
3. iThemes Security:
iThemes Security formerly known as Better WP Security is a widely used WordPress security plugin with more than 900,000 active installations. It comes with a free and a paid version.
The paid version iThemes Security Pro contains professional features for advanced WordPress users along with technical support from the iThemes team.
• Monitors filesystem for unauthorized changes.
• Runs a scan for malware and blacklists on the homepage of your site
• Sends email notifications when someone gets locked out after too many failed login attempts or when a file on your site has been changed
• Prevents brute force attacks by banning hosts and users with too many invalid login attempts
• Changes the URLs for WordPress dashboard area, such as admin section, log in section and others
• Removes plugin, core as well as theme updates notifications from those users who don’t have permissions
Compared to the security plugins listed above, this security plugin is easier to use. It provides a comprehensive grading system that measures how secure your WordPress website is based on the number of points you score. Points are determined by checking how many security features you have setup and activated on the website.
The security and firewall rules fall into three categories: ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’. You can begin with ‘basic’ rules and move on to ‘advanced’ rules gradually. This is a good system to ensure you do not break your WordPress website by implementing all the rules in one go.
• Protect against “Brute Force Login Attack” with the Login Lockdown feature
• Add Google reCaptcha or plain maths captcha to WordPress Login form
• Ability to remove the WordPress Version information from the JS and CSS file includes of your site
• Ability to disable the right click, text selection and copy option for your front-end
• Perform a WhoIs lookup of a suspicious host or IP address and get full details.
Cerber security plugin is also a comprehensive security plugin that provides protection against spam, malware and brute force attacks. The Integrity checker tool in this security plugin matches all WordPress files and folders with the files in the official WordPress repository and warns if you there are any changes.
You can also configure automated scanning of all your WordPress files at regular intervals. The anti-spam engine of this WordPress security plugin provides invisible reCaptcha for all WordPress contact and registration forms and all WooCommerce forms.
• Create Custom login URL
• Automatically detects and moves spam comments to trash or denies them completely
• Two-Factor Authentication for WordPress
• Monitors file changes and new files with email notifications and reports
• Invisible reCAPTCHA for WordPress comments forms
If you have a functioning WordPress website with no new developments to be made then chances are you’re not too worried about scanning new plugin files or theme files. In that case, a simple login protection plugin may serve you well without having to worry about other security settings.
‘Limit Login Attempts Reloaded’ is a good security plugin to have in such a situation. It has over 900,000 active installations and is one of the more popular plugins in the login security category. This plugin simply blocks login attempts into your WordPress admin dashboard after a set number of failed login attempts.
• You can put a customizable limit on how many times a user can attempt to login from their IP address.
• It is possible to put a limit on how many times a user can attempt to login using authorization cookies.
• Each time a user attempts to login incorrectly, they are informed of the number of attempts remaining for them to login.
• You also have the option to log all instances of successful and unsuccessful login attempts and receive a notification email.
• If you find a set of IP addresses attempting unsuccessful login attempts, you can add them to a customized blacklist so as to prevent them from any login attempts. Similarly, you can also add known IP addresses to a whitelist to allow them to login.
• The plugin is compatible with Sucuri Website Firewall.
• It also provides similar protection to WooCommerce login pages as well.
WordPress website security is now a lot easier with so many security plugins available. Sometimes you may need to use more than one plugin on your WordPress website to completely secure it. However, in most cases, one of the plugins from the list above will get the job done for you.