It’s 2019, and WordPress is more popular than ever. But that also means that more hackers, scammers and spammers are looking for vulnerabilities to bring down WordPress websites. Even if you’re not a mega-corporation running on the popular content management platform, it’s still a good idea to protect yourself.
The fact is that nobody likes to think their site will be the target of hackers, but drive-by script installations can cripple computers, while WordPress vulnerabilities and poorly coded scripts can all roll out the red carpet to these nefarious individuals. And when you find out that your site has been hacked or is inadvertently installing ransomware or other malware on people’s computers, well, it does more than ruin your site — it can ruin your reputation.
The good news is that there are some plugins that you can install to add a layer of protection to your site. And while you shouldn’t install them all, you should take a closer look at them and determine which ones can offer you the best balance of convenience and flexibility without sacrificing protection and peace of mind. Let’s take a closer look at which WordPress security plugins are the best in the business.
Sucuri Security: WordPress Security Plugin
Sucuri, a company that helps restore hacked WordPress sites offers both a free and premium version of their WordPress security plugin. The free version can scan your site to determine if there are any glaring security holes (such as outdated plugins, deprecated code and other common vulnerabilities that hackers look for). It also actively scans for threats by monitoring the integrity of your files (corrupt or changed files can be a tell-tale sign that your site has been hacked). It will also check your site against a blacklist of known hacks and exploits while notifying you instantly if it finds anything.
The premium plugin lets you add on a layer of security with a firewall, more frequent scans and the ability to contact the customer service team. At $17/month, it’s up to you if you feel you need the premium service, but for well-rounded WordPress security, there are few options as full-fledged (and free) as this one.
Wordfence Security is a popular choice among WordPress security plugins, and it’s easy to see why. You get some must-have features including some recovery tools that try to help restore your site in the event of a hack. If you’re the kind of person who likes to look at analytical data and see if there have been any hacking attempts on your site, you’ll love the Wordfence security plugin. Not only does it show you the general traffic trends on your site, but it also shows you potential hacking attempts.
Like with Sucuri, there’s a free and a paid version. The paid version costs $99/year for a single site, although if you’re a developer, you can save more money if you want to use it on more sites. The free version is fairly robust for being free, and includes a firewall as well as brute force hacking protection, making it one of the better WordPress security plugins you can get if you want to be proactive about your site’s protection.
This WordPress security plugin used to be known as Better WP Security and includes over 30 different protective and preventative tools to keep hackers and spammers out. It’s a great plugin if you’re working on a site as a developer or you have others working on your own sites that don’t really know how to update plugins or set strong passwords. This plugin can recognize those issues and prevent them before they become an easy tunnel for hackers to get into your site.
Like other security plugins for WordPress, iThemes Security has a free and paid version. The paid version costs $80/year and gives you a year of upgrades. You can also install the plugin on two websites, but if you’ve like to protect more sites, you have the option to upgrade. The pro version also includes two-factor authentication, which is an extra step to protect your login from security hacks. It locks out unwanted login attempts and backs up your database for you as well, a common area of attack for skilled hackers.
All in One WP Security & Firewall
One of the best free WordPress security plugins without an upsell or a constant reminder pestering you to upgrade to the paid version (because there isn’t one), All in One WP Security & Firewall is an excellent choice for both beginning WordPress users as well as more advanced developers.
It protects user accounts from brute force logins and hardens user registration on your site, so if you want to open your site up to user registration, having this plugin is a must. It can also secure your site’s database and files. Most importantly, it lets you back up your wp-config files as well as your .htaccess, two of the most commonly targeted files in WordPress hacks.
Which WordPress Security Plugin is Best for Your Needs?
It would be overkill to install all of these WordPress security plugins on your site, but rather you should consider the size and traffic your site is getting, as well as the type of hacking attempts you’re most worried about. For instance, if you enable user registration, it’s a good idea to install All in One WP Security & Firewall for its added user registration protection. If you want a security plugin to see when hacking attempts may have occurred, Wordfence would be a better option.
As you can see, your WordPress security plugin needs are going to depend on several factors. You can always upgrade to the premium versions of most of them at a later time as your site grows, which means you have no excuse not to protect your site from the most common types of security threats.
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