WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. Many people build websites on WordPress because it’s such a versatile platform. And it’s also quite secure as there’s a team of developers dedicated to making the platform more secure.
That said, the platform is still vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Over the course of 2020, WordPress sites ranging from small blogs to large corporate websites were struck by more than 2,800 hacking attacks every second. This is why security issues top the list of concerns for both new and experienced site owners.
Web hosting providers can provide you with essential server security. But you need to invest some effort in keeping your site safe. A great way to protect your WordPress site from security vulnerabilities is by installing plugins that specifically focus on improving your site’s security measures. Plugins are what makes WordPress so versatile in the first place, so definitely take advantage of them.
But choosing plugins to install is never an easy task. There are loads and loads of options to choose from, so how do you make your decision? That’s exactly why we’ve created this article to help you out. Let’s take a look at seven of the best WordPress security plugins for protecting your website from malware, hackers, force attacks, and other kinds of malicious security threats.
Keeping your WordPress site secure with security plugins
WordPress developers are constantly working to protect the WordPress source code with ongoing security updates and patches. However, no WordPress site is the same. Every website is unique, with its own concerns and issues related to security.
An online store that is processing transactions with customers’ credit card information might need different protection than a photographer’s portfolio. In any case, a quality plugin for protecting your site against security threats should include some of the following essential features:
1. Ongoing site monitoring, including regular file and malware scanning.
2. Firewall protection.
3. Blacklist monitoring for protection against dangerous sites.
4. Authentication protocols for users in different roles.
5. Password protocols that reject weak passwords.
6. Immediate email notifications of suspicious activity.
7. Site and file backups for protection against attacks, outages, and other events.
If you’re using a shared hosting provider, putting strong security in place protects not only your site but also others on the server. Malware introduced through one site can infect others in the shared space. It can even cause a server to crash, taking down all the sites hosted there.
The best WordPress security plugins
The best WordPress security plugins are easy to install and customize. Most security plugins are free to use, with premium options that offer more features than some sites may need. Many options are available in the official WordPress plugin directory, which you can easily access from your site’s admin dashboard. A single plugin might not offer all the features you’re looking for. But it’s always possible to install multiple compatible ones to get the exact set of protections your site needs to fend off malware, force attacks, and hackers.
In this post, we want to introduce you to seven WordPress security plugins that our experts at Bluehost recommend. All of them are highly rated and frequently installed.
Sucuri is a full-featured security plugin for WordPress sites from the website auditing company Sucuri. The basic version of Sucuri is free, and users can also purchase a premium version with additional features. Both versions of Sucuri include security activity auditing, file monitoring, and malware scanning. Sucuri’s premium version also includes third-party features, such as Google Site Browsing and McAfee Site Advisor. Sucuri provides immediate email notification of suspicious activity, as well as blacklist monitoring.
This free WordPress plugin offers continuous malware checking, spam, bot-blocking, and two-factor authentication for all users. WordFence can scan a site’s host for potential “backdoors” that could put sites at risk. It also allows users to block traffic from specific sources and countries if desired. The malware scanner plugin also sends instant email notifications of possible security breaches.
This free plugin is easy to install and use without coding or development experience. The All in One WP Security Firewall scans sites for security weaknesses, recommends preventive measures, and monitors account activity. This robust plugin also automates backups and performs some automatic fixes when it detects the presence of malware. This specific WP security plugin works with most other plugins and sends immediate email updates when needed.
With an array of user-friendly security features, Defender is a free plugin from WPMUDeveloper. Defender provides two-factor authentication for all users, site and file scanning, and IP denylisting and monitoring. Defender’s premium version offers additional features to meet specific needs. Both the free and premium versions include instant email notifications of security issues on the WordPress website.
UpdraftPlus is one of the top-ranking and most popular scheduled backup and restoration plugins on the market. This free plugin with premium options features real-time and scheduled backup of all posts, media files, comments and other site content. It can protect you against losses caused by viruses, hacking, or “real-world” events like accidents or power outages. And you can easily restore your backups with just a single click. The premium option provides even more features, like being able to restore backups from other plugins.
Many quality WordPress security plugins include two-factor authentication, but users can also install this feature separately with the Google Authenticator plugin. It adds two-factor authentication for all users and works with all kinds of devices. This is also the only free plugin on this list, and it’s a good one.
iThemes Security malware scanner is available from iThemes in free and premium forms. This plugin can scan your website and provide automatic fixes for security issues. It also bans bots, spam, and users who have attacked other websites. The premium version includes additional security features, including a strong password generator, scheduled malware scans, and a dashboard widget for managing all functions.
WordPress powers millions of websites around the world. Unfortunately, these sites can become targets of malicious activity. It’s impossible to guarantee that your site is completely safe from cyber-attacks and other security issues. But there’s still a lot you can do. By installing security plugins on your site, you’ll know when security issues arise. You can then fix these issues and prevent them from happening again. The best security plugins provide comprehensive, customizable solutions to protect your website from cyber threats of all kinds.
If you have any questions or concerns about your website’s security, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is always ready to help!