WordPress is one the most popular platforms for creating websites, WordPress supports roughly 40% of all websites on the internet and that makes it one of the most targeted websites for hackers. It’s common for websites to get hacked due to poorly designed plugins, themes or just out of date software. In response to this many companies have developed plugins for WordPress that help people to protect their websites from getting hacked. This list highlights some of the best security plugins that you can use to protect your website. The first plugins on this list are all in solutions that cover multiple areas of security and as you go further down the list you will find more niche solutions if you are looking for something very specific.
* One word of caution, some of these solutions, especially those that intercept traffic to your web server may result in a small decrease in website speed. If this would be a concern for you, I would suggest doing some research before installing any of these plugins to check if they have a reputation for slowing down websites. You can also test it out for yourself to see if it causes any notable change in performance and decide if the security is worth it.
This is probably the most highly recommended plugin on this list. Wordfence is a comprehensive security plugin that covers a lot of different areas, firstly it comes with a web application firewall (WAF) that blocks malicious traffic before it hits your site. It also has a malware scanner that checks files, plugins, and themes before they’re uploaded. It enables 2 FA and enforces login limits to prevent brute force attacks and provides real-time live traffic and analytics monitoring. All of these features come with the free version, it also comes with a premium version that allows for more frequent scans, spam protection and some more advanced features for $99 per year.
As the name suggests this plugin is meant to be an all in one solution for security on WordPress and comes completely free. Its main features include:
– Attempted login limit to prevent brute force attacks
– File protection, backups and restoration
– Web Application firewall protection
– File change detection scanner
– Comment Spam Prevention
– Front-end copy protection
This plugin offers a wide range of features in one package, in the free version you get access to:
– Brute force attack prevention
– Malware scanning
– 404 error detection
– Strong password enforcement for all users
In the pro version you get access to:
– Two-factor authentication
– Increased malware scans
– Google reCAPTCHAs
This plugin specializes in being a malware scanner and removal tool. It’s one of the few tools that helps you remove the malware after it’s been detected, and they highly advertise the fact that it can be removed in just one-click following detection.
This plugin is designed for secure and easy to use backups for WordPress and WooCommerce sites. This plugin will allow you to automatically maintain an activity log of who did what on your website and it allows you to have backups that can be used to restore your website in 1 click. It can be set up to take daily backups or real time backups depending on which plan you choose to go with.
If you’ve used this app on your phone then you already understand the benefit of this plugin. It also enables you to enable 2FA within your website to secure your login. This plugin also allows you to do IP address blocking and monitor user logins so you can see who is logging into your website. The premium version also provides additional features such as setting different authentication methods based on user roles.
This plugin is great for protecting your website against common injection-based attacks. Most injection-based attacks use input forms on the website as a means to send the code directly to the web server, however this plugin helps to filter out that traffic and prevent those attacks. Here are some examples of what this plugin helps to defend against:
SQL injection attacks
Malicious file uploads
Directory traversal attacks
Unsafe character requests
Excessively long requests
PHP remote/file execution
XSS, XXE, and related attacks
The pro version of this plugin allows for more advanced scanning and user-ID phishing prevention.
Rather than just focusing on one aspect of security this plugin provides on demand security testing and vulnerability scanning. It tests your website for common security vulnerabilities and does some automated penetration testing to see if your website could easily be hacked by someone else. It comes with a free version and a pro version with more features.