Before we jump onto our 17 best WordPress security plugins for 2019, let’s do some groundwork first!
Now WordPress might be the best CMS around, but it’s not perfect. A website on WordPress is surprisingly easily compromised, so if you’re using the CMS with a laid back approach regarding security, it’s like walking on thin ice.
There could be loopholes in your website that hackers are well aware of and believe me, they do not waste a good opportunity to sabotage a site to its core.
|WebARX||4.9 / 5||10000+|
|MalCare||4.7 / 5||9,000+|
|Wordfence Security||4.8 / 5||2+million|
|Sucuri Security||4.5 / 5||300,000+|
|All In One WP Security & Firewall||4.8 / 5||600,000+|
|BulletProof Security||4.6 / 5||90,000+|
|iThemes Security||4.7 / 5||800,000+|
|WP Antivirus Site Protection||2.5 / 5||6000+|
|Google Authenticator – Two-Factor Authentication||4.6 / 5||10,000+|
|Vaultpress||4.4 / 5||90,000+|
|Block Bad Queries||5 / 5||80,000+|
|Astra Web Security||n/a||n/a|
Let me put some facts before you to give you a clear idea of WordPress’s security and how it’s so easily compromised.
In early 2017, a bug in the REST API endpoint was identified by Sucuri that allowed any hacker to alter a website’s content, it wasn’t removed until WordPress rolled out 4.7.2, and by then, more than 67000 WordPress websites were compromised. Within 2 weeks.
Hackers have penetrated into WordPress websites in certain unorthodox fashion as well. Not long ago, a group of hackers launched a coordinated attack on WordPress admin panels through… wifi routers.
Make Sure Other Security Measures Are In Place
However, before you even think of installing security plugins on your WordPress site, make sure that you’ve taken all the measures to secure your website. For example, you need a secure hosting solution to avoid any kind of vulnerability that comes with website hosts. You can choose one of our recommended hosting solutions to avoid choosing the wrong host for your WordPress site.
Once you’ve made sure other security measures are in place, you’re ready for the next important step.
Let’s take a look at our top 11 best WordPress security plugins out there:
WebARX is mainly known for its advanced Web Application Firewall that updates automatically to prevent plugin and theme vulnerabilities and can be installed in less than a minute.
With WebARX you can block malicious bots and hacking attempts, prevent malware infections, secure your website from plugin vulnerabilities, and protect your website from brute-force attacks.
Different monitoring options in the plugin keep you aware of what’s going on with your website so you can keep everything up to date and avoid any type of vulnerabilities.
On top of these great features, here are further awesome features to keep your WordPress security at the top of its game:
- Up-time and SSL Monitoring
- PDF Security Reports
- Automatic Off-Site Backups
- WordPress Hardening
- 24/7 Security Monitoring
- 2 Factor Authentication
- 2 Factor Authentication
WebARX is used by more than 3000 developers and digital agencies worldwide and has a 95% 5-star rating on its Trustpilot page. While WebARX is also available for other CMSs like Magento & Drupal, developers say that it works the best with WordPress, so you can’t go wrong with this security platform.
2. MalCare – A Complete WordPress Security Solution
MalCare was developed after analyzing over 240,000 WordPress sites, so they did their research and understand deeply the kind of security a website requires.
What MalCare really does is that it offers layered protection and finds hidden and complex malware at the earliest so that you can clean your site before it gets blacklisted by Google.
Here are some notable MalCare features:
- Bulk Website Updates
- Website Hardening
- Login Protection
- Generate Client reports
- White label MalCare
- Team Collaboration
The pro version is more effective in cleaning and protecting your site, of course. It allows you to update plugins, themes, and WordPress core of several sites from a single dashboard; hardens your site to keep unauthorized personnel from gaining access to your site; makes real-time regular backups with up to 365 days of access.
Apart from all these security measures, MalCare also has white-labeling and client reporting options if you manage websites for other people. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best WordPress security plugins out there.
3. Wordfence – WordPress Security Plugin
If you’ve been through other lists of best WordPress security plugins, I can guarantee that Wordfence probably made an appearance on the top of many such lists, and for good reasons.
Wordfence is one of the most popular (an argument can be made for ‘the most popular’) security plugins for WordPress. With over 2 million active installs, this plugin continues to gain the trust of millions of WordPress users worldwide.
The plugin has a nifty live traffic view that allows you to see traffic updates in real-time and any hack attempts being made on your website. It comes with blocking features that block attackers in real-time and also blocks entire malicious networks that can be a threat to your website, and once of the reasons why it is used by government militaries worldwide.
Here are some other powerful Wordfence features:
- Leaked Password Protection
- Advanced Manual Blocking
- Country Blocking
- Repair Files
- Two-Factor Authentication
Wordfence scans signatures of over 44000+ known malware variants and is active on more than 3 million WordPress sites. Can you refute its popularity? Of course, not.
So if you want to up your security game, Wordfence is a great choice of security plugin for WordPress.
4. Sucuri Security
Sucuri, a globally recognized authority that specializes in website security, is best known for taking of any WordPress security issues.
Sucuri Security is a free security plugin for WordPress users which you can use as a complement to your existing security measures. However, this does not mean that it’s not a powerful security plugin because, in fact, Sucuri has plenty of features that overhaul your security measures like:
- Security Activity Auditing
- File Integrity Monitoring
- Remote Malware Scanning
- Blacklist Monitoring
- Effective Security Hardening
- Post-Hack Security Actions
- Security Notifications
- Website Firewall (premium)
Sucuri is one of the best free WordPress security plugins out there with 500,000+ activations. And even though the numbers don’t match Wordfence’s number, it’s still considered one of the most essential security plugins to have on your WordPress website.
5. All In One WP Security & Firewall
All In One WP Security & Firewall is a comprehensive, easy to use, stable, and well-supported WordPress security plugin as stated on their WordPress description page, and I tend to agree.
Basically, All In One WP Security & Firewall is a 360-degree security solution for your website that will take your WordPress security to a whole new level. The plugin focuses heavily on brute force attacks and has a range of other functionalities to help you fight off the most common website attacks.
Some of the plugins stand out features are:
- Protection against “Brute Force Login Attack”
- Force logout of all users after a configurable time period
- Monitor/View failed login attempts with user IP
- Monitor/View the account activity of all user accounts
- Add Google reCaptcha or plain maths captcha to WordPress Login form
With 800,000+ active installations, if you install this plugin you’ll be in a great company of people who value their WordPress’s security.
Download All-In-One WP Security
6. BulletProof Security
As the name suggests, the plugin defends and protects your website like a bulletproof jacket. Bulletproof security is a single-click solution for all your WordPress security needs. It protects your website against RFI, XSS, CRLF, SQL injection, and code injection hackings. It is also extremely easy to use and is perfect for beginner WordPress users.
The plugin adds a powerful firewall to your website giving it protection against brute force login attacks while backing up your data. BulletProof security comes with a ton of features. Some of them are:
- One-Click Setup Wizard
- .htaccess Website Security Protection (Firewalls)
- Hidden Plugin Folders|Files Cron (HPF)
- Login Security & Monitoring
- Idle Session Logout (ISL)
- Auth Cookie Expiration (ACE)
It also has a pro version with added features as well, with which you can secure your ‘wp-admin’ folder and Root website folder with a single click. And with over 70,000 active installations, it’s not yet in the hands of as many people as other plugins are on this list, but it’s nevertheless a robust security plugin for your site.
7. iThemes Security
iThemes has been developing WordPress tools since 2008. Backupbuddy is also a trustworthy and popular WordPress backup plugin by iThemes, so if you install iThemes Security, you know you are in safe hands because the plugin is maintained and supported by iThemes itself.
iThemes, to begin with, bans users who have already tried to attack other sites from accessing your website. This means that your website has tighter protection against brute force attacks. It will automatically report IP addresses of failed login attempts and blocks them so that your website is protected.
Some more features include:
- Scans your site and instantly reports vulnerabilities and fixes them
- Bans troublesome user agents, bots and other hosts
- Enforces strong passwords for all accounts
- Strengthens server security
The pro version provides an extra layer of protection to your WordPress website. Two-factor authentication, for example, allows you to generate a code through a mobile app such as Authenticator. The code will be emailed to you upon generation.
With such avast array of features and 900,000+ active installations, iThemes security is another great option to add robust security to your website.
8. Google Authenticator – Two-Factor Authentication
Google Authenticator is specifically for you if you were a Clef user. On the plugin page, you can see a guide on how to migrate from Clef to Google Authenticator. It claims to give a Clef-like experience and I wouldn’t doubt it because the plugin is from Google and it’s pretty decent.
The plugin is highly secure and easy to use. Along with generating strong passwords, two-factor authentication adds a second layer of protection to your WordPress website and can prove to be the difference good and great protection.
Some notable features are:
- You can log in using username + password + two-factor or username + two-factor.
- Support for all smartphones (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry), basic phones, landlines, etc.
- If your phone is offline, you can use a one-time passcode generated by the app to log in.
- It can be deployed for your entire user base in minutes.
- Two-Factor can be enabled role wise.
- Alternate login methods like OTP Over Email and Security Questions (KBA) in case of a stolen phone.
The pro version allows you to protect more accounts and use enterprise features which means you can take an even stronger stand for your website’s security.
VaultPress is a WordPress security plugin that provides real-time backup and security scanning service. Designed by Automattic, VaultPress is one of the best security plugins for WordPress right now.
The plugin effectively backs up every post, comment, media file, revision and all the settings on your site to their servers. Powered by Jetpack, VaultPress ensures that your website is protected against hackers, malware, damages, and outages.
Some of its stand out features include:
- Automated backups stored in an offsite digital vault in real-time.
- Fix detected viruses, malware, and other dangerous threats with a single click.
- Automatically detect and eliminate viruses, malware, and other exploitable security problems.
- Protect your SEO, readers, and brand reputation by automatically blocking all spammers.
- Painless website restores in case of any problem.
Vaultpress is your one-stop solution if you need to backup your website. The plugin creates scheduled backups, that are stored on their servers. In addition, the plugin scans your website for malware and viruses which can then be removed with the click of a button.
10. Block Bad Queries (BBQ)
Block Bad Queries is a handy WordPress security plugin with a good number of features that increases the protection of your WordPress website. The plugin is super easy to use yet very powerful and fast.
It protects your website against malicious URL requests. BBQ monitors your oncoming traffic to your website and blocks requests containing eval(, base64_, and other long request-strings. For websites that are unable to use .htaccess firewall, this plugin is the perfect solution to their website security needs.
The plugin comes with a load of awesome features. Here are some:
- 100% Plug-n-play functionality
- No configuration required (it just works)
- Born of speed and simplicity, no-frills
- 100% focused on security and performance
- Blocks a wide range of malicious requests
- Based on the 5G/6G Firewall
BBQ is ideal for protection against injection-related attacks on WordPress websites. The plugin is slowly gaining popularity after being praised by the WordPress community.
11. VIP Scanner
The plugin does exactly what the name implies. It scans various files on your website, including themes and plugins. VIP Scanner lets you find all the security loopholes in your WordPress website.
The plugin is effective and a breeze to use at the same time. It offers a user-friendly interface while allowing you to protect your website from malware and viruses.
VIP Scanner also lets you put checks on files on your website so that they can be checked separately. They can also be put together in the form of comprehensive security icons.
12. WP fail2ban
Fail2ban claims to be the simplest WordPress security plugin that prevents brute force attacks. The plugin comes with the following filters:
These filters allow for immediate banning of IPs through hard.conf and lenient banning through soft.conf. Extra.conf lets you customize your banning rules.
SecuPress prevents your WordPress website from malware, block bots, and suspicious IPs. You can either use the free plugin which you can download from the WordPress repo or you can download the pro version.
The pro version activates weekly scans automatically and reports back any suspicious activities on your website. Here are some of its unique features:
Protection of Security Keys
Block visits from Bad Bots
Vulnerable Plugins & Themes detection (1)
Security Reports in PDF format (1)
Defender is one of the most popular Security plugins from WPMU DEV. The plugin starts with one click website hardening technique. It instantly adds layers to your WordPress website to protect it against security threats.
This WordPress security plugin comes with these amazing features:
- Free scans for your WordPress website to hunt suspicious codes
- Google 2 step verification
- Blacklist suspicious IPs from accessing your website
- Login protection from brute force
- Login screen masking to move your login page to a custom URL
15. Astra Web Security
GetAstra is a premium WordPress security plugin. The plugin automatically generates a report on how many attacks it prevented on your website and what was the nature of those attacks.
A standout feature of this plugin is the one click malware removal. No need to wait for hours while your site is getting cleaned up. Just click the “Clean Malware” button and your site is Malware free!
Here are some of its amazing features:
- Intuitive dashboard gives your website a bird’s eye view
- Block countries that are known for hackers
- Scanning uploads to prevent malicious files from entering your website
16. Shield Security
Shield Security is the only WordPress security plugin with a 5/5 rating on the repository. The plugin claims to make your website security simple and effective. For starters, it is extremely easy to setup. Just install the plugin and activate it.
The plugin is smart in a way that it knows when to notify you and what problems should it bring to your attention. This is in contrast to other plugins that bombards your WordPress admin panel with tons of useless notifications. You can use this plugin to:
- Limit login attempts
- Block brute force attacks
Protecting your WordPress website should be your first priority and without security plugins, it can prove to be a real challenge. Having a lenient approach towards website security is nothing short of foolishness. The content on your website is a result of your hard work and the people working with you. It’s obviously sad to see it go down the drain in a matter of minutes.
A proactive approach in this scenario is the wiser option and the first step is to install a WordPress security plugin. The plugins mentioned in this article are guaranteed to protect your website against all types of malware and attacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How do I make my website secure?
- Install SSL certificate
- Install WordPress security plugins
- Get a reputable web host
- Update current plugins
- Use a CDN
- Use a password manager
Q2. Why WordPress Security is Important?
A secure WordPress website builds trust among your visitors. If they see that your website is secured, they would be much more comfortable in exploring it and sharing their data. Also, a secure website would save you a lot of money and time as it would prevent hacking.