Top 10 Essential WordPress Security Plugins

With hackers and spammers taking a keen interest in breaking the security of WordPress blogs, we review the top WordPress security plugins available today.

WordPress is currently the most popular and widely used blogging platform. It is being used by millions of people around the globe. Because of this reason, hackers and spammers are also taking keen interest in breaking the security of the blogs.

Though WordPress is very much secure by itself, but there is never too much ascertainable. The ‘numero uno’ priority for any blogger or web developer should be security. Due to the lack of security, any site can be hacked and altered, private information can be stolen, and countless hours of hard work can be messed up with. Here is a list of some of the top security plugins that are being used by users of WordPress to keep their site secured.

That’s why it’s important to think about security in advance. A reliable hosting service is the first thing you should ensure for your site. SiteGround, for example, provides a managed WordPress hosting that includes managed security from server to app-level. They offer free daily backups and automatic updates for the WordPress core. SiteGround’s security experts constantly monitor for vulnerabilities and if a threat occurs, they protect clients’ site with custom WAF rules. As an additional layer of protection, consider the following security plugins we’re rolled out for you. The list contains some of the top security plugins that are being used by users of WordPress to keep their site secure.

Do you want to make sure your site is secure? Let us Secure your WordPress Website and rest easy.

If your website is already hacked then you can opt for the WordPress Malware Removal Service by MalCare, one of the best security services out there. They’ll clean your website in a jiffy.

Back to our review of top WordPress security plugins available today. Here we go:

WP Security Audit Log

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WP Security Audit Log keeps a log of everything happening on your WordPress blog or website and WordPress multisite network. By using WP Security Audit Log security plugin it is very easy to track suspicious user activity before it becomes a problem or a security issue. A security alert is generated by the plugin when:

  • New user is created via registration or by another user
  • User changes the role, password or other profile settings of another user
  • User on a WordPress multisite network is added or removed from a site
  • User uploads or deletes a file, changes a password or email address
  • User installs, activates, deactivates, upgrades or uninstalls a plugin
  • User creates a new post, page, category or a custom post type
  • User modifies an existing post, page, category or a custom post type
  • User creates, modifies or deletes a custom field from a post, page or custom post type
  • User adds, moves, modifies or deletes a widget
  • User installs or activates a new WordPress theme
  • User changes WordPress settings such as permalinks or administrator notification email
  • WordPress is updated / upgraded
  • Failed login attempts
  • and much more…

Get WP Security Audit Log

Malcare

This innovative new plugin, from the makers of the excellent BlogVault service, works in tandem with a remote service that relieves your hosting of the processing burden incurred by continuous security scans. The plugin also hardens your site according to current best practices, reducing the risk of you getting infected in the first place.

The included backup service also conserves your hosting resources by using an ingenious “incremental backup” technology, perfected during their years running BlogVault, which only backs up the bits of your site that have not been backed up already.

Your website is continuously monitored service – so that even the most complex infections are detected quickly, allowing you to carry out a one-click malware removal before Google or other search engines notice the problem and delist your site.  This is the most advanced WordPress security plugin/service so far but we expect the other providers to follow their lead.

Get Malcare

Security Ninja

Codecanyon – Security Ninja for WordPress

Security Ninja is years of the industry’s best practices on security combined into one plugin. It performs more than 31 security tests including brute-force attacks, it checks your site for security vulnerabilities and holes, and even takes preventive measures against any attacks.

Among its other features Security Ninja also prevents 0-day exploit attacks, it provides code snippets for quick fixes, as well as including extensive help and descriptions of tests for you to explore. Don’t let script kiddies hack your site!

Get Security Ninja

BulletProof Security Pro

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BulletProof Security Pro secures your ‘wp-admin’ folder and Root website folder with a single click. It offers security against all CSRF, Base64, XSS, RFI, SQL Injection and Code Injection hacking trials. Another useful maintenance feature is also added that allows developers to put up a “503 under maintenance” page while the site-owner works on their website.

It offers hacker and spam protection for a one-time fee with no recurring payments as well as unlimited installations, and besides all that, it also provides you with a simple one-click setup wizard, despite all its complex workings.

Get BulletProof Security Pro

 Acunetix WP Security

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Acunetix WP Security plugin is a free and comprehensive security tool that helps you secure your WordPress installation and suggests corrective measures for: securing file permissions, security of the database, version hiding, WordPress admin protection and lots more.

Acunetix WP Security checks your WordPress website/blog for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions such as changing passwords, removing WP Generator META tag from core code, and all the other corrective measures mentioned above.

Get Acunetix WP Security

WP-DBManager

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WP-DBManager allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. It also supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.

Get WP-DB Manager

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)

ithemes-security-better-wp-security

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. On average, 30,000 new websites are hacked each day. WordPress sites can be an easy target for attacks because of plugin vulnerabilities, weak passwords and obsolete software.

Most WordPress admins don’t even know they’re vulnerable, but iThemes Security works to fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials. With one-click activation for most features, as well as advanced features for experienced users, iThemes Security can help protect any WordPress site.

Get iThemes Security

WP Antivirus Site Protection (by SiteGuarding.com)

wp-antivirus-site-protection

WP Antivirus Site Protection is the security plugin to prevent/detect and remove malicious viruses and suspicious codes. It detects: backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, fraudtools, adware, spyware, hidden links, redirection and etc. WP Antivirus Site Protection scans not only theme files, but it also scans and analyzes all the files of your WordPress website (theme files, all the files of the plugins, files in upload folder and etc).

It also maintains a daily update of the virus database and provides you with alerts and notifications in the admin area as well as by email. In addition to all that you can also personally upload suspicious files to siteguarding.com‘s server to have them reviewed by experts and even view your security reports online.

Get WP Antivirus Site Protection

Wordfence Security

fixing-hacked-wp-sites-wordfence

Wordfence Security is a free enterprise class security and performance plugin that makes your site up to 50 times faster and more secure. It starts by checking if your site is already infected. It does a deep server-side scan of your source code comparing it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. Then Wordfence secures your site and makes it up to 50 times faster.

Wordfence Security is 100% free. They also offer a Premium API key that gives you access to the premium support ticketing system at support.wordfence.com along with two factor authentication via SMS, country blocking and the ability to schedule scans for specific times.

Get Wordfence Security

All in One WP Security & Firewall

all-in-one-wp-secutiry-firewall-logo

All in One WP Security & Firewall is a comprehensive, user-friendly, all in one WordPress security and firewall plugin for your site. WordPress itself is a very secure platform. However, it helps to add some extra security and firewall to your site by using a security plugin that enforces a lot of good security practices.

The All In One WordPress Security plugin will take your website security to a whole new level. This plugin is designed and written by experts and is easy to use and understand. It reduces security risk by checking for vulnerabilities, and by implementing and enforcing the latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques.

Get All in One WP Security & Firewall

Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening

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Sucuri Inc is a globally recognised authority in all matters related to website security, with specialization in WordPress Security. The Sucuri Security WordPress Security plugin is free to all WordPress users. It is a security suite meant to complement your existing security posture.

It offers its users four key security features for their website, each designed to have a positive affect on their security posture. Its features include security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, security notifications, and more.

Get Sucuri Security

Conclusion

With the previous year being a year of most malicious attacks on websites, it is a matter of concern for every website owner to take suitable actions against the threats they may face in future which can affect their blog very badly. For the users who don’t code a lot, plugins are the best way to secure your blog. Most of them are free, easily usable and safe.

UPDATE: This post was updated in November 2014. Some plugins were removed from the list due to not being updated for a very long time or simply no longer in use. New plugins were added in their place.

UPDATE 2: This post was again updated in June 2015.

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Jean Galea
Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the Mastermind.fm podcast. His personal blog can be found at jeangalea.com.

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120 Responses

  1. Some links to the WordPress plugins section would be nice.
    I also don’t see the point in linking the images to the image itself.
    I searched for the plugins myself, but linking directly to the plugin would be helpful.

  2. OMG! I just activated and set up Bulletproof. Looks amazing! I am stoked. The real test will be watching what my monitoring service does when it scans my site tomorrow. 😉

  3. Same as @ChefGaby for this article to be(come) informative it needs links to the plugins mentioned. I tried searching for the first (Blackhole) but couldn’t find anything, so I won’t even bother with the rest!

    1. Arghhh & Oops
      Had this window already open since this am and only now had the time to read it and of course I did not refresh the page.
      Seeing the links now, cheers!

  4. Preventing the WordPress blog from unsavory characters is not a problem now. These WordPress security plugins help in minimizing attacks from hackers. These snippets of information helped me with respect to the security and so I thought of sharing them with you all.

  5. Hi,

    I wonder if you can offer some advice on this. I have a blog that for the last 8 weeks has been receiving unwanted subscriptions. The trouble is I don’t know how they are coming through.

    I use feedburner for both my RSS and email sign up. I have removed the contact us form and replaced with email address written out (the @ replaced with at).

    I have updated all of the relevant plugins and version of WP but I am still getting fake signups that go into the membership section as a subscriber (which isn’t where the email subscriptions are recorded).

    I am not a dev person so am struggling. Any thoughts people?

  6. Perfect Article, thank you for the list, I used some them as like WP Security Scan, WP-DBManager, WordPress File Monitor Plus and AskApache Password Protect
    they are good for me
    best regards

  7. Thank you! i’ve been hacked some weeks ago but still lookin’ for any good protection from malware.

  8. Hi Jean, nice blog. Thank you. I am currently working through the maze of WP security options trying to work out what to do and use etc. This certainly helps. Bulletproof security was recommended as well as WP Defender. I assume that either will do?

    1. BulletProof security has been established for a longer period and is very popular, while WebsiteDefender still seems to be a bit hit and miss when it comes to customer satisfaction. Personally I would go for BulletProof Security as its a one time purchase, WebsiteDefender has some way to go yet, and they don’t even show their pricing until you go to sign up, not a nice practice in my opinion.

  9. In one of the websites I manage I see lot of attempts to login to the website automatically. Those are from a particular countries and I can also trace out individual IPs from which I was attacked. I banned few countries and few countries from visiting my website. However I don’t think it’s a good method. I see lots of security plugins mentioned in this article. Is there any particular plugin that could be useful in dealing with my situation?

    Thank you

  10. That’s a great list. As well as BPS I also use Better WP Security and Secure WordPress. Of course one of the most important things is if you have a user name of “admin” change it NOW!

  11. Great thanks for this wonderful post about WordPress Security Plugins but I install some Plugins in my WordPress blog & due to lot of Plugins my website wasn’t running. It was showing me Server error. so I don’t use very many plugins.

  12. Thanks for the info! I’ve been having a lot of trouble with “WordPress HTTPS” with one of my client’s sites it was making it way slow. I’m hoping “Better WordPress Security” will be better. I’ll give it a try now thanks again 🙂

  13. With the number of threats online, having a security help for our blog is very essential Good thing you posted this very informative article. Now, we are aware of how to secure our blog’s essential data. Thanks a lot for this post and please continue posting more informative articles.

  14. Came across your article looking for an alternative to Best WP Security (iThemes Security). Do you have an update to your opinion now that all this mess has happened to them. I am still using their version 3.6.6. I am concerned they have removed some important features in order to offer them with the pro version. I may be completely wrong, but with what has transpired I have to wonder? Do you have a good WP Security plugin alternative to replace iThemes Security at this time?

  15. Brian Lacouvee I advise you the plugin WP Security All In One one of Almighty which ravage right now, it’s simple easy to use rich food security, even copying text is protected.

    1. Assuming you mean Bruteprotect, it seems to be only protecting against brute force attacks.

      From what Jean wrote above, Best WP Security includes that function and more… I know this site (http://cheapest-tickets.com) deals with discount concert tickets and has that plugin in place to defend its business. Pretty smart!

  16. Jean, we’re avid users of WordFence Free Version, but am going to be investing in the paid version for 1 of our company sites, while the other company site will have BulletProof from AITpro so we can see the difference in the level and depth these 2 big plugins go to protect the WP site.

    Thanks for the write up on more plugins I never heard of. Do any seem clunky to you or do you prefer one over another?

    What security measures do you take and use on this website/blog?

    – Patrick

  17. Some of them seem to do the same thing… so if i had to choose. One of each kind of protection… which ones would you recommend?… (They need to be easy to set up… i am a wp rookie)
    I have askimet and stop spammers in my wp site.

    Thanks

  18. Hi Jean,

    You have missed a great free security plugin called Simple Security Firewall. It is an all in one plugin with any premium feature restriction.

  19. Great information, Jean!

    From the ones you mentioned, “Wordfence Security” plugin, I found it a free and great solution to secure blogs and make them faster.
    Tested and happy with it!

    Thanks for the share.

  20. Great Such a nice collection of security plugins.really nice keep it up with good sharing.To know more 50+ best wordpress Plugins, go to google & search for “blog.templatetoaster” there you will be finding some best wordpress plugins.

  21. hey Jean,

    one should use all plugins for security or some of them.
    Which will be good for all your protection need.

  22. Hey Jean!

    Would really love for you to include our WP Simple Firewall plugin in the round-up. We have stacks of awesome features.

    Happy to answer any questions if you need about it!
    Thanks,
    Paul.

  23. Hello, friend my question is that, please tell how to secure wordpress blog /site from hackers? Is this responsibility of hosting providers or my-self. Kindly tell some plugins for wordpress.

    1. Hi Bilqees, you can use any of the plugins mentioned above to improve your site’s security.

  24. There is no doubt that These are the must have WordPress plugins for every blogger.

    Currently I am using few of them like Yoast SEO, Jetpack, W3 Total Cache, Redirection, Wp Smush.it.

    For WordPress security, I am using ” iThemes security ” also known as ” Better WP Security “.

    Thanks for sharing this list with us.

  25. Also Duo Security for 2FA signing in. I use an iPhone 3GS with IOS6.1 from 2009; uses push notifications or a six digit number. Using it for LastPass, WP.com, Amazon and there is even a WP plugin. Google Authenticator requires IOS8 as a min. Duo Security is free.

    https://duo.com/

  26. Thanks for the article; I have tried all of these plugins, but recently I switched to WP Simple Firewall or what is now called Shield. I have gone from six security plugins to one. Simple and lightweight, I have found that my site has sped up by a factor of three(I also deleted Jetpack). A neat bag of tricks that hides your login screen, shuts down the Dashboard with a code; includes Sucuri and Brute Force Protection. Shield is free, however I went with the paid version that includes IcontrolWP @$15.00USD per month. You get Google Analytics and WorpDrive backup @20GB and five sites to manage. IcontrolWP gives you the security of daily backups and peace of mind. The help section is second to none, and questions are quickly responded to. IcontrolWP has a 30 day free trial.

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-simple-firewall/faq/
    ….
    https://www.icontrolwp.com/plans-pricing/

  27. Great article.
    I have seen people who install a security plugin once their website has been compromised. Don’t wait for something to happen, rather be proactive.

  28. Great collection. Security is one of the big concern in recent times and one should use any of these plugins to keep the website safe from attacks.

  29. This was a refreshing post that highlighted some areas I had not thought about.

  30. Thanks for sharing this. All the plugins that you listed here are very good. But my favorite is Sucuri Security.

  31. Hey,

    We released a new security plugin “Hide My WordPress” that will hide and customize all the paths from your WordPress website. We optimized it for speed, multisite and different type of servers.

    Check it out: http://wpplugins.tips/hide_my_wordpress

    Hide My WordPress works with all the security plugins you’ve listed above.

    Thank you for making WordPress a safer place.
    John

  32. This is the best list about WordPress security plugin. We have to make sure WordPress security system and WP Security Audit Log would be best one. Thanks a lot for your great contribution.

  33. You should try LCS Security – works really well. My site was under a barrage of failed login attempts and some adware content got injected somehow. This plugin looks like a newcomer, but it really got rid of most hacking attempts and content injection within just a few days after installation.

  34. I was really surprised by new plugin S.A.F. https://wordpress.org/plugins/security-antivirus-firewall/

    It’s looks like jet pack actually. Plugin have build-in security modules like antivirus, brute force protector, firewall, 404 page attacks detector and some additional tools like google captcha, wordpress updates checker, easy password checker. For now using this plugin for 2 blogs and it’s really have huge potential. Really big surprise that almost all features are free. There’s no monthly fees stuff, like most other developers do.

  35. Hey Jean, thanks for sharing the top 10 list. I like All in one WP Security Plugin & Firewall, Sucuri Security, Bulletproof Security and Wordfence. I love WordPress and my favorite WP security plugin is Wordfence. I’ve also created an infographic with a comparison chart to sort-out what suits the best for users based on their security preferences. Maybe you would like to check it out- http://bit.ly/2e3pASh

  36. I am using All In One WP Security. Its really All in one. Also others plugins are good. Thanks for sharing a article on wp security issue. Any of above plugin will make our wordpress secure.

  37. blablabla … sorry for that. I had almost try all above plugins, some worked some not, some functions are blocking things that I wanted to block and some plugins closed the door for any visitor.

    I search an evening long to the right plugin for security and guess which plugin I installed .. Well None ! It seems to be that as soon as you install a securty plugin on a website that it attracks idiots who try to login with their admin nonsense. So no for now no plugin security for me.

  38. I tried almost all of the plugins you listed here and found no one is fully perfect for me. But the problems I faced with them were not big. A plugin made me confused about the settings, another one started to send me scary notifications regarding hacking attempts, one has locked me out from my site….ha ha ha!

    Finally, I left all except one. This is iThemes Security, the great plugins for me to be from all tension of my security. Thanks for keeping this plugin with the list.

  39. Thanks for such a nice article!!
    It helps me.
    i Would like to suggest User Blocker Plugin.
    it provide the ability to block or unblock user account Quickly and effortlessly.

  40. Awesome collection. I am using All in WP and security that offers lots of options to secure WordPress. Other mentioned plugins too are valuable and I am experienced with some of them.

  41. This is quite a nice list . Would be great if you add some more and update it. I am using Anti-Malware from GOTMLS.NET and its good.Is there any other service that provide scan and fix for free ??
    Thanks

  42. You covered almost all security based plugins with full of description. From this list i used All in One WP Security & Firewall Plugin for my Website.

    Thank you

  43. WordPress is a great platform to do SEO on it because you have many plugins! Security plugins plays an important role when attacking hacker’s Thanks for sharing this great article with us. This article was very helpful for beginners keep sharing

  44. Hey There,

    Great list, you might want to check out our new plugin BruteGuard which is a 100% free cloud powered brute force protection plugin. Each site using it joins a network of sites that help each other to protect you against botnet attacks in the smartest way possible.

  45. I’ve personally tried using Site Guarding (www.siteguarding.com) as a preventative measure against website malware, etc. and had a terrible experience with them.

    After subscribing to their service the very next day my Joomla website was down. I had received an email from them explaining that the site was down due to the changes they made and were working on fixing the issue. After several days of downtime and ridiculous excuses as to why the site was down (that included blaming my very popular hosting provider) I finally removed their access to the site. At this point I requested a refund on their services as they obviously didn’t do a thing for me other than destroy my site. To my surprise, they said that they completed their work and that I owed them the money. Mind you, it took my hosting company and I over TWO WEEKS to fix the site and get it back to working condition.

    Obviously this is a very shady company and I would strongly advise anyone that’s considering using their services to move on and find a different security company.

  46. Great article. Even though plugins like WordFence and Sucuri are pretty enough to secure your WordPress website from hackers but as an additional security experts recommend to install two step authentication and audit log to make it impossible to break it. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Wonderful post. A cyber attack can happen with any CMS. If you look around where banks and multinational companies are attached, most of them do not use WordPress and they still have a huge damage to their system. I will bookmark this excellent post which I will follow for my actual and next projects with WordPress. Thank you.

  48. Hey there .. thanks for posting this .. it has clear my judgement about Jetpack I was considering it as a safety plugin but now i have come to know it is not.

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