WordPress plugins for security

Best WordPress Plugin for Security

Being one of the most popular content management systems around, if not the most popular, makes WordPress a great target for hackers. These hackers often don’t care what WordPress site they are hacking. They just want an easy target. You want to avoid being that target. You want to be more difficult to hack than the next site so that the hackers keep going. That’s where the best WordPress plugins for security comes in.

Security is essential for online business.  Your site consists of very important data and this data or the site will be hacked by some hackers if there is no security for your online site. There are things you can do to make yourself a more difficult target for WordPress hackers. You should do these things, no doubt.  There are some WordPress plugins for security out there to help.

We are going to provide you with an overview of some of the options out there. We will even give you our recommendation for a WordPress Security PlugIn.  Of course, one risk with any plugin is its impact on the performance of your website.  Since security plugins have to protect your site at all times, they can be a burden on your server, reducing your site speed.

They are usually worth the risk but when thinking about options for security plugins for your WordPress site, this might be something to look at. Of course, better a site that is a little slower than having your WordPress site hacked.  That will really slow it down. A good host can mitigate this. We don’t avoid locking our car doors because it takes an extra few seconds to get into it.

What to Look For in WordPress Plugins for Security

No matter which security plugin you decide for your website, you want to look for a few basic characteristics.

Automated WordPress Security Scan

You want a plugin that scans your WordPress site looking for common security issues and threats. A good portion of each WordPress site is the same. The differences that makeup one WordPress site versus another usually include the database, theme files, uploads and plug-in files. Other than that, the vast majority of WordPress have the same files.

To make their scheme work, hackers often have to edit these files. One of the strategies for a WordPress security scan should include looking for these core files and make sure they haven’t been modified and new file haven’t been added.

A robust security scan for a WordPress site will also look through all the files for common coding strategies that hackers use. This will help identify any files that a hacker has added, or code that they’ve added to files. These are both common strategies that hackers use on WordPress sites.

The WordPress Security scan should be automated and you should be able to get the results. The way you get the results doesn’t matter very much. Some securing plugins will email you. Some will have a report you can reference.

It should definitely warn you if it finds a threat.

Brute Force Protection

Any security plugin that you use should protect against brute force attacks. A brute force attack is when a hacker employs a script or program or other means to randomly try usernames and passwords on your site until they can log in. Without any protection, a hacker would eventually break into any site this way no matter how complex their password is.

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With brute force protection, the security plugin will only allow the same user to try to log in a certain number of times, and then they will be locked out for a period of time. We usually set it so that a user that tries to login or reset their password more than four times in four hours they are locked out for four hours. This “rule of fours” provides a lot of protection and is easy to remember. Sometimes, all the settings can be overwhelming so its nice to have an easy reference.

There are a lot of other worthwhile features but these two will reduce the risk of the biggest threats and help you find if you ever do get hacked on your WordPress site.

WordFence Dashboard
WordFence Dashboard

Wordfence Security

Going against any storytelling recommendations out there we are going to start with the big reveal. While there are some wonderful WordPress plugins for security, we recommend WordFence

Like many WordPress plugins, it had a paid and a free version. Honestly, for most sites, the free version provides the protection that most WordPress sites will need.  It does a great job protecting against the brute force attacks that threaten most sites. Brute force attacks are when a hacker uses scripts and other programs to randomly try usernames and passwords until they can successfully hack a WordPress site, or any site really.

You can set up Wordfence to automatically scan your site for threats and risks. It will notify you when there are issues. You can have Wordfence limit the number of times someone can try to login. You can lock out users who try certain administrator usernames (like “admin”)  that are common but you aren’t using on your site (right?)

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The paid version has more features like locking out traffic from certain countries, more robust scanning, isolating risky files and more.

ProsCons
Strong security featuresDefault settings aren’t as robust as they could be
Robust informationSometimes a bit too much email which can make legitimate threats easy to miss
Free version is very robustSettings can be a bit technical
Wordfence team stays on top of latest trends 
Doesn’t require a subscription 
Runs on your server so doesn’t rely on processing on someone else’s computer 
WordPress Plugins for Security - Sucuri
Sucuri Dashboard

Sucuri

Sucuri is at popular WordPress plugins for security. Most of the websites are used by this plugin.

ProsCons
Good feature setNeed to pay for full feature set for security
Complex tracking optionsSomewhat complex to setup
Will add SSL certificate for your site
WordPress Plugins for Security - JetPack
JetPack Security Dashboard

Jetpack Security

JetPack is a common plugin provided by the team at Automattic, which is the company that makes WordPress.  It offers a lot of functionality that webmasters often want that isn’t in the core WordPress site. JetPack was created by a team of WordPress.com and is one of the all-in-one solutions WordPress plugins for security. This plugin comes with many advanced features. It increases the site speed. Whitelisting is also supported by the basic security functionality from Jetpack.

ProsCons
Plugin comes with a lot of features, including securityCompany’s focus isn’t security, meaning that you may not get the same expertise as with other companies
Written by the WordPress expertsMay not need or want all the features, which means adding a plugin that does more than you want
Also has backup software(though we find Updraft better)Don’t actually need this anymore for that but you may not want your site updated without being able to test for issues
Will update your site automatically

All In One WP Security

All In One WP Security is another common WordPress plugins for security. This plugin is completely a free version. File security and database are inbuilt comes with the plugin. This plugin is mainly helpful for small business websites. The features are mainly three types Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

ProsCons
The plugin comes with a lot of featuresNot standalone security plugin
Includes more database features than others
Free options fairly robust

Ensure the Security of Your WordPress Site  

WordPress security is important to ensure that your site stays up and running. A hacked WordPress site can be down for days or longer. You will usually need to hire a developer to fix a hacked WordPress website. You may lose data, or worse. Using one of the top WordPress plugins for security and good security practices, combined with a robust backup strategy will make sure that your site stays up and running, earning you money. 

We recommend WordFence but there are several good options out there

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