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Top Security Plugins


Gary Stevens —

Last updated:

WordPress deserves credit for offering fairly good security. However, these measures don’t fully protect your site against hackers and malicious bots.

Fortunately, several WordPress security plugins fill in the gaps. Combined with a web host that offers great security, you’ll be on your way to being fully covered. Any one of these 12 options will keep your WordPress site safer.

1. Defender (Best Free)

This is an excellent selection because it’s easy to use in both free and pro versions. The pro version provides 10 GB of cloud storage, automated security scans, blacklist monitoring and more. Even the free version comes with outstanding features like scanning and repair of the WordPress core file and two-step verification from Google.

See their website here

2. Sucuri Security (Paid)

This is another plugin that features free and paid options. The free version is robust enough for most websites. Sucuri’s best features include its multiple SSL certificates, instant notifications when problems are identified, advanced DDoS protection and malware scanning.

See their website here.

3. Security Ninja (Also Free)

The free and premium versions of Security Ninja conduct in excess of 50 security checks that include PHP settings and MySQL permissions. An auto-fixer module is particularly useful for novice webmasters. This plugin also scans themes and plugins for suspicious code, logs all events on the website and has the ability to do a brute force check on all user-set passwords.

See their website here.

4. iThemes Security (Free/Paid)

This is one of the more robust WordPress security plugins with its focus on identifying out-of-date software, weak passwords and vulnerabilities in plugins. The paid version of this plugin includes a year of updates and ticketed support. It also makes it possible to lock out bad actors, utilize Google reCAPTCHA, enable brute force protection and enforce strong passwords.

See their website here.

5. Google Authenticator (Great for 2FA)

This plugin is different from the others on this list because it only provides one tool. However, because most security suites don’t include two-factor authentication, it makes sense to add this one to another security plugin. This extra layer of protection on your login module can make a huge difference against hacking attempts. We also recommend using 2FA on our guide to the best domain registers.

See their website here.

6. Wordfence Security (Most Reliable)

A friendly interface that’s easy to use makes Wordfense a solid choice. One of its most attractive features is the ability to gain an overview of hack attempts and traffic trends. Wordfense’s free version includes protection against brute force attacks and firewall blocks. The paid version offers several discounts for people managing multiple sites, making it an affordable solution.

See their website here.

7. VaultPress (Good Backup)

VaultPress may only offer paid plans, but these start at just $39 per year. This plan suffices for bloggers and small businesses, and more robust plans are available for more money. This plugin makes manual and real-time backups possible, site restores are available with a single mouse click and the stats tab reveals all sorts of useful metrics.

See their website here.

8. WP fail2ban (Brute Force Blocker)

This is another single-feature plugin, but it’s important because it protects against brute force attacks. WP fail2ban uses a different method for this than the security suites listed here. The plugin tracks all login attempts, and you can put a hard or soft ban in place. Fail2ban also looks for spam and malicious comments.

See their website here.

9. BulletProof Security

BulletProof is filled with features, and paid and free versions are available. The free version sells for a one-time payment of less than $70. Even the free version has login monitoring and security, a setup wizard, security log, anti-spam tools and anti-hacking tools. The database backup and restore is useful too.

See their website here.

10. All In One WP Security & Firewall

This one is completely free, yet it contains some really nice features. Several graphs and meters help novices grasp the basics of metrics, the interface is well designed and a blacklist tool is available. The features enable you to block force attempts on your login credentials, provide improved user-registration security and protect databases and files.

See their website here.

11. SecuPress (Great UX)

The free version of SecuPress is impressive with its firewall, blocked IPs and anti-brute force login. It even protects you from bad bots. The paid version includes two-factor authentication, PHP malware scans, alerts and notifications and more. With an incredibly friendly user interface, this is a safe bet.

See their website here.

12. Jetpack (All Around WP Performance)

This plugin comes from WordPress.com, making it extremely popular. It’s filled with features like protection against spam, improvements for site speed and modules to make your social media accounts stronger. A paid version includes security scanning, backups and downtime monitoring.

See their website here.