How to Secure Your WordPress Website: the 10 Best WordPress Security Plugins
According to Wordfence, WordPress plugin vulnerabilities represented 55.9% of known entry points with regards to security. After all the work you put into your WordPress website or blog, The last thing you’ll ever want to deal with is a security vulnerability that destroys your website, which can be expensive and time-consuming to fix or even require creating a new one The problems compound if your website is destroyed, and you don’t have a current backup. At Avex Designs, we specialize in creating WordPress websites for major brands, and it’s imperative that they’re safe and secure. Below are some of the practices we follow and plugins we use on our website and client projects.
General WordPress Security Tips
Many of the common security issues associated with WordPress websites are easy to fix. A few important rules of thumb to follow:
Change your passwords frequently
Make your WP Admin password hard to guess by not re-using something you’ve used previously, adding numbers and symbols, and switching it up between lowercase and uppercase characters. Use a password manager like LastPass to avoid security issues caused by sending it through email or another unsecured medium.
Download only from recognized sources
From WordPress plugins to themes, if you haven’t heard of the creator before, or there isn’t much information about them available online, their products might be a security risk. Instead, opt to download from recognized and well-reviewed sources.
Keep plugins, themes, and WordPress up to date
According to WP WhiteSecurity, 73.2% of the most popular WordPress installations are vulnerable to hacker attacks. An easy way to reduce hacker vulnerabilities is to always have the latest version of installed themes, plugins, and WordPress software. Updates usually include fixes for known security issues.
In addition to following security best practices, there are specific plugins on the market that can help secure your WordPress install. Protect your WordPress website before anything bad happens by planning ahead, and creating a solid foundation. Here are the 10 best security plugins.
iThemes Security is one of the best Premium WordPress security plugins on the market, with a over 30 security features, like:
- Database backup: Schedule backups, then get files emailed to you.
- Brute force protection: A person trying to determine your password gets locked out after a certain number of attempts.
- Hide login and admin: Makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your website.
iThemes Security offers a number of paid options, that start at $80/year for up to two websites.
Security Ninja is a Premium WordPress security plugin that is brilliant in its simplicity. It scans for security problems using 40+ tests, and color coded results with problems and possible solutions pop up in less than a minute.
Pricing starts at $39/year for a single site, $79/year for a multi-site package, and a $199 one time fee to protect up to 99 websites for a lifetime.
Acunetix WP Security Scan
The Acunetix WP Security Scan is a free WordPress Security plugin that like many others on this list, scans your WordPress website for security vulnerabilities. Special features include a strong password generator that helps prevent brute force attacks, and protection from zero day vulnerabilities (holes in the WordPress software).
One of the most comprehensive premium WordPress security plugins on this list, Wordfence, has most if not all of the WordPress security features worth installing. Some of the best reasons to use Wordfence include:
- Malware scanner: Helps find where the hackers may be hiding, looking for malware, backdoors, bad urls, etc.
- Repair files: Sends an alert about a file being changed so that you can repair it.
- Web Application Firewall: Helps stop current and new hackers/attacks.
Pricing is ultimately determined by how many keys you want, and how many years you’re buying at once:
6Scan Security is a free WordPress security plugin with a number of interesting features, including:
- Automatic vulnerability fix: Automatically fixes security problem.
- Blacklist monitoring: Makes sure your website stays off the blacklist so customers feel confident when shopping with you.
- Email/SMS notifications: Become aware of problems as they happen, even if you’re not by your computer.
BulletProof Security is a Premium WordPress security plugin, but instead of charging a yearly price, it costs just $59.95 as a one time fee. Unlike many of the other WordPress security plugins on this list, it can be difficult to configure for your website without a technical understanding – keep that in mind before purchasing. Top features include:
- Self-repairing and self-configuring abilities
- Elimination of spambot registrations, logins, and comments (which represent 99% of all website spamming, according to BulletProof Security’s website)
- Auto-quarantine of malicious hacker files/autorestore of legitimate website files if they’ve been tampered with
You never know when your WordPress website is going to be attacked, so it’s beneficial to use VaultPress, which scans your entire website, every day. This premium WordPress security plugin also helps with simple fixes and will automatically fix the more dangerous threats for you, without intervention.
As a part of the Jetpack plugin, pricing starts at $3.50/month and $39/year, and scales up depending on whether you’re using Jetpack Personal, Premium, or Professional.
Sucuri Security is a premium WordPress plugin that acts as a website firewall. Support is some of the best of any WordPress plugin, with 24/7 service response.
Pricing starts at $199.99/year for the Basic package, and is by no means cheap. But if your website gets a lot of traffic, it’s worth insuring your investment of time and money to get to this point.
SiteGuarding is a premium WordPress security with a number of functions that include:
- Malware detection and removal
- Automatic backup of files every 3-5 days
- Blacklist removal (Google, McAfee, Norton)
Pricing starts at $6.95/month/site, and scales up depending on how much traffic and content your website has. For developers, cheaper bulk plans are available.
All In One WP Security & Firewall
All in One WP Security & Firewall is a free WordPress security plugin that protects against brute force login attacks, and also has a security scanner that alerts you as to if a file was changed so you can review what happened.
The last thing you’ll ever want to deal with is a security vulnerability that destroys your website, which can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. Protect your website from unnecessary downtime by installing one or many of these 10 best WordPress security plugins.