Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top pick? The best WordPress security plugins for most people is Sucuri.
By far, WordPress continues to be the leading choice when it comes to creating and managing websites even if you haven’t got the slightest smidgen of coding know-how. It has given numerous people across the globe a voice and a presence online through blogs and websites dedicated to a diverse range of topics.
However, given the highly publicised spate of hacking incidents that have made it into the news in recent weeks, is there a way by which site owners can protect their sites and blogs? Fortunately, the extensive selection of plugins available for the WordPress platform includes some of the most powerful security tools to prevent hackers and bots from taking over user sites. The challenge is, of course, to know which ones are the most effective in doing so.
Our review of the best WordPress security plugins will show you our top picks, how these stack up in terms of efficacy, and which one works best for certain issues and vulnerabilities.
What are the top WordPress security plugins?
At their most basic, plugins are micro-programmes – small functional bits of software – that are designed to either perform specific features or to enhance the functionality of existing features within a much larger programme or application such as a site builder or a hosting platform.
Top WordPress security plugins were designed to work exclusively with the CMS-driven site-building platform as these are written in PHP, the programming language that serves as WP’s backbone.
That said, the best WordPress security plugins were created to protect sites made with or hosted on the platform from various types of malware, brute force attacks, as well as hacking attempts.
Our Top Five Picks for the Best WordPress Security Plugins:
- Sucuri – best overall WordPress security plugin
- iThemes Security – Strong password enforcement
- Wordfence – Simplicity + power
- Jetpack Security – Best in features and modules
- WP Cerber Security – All-in-one plugin
What makes the best WordPress security plugin?
There are four key points of consideration when it comes to choosing the best WordPress security plugins for your website. These are:
- Prevention; and
Auditing is a task usually handled by system administrators. Therefore, it isn’t one of those pre-programmed “set it, then forget it” functions. A truly savvy sysad’s audit should be done with great vigilance. This is because the average website can find itself bombarded by hackers over 40 times on any given day. Specifically, site auditing checks who is logging onto the site, whether or not they have the correct credentials or authorisations to go into the backend, and whether or not they have the authority to make changes or install new plugins.
Detection is all about scanning and screening for threats before they even happen. In which case, the best WordPress security plugins 2021 should include capabilities like malware scanning, isolation, and integrity checking. To make a long story short, it should essentially do for your site what your antivirus does for your desktop computer or mobile device.
Prevention plugins serve as a website’s initial line of defence. In particular, their main job is to thwart hackers and are programmed to fight off threats like brute force attacks, remote command execution, denial of service, cross-site scripting, and attacks involving remote file inclusion.
Finally, the top WordPress security plugins related to utility are a diverse bunch that can do a number of equally diverse tasks. Many of the applications under this category are used for site maintenance tasks such as remote editing or management of your WordPress site or even making backups on a regular basis.
Our Top WordPress Security Plugins in Detail:
Get to know the best WordPress security plugins up close:
Sucuri tops our list of the best WordPress security plugins. It is something that both free and premium users can use. The free edition serves as a fairly powerful means of protecting one’s site, as Sucuri acts as a firewall that filters out potential threats even before they hit your site.
But this best WordPress security plugins true potential can be seen in its paid plans as these more advanced versions can remove malware and repair any damage done to your site, enable sysads to do blacklist monitoring, and even protect your brand reputation.
Sucuri also has the additional benefit of improving your website’s loading speed, resilience, and overall performance.
- Professional malware and hack removals;
- Promises the best WordPress firewall;
- Blacklist monitoring and removal;
- SSL support and monitoring; and
- Advanced denial of service mitigation.
- Best WordPress security plugins that can be used for free;
- Reasonable prices for paid plans;
- Immediate customer/technical support
- Limited functionality in free edition;
- May be too expensive for SMEs
Pricing: Free plan; Paid plans range between $199.99 and $499.99 annually
This best WordPress security plugins claim to fame? Longtime WordPress security experts made it. iThemes Security protects your site by strengthening user credentials, and proactively scanning for vulnerabilities in your site. Then, it applies any – and all – necessary updates on a regular basis. It also monitors for any suspicious activities and even minimises the entry of spam into the email addresses connected to your WordPress account or site.
Like Sucuri, this best WP security plugins comes in free and paid editions. But iThemes Security’s free edition is certainly richer than its competitor’s in terms of features and functionality. Indeed, the free edition boasts of over 25 essential features that ensure one’s website is well-protected against hackers and denials of service.
- Standard security check;
- 404 protection;
- Database backup;
- File change detection; and
- Notification centre.
- Top WordPress security plugins that work with both network and multi-site installations;
- User interface is one of the easiest to use;
- Offers numerous settings to enhance site security
- You need to edit *.htaccess file manually to apply certain functions;
- Can considerably slow down loading time while running;
- Quite limited attack protection
Pricing: This top WordPress security plugins offers a free plan; Paid plans range from $58 to $130 annually
Wordfence confidently boasts that it is the “best WordPress security available.” From our point of view, it certainly puts its money where its mouth is as it offers a WordPress-centric endpoint firewall as well as a malware scanner.
With this top WordPress security plugins, you can scan for the most common threats (a list that is constantly being updated in the background). Plus, you can also launch a scan at any time! While it doesn’t automatically fix any errors or issues, it immediately sends an alert out to sysads in the event of a security breach along with instructions on how to mitigate or fix the issue.
- Real-time threat intelligence in the form of constant updates for firewall rules and malware signatures;
- Reputation checks;
- Country blocking;
- Real-time IP blacklisting;
- Premium technical support
- Constantly being updated against the latest threats;
- Offers a complete firewall for both free and premium users;
- Real-time email updating in the event of threats
- Paid subscribers of this top WordPress security plugins are given priority when it comes to technical supports;
- Built-in firewall is not as effective as the DNS firewalls of other plugins;
- Can be difficult to learn at first
Pricing: This best WP security plugin has a Free plan; Paid plans range between $74.25 and $99.00 one-time payment
Jetpack is a name that has long been associated with WordPress, given its longstanding position as a developer of security, marketing, and performance improvement tools for the platform.
Making it to our list of the best WP security plugin, it is touted as one of the most user-friendly security solutions developed for WordPress and it’s not surprising to see why. Even its free edition comes well-equipped with features like website backup, spam filtering, and downtime monitoring.
We have to state here, however, that Jetpack Security is also more of a utility-driven plugin as it also offers site analytics and site performance optimisation.
- Brute force protection;
- Spam filtering;
- Downtime monitoring;
- Website data backup; and
- Automatic malware scanning and plugin updates
- Offers the functionality of multiple plugins in a single package;
- Flexible payment plans for those on a tight budget;
- Value for money through an extensive range of features
- Even the premium edition offers only basic security;
- Too many functions, some of which may not even be used;
- Can come off as too basic for more experienced WordPress users
Pricing: Free plan; Standard premium plan costs $99.00 annually
WP Cerber Security
If you’re looking for one of the best WP security plugins that can help protect corporate websites or online stores, then WP Cerber Security may just be the product you need.
Its creators specifically designed the software with freelancers and small-scale businesses in mind. It offers protection for forms created with WordPress' signature ecommerce plugin WooCommerce, allows for secure registration and checkout, restrict form submissions from specific locations, and even remove spam comments from blog entries, product pages, and landing pages.
As one of the best WP security plugins, sysads can deploy WP Cerber Security as a way of mitigating the insertion of malicious codes, block potential threats through their IP addresses, and even schedule malware scanning on an hourly, daily, and even weekly basis.
- Vulnerability scanning;
- Whitelisting and blacklisting;
- Behavioral analytics;
- AI/Machine learning; and
- Scheduled malware scanning and updating
- Limits login attempts from suspicious IP addresses;
- Monitors all activities related to logging in or out;
- Disables automatic directing to the login page
- Goes into citadel mode post-installation;
- Existing issues with 404 errors;
- May not be ideal for large or enterprise-level businesses
Pricing: This best security plugin for WordPress 2021 has a Free plan; Standard premium plan costs $99.00 annually
Conclusion and Recommendations:
Given that WordPress is now the site creation/site management platform of choice behind more than 70 million websites worldwide, having the best WP security plugin ensures that your site will keep on working regardless of both existing and emergent threats lurking through the internet.
While all of the top WordPress security plugins presented in this review work well in general, we recommend that you consider a plugin that works with your budget, the specific audience niche of your website, as well as its overall reach.
What is the best WordPress website security plugins?
Hands down, it's Sucuri. It provides you with all the crucial features to guard your website, including DNS-level firewalls, website scanning, CDN, and a cloud-based server.
How many of the best WP security plugins listed offer a free version?
All of them offer a free version. However, you may find that there is a restriction on features, which may in the end compromise your website.
That's all for now:
If you've read all the way through this best WordPress security plugins list, we are thankful. We hope you can now answer the question of what is the best WP security plugin option for you! We have a large collection of articles, guides, and comparison reviews of eCommerce solutions, web hosting providers, website builders, and more! Feel free to check them out;
- iThemes Security Pro
- Sucuri Review
- WP Engine Hosting Review
- Drupal Vulnerability and Drupal Security Best Practices
- Bluehost vs WP Engine
Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie keeps the many marketing projects flowing ensuring completion on time. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.