6 Best WordPress Security Plugins in 2021

Maintaining strong WordPress security is a fairly complex task to get right. However, plugins play an essential part in making sure your website is safe from all types of hacking attempts.

If you want to make sure your WordPress website has all the protection it needs to keep working at all times, you need the right WordPress security plugins. But with so many to choose from, which ones should you go for?

Well, this is what we will cover in this post:

An image featuring a laptop with WordPress on the screen and at the right side are the words Best WordPress Security Plugins

BulletProof Security

An image featuring the description of the BulletProof Security WordPress plugin

If you care less about style and more about having the best security plugin working around the clock to protect your website from online threats, BulletProof Security should be at least near the top of your list of the best WordPress security plugins. Granted, it won’t give you an attractive user interface to look at, but it is good at what it does—keeping hackers out.

It’s also free, so there is little reason not to at least try BulletProof Security. Setting up and using BulletProof Security should also be a walk in the park thanks to the plugin’s video tutorials, which walk you through the process of getting it up and running on your WordPress website.

In terms of the tools and options BulletProof Security provides to WordPress site owners, they include a database backup feature that can be set to either manual, partial or full settings, a malware scanner, access security, idle session logout, login monitoring, and many others.

An image featuring a person using his laptop with security logos on top of it representing security concept

BulletProof Security has a very high rating among WordPress users for a couple of other reasons as well. First, it comes pre-installed with a firewall feature. It also has mechanisms for brute force attack protection. However, you should be careful and alert when installing BulletProof Security since the wrong configuration can render some of its most critical tools useless.

Once it is set up correctly and running at full speed, it offers a complete security toolset for your WordPress site. Installing the plugin is not a problem, as it is done via a single-click installation wizard. For even more advanced functions to work well, you may have to learn how to use the manual mode.

This free WordPress security plugin is good enough to permanently provide solid protection to your site at no cost to you. However, it also has a paid version.

The Pro version unlocks even more advanced security features, which makes this plugin great for detecting fake and malicious traffic, blocking multiple incorrect login attempts and issuing notifications to the user if it finds something wrong with the source code of WordPress plugins and themes.

The Pro version also removes the limit on the number of sites you can protect with BulletProof Security. It also provides a cache feature, which has become a necessity in today’s online world, where the performance of a website is worth almost as much as the content on it.

iThemes Security Pro

An image featuring the homepage of the iThemes Security Pro WordPress plugin

This is the WordPress security plugin you should go for if you want top-class security, extra features and an eye-pleasing user interface. The main theme of iThemes Security Pro is to make it simple for users to secure their WordPress websites.

Note:

A key security feature you can expect to use with a paid subscription is 404 error reports. The security plugin can monitor if the same IP address is generating the 404 errors. If it finds anything suspicious, it moves forward assuming someone is trying to gain access to the website and proceeds to lock out the user with that IP address.

It also takes care of the fundamentals of good WordPress site security very well. For example, it essentially forces WordPress administrators to make use of strong passwords. As our readers already know, the more difficult a given password is to remember, the better it is at not getting hacked.

The iThemes Security Pro WordPress plugin also allows users to enable security options such as two-factor authentication. For all the incidents where things go wrong, it tries to cover you with its database backup feature. Also, the Passwordless Logins feature works in a similar way to Face ID or fingerprint authentication on a smartphone.

Currently, the company offers three plans:

There is the Blogger subscription plan, which costs around $80 per year. Keep in mind that this subscription plan comes with a one website protection limit.
$80
If you have more than one website but less than 10, you can go with the Small Business plan, which costs around $127 per year.
$127
Finally, the Gold plan allows users to protect an unlimited number of websites for $199 per year.
$199

The iThemes Security Pro plugin has a very good reputation in the WordPress plugin market because of the previous success it found with the BackupBuddy plugin. iThemes Security started as Better WP Security, the first iteration of the plugin. The plugin comes with some standard security features such as security hardening, brute force protection and checks for validating file integrity. There is also a malware scanner onboard, which takes advantage of another WordPress plugin’s malware scanner called Sucuri Site check.

An image featuring a person using his laptop and is logging in in his WordPress website

This WordPress security plugin makes it straightforward for WordPress users to perform maintenance tasks. Right from the dashboard, they can access a list of security tools that take care of everything that needs regular checking. The same dashboard also allows them to customize various options that come with different security features.

Not only that, but it also has a feature that can stop automated hacking attacks. The iThemes Security Pro plugin is also very good at reporting any modifications to the protected site’s database and other system files.

Sucuri Security

An image featuring the homepage of the Sucuri Security WordPress plugin

This WordPress security plugin tries something very different. It calls itself a platform rather than just a simple plugin. And if you look at the number of features on offer, you may agree with the people behind this plugin as well.

With any Sucuri Security subscription, you get access to a standard detection and monitoring system along with a firewall. These components alone are enough for many WordPress websites, but for users who want something more, Sucuri Security comes with a malware scanner, an SEO spam blocker, and various repair services that can really come in handy when a hacker does break-in. There are many speed optimization tools available as well, the most prominent of which is the cache option.

Apart from these performance boosters, the free version of the plugin hardens your default WordPress security and runs a scan regularly to protect your website from common hacking attempts. If you go for the paid options, that gets you a firewall that protects your WordPress site from various lesser-known malicious attacks and brute force attack incidents, which the free version doesn’t cover.

The firewall should be enough to get rid of most bad traffic, and that frees up your server from having to deal with them. Sucuri operates its own content delivery network (CDN) servers as well, which can offer static content from subscribers.

Pro Tip:

If malware does infect your website, Sucuri cleans it up without charging you anything extra. Sometimes, you can subscribe to Sucuri for an infected website and they clean all of it without any extra charge.

Now comes the price part. Sucuri doesn’t offer its fantastic array of security features on the cheap. Before we mention the prices of the subscription plans on offer, you should know that each plan only protects a single website. You may have to pay a little more or less if you decide to customize your plans.

We’ll start with the Sucuri Basic plan, which costs around $200 per year.
$200
Then there is the Pro plan, which costs $300 per year.
$300
Finally, you have the Business plan, which costs around $500.
$500
The fourth option is the Enterprise plan, which allows you to pick and choose features and their amount according to your needs.

Wordfence Premium

An image featuring the homepage of the Wordfence Premium WordPress plugin

Wordfence has proven itself as a premium WordPress security plugin for a very long time. Over 3 million websites have made use of the security features provided by this plugin. Wordfence sets itself apart from other plugins by focusing on common vulnerabilities that can destroy a WordPress site. It takes great care in detecting such vulnerabilities and fixes them once found.

Another advantage this plugin has over many other average security plugins is the frequency with which the developers keep updating it. As a result, the Wordfence security plugin is one of the best WordPress security plugins you can install on your website.

The plugin provides you with a complete set of security tools such as a malware detector, firewall and a bad IP address detector. Any plugin developer will tell you that these are the three fundamental components that any good WordPress security plugin has to cover to be effective.

Another tool we want to discuss here is the real-time live traffic feature, which provides users with updates on the traffic the website is receiving and alerts the administrator if it detects that some of it is sourced from someone trying to perform a hack.

An image featuring a cool blue faded lock representing security concept

A subscription to Wordfence Premium also gets you access to a remote system that offers two-factor authentication along with protection against brute force attack incidents and restrictions on login attempts. It can block malicious content requests and any code that may cause trouble with the help of its malware scanner. Wordfence is also able to secure a given WordPress website at the endpoints via deep integration techniques.

In addition to the above features, it allows users to carry out manual blocks of any and all robot and human activity that it deems malicious. With an SEO spam filter and malicious redirection, you can be sure that Wordfence is offering you a complete WordPress security package.

As for the pricing, you will have to pay for each one of your websites separately. However, the higher the number of websites you want to protect, the lower your costs will be.

To protect a single website, you will have to pay Wordfence around $99.
$99
If you protect a minimum of 25 websites, you will have to pay $74.25 for each of those websites.
$74.25

Of course, you can always go with the free version if you aren’t ready to fully commit to Wordfence yet.

MalCare

An image featuring the homepage of the MalCare WordPress plugin

Here is another powerful and reliable WordPress security plugin that you cannot go wrong with. If you want a security plugin for your website that doesn’t just detect malware and removes it but does so at lightning speeds, MalCare is for you.

There aren’t many WordPress security plugins in the market that can beat MalCare when it comes to speed. If it notices your site is hacked, it doesn’t just sit there and push out a notification; it gets to work and cleans your website to stop the virus from causing any more harm. This keeps your site safe from major harm at all times.

MalCare also comes with a firewall and login protection feature, which blocks various common malicious activities and suspect IP addresses. All of this saves server resources and makes your website load faster.

If there is malware out there that’s trying to damage WordPress sites, you can rest assured knowing that MalCare knows about it and will address the threat with its one-click malware removal option if the malware did find its way to your website. MalCare essentially removes the need for any WordPress website owner to hire security professionals to complete menial tasks. And that is because MalCare is simple enough for you to not require much technical knowledge to operate it.

Note:

MalCare is also different from other average WordPress security plugins in the way it scans a given website. MalCare uses its own resources to analyze each scan it runs on the given website. Because of that, your website’s resources are free to improve load speed and other performance measures.

Aside from the scans it runs on your website, MalCare also collects data from a number of different websites, analyzes that data on its own servers and uses it to employ various preventive measures that ultimately protect your WordPress site. In other words, data from one website benefits the whole network. MalCare also comes with client reporting and white labeling features, which come in handy for people who manage their clients’ websites.

As you can probably tell on your own, MalCare is a comprehensive WordPress security plugin that is not only competent at protecting you from known security vulnerabilities but also threats that are unknown. With a strong firewall implementation, remote malware scanner, cloud-based analyses and one-click removal tool, you can’t really go wrong with MalCare. It’s considered one of the best WordPress security plugins for a reason.

As always, you should sign up for the free version if you don’t know MalCare is the right fit for you. And if it turns out it is indeed perfect for your website, you can go with the premium version that offers some of the advanced features we mentioned above.

The premium edition costs $99 per year.
$99

All In One WordPress Security and Firewall

An image featuring the description of the All In One WordPress Security and Firewall WordPress plugin

For all your security auditing needs, the All In One WordPress Security and Firewall plugin should definitely rank high on your list of the best WordPress security plugins. As with all quality WordPress tools, it comes with a firewall and monitoring feature, along with a one-click tool that applies all the basic WordPress security measures on your website.

With a login lockdown and IP filtering feature, it takes care of brute force attacks. Additionally, it offers file integrity and a user account monitor. A scanner is also available for users who want to guard against database injection attacks.

Do Note

that the firewall on offer is pretty basic compared to the best WordPress security plugins. But that doesn’t mean it is useless or even deficient; all it means is that it can detect and block common malicious hacking attempts. But sometimes, you will have to do the work yourself and manually block suspicious IP addresses.

Regardless, this WordPress security plugin is reliable, and that’s why close to a million people have installed it on their websites. The developers behind the plugin have made it very simple for anyone to install and use it, making it a big hit with beginner WordPress users.

An image featuring multiple blue locks representing security concept

The overall protection is top-notch, though. Upon installation, All In One WordPress Security quickly implements the latest security techniques and recommended checks that are essential for all WordPress sites. If a malicious piece of code tries to change something in your WordPress code, this plugin quickly steps in and stops the attempt.

All In One WordPress Security’s firewall component can block fake bots as well. It can even prevent hacking techniques where hackers try hot-linking images on websites. The plugin forces you to use strong passwords, and if an IP address fails to log in successfully after a couple of tries, it blocks it.

There are backup, restoration, editing and file protection tools available as well, along with other lesser-used security features including spam detector and front-end copy security.

But perhaps the biggest selling point of All In One WordPress Security and Firewall is that it is free. Even if you want to purchase a premium version, you can’t because there isn’t any.

If you are just starting out at keeping your website safe and secure, you can’t go wrong with this free WordPress security plugin.

Conclusion: Best WordPress Security Plugins

The task of securing your WordPress site becomes a lot less stressful when you have help. You can get a ton of help from the add-ons that we have mentioned in this post. Did we miss your favorite WordPress security plugin? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

FAQ


Do I need a WordPress security plugin?
Yes. If you are serious about doing anything productive with your WordPress site, you need to make sure it doesn’t get wiped out with a single malicious attack. Security plugins help you guard against that. Plus, they also decrease your workload, as much of your manual work gets automated. For more on WordPress security, check out our guide to removing WordPress malware.

What is a security plugin?
WordPress security plugins provide you with means of protecting your WordPress site. They come with features like malware scanners, database protection mechanisms, spam content filters and monitoring tools that look for malicious files, backdoors, DNS changes and malicious code that a hacker may have embedded in your WordPress website’s source code.

Can WordPress plugins contain viruses?
The WordPress community is so well-developed and well-regulated that it is highly unlikely you will find a plugin with viruses. With that said, no software application in the world is immune to the threat of malware, viruses or other kinds of malicious code.

Does WordPress have security?
Yes, WordPress does have security systems in place. But again, no content management system offers complete security all the time. WordPress does have a quality security apparatus installed that keeps most hackers away. But sometimes, webmasters make mistakes and hackers find a way in. The best WordPress security plugins work to seamlessly enhance the standard security mechanisms of a given WordPress website and enforce good practice on the part of webmasters.

Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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