WordPress, being the most popular blogging platform across the planet, is often targeted by hackers. This doesn’t mean that WordPress is insecure blogging platform. In fact, WordPress core by itself is very secure out of the box, but it’s not enough to keep the bad guys out anymore. This is because of plugin vulnerabilities, poorly coded themes, weak passwords and obsolete software.
If your site was to be compromised then you could not only lose your hard work, you could find yourself losing your income, your reputation, and even your website. As a website owner, you should act quickly to secure your sites before hackers exploit them for attacks.
In this article, I’ll share the top 3 best security plugins which adds an extra layer of protection to your website front door, making it secure from hackers, fake bots and brute force attackers.
Wordfence is a complete Anti-Virus and Firewall Package for your WordPress Website. It continually monitor your site and protect it from humans and robots who are trying to harm your site in any way. Wordfence can also detect whether your site has already been hacked and help repair hacked sites, even if you don’t have a backup. The plugin allows you to set up whitelists for IP addresses that you know can be trusted. Wordfence includes real-time traffic that lets you see who is visiting, who’s getting blocked and what humans and robots are doing.
In addition, Wordfence will also make your site up to 50 times faster than a standard WordPress site by installing Falcon Engine, the high performance web engine available exclusively with Wordfence.
Wordfence is a personal favorite of mine – not only due its security features, but also it has a very easy to use interface too. After all, wordfence is recommended by my hosting provider – Bluehost.
Here’s the official blurb for Wordfence on the WordPress repository:
Wordfence Security is a free enterprise class security and performance plugin that includes a very fast caching engine, firewall, anti-virus scanning, cellphone sign-in (two factor authentication), malicious URL scanning and live traffic including crawlers. Wordfence is the only WordPress security and performance plugin that can verify and repair your core, theme and plugin files, even if you don’t have backups.
Here are some of the important features of this plugin:
- Scans core files, themes and plugins and compare them against the official WordPress repository to check their integrity.
- Lets you see what has changed, how the file has changed and even repair it.
- Scans for the HeartBleed vulnerability.
- Checks for out of date plugins or themes.
- keeps you off Google’s SEO black-list by Scanning all your posts and comments for malicious URL’s.
- Scans for known back-doors, malware, phishing and virus infections.
- Includes a Firewall to block common security threats like fake Google bots, malicious scans from hackers and botnets.
- Checks the strength of all user and admin passwords to enhance login security.
- Limit the number of retry attempts when logging in. (I recently had someone from Turkey trying more than five times to log into my WordPress Website. WordFence kept it safe.)
- Locks out IP addresses that attempt brute force attacks.
- IP whitelisting and IP blocking.
- Live Traffic: Lets you see details of human visits, crawlers, registered users, Pages not found data, brute force entries, top 404 pages etc.
- Monitors disk space to avoid DDoS attacks.
- Email alerts of warnings and critical problems.
- and many more.
The premium version includes enterprise WordPress Security features like Two Factor Authentication, Country Blocking and the ability to schedule scans.
Wordfence works great out of the box for most websites. Installing this on your site is a no brainer. Check out this article that will walk you through the steps of configuring wordfence settings for maximum WordPress security.
iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) is the most downloaded WordPress security plugin (more than 2 million times) in the WordPress repository. The plugin offers a wide range of security features (more than 30 features) to secure your site and it’s easy to use. Basically, it works on a principle of Obscure, Protect, Detect and Recover.
If you’re interested in hardening your WordPress Security, you can install iThemes security with confidence and identify security vulnerabilities before hackers do!
iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) takes the best WordPress security features and techniques and combines them in a single plugin thereby, ensuring that as many security holes as possible are patched without having to worry about conflicting features or the possibility of missing anything on your site.
With one-click activation for most features as well as advanced features for experienced users Better WP Security can help protect any site.
Some of the highlighted features include:
- Scans your site to instantly report where vulnerabilities exist and fixes them in seconds.
- Changing the database prefix from “wp_” to something more obscure.
- Hide Backend.
- Changing the path for “wp-content”.
- Removing WordPress meta “Generator” tag.
- Bans troublesome user agents, bots and other hosts.
- Prevents brute force attacks by banning hosts and users with too many invalid login attempts.
- Strengthens server security.
- Enforces strong passwords for all accounts of a configurable minimum role.
- Turns off file editing from within WordPress admin area.
- Detects and blocks numerous attacks to your filesystem and database.
- Voluntary data collection via Google Analytics to help us make iThemes Security even better.
- Full integration with BackupBuddy.
Better WP Security is great if you know how to use it, some people have reported that it broke their site though. So, be careful with the settings if you don’t know what you’re doing.
BulletProof Security is another popular WordPress security plugin with more than 1 million downloads. It protects your WordPress website against all kinds of hacking attempts such as XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection.
The plugin primarily uses the .htaccess files to harden your website security because they are processed first before any other code on your website. It also enhances login security and will monitor your website for security vulnerabilities.
WordPress Website Security Protection. Website security protection against: XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection hacking…
Some of the highlighted features include:
- One click .htaccess file protection.
- Protection against injection hacking attempts.
- Brute force hack protection.
- .htaccess file backup and restore.
- WordPress readme.html and /wp-admin/install.php protected with .htaccess security protection.
- wp-config.php and bb-config.php files protected with .htaccess security protection.
- Protects php.ini and php5.ini files.
- Deny access to directries.
- Customizable maintenance Mode (HTTP 503) page with Countdown Timer.
- and many more…
Other best WordPress security plugins worth mentioning:
Additionally, you can install any of the following plugins to add an extra level of protection to your login page, because passwords just aren’t enough.
- Stealth Login Page: Stealth Login Page protects your login by means of an authentication code as an extra layer of security without editing the .htaccess file. The beauty of the plugin is that it allows you to redirect failed login attempts to a customizable URL. This is an additional layer of security, best combined with a main security plugin such as wordfence or iTheme security.
- Google Authenticator: The Google Authenticator is the popular security authentication plugin available for WordPress. The plugin gives you two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app for Android/iPhone/Blackberry. Rather than relying on a password alone, which can be phished or guessed, this Two-Factor Authentication makes it nearly impossible for someone to hack into your account.
Which security plugin do you use? Please share it in our comment section. Thanks for reading.