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Security plugins are essential for any website because they scan, protect, and remove malware that may infiltrate your site. WordPress offers over 900 security plugins, and after reviewing dozens of them, we determined that Sucuri is the best option for most users. Sucuri is an extensive all-in-one security plugin that offers advanced, brute force protection for any WordPress website while remaining remarkably user-friendly for inexperienced site owners.
The Best WordPress Security Plugin for Most
Sucuri is an industry leader in WordPress security, making it an excellent option for most WordPress users because of its versatility and beginner-friendly interface.
Sucuri has one of the best firewall filters on the market, and is responsible for cleaning up over 700 websites a day. Big-name brands like Crossfit, Miami University, and NYU trust Sucuri—making it a great security solution for small and enterprise-level businesses alike.
The best part is that Sucuri is affordable, with a free subscription available to all users, where you get access to the basic—but still valuable—features of its security service.
The Best WordPress Security Plugin Options to Consider
- Sucuri – Best for most
- Wordfence – Best for multiple sites
- Jetpack – Best for downtime monitoring
- iThemes Security Pro – Best for two-factor authentication
- All-in-One WP Security and Firewall– Best free-forever plugin
When It Makes Sense to Invest Into WordPress Security Plugins
Anyone who owns a website to run their business, WordPress or not, would benefit from a security plugin. So the most obvious time to invest in a WordPress security plugin is the same day you start your website, so you’re protected from the very beginning.
Generally, larger businesses with more successful websites are more prone to malicious attacks, so if your website is becoming more popular, we might recommend investing in a more robust security plugin (or at least making sure the one you have is up-to-date and fully functional).
Finally, if you’ve been the victim of a cyber attack or even accidentally had some malware infect your site, you absolutely want to invest in a new security plugin immediately–especially if you either didn’t have one before or the one you had didn’t protect you the way it promised.
It’s never too early to install security, even if you opt for a free version. Now, let’s look at some of the security options you would greatly benefit from as a WordPress user.
#1 – Sucuri – The Best WordPress Security Plugin for Most
As mentioned above, Sucuri is the best WordPress security plugin for most users. With its strong focus on cleaning and protecting websites, you will definitely be in safe hands when working with its cloud-based software.
Apart from Sucuri’s ability to protect your website from malicious attacks, its best feature by far is its malware removal. Security plugins always focus on protection, but what if your website does become infiltrated? Luckily, Sucuri is well-equipped to handle this.
Sucuri offers free malware removal to all users. And with the free version of the plugin, you get access to features like post-hack, Sucuri firewall integration, malware scanning, core integrity check, and email alerts.
You’ll get even more anti-malware features in its paid subscriptions, which you can easily integrate into your WordPress site. With malware removal on a paid plan, you receive a dedicated incident response team and state-of-the-art technology, so your website will be up and running before any attacks damage your reputation.
Not only does Sucuri remove malware and restore your website completely, but it also removes blocklist status, repairs SEO spam, and prevents future attacks with its WAF firewall.
Sucuri uses machine learning, application profiling, virtual patching, and WordPress hardening to protect your website against malicious attacks. With its advanced security tools, it also monitors and detects attacks before they have even begun.
Sucuri offers an extensive suite of security features that are crucial to protecting your site. Some of these features include:
- DNS and uptime monitoring
- Brute force attacks protection
- DDoS attack mitigation
- Zero-day exploit prevention
- CDN performance and speed optimization
The Sucuri security plugin is available to download and install for free on any WordPress website running version 3.6 or higher. However, if you want access to more of the advanced features we discussed above, you will need to pay the price.
- Basic: $199.99 per site, per year
- Pro: $299.99 per site, per year
- Business: $499.99 per site, per year
- Custom Solutions: You can call the Sucuri sales team to discuss multiple site pricing, seamless integration, and emergency response SLAs.
Sucuri offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
#2 – Wordfence – The Best WordPress Security Plugin for Multiple Sites
Wordfence is an endpoint firewall-based security plugin that is popular among WordPress users. With over 150 million downloads worldwide, Wordfence is a trusted option to secure multiple sites.
Wordfence has the best threat intelligence in the industry because it uses a “threat defense feed,” which has the newest firewall rules, malware signatures, and malicious IP addresses to keep your website safe. Free users will receive the community version of this feed, but unfortunately, it takes 30 days to gain access to.
Wordfence also offers what’s known as Wordfence Central, which is one of the most important features on its platform, as it allows you to manage and monitor security for multiple sites within the same plugin–no additional installation necessary.
The Wordfence Central hub is free to use. However, you must purchase multiple site licenses to run security on multiple WordPress sites—which we will get into a little later on.
With Wordfence Central, you get access to a customizable dashboard, security findings, and configuration, all within one platform.
Not only does Wordfence do an incredible job at letting you manage and host security on multiple sites, but it offers powerful features that keep those websites safe. Some of the best features include:
- Repair files
- Leaked password protection
- Advanced manual blocking
- Country blocking
- Live traffic
For free users, you get access to the WordPress firewall and security scanner, both of which scan for malware and protect against attacks. The endpoint firewall doesn’t break encryption or leak data, as hackers can’t bypass it.
Wordfence is a free security plugin that you can integrate with your WordPress websites. However, to receive real-time security scans and access to multiple site management, you will need to upgrade to Wordfence Premium.
You can purchase up to 15 Wordfence licenses and save up to 25% when you buy more. All site licenses come with premium support and reputation checks.
- 1 license: $99
- 2-4 licenses: $89.10 with 10% off
- 5-9 licenses: $84.15 with 15% off
- 10-14 licenses: $79.20 with 20% off
- 15+ licenses: $74.25 with 25% off
You must purchase Wordfence Premium on an annual license. But you can choose to purchase on a two or three-year contract and get an extra 20-30% off.
Wordfence offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all licenses.
#3 – Jetpack – The Best WordPress Security Plugin for Downtime Monitoring
The free version of Jetpack is one of the few integrations that automatically comes with all WordPress subscriptions. With its premium version being a more comprehensive and easy-to-use plugin that offers advanced security measures and backups.
Many WordPress users are probably already familiar with Jetpack, as WordPress offers you the essential features on their paid plans, like site performance, protection from spammers, detailed activity records, improved SEO, and social media sharing.
However, the premium version of the Jetpack security features are much more beneficial and will help you protect your website efficiently. One of these features is downtime monitoring, which Jetpack does brilliantly.
The Jetpack downtime monitor will continuously watch your site and alert you immediately via email and/or the Jetpack mobile app when it detects any downtime. Once you activate the downtime monitor, one of Jetpack’s servers will start monitoring your website every five minutes until it finds the issue.
Jetpack also specializes in security scans with automated malware scanning and one-click fixes. You can review the WordPress scanning log in one centralized place, where you get to fix problems and restore backups.
You will benefit from some other standard security features like:
- Brute force attack protection
- Secure authentication
- 24/7 support
- Unlimited site storage
You can get Jetpack for free, but you will need to purchase a Jetpack Premium plan for advanced features.
- Backup Daily: $7.50 per month, billed at $90 per year
- Security Daily: $17.45 per month, billed at $209.40 per year
- Complete: $69.90 per month, billed at $838.80 per year
For large to enterprise-level businesses, Jetpack offers other packages for real-time security.
- Security Real-time: $50 per month, billed at $600 per year
- Backup Real-time: $37.50 per month, billed at $450 per year
- Scan: $7.50 per month, billed at $90 per year
Jetpack offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
#4 – iThemes Security Pro – The Best WordPress Security Plugin for Two-Factor Authentication
Best for Two-Factor Authentication
When you’re away from your computer, two-factor authentication makes sure you’re alerted when anyone else tries to access it--and can stop them from wherever you are. For that extra security, iThemes Security Pro is your best bet.
iThemes Security Pro is a trusted plugin that was built by WordPress security experts. It has an extensive focus on the two-factor authentication feature, making it an excellent choice for added security measures for your user account.
iThemes Security Pro offers a one-click install via the WordPress plugins dashboard, and with an intuitive interface and layout, you can start protecting your website in minutes.
Most security plugins will offer a two-factor authentication feature, but iThemes Security Pro goes the extra mile for its users by offering security codes and backup codes via mobile app and email. The iThemes Security Pro two-factor authentication stands out because it’s compatible with all time-based one-time provider (TOTP) apps.
Any two-factor authentication app that supports TOTP will seamlessly integrate with the iThemes Security Pro platform. The most popular apps for both Android and iOS devices include Google Authenticator, Authy, FreeOTP Authenticator, and Troopher.
Not only will you receive a second code to your email or mobile device after entering your password, but iThemes Security Pro lets you request backup codes if the primary two-factor method is lost or expired.
Two-factor authentication isn’t the only significant feature that iThemes Security Pro offers its users. Some other robust features include:
- File change detection
- Lockout bad users
- Hide login and admin
- Database backups
- Away mode
With the free version of iThemes Security Pro, you get 30+ powerful features from malware scanning and security logs to network brute force protection and reduce comment spam. However, if you want more advanced real-time security features and automatic updates, you will need to purchase an upgraded plan.
All iThemes Security Pro plans come with one year of ticketed support and one year of plugin updates.
- Blogger: $80 per year for one site
- Small Business: $127 per year for 10 sites
- Gold: $199 per year for unlimited sites
iThemes Security Pro offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
#5 – All-in-One WP Security and Firewall – Best Free-Forever WordPress Security Plugin
The All-in-One WP Security and Firewall plugin is one of the more basic security platforms. It is also one of the few free-forever security plugins, which can be a great option for beginners wanting to learn the ropes of a security system.
Despite the All-in-One WP Security and Firewall plugin being completely free, it’s still quite comprehensive and well-supported by WordPress. It helps to reduce security risk by automatically checking for vulnerabilities and enforcing the latest WordPress security practices.
The great thing about All-in-One WP Security and Firewall is that it categorizes its security and firewall rules into three classifications of “basic,” “intermediate,” and “advanced.” This classification system makes sure you can apply the firewall progressively without breaking any functionalities within your website.
All-in-One WP Security and Firewall offers an extensive suite of features that will protect your website, from user accounts security to database security. It also works with the most popular WordPress plugins, so you don’t need to worry about the security system slowing down your website.
Some of All-in-One WP Security and Firewall best features include:
- Ability to lock down the front end of your site
- Ban users by specifying IP addresses or user agents
- Backup and modify files
- Easily view and monitor all host system logs
- Ability to add Google reCaptcha
The All-in-One WP Security and Firewall plugin is 100% free forever and offers 24/7 support through its support forums.
Methodology for Choosing the Best WordPress Security Plugin
There are a few factors that go into finding the best WordPress security plugin for your website needs. Sometimes it’s difficult to choose the right plugin when you don’t know what elements to look for. So we put together this methodology of the three most important elements that make up a good WordPress security plugin.
Malware removal is one of the most important elements of any security plugin. Malware removal ensures that the software you are paying for can quickly and effectively clear your website if it was ever maliciously infiltrated.
Not every security plugin offers this service, as many of them simply protect and scan your website—and if they do—you may have to pay an additional cost. However, Sucuri is an excellent choice when it comes to malware removal.
With Sucuri, you don’t need to pay any extra costs as they clean your site for free. You can even use Sucuri to remove malware from your website without being an existing customer. All you need to do is pick a plan, set up an account, and request malware removal.
A security plugin should offer security alerts and notifications. However, it’s to which device that matters most. Many plugins will send alerts to an email account, which is great—but not everyone has access to their email all the time.
Some people don’t have their email signed in on their phone (you should!), or they simply don’t have access to their computer 24/7. Luckily, iThemes Security Pro and Jetpack are great at sending alerts to both a mobile app and email.
When you look for a security plugin, look for something that sends alerts to multiple devices for increased safety.
Ease of Use
Normally we wouldn’t make such a broad category a major deciding factor, but let’s face it, security software can be confusing, time-consuming, and overwhelming for some people. So it’s important to find a plugin that offers an easy setup and intuitive interface.
Every plugin we recommend here is easy to use, but especially Wordfence and All-in-One WP Security and Firewall. Both plugins offer either customizable platforms or categorized menus for easy navigation.
Overall, Sucuri is our top recommendation as to the best WordPress security plugin on the market.
It’s free software, but its paid plans are still affordable for their value. Sucuri supports users by offering free malware removal and website restoration, brute force attack protection, and prevents future attacks—making it an excellent choice for most users.
With that said, Wordfence is a close second because of its ability to host and protect multiple sites at a discounted price. All options on our list are excellent for different reasons, and by following our methodology, you’ll find the right plugin for you.