Typically, when we talk about the best security plugins, we focus on ones that promise to be all encompassing. However, a list of the best WordPress security plugins really isn’t complete without breaking out the more specialized players. You know the ones: they deal in special protection against things like brute-force attacks or in safeguarding the admin login area.
That’s why, in the following roundup, I’m going to cover all of the best WordPress security plugins that will help you protect your site from every angle.
WPMU DEV’s Defender plugin is now available for free in the WordPress repository and remains part of the WPMU DEV membership pack. What’s not to love about that? Oh yeah. The security piece. Here’s why this is the ultimate bodyguard for your WordPress site:
- Automated and customized security scans
- Recommended security fixes
- Updated security keys
- Two-factor authentication at login
- Limited login attempts
- Code and file scanning for unauthorized changes
- Bot and IP lockout when you suspect they’re out to do you harm
- Online monitoring lets you know if your site was blacklisted
- 10GB of Snapshot backup included
2. All in One WP Security
The name is no exaggeration. When you want all-in-one security protection for your site, you can trust in this plugin to deliver that. It will cover:
- Standard security scanning
- User account (and password) security
- IP address blacklisting/whitelisting
- Automated database backups
- One-click restore
- File security
- Firewall enabling
- Brute-force attack security
- And more
3. iThemes Security
Although there is a premium version of this plugin available, I think the standard iThemes Security is a good place to start so you can get a sense for the power this plugin packs into it. As the developer describes it, this plugin’s job is to protect, detect, and obscure. If you want to round out your process with the “recover” portion, iThemes sells BackupBuddy, one of the backup plugins [link to Backup Plugins article] we recently featured in our comparison roundup.
This plugin really specializes in fortifying the login and user management piece of WordPress security, so if that is a primary concern for you, then this may be a good one to start with.
4. Shield Security
Perhaps my favorite thing about this plugin is the developer’s commitment to automating the security monitoring and protection process. When you look at how easy this plugin is to use and how many points it ticks off on your security audit checklist, you can see that they really take this mission to heart.
Here are some of the things Shield Security will do:
- Off-site security key included
- Activity auditing
- Firewall protection
- Two-factor authentication
- Brute force protection
- Automatic core, plugin, and theme updates
- IP address blocking
5. Spam Protection Firewall, Anti-Spam
This plugin from CleanTalk does more than just protect your blog comment feeds from spam infiltration. This one also works to prevent you from having to moderate spam emails or responses on your contact forms, surveys, reservation systems, and more.
Should you disable comments on your WordPress blog? While much of the reasoning came from WordPress pros who used factors like SEO or website real estate to validate their decisions, there’s one thing they didn’t talk about much about. And that is speed.
WP-SpamShield directly addresses that part of the equation, however, as this firewall plugin aims to keep spam completely off your site and out of your database.
This anti-spam plugin works much as the others do: it blocks spammers from getting in through comment fields as well as contact forms. This one, however, takes it one step further and defends against brute force attacks. So, if you’re looking for a one-two punch, you’ll get it here.
The main purpose of this plugin is to limit the number of login attempts made on your WordPress website; effectively, shutting down any opportunity for a brute force attack. However, this plugin also comes with some great premium features. If you like how effective the free Loginizer is, you might want to think about an upgrade so you can unlock two-factor authentication, login challenge questions, reCAPTCHA, wp-admin renaming, disabling of XML-RPC, and more.
9. Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall
Has your WordPress site had issues with malware in the past? If so, you might want to think about getting this plugin that specifically targets that type of vulnerability in WordPress, especially issues discovered in plugins as well as the core.