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Top 6 Security Plugins for WordPress Websites

WordPress powers well over a quarter of all CMS-using websites, way more than any other platform on the internet. While it’s great to have such an immense community of users, this also makes the platform a bit of a high-yield target for attackers. Usually, WordPress websites are attacked by bots and scraped for purposes like data scraping, spamming, etc, mainly because one identified vulnerability can bring down thousands of websites at once.

But as with everything else, WordPress security is as good as you make it. The platform isn’t exactly unsafe to begin with, but that does not mean you shouldn’t go the extra mile and beef up your website security as much as possible.

Here are 6 of the best security plugins that you absolutely need to harden security on your WordPress site:

1. BulletProof Security

o Usage Stats: 100K+ Active Installs
o Rating: 4.7/5
o Available at: WordPress.org

BulletProof Security is a freemium model plugin. But the free version is a beast in and of itself.

The plugin helps secure your website by the way of .htaccess (complete core files security and firewall), logins (brute force attacks), automated logout on idle sessions, cookie expiration, complete database backup and prefix options, error logging (HTTP, Login), etc.

As an added bonus, it is also optimized for speed, has development/maintenance mode features, translation packs, and a one-time purchase pro version you can upgrade to for even more powerful features (Anti-spam, custom php.ini, auto-restore, and more in 16+ mini plugins).

It’s simple to install and is extensively documented for easy usage.

2. All in One WP Security & Firewall

o Usage Stats: 300K+ Active Installs
o Rating: 4.8/5
o Available at: WordPress.org

All in One WP Security & Firewall is pretty intense but easy to use at the same time.

It’s as advertised – An All-in-One tool that enforces security best practices in user account logins and registration, database and file system, .htaccess and core files, and more. It features firewall security, IP or username based blacklisting functionality, WHOLS scanning and spam prevention, content-theft prevention from front end, and other awesome features. All for the low, low cost of absolutely free.

It’s translated in over 10 major languages. It is also one of the most widely used WordPress security plugin in the Repository, as you can tell.

3. Anti-Malware Security and Brute-Force Firewall

o Usage Stats: 100K+ Active Installs
o Rating: 4.9/5
o Available at: WordPress.org

Anti-Malware Security and Brute Force Firewall is a quite, efficient plugin that means business.
The plugin scans WordPress websites for malicious code – malware, viruses, backdoor scripts et al, along with other known security threats and existing vulnerabilities, brings them to your attention, and then helps you fix them up.

It also gives you a firewall, prevents attackers from exploiting plugin vulnerabilities (for eg. Revolution Slider), upgrades timthumb scripts to safer versions, and downloads Definition Updates from GOTMLS.net to keep pace with newer threats.

It’s lightweight and has no frills, and it has a premium version which gives you extra security features for core files and more against brute force and DDoS attacks.

4. iThemes Security

o Usage Stats: 700K+ Active Installs
o Rating: 4.7/5
o Available at: WordPress.org

Formerly known (and still slugged as) Better WP Security, iThemes’ security plugin needs no introduction to the community. It’s that awesome.

The plugin helps protect your WordPress website from brute force and other types of activities with SSL, blacklisting, attack detection on database/core files, and more. It has a powerful scanner and some really cool obscuring tricks that you learn about in various tutorials to hide your files and source code from discovery. As a bonus, it has great recovery features and 404 error detection too.

The pro version has even more advanced monitoring and security features, but the free one doesn’t fall short either. Also, and it’s no surprise, that it integrates automatically with other iThemes products (one of the few trusted marketplace for WordPress themes and plugins).

5. Wordfence Security

o Usage Stats: 1 million+ Active Installs
o Rating: 4.9/5
o Available at: WordPress.org

This is my personal favorite security plugin. I recommend it to all my clients.

WordFence Security is an enterprise-grade security solution, which really takes website security to a whole new ballpark. It’s a multisite compatible, highly efficient and user friendly plugin which is more than capable of handling botnets and similar attacks, beef up firewall, and more.

It has superb real time blocking and protection features, based on community premises. If another WordFence protected site is attacked in a certain way, the plugin automatically prevents it from happening on other WordFence sites.

You get amped up security on login, registration, extensive scanning, monitoring and caching features, multisite security, and so much more with the free version of this plugin. The premium API key is for those who need support and additional features like region-based blocking, specific scheduled scans, TFA, and more.

It’s the best plugin there is.

6. Sucuri Security

o Usage Stats: 200K+ Active Installs
o Rating: 4.6/5
o Available at: WordPress.org

Monitoring, detection, and all-around security hardening

Sucuri Security is another first-rate WordPress security plugin. Also, it’s free, like best things in life often are.

The plugin is hardcore – It takes control over site security and has features like monitoring (activity, file integrity, blacklists), auditing, remote malware scanning, post-attack security and prevention actions, notifications, and an add-on firewall. Its security scanner (SiteCheck) is almost terrifying in its efficiency, and the blacklist monitor pulls data from 10 most noted blacklist engines on the web, namely Sucuri, Google, Norton, AVG, McAfee, and more.

The CloudProxy Website Firewall is a performance optimized premium add-on to this plugin. It prevents and protects from DDoS attacks of most magnitudes, plugin vulnerabilities, brute force attacks and more.

Endnote

Make sure to choose the perfect plugin for your WordPress website and set up a routine of security scans in order to stay safe. Gather information on ways to Harden WordPress Security and keep pace with platform updates.

It’s your digital real-estate. Take a proactive stance with website security.

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