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The Best WordPress Security Plugins to Protect Your Site

Best WordPress Security Plugins

Imagine you’ve just launched your WordPress site, and it’s gaining traction. Suddenly, a security breach threatens everything. Understanding the best WordPress security plugins is crucial to preventing such nightmares.

This article guides you through the top choices, from free versions to premium upgrades. We discuss their key features and help you understand which plugin best meets your website’s security needs.

Top 7 WordPress Security Plugins

There is a lot to discuss when it comes to WordPress security. The best way to tackle the subject is to present the best security plugins and explain how each can help you.

1. Wordfence

  • Cost: free version or $119-$950/year for the premium version
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Active installations: 5+ million

Probably one of the best security plugins for WordPress, Wordfence is a complete solution for most security concerns. It comes with a user-friendly interface and a pretty easy-to-use dashboard. This makes it a great solution regardless of the proficiency level of the webmaster administering the website that needs protection.

Wordfence Pricing

Wordfence offers several pricing tiers for its security products:

  1. Free Tier: This is ideal for entry-level sites that need basic security. It includes essential tools like a firewall and malware scanner but with a 30-day delay on updates. It’s available for free.
  2. Wordfence Premium: Priced at $119 per year, this tier provides real-time firewall rules, malware scan signatures, country blocking, and premium customer support. It also includes a blocklist of over 40,000 malicious IPs.
  3. Wordfence Care: This plan, priced at $490 per year, targets business owners who want comprehensive security without managing it themselves. It includes all premium features, installation, configuration, optimization, monitoring, and unlimited incident response.
  4. Wordfence Response: At $950 per year, this plan is designed for mission-critical sites where any downtime has significant financial implications. It offers 24/7/365 incident response with a guaranteed 1-hour response time and a 24-hour time to resolution.

Each of these plans is designed to cater to different levels of need, from basic security for small WordPress sites to complete hands-off management and fast response for large, critical websites.

Wordfence pricing

For developers who manage multiple sites, Wordfence is an excellent choice because of its pricing model, which reduces the price per license progressively as you purchase more. Discounts range from 10% for 2-4 licenses to 25% for 15 or more licenses.

Wordfence Key Features

  • Freemium at its finest: This free WordPress security plugin offers enough protection and power against attacks on small websites.
  • Full firewall suite: The Wordfence security plugin has built-in country blocking, manual blocking, brute force protection, real-time security threat defense, and web application firewall features.
  • Live traffic monitoring: This plugin differentiates your traffic based on certain particularities and will identify Google crawl activity, human visitors, bots, real login attempts, and logouts.
  • Anti-malware scanner: You can use Wordfence to scan all your WordPress core files (and not just WordPress) to fight off malware and spam.

This is a great all-around option, as it has much to offer in the free and premium versions. It is user-friendly enough to be easy to use by beginners and complex enough to be considered a good tool for professionals. Because of the progressive discount policy, it is ideal for web admins or developers who manage multiple websites.

2. All-In-One Security (AIOS)

All-In-One Security (AIOS)
  • Cost: free version or $70-$195/year for the premium version
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Active installations: 1+ million

AIOS is perfectly described by its name. The All-in-One Security plugin is a one-stop shop for most security needs. While not exactly as advanced and easy to use as other plugins on our list, AIOS comes with a few exciting features in the free version and a relatively low cost for the premium version.

All-in-One Security Pricing

The plugin is available for free and comes with a somewhat high number of features, which can prove to be enough for most users. For those needing a more professional tool and customization and protection options from a WordPress security plugin, AIOS is also available in a premium version, which offers much more.

The All-In-One Security (AIOS) Premium plugin offers various pricing options designed for different user needs, starting at $70.00 per year. The pricing tiers are structured based on the number of sites the license covers:

  • Personal: Up to 2 sites – $70/year
  • Business: Up to 10 sites – $95/year
  • Agency: Up to 35 sites – $145/year
  • Enterprise: Unlimited sites – $195/year

You will gain access, on top of the features available in the free WordPress security plugin version, to:

  • Automatic Malware scanner
  • Search Engine Blocklist alert
  • Up-time monitoring
  • Reports
  • Dedicated support team
All-In-One Security (AIOS) pricing

AIOS is acclaimed for being more cost-effective than other security plugins. The premium version includes the plugin itself, licenses for a Site Scanner service, and access to premium customer support.

AIOS Key Features

AIOS is a popular WordPress security plugin that comes feature-packed with things you will need and appreciate. WP security is no easy task, but if you look at some of the key features below, you will realize you can find a strong ally in AIOS.

  • Protection against login security threats: AIOS protects your WordPress website against attackers by limiting login attempts and automatically logging out questionable users.
  • Bot honeypot in registration: AIOS cleverly adds a hidden field to forms designed for bots. If a form is submitted with any value in that field, it is considered filled out by bots.
  • Copy protection: AIOS can protect your site from plagiarism. This plugin has a feature that removes users’ ability to copy-paste content from your website.
  • Backup options for essential files: You can use AIOS to back up your .htaccess and .wp-config files and restore them if things go south.

AIOS is ideal for small websites managed by people with at least some experience in online security. While it isn’t as complex and efficient as other options on this list, it is still a great choice.

3. Jetpack Protect

Jetpack Protect
  • Cost: free version or $119/year for the premium version
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Active installations: 100,000+

One of Jetpack‘s main selling points is that it was developed by the WordPress team. Jetpack offers various features and is a robust tool for protecting your site against different attacks and security threats.

Jetpack Pricing

Jetpack is a free plugin with limited features that offers decent but not extraordinary protection against various security breaches.

Jetpack Pricing

To upgrade the free Jetpack Protect plugin to the premium version, you should order the Jetpack Scan product, which costs $59.40 for the first year and $119.40/year after that.

Jetpack Key Features

While the free version offers basic security features like vulnerability checks, the paid version brings additional advanced features. This is what makes Jetpack an excellent security plugin:

  • Daily malware scanning with one-click fixes for most security issues
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) with automatic rule updates
  • Priority support

Jetpack is one of the most complete security plugins available. It is ideal for anyone looking for the perfect all-rounder.

4. Solid Security (Former iThemes Security)

Solid Security Plugin
  • Cost: free version or $99/year for the premium version
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Active installations: 900,000+

Solid Security is a fantastic option for those seeking a robust tool with a pedigree. This security plugin for WordPress, formerly known as iThemes Security, was quite a hit back in the day. That is not to say that it didn’t stand the test of time; on the contrary, it offers over 30 different ways to protect your site.

Solid Security Pricing

Even though Solid Security is, at its core, a free security plugin, it does allow users to gain access to a couple of additional features if they decide to pay the extra $99 per year for one website. The price increases depending on the number of websites:

  • $199 for 5 websites
  • $299 for 10 websites
  • $399 for 25 websites
  • $499 for 50 websites
Solid Security Pricing

While the free version is going to be more than enough for the average user, more experienced developers will feel more at peace with the extra features they will receive from Solid Security Pro:

  • Settings Import & Export
  • WordPress Core Online File Comparison
  • User Activity Logging
  • Temporary Privilege Escalation
  • WP-CLI Integration
  • Password Expiration
  • Real-time Security Dashboard
  • Magic Links & Password-less Login

Solid Security Key Features

Users who decide to leave the security of their WordPress websites in the hands of the Solid Security plugin are certainly not making a mistake. A testament to that is the impressive list of features they enjoy:

  • 2-factor authentication: You can use 2FA to add an additional level of security to every login attempt you make. You can use a mobile app, email, and backup codes to validate every login.
  • File integrity monitoring: This unique functionality constantly analyzes and monitors the files on your website and alerts you whenever any changes are made.
  • 404 error monitoring: This plugin also monitors the status of all your live pages and alerts you whenever one of the pages on your website returns a 404 error code.
  • Limited login attempts: This is a good feature that generally diminishes the power of brute-force attacks. It helps tremendously with your site’s security.

While the features it comes with certainly don’t scream “beginners’ tool,” the interface does, which is very much a compliment. Solid Security is a perfect WordPress security plugin for beginners because it is easy to use and intuitive while staying true to its primary purpose: protecting your site.

5. Sucuri Security

Sucuri Security
  • Cost: free version or $199-$999/year for the premium version
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Active installations: 800.000+

Sucuri Security is probably one of the most popular WordPress security plugins, and for a good reason. It covers a wide range of security-related tasks to protect your site. Many users fail to adjust to how badly some security plugins affect the website’s performance and how many resources they need. Sucuri is one of the few security plugins that operate almost entirely offsite.

Sucuri Security Pricing

Sucuri offers a range of website security platform plans designed to cater to various needs, including those of small businesses, web professionals, and enterprise organizations. Here’s a summary of the available plans:

  1. Basic Platform ($199.99/year): Ideal for bloggers and small site owners, offering occasional cleanups and ongoing security scans.
  2. Pro Platform ($299.99/year): Suitable for small and medium businesses (SMBs), focusing on minimizing disruptions with advanced support and quick SSL certificate transfers.
  3. Business Platform ($499.99/year): Provides the fastest response times for malware cleanups, with frequent scans to detect and protect against vulnerabilities.
  4. Junior Dev ($999.98/year): Targeted at freelancers, web professionals, and agencies managing 2-5 sites, offering quick service level agreements (SLAs) and comprehensive malware protection.
  5. Multi-Site & Custom Plans: These plans are designed for web professionals and agencies needing enterprise-level features and coverage for more than five sites. Prices are available upon request.
Sucuri Security Pricing

All plans include unlimited malware and hack removals, with varying response times for malware removal requests. Additional features across the plans include 24/7 security team support, advanced security scans, emergency response SLAs, website application firewall (WAF), blocklist monitoring and removal, and SSL support and monitoring.

Sucuri Key Features

Many of Sucuri’s features can be found in what other WordPress security plugins offer. Sucuri security has a few interesting and unique (or at least different) features that make it unique and probably one of the best WP security plugins out there.

  • DNS-level firewall: While most security plugins use a built-in WP security firewall, Sucuri offers a DNS-level firewall, which is considerably more effective.
  • Password-guessing protection and brute force attack prevention: Sucuri security allows you to manually set the limit for login attempts before considering them a brute force attack.
  • Scheduled tasks: Unlike other security plugins, Sucuri can be used to create an explicit schedule for your security tasks. This will help you create constant backups, remove unused elements, and clearly assess the strength of your security level.

Sucuri is appreciated in the web developers’ community for many things, but particularly for its impact on site performance. Its mainly offsite operation makes it perfect for those who are concerned about the hosting resources they have at hand.

6. BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security
  • Cost: free version + $69.95/year for the premium version
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Active installations: 40,000+

BulletProof Security is, without question, one of the best WordPress security plugins. Although it requires some technical knowledge to be correctly set up and utilized, it remains user-friendly, making it a relatively common choice for mid-level website owners.

BulletProof Security Pricing

This security plugin is available for free and offers a wide range of protection features in this version.

BulletProof Security Pricing

The pro version is the one we actually recommend, considering that it is a lot cheaper than others on our list and comes with additional security features like:

  • Auto-restore modified files
  • Real-time file monitoring
  • DB status and info
  • AutoRestore Quarantine (ARQ IDPS)
  • P-Security php.ini Security & Performance

BulletProof Key Features

Even though it is not as friendly for beginner users as others from our list, BulletProof Security has some features that make it one of the best plugins you can choose to protect your site. While the lower cost might make you think that some corners are being cut or that there is a difference in quality between BulletProof Security and others on our list, the truth is that you will get more than enough features. Here are some that are most relevant:

  • One-click setup: While not the most user-friendly or appropriate for beginner users, this security plugin has a one-click setup feature, making it relatively easy and quick to install on your WordPress site.
  • Advanced security features: This is an excellent solution for more advanced users. It also has professional features, like encrypting solutions, scheduled cron cURL scans, folder locking, and BPS Pro ARQ Intrusion Detection and Prevention System.
  • Strong passwords: This security plugin forces you to create strong passwords for everything
  • Maintenance mode functionality: This feature is not easily found in any other plugins, making BulletProof Security one of the best WordPress security plugins money can buy.

This security plugin is perfect for semi-professional website administrators looking for a good and relatively cheap all-rounder.

7. Defender Security

Defender Security
  • Cost: free version or $36-$240/year for the PRO version
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Active installations: 90,000+

Defender Security is another plugin perfect for securing a medium-sized WordPress site. While deciding which one is the best might have more to do with your individual needs than with the actual features of each plugin, Defender Security is certainly a contender.

Defender Security Pricing

With outstanding reviews from thousands of users worldwide, Defender Security is a security plugin you should consider, whether you want to use it for free or engage with its premium features.

Defender Security offers a range of pricing plans tailored to different user needs, focusing on providing comprehensive security. Here’s a breakdown of the available plans:

  1. 1 Site License includes 5GB CDN and 5GB backup storage. The billing is annual, providing a savings of $144.
  2. 3 Sites License includes 10GB CDN and 10GB backup storage, saving users $240 annually.
  3. 10 Sites License offers 20GB CDN and 20GB backup storage, saving $480 yearly.
  4. Unlimited Sites License: The most extensive plan provides 50GB CDN and 50GB backup storage, offering a significant saving of $960 per year.

The cost of the pro version is much lower than that of any of the security plugins presented above.

Defender Security Pricing

Each plan includes scheduled malware scanning, comprehensive audit logging, and a global IP blocklist and monitor. Advanced features include biometric and two-factor authentication (2FA) locks, a dynamic firewall, and security recommendations. Defender Pro users also get enhanced features like Patchstack-powered vulnerability detection and management, safe repair for suspicious files, hosted WAF integration, scheduled security reports, and Google blocklist monitoring.

Defender Security Key Features

The free version includes most of the essential features, including the pretty standard brute force attack prevention tools, malicious code and malware detection, two-factor authentication, and support for most security vulnerabilities.

Some features make it stand out, though, especially as a free security plugin:

  • Geolocation IP blocklist: If you need to limit the access of users from certain countries, this option will provide you with the right tools to do it.
  • Google Blacklist Checker: This feature will automatically check if your website was listed in Google’s blocklist every 6 hours.
  • Audit logging: This will automatically track every change your WordPress site goes through and will let you know if any unusual activity is detected

Anyone looking for a complete WordPress plugin with an easy-to-use WordPress dashboard that allows beginners and advanced users to protect their sites.

Comparing the Top WP Security Plugins

Finding the best WordPress security plugin is not an easy task. It will have more to do with how complex your WordPress website is and what your individual or particular needs are.

As you can see from the table below, there is quite a lot to consider when choosing the plugin to protect your WordPress website. It depends on how much you want to spend and how many websites you want to protect.

PluginFree versionPremium Version Starting PriceRatingActive
WordfenceTick icon$119-$950/year4.75+ million
All-In-One Security (AIOS)Tick icon$70-$195/year4.71+ million
Jetpack ProtectTick icon$119/year4.7100,000+
Solid SecurityTick icon$99/year4.6900,000+
Sucuri SecurityTick icon$200-$1000/year4.2800,000+
BulletProof SecurityTick icon$70 one time4.840,000+
Defender SecurityTick icon$36-$240/year4.890,000+

Using the information above and the in-depth descriptions provided in this article, we are confident that you will make the right call regarding the security measures needed for your WordPress site.

Bottom Line

While focusing on security is critical, it’s also essential to consider the broader spectrum of WordPress plugins that can enhance your website’s functionality, user experience, and overall performance.

We recommend exploring our comprehensive guide on the best WordPress plugins for those looking to expand their toolkit further. This curated list encompasses a variety of must-have plugins that cater to different needs and objectives, helping you to build a more dynamic, efficient, and engaging website.

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