12 Best WordPress Security Plugins To Protect Your Site

Thousands of WordPress sites are hacked daily – and without a WordPress security plugin, you’re at the mercy of cybercriminals worldwide.


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Thankfully, there’s lots of helpful software out there to protect your website, and we’ve lined up 12 of the best for you to try.

You could also save time and effort by asking StateWP to manage your website and its security instead!

For now, let’s get into our top 12 WordPress security plugins and why they’re worth using.

12 Best WordPress Security Plugins

Although WordPress core offers some security solutions by default, it’s a bare-bones operation.

We recommend that you look for a WordPress (WP) security plugin to help your site with security hardening, monitor suspicious activity, limit login attempts, and act as your first line of defense against potential attacks.

However, not all plugins are created equal. When looking for the best plugin for WordPress for dealing with security issues, make sure you compare:

  • Cost: How much does it cost to run per month? Is there a free and premium version, or different paid tiers?
  • Features: Does it offer a firewall and file scanning? Does the plugin simply scan for malware, or does it remove it as well?
  • Ease-of-Use: Can you install, activate, and run the plugin as-is, or do you need to configure or program it?
  • Performance: Does the plugin improve your site’s performance? Or do reviews suggest it reacts poorly with other plugins?
  • Customer Support: Does the provider have a positive reputation for customer care?

We’ve brought together 12 shots at the best security plugin for WordPress based on our own experience, those of our clients and customers, and general public reception:

  1. Sucuri Security
  2. Jetpack
  3. WordFence Security
  4. All-In-One WP Security
  5. BulletProof Security
  6. WP Security Ninja
  7. MalCare
  8. SiteGround Security
  9. Solid Security
  10. Shield Security
  11. CleanTalk Security
  12. Defender Security

Let’s get into the details!

1. Sucuri Security

Best for comprehensive website protection

We can personally recommend Sucuri as an all-in-one malware detector and site integrity monitor.

Even in its free version, it offers a range of auditing tools and checks. The software works through a custom firewall API and works harder than most to block common hack attempts, such as brute-force attacks.

Sucuri’s paid version is worthwhile for custom scanning schedules, cache clearing, security key generation, and speeding up your website.

It’s user-friendly for many of its base features, though its more advanced features can take some practice to understand. That’s to its benefit, however – this is a security plugin you can easily adapt to over time.

We can also highly recommend Sucuri for its fantastic customer care, with experts available 24 hours a day.

Top features:

  • Task scheduling
  • Login limiter
  • Cache clearing
  • SSL certificates
  • DDoS protection
  • Custom scans
  • Instant problem reporting
  • File integrity checks
ProsCons
The full version has malware removal and scanningA little more technical than some of the other plugins in our list
Extensive customizable security optionsSlightly expensive (but worth it!)
Very easy to set up and run basic features 
Custom API tailors to your protection needs 

 

Price: From $199.99 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

2. Jetpack

Best for integrating with eCommerce

Jetpack Security is developed by WordPress.com programmers and is by far one of the most intuitive to use.

One of the biggest selling points of this plugin is its range of security tools packed into one. Its basic security package offers automated backups, malware scanning, and some of the most powerful anti-spam protection available for your money.

Jetpack works harder than most to erase spam comments from your website and learn how to spot bots and stop them in their tracks. This feature is particularly handy for online stores and integrates with eCommerce modules – eradicating spammy comments, fake reviews, and harmful links that could stop shoppers from wanting to check out.

The great news is that Jetpack’s free plugin version includes a spam protector. However, we recommend trying the premium plugin for its fantastic malware scanning and in-depth threat analysis.

Top features:

  • Spam protection
  • Automated backups
  • Malware scanning
  • Firewall protection
  • Security threat analysis and statistics
  • Downtime monitoring
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Brute force protection
ProsCons
Breaks down activities and events clearlyCovers lots of different features but doesn’t specialize exclusively in security
Strong spam protector in the free versionIts best features are reserved for paid tiers
Offers one-click fixes 
The paid version includes 10GB backup space with unlimited restore points 

 

Price: Free, then from $19.95 per month (accurate at the time of writing)

3. WordFence Security

Best for real-time data insights

You might be concerned that installing and running a WP security plugin requires a lot of work and technical knowledge. Thankfully, WordFence can alleviate that worry pretty quickly.

WordFence is popular for its accessible, intuitive security interface. It allows users to manage firewall settings, scan for malicious code, check local traffic in real-time, and analyze recent attack attempts. We think it’s a great choice for anyone hungry to dig into data but who doesn’t necessarily have the time or technical expertise to go too deep.

We like this plugin for its extensive traffic management and blocking tools, real-time threat manager, and WordPress firewall. What’s especially impressive is that the web application firewall (WAF) learns from your site and improves itself based on your needs.

As with other security plugins in this list, WordFence offers a range of free version features, but it’s worth upgrading purely for the advanced protection and the extra data analytics so you can understand what’s going on underneath the hood.

Top features:

  • Web firewall
  • Traffic analysis
  • Real-time IP blocking
  • Authenticator integration
  • In-depth malware scanning
  • Comment spam removal
  • Mobile auditing
  • Real-time defense
ProsCons
Priority customer response at higher paid tiersOffers lots of free features, but the best options are available in higher tiers
Simple all-in-one dashboardNot super efficient if you have limited memory
Auditing and cleanup available in higher tiers 
Easy to schedule scans and monitor vulnerabilities completely automated 

 

Price: Free, then from $119 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

4. All-In-One WP Security & Firewall

Best free security plugin

Although most WordPress security plugins have free versions for you to try before you decide whether or not to pay for subscriptions, All-In-One Security, or AIOS, seems to offer more features than most at the free level.

AIOS, like WordFence, has an accessible interface that’s adaptable for beginners and experts. It offers a surprisingly powerful blocklist, a core backup service, an emergency lockdown feature, and visual graphs and displays to help you decide how to improve your security.

Some users feel AIOS is a little on the lighter side of protection despite its many promises. However, for WordPress beginners looking for a stepping stone from free security up to a more robust paid model, it’s a good shout.

If the free version of AIOS suits your needs, there is also a paid tier that offers more – malware scanning, smart blacklisting, and premium support access.

Top features:

  • Login protection
  • DDOS protection
  • Simple threat analytics
  • Core file backup
  • Lockdown feature
  • Firewall
  • User and country blocking
  • Spam protection
  • Bot prevention
ProsCons
Lots of features and protection are available in free modeMalware scanning is only available at the paid tier
Highly customizable regardless of your needsA slight learning curve for beginners
Great for protecting your content against cyber thieves 
Already a leading name in data backup 

 

Price: Free, then from $70 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

5. BulletProof Security

Best for technical security management

Like Sucuri, BulletProof Security focuses on the more technical aspects of managing WordPress security. This plugin is particularly noteworthy for helping users manage and edit files such as .htaccess without using a file transfer protocol (FTP) client.

It’s also one of the most feature-rich plugins, with threat quarantining, spam protection, auto-restore points, database backups, and detailed security logs.

BulletProof doesn’t hold your hand too much when you start using it for real, but its setup wizard is at least refreshingly easy to follow. We’d recommend the software for more experienced users and developers.

The paid version is one of the best value plugins on the market, and you only need to pay for it upfront once.

Top features:

  • Database backups and protection
  • Malware scanning
  • Security logging
  • Login security protection
  • Spam protection
  • Auto-restore
  • Maintenance mode
  • File locking
ProsCons
Highly specialized security featuresThe official website isn’t the most user-friendly
Goes deeper and works harder than many other pluginsCan take beginners some getting used to
No need to pay monthly or yearly – upgrade the software free for life 
Great for experienced developers 

 

Price: Free, then $89.95 one-off payment (accurate at the time of writing)

6. WP Security Ninja

Best for automatic fixes

Instead of scanning your site and leaving threat fixes down to you, Security Ninja takes automatic action and immediately repairs threats and problem areas. It’s a selling point for many WordPress users who have little time to handle fixes themselves.

Otherwise, this plugin is among the most user-friendly and benefits from an attentive support team. It’s good at detecting malware and identifying security vulnerabilities, and it’s great for creating strong passwords against brute-force threats.

We like the auto-fixer functionality here, and the scan scheduling and database optimization features take further hassle off users’ plates.

Top features:

  • Auto-fixer
  • Malware detection
  • Login protection
  • Event logging
  • Database optimization
  • Block list
  • Core file and PHP settings checks
  • Backups
ProsCons
Takes care of most WordPress problems on your behalfAuto-fixing problems can be annoying to more hands-on users
One of the hardest-working firewalls 
Offers a white-label service for network users 
Easy to customize 

 

Price: Free, then from $39.99 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

7. MalCare

Best for users with limited server support

MalCare is one of the strongest and fastest cloud-based malware removers on the market. It allows users to remove bad actor code with a single click.

MalCare goes deeper than many other plugins in this list purely because it scans all across your website and into your database – and does so at least once a day, meaning you’re always protected.

A huge selling point for WordPress users struggling with low memory and slow loading speeds is that MalCare works entirely through its own cloud, meaning your server doesn’t have to strain itself to run scans and make changes.

What’s more, the plugin is great at letting you know when it spots anything potentially nasty – you only have to remember it’s there when you really need it, meaning it’s super easy to run in the background and trust with all your security ins and outs.

Top features:

  • One-click malware scanning and removal
  • Cloud-based operation
  • Bot scanning and blocking
  • Login page hardening
  • Uptime scanner
  • Detailed hack analysis
  • Intelligent firewall
  • Site backups
ProsCons
Extremely lightweight yet powerfulNo two-factor authentication
Detects vulnerabilities even in free modePremium tier is one of the most expensive options on our list
Works in the background without manual action 
The Pro version offers personal care and support 

 

Price: Free, then from $149.99 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

8. SiteGround Security

Best for basic protection

SiteGround is already well-known for its fantastic hosting features, and you can install and run the provider’s security plugin without being an existing customer.

As it goes, SiteGround’s Security Optimizer is a fairly bare-bones security plugin, focusing more on offering simple solutions that are easy to access than going terribly deep on scanning and tightening.

It’s a security optimizer, meaning it doesn’t scan or remove malware like some of the other plugins in our list, but it does tighten up many areas of your site that are vulnerable to attack or data leakage.

The plugin lets you toggle various backdoor features, such as disabling RSS and locking system folders, which some other plugins might miss.

You can also review complete logs of activity across your site and block IP addresses individually if you wish. We recommend this plugin as the absolute minimum for hardening your website, but for full protection, it’s worth using an extra malware scanner and security suite.

Top features:

  • Activity log
  • Login hardening
  • Folder locking
  • IP blocking
  • Post-hack support
  • File disabling
  • Leakage protection
ProsCons
Absolutely free to useLimited features (e.g., doesn’t offer malware scanning or removal)
You don’t need to be a SiteGround customer to install and run the pluginNo upgrade tiers
Very easy to run and customize 
Protects you against some of the most common WordPress security flaws 

 

Price: Free (accurate at the time of writing)

9. Solid Security

Best for spotting vulnerabilities

Previously known as iThemes Security, Solid Security is a popular plugin that focuses mainly on splitting website protection into manageable sections in its user-friendly dashboard. It’s now part of a range of programs that fall under the SolidWP umbrella.

Above all, its most impressive features revolve around its ability to spot flaws in plugins and themes and ensure passwords are as secure as possible. This makes it an asset when learning about WordPress plugin security best practices.

Solid Security Basic is the free software version that offers impressive login hardening and brute-force protection, but it’s worth upgrading to Pro mode for auto-fixing and detailed vulnerability breakdowns.

You can even install the whole Solid Suite of features, which combines three programs, including a backup and maintenance service, all easily accessible via desktop and mobile.

Top features:

  • Site scanning
  • Login hardening
  • Database backups
  • File change alerts
  • Plugin vulnerability alerts
  • Core file analysis
  • Automated patching
  • User lockouts
ProsCons
The full Solid Suite is a great valueThe free plan is only available for the security side of the suite
Free mode offers an impressive level of protection and monitoring 
Different security templates are available for eCommerce, blogs, portfolios, and more 
Very easy to secure a WordPress site in a matter of minutes 

 

Price: Free, from $99 per year for Solid Security premium, then from $199 per year for the whole Solid Suite (accurate at the time of writing)

10. Shield Security

Best for bot protection

Shield Security is a little less well-known than some of the other security plugins we list here, but it’s a solid choice if you need help removing threats and spotting them. Keep in mind that not all security scanners remove malware after finding it!

Shield is a little like Security Ninja in that it fixes problems when it spots them. For example, it’s easy to set the plugin running and ask it to repair any damage from hacking on sight. The plugin also knows what bots look like and blocks the spammy kind (Google crawlers are still welcome!).

The service’s bot protection even filters out nuisance visitors without the need for annoying CAPTCHA forms and can tell if fake Google crawlers are attempting to cause serious harm.

Another selling point is the plugin’s user restriction zones manager, which you can easily toggle on and off. The fully paid version of the plugin offers multiple scans and protects your site against firewall vulnerabilities, brute-force attacks, and form manipulation.

Top features:

  • Instant fixes
  • Login protection
  • Deep malware scans
  • Advanced bot detection
  • Free two-factor authentication (2FA) tools
  • User restrictions
  • Form security tools
  • Accessible interface
ProsCons
Impressive bot analysis and protectionNot the cheapest option for everyday users
Lots of features available at the free level 
Prices are locked in when actively subscribed 
Scalable protection for multiple sites 

 

Price: Free, then from $129.99 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

11. CleanTalk Security

Best for clearing up spam

Like Jetpack, CleanTalk’s main focus is cleaning up spam and bot attacks. This plugin offers protection against intrusive bot activity and helps to protect against spammy comments and form data.

You can easily use CleanTalk to block IPs and specific locations, harden your login security, and manage traffic. It’s also a reasonable choice as a firewall, though some of the features and functions might be a little complex for beginners to get used to.

You can start using CleanTalk for free, but on this occasion, most of the best features are locked away through registration and payment. It is, however, also one of the most efficient and memory-friendly security plugins, as it runs in the cloud, not on your servers.

Top features:

  • Daily reports
  • Troubleshooting and file-cleaning support
  • Cloud scanner
  • Built-in firewall
  • Login protection
  • IP and geolocation blocking
  • Threat notification emails
  • Real-time traffic tracking
ProsCons
Extremely affordable compared to other plugins and services on this listThe official website (and the tool itself) isn’t as user-friendly as other options in our list
Pricing available to protect unlimited websites 
24/7 support available 
Lots of features accessible through the free mode 

 

Price: Free, then from $9.99 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

12. Defender Security

Best for saving time

Finally, WPMU DEV’s Defender Security offers a flexible, customizable WordPress plugin that’s super scalable with your needs as they change over time. It’s also one of the most affordable on the market.

Perhaps most notably, this plugin offers a bulk action feature, meaning it can tighten up and protect your site in multiple ways at once. That’s a big selling point compared to other plugins that expect you to do more than a few manual checks!

We also like the fact that Defender tells you when Google has blocked your site – meaning it’s time to take action and bring it back up to code. It’s a Defender Pro feature, but more than worth the cost.

The full version of the plugin can scan your site for malware, detect suspicious code, and even protect you against intrusive bots leaving harmful comments.

Top features:

  • Malware detection
  • IP blocking
  • Rogue code detection
  • Web firewall
  • Flexible dashboard configuration
  • Bulk actions
  • Login protection
  • Google blocklist alerts
  • Change logs
ProsCons
The best-value security plugin available for WordPressWPMU DEV can be tricky for beginners to use at first
Tons of features available at the Pro level 
Subscribing grants access to all of WPMU DEV’s Pro plugins 
No limits to file scanning 

 

Price: Free, then from $36 per year (accurate at the time of writing)

Why Use WordPress Security Plugins?

WordPress security plugins help you protect and monitor your site without the need for programming or manual checks. It’s much like running anti-malware and firewall programs for your PC or Mac. You trust these plugins to pick up on potential nastiness and take action on your behalf.

WordPress’s basic security measures, although welcome, aren’t enough to keep you completely safe from a world of online nasties.

For example, using WordPress on its own without a security plugin means you can’t:

  • Stop spammy comments
  • Scan and remove malware
  • Harden your login process against brute-force attacks
  • Lock away and back up your data
  • Monitor core files and quickly fix errors

WordPress security plugins:

  • Keep data safe: Any information you hold about your company and customers is at the mercy of hackers and leakers. Plugins lock this down and keep it out of reach.
  • Boost your SEO: Some attacks can negatively affect your search engine optimization (SEO) by making your website unsafe. Security plugins keep your site clean and Google’s crawlers happy.
  • Protect your brand and reputation: A hacked website not only looks weak but also untrustworthy. Your brand suffers even more if you lose visitor data! Plugins ensure your reputation stays airtight against threats.
  • Fortify your logins against brute-force attacks: Brute-force attacks attempt hundreds of thousands of password guesses every minute – and security plugins can boost your password security to keep them guessing almost endlessly.
  • Update you on potential threats: Many WordPress security plugins send emails and push notifications to inform you if threats are detected or if action is recommended.
  • Prevent spam and harmful content: Spammy commenters can share harmful links and damage your site’s reputation. Security plugins remove them and stop them from coming back.
  • Remove nastiness in seconds: When the best plugins spot a threat, they quarantine it for you to check or eradicate it on sight.
  • Help you dive deeper into site security: There’s probably more to WordPress than you might imagine, and the best plugins help you find hidden vulnerabilities and ways to tighten up your security further.
  • Fix errors and repair corruption: WordPress can suffer from many common errors and corruption issues, and the best security plugins help you repair and recover.

Manage WordPress Security Plugins With StateWP

Does finding, installing, tweaking, and managing security plugins sound like a bit too much hard work?


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We’re with you.

That’s why StateWP offers a flexible, headache-free WordPress and WooCommerce site maintenance service that covers all the finer points of security planning and management.

Our developers have years of experience in setting up, monitoring, and maintaining WordPress websites – from setting automatic backups to configuring website security to improving speeds and monitoring firewalls.

We take care of all the finer points of security management for you, and if you encounter problems, you can even raise troubleshooting requests through our dashboard, Proto.

message from client to StateWP in Proto regarding website security

If you don’t feel like testing out the top 12 plugins one by one, fair call. Contact StateWP instead, and we can show you why setting up a website maintenance partner is a great alternative.

Rest Easy With WordPress Security Plugins

The best WordPress security plugins work tirelessly to keep your website and all its data safe.

All 12 of our top picks are easy to install and configure, and your reputation and sensitive details are under complete lock and key.

That said, we know there’s a lot of choice!


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If you’d prefer, call on StateWP to set up and manage security plugins and monitor your site for you. You can save time, protect your visitors, and never have to worry about missing a core update again.

Before you contact us, be sure to check out our complete guide to WordPress maintenance checklists and learn more about what might be at stake.

WordPress Security Plugins FAQs

Let’s close with some final questions and answers on WordPress security plugins.

Do I need a WordPress security plugin?

Yes, you should install a WP security plugin to protect your site against malware, data leakage, hacking, and various annoying errors. You can tighten up and maintain your WordPress security manually, but it’s a time-consuming and arduous process. Save yourself a headache and look at our reasons why you need a WordPress security plugin instead.

How do WordPress security plugins work?

WordPress security plugins typically scan your site for suspicious activity, such as changes in your website’s code, new or unexpected users and content, changes to your database, and spammy comments and posts appearing site-wide. The best WordPress security plugins scan for malware and site vulnerabilities, too, and help you make changes to tighten up your security against future potential threats.

How do I make my WordPress site more secure?

Start by updating your website regularly. Use the “Updates” tab at the top left of your WordPress dashboard to ensure all your plugins and your chosen theme are up to date. From there, install a reputable WordPress security plugin like Sucuri or WordFence to scan and protect your site. Tighten up login attempts, use two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access, and set up automatic backups.

Take a look at our list of more recommended security plugins, too.

Does WordPress have built-in security?

Yes, WordPress is secure by default in that it provides you with the recommended HTTPS protocol, making it tougher for people to intercept and steal your data. WordPress also uses SSL certificates (Secure Sockets Layer) to protect your site further. However, you shouldn’t rely on WordPress alone to keep your data and visitors safe. WordPress security plugins scan and monitor your website for any potential threats around the clock.

Read our guide to learn more.

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