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Secure Your WordPress Site: Top 8 Security Plugins

Secure Your WordPress Site: Top 8 Security Plugins

Secure Your WordPress Site

As the internet grows, so does its vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks. WordPress, being the most popular content management system (CMS) on the internet, is a prime target for cybercriminals. In fact, on average, there are 44 attacks on WordPress sites every day.

Website owners need to prioritize security to ensure their site remains safe and operational. Fortunately, there are many security plugins available that can help protect WordPress sites. In this article, we will introduce the top 8 security plugins, their features, user ratings, and pricing. By doing so, we aim to help website owners choose the right security plugin for their needs and budget.

When it comes to securing WordPress sites, there are many factors to consider. Apart from selecting the right security plugin, website owners must also ensure GDPR compliance, avoid hacked plugins, and implement strategies for creating secure WordPress contact forms and anti-spam protection.

Therefore, this article will not only provide a comparison of the top security plugins but also discuss additional security considerations to keep in mind. By doing so, we hope to provide website owners with a comprehensive guide to securing their WordPress site and protecting it from cyber threats.

With innovation being the driving force of the internet, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest security measures to ensure the longevity and safety of your website.

Key Takeaways

  1. WordPress’ security is recommended for all sites, as the average website is attacked 44 times per day, and breaches can lead to data theft and malware distribution.
  2. Choosing a security plugin should be based on the level of protection needed and budget, with two-factor authentication and password enforcement being important features to consider.
  3. Redundant plugins can cause problems, and hacked plugins should be avoided.
  4. Sucuri is one of the best WordPress security plugins, offering website scanning, DNS-level firewalls, and a cloud-based server and CDN network. The pro version is worth the investment for peace of mind.
  5. Wordfence is another great security plugin, offering a firewall, malware scanner, Brute Force Protection and other great features. These and more are available even in the free version.

Security Plugin Comparison

The comparison of features, user ratings, and pricing was used to narrow down a list of the 8 best WordPress security plugins. These include Sucuri, iThemes Security Pro, Jetpack, WPScan, Wordfence, BulletProof Security, All In One WP Security Firewall, and Google Authenticator.

Two-factor authentication and password enforcement were identified as essential features to consider, while redundant plugins may potentially cause compatibility issues and affect user experience.

When selecting a WordPress security plugin, it is crucial to weigh the level of protection needed against the budget available. It is also recommended to avoid hacked plugins and choose a plugin that is GDPR-compliant.

Premium versions of some of these plugins, such as Sucuri Security, may be worth the investment for peace of mind, especially for larger sites with user information that may require additional protection such as 2FA.

Sucuri Features and Pricing

Sucuri offers an extensive range of security features, making it one of the most effective WordPress security plugins available in the market. Some of the features that make Sucuri stand out include website scanning, DNS-level firewalls, and a cloud-based server and CDN network.

These features together make Sucuri a top choice for those seeking comprehensive WordPress protection. In addition to these features, Sucuri also offers multiple layers of protection against malware, brute-force attacks, spam, and other common threats to WordPress sites.

Basic Platform:

Perfect for bloggers and small site owners requiring occasional clean-ups with ongoing security scans. Costs $199.99/yr.

  • Covers 1 site
  • Unlimited malware and hack removals by the support team
  • Malware Service Level Agreement is 30 hours
  • Post-clean-up report – basic
  • Frequency of advanced security scansevery 12 hours
  • Website Application Firewall (WAF) – included.
  • Blocklist Monitoring & Removal – included.
  • SSL Support & Monitoringincluded.
  • Stop Hacks (Virtual Patching/ Hardening) – included.
  • Firewall Protection – HTTPS & PCI-compliant – included.
  • Advanced DDoS Mitigation – included.
  • CDN Speed Enhancement – included.
  • High Availability/Load Balancing – included.
Pro Platform:

Ideal for SMBs who want to minimize disruptions with advanced support for quick SSL certificate transfers. Costs $299.99/yr.

  • Covers 1 site
  • Unlimited malware and hack removals by the support team
  • Malware Service Level Agreement is 12 hours
  • Post-clean-up report – basic
  • Frequency of advanced security scansevery 6 hours
  • Website Application Firewall (WAF) – included.
  • Blocklist Monitoring & Removal – included.
  • SSL Support & MonitoringAdvanced.
  • Stop Hacks (Virtual Patching/ Hardening) – included.
  • Firewall Protection – HTTPS & PCI-compliant – included.
  • Advanced DDoS Mitigation – included.
  • CDN Speed Enhancement – included.
  • High Availability/Load Balancing – included.
Business Platform:

Fastest response time for site clean-ups with frequent scans to avoid vulnerabilities. Costs $499.99/yr.

  • Covers 1 site
  • Unlimited malware and hack removals by the support team
  • Malware Service Level Agreement is 6 hours
  • Post-clean-up report – basic
  • Frequency of advanced security scansevery 30 minutes
  • Website Application Firewall (WAF) – included.
  • Blocklist Monitoring & Removal – included.
  • SSL Support & MonitoringAdvanced.
  • Stop Hacks (Virtual Patching/ Hardening) – included.
  • Firewall Protection – HTTPS & PCI-compliant – included.
  • Advanced DDoS Mitigation – included.
  • CDN Speed Enhancement – included.
  • High Availability/Load Balancing – included.

Summary:

Sucuri offers comprehensive security features and is available not just for WordPress sites but also Joomla, Magneto, Drupal and phpBB. They claim 99% Support Ticket Satisfaction and clean over 700 hacked sites every day!

Wordfence Features and Pricing

Wordfence is my personal preferred choice (I am not sponsored for this – just my personal preference). Also, the free version of Wordfence will be perfectly adequate for most small sites (bloggers, landing pages etc). If you run an online store, then I recommend a paid version for that extra peace of mind. 

Wordfence has a global team of WordPress security analysts, threat researchers, software engineers, and support staff. They focus exclusively on securing WordPress websites, and on WordPress security research. They provide 24-hour service, 365 days a year for mission-critical websites, with a 1-hour response time via Wordfence Response.

Note: Each installation of Wordfence (except for the free version) requires an individual licence. WordPress Multisite, however, only requires one licence as it is still a single installation of WordPress. See here for more details.

Wordfence Free:

Join over 4 million secure WordPress site owners using Wordfence Free. Block attacks with the basic tools you need to keep your site safe. 30-day delay on firewall rules and malware signatures. Entry-Level Sites that Need Basic WordPress Security. Costs $0

  • The Wordfence Firewall – Rules delayed 30 days.
  • The Wordfence Malware Scanner – Signatures delayed 30 days.
  • Customer Support Level – Volunteer forums.
  • Scheduled Security Scans – Every 3 Days.
  • Plugin/Theme Vulnerability Monitoring – included.
  • File Change Detection – included.
  • Intrusion Alerts – included.
  • Rate Limiting – included.
  • Brute Force Protection – included.
  • Login Security – 2FA & reCAPTCHA – included.
Wordfence Premium:

Self-Administered Websites that Need the Best Protection Against Existing and Emerging Threats. Costs $119/yr.

  • The Wordfence Firewall – Real-time rules.
  • The Wordfence Malware Scanner – Real-time signatures.
  • Real-Time IP Blocklist – included.
  • Country Blocking – included.
  • Customer Support Level – Ticket based.
  • Scheduled Security Scans – Unlimited.
  • Plugin/Theme Vulnerability Monitoring – included.
  • File Change Detection – included.
  • Intrusion Alerts – included.
  • Rate Limiting – included.
  • Brute Force Protection – included.
  • Login Security – 2FA & reCAPTCHA – included.

Wordfence Care:

Busy Business Owners Who Need Hands-on Support From a Dedicated Security Analyst. Costs $490/yr.

  • The Wordfence Firewall – Real-time rules.
  • The Wordfence Malware Scanner – Real-time signatures.
  • Real-Time IP Blocklist – included.
  • Country Blocking – included.
  • Customer Support Level – Priority ticket based.
  • Scheduled Security Scans – Unlimited.
  • Security Audit & Recommendations – once a year.
  • Plugin/Theme Vulnerability Monitoring – included.
  • File Change Detection – included.
  • Intrusion Alerts – included.
  • Rate Limiting – included.
  • Brute Force Protection – included.
  • Login Security – 2FA & reCAPTCHA – included.

Wordfence Response:

Mission-Critical Sites that Require 24/7/365 Incident Response with a 1-Hour Response Time. Costs  $950/yr.

  • The Wordfence Firewall – Real-time rules.
  • The Wordfence Malware Scanner – Real-time signatures.
  • Real-Time IP Blocklist – included.
  • Country Blocking – included.
  • Customer Support Level – 1-hour response time.
  • Scheduled Security Scans – Unlimited.
  • Security Audit & Recommendations – Once yearly + optional second audit.
  • Plugin/Theme Vulnerability Monitoring – included.
  • File Change Detection – included.
  • Intrusion Alerts – included.
  • Rate Limiting – included.
  • Brute Force Protection – included.
  • Login Security – 2FA & reCAPTCHA – included.
  • 24/7/365 Incident Response – included.

Summary:

Wordfence is for WordPress sites only. Its advantage over Sucuri is that it has a free version, which will be perfect for many sites. Personally, I have run the free version of Wordfence on numerous sites over many years. In every case, I never got hacked once. However, if you have a site that is an e-commerce site or you store confidential information of your customers in a database, I would recommend you use a paid-for version.

Securing your WordPress site is vitally important

Securing your WordPress site is vitally important

Securing your WordPress site is vital. Hacker and cyber security image.

Securing your WordPress Site

Securing your WordPress site is important, whatever type of site you have. If you use WordPress for your site, then there are specific steps you can take to secure your site.

1. Pick a Secure Web Hosting Service:

Start with a strong foundation by choosing a reputable and reliable hosting provider. A good host will offer features such as malware scanning, firewall protection, and automatic backups.

2. Set Up an SSL Certificate and Enable HTTPS:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an encrypted version of regular HTTP. It ensures that the data exchanged between your site and your visitors is secure and private. You can get an SSL certificate from your host or from a third-party provider.

3. Use Plugins and Themes that Receive Regular Updates:

Software that receives regular updates from its developers is generally speaking more secure. Updates often fix bugs and vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. You should always keep your plugins and themes updated to the latest version and delete any unused ones.

4. Protect Your Login Page:

Your Login page is the gateway that keeps attackers outside your dashboard. You should make it as hard as possible for them to break in. Some ways to do this are: changing the default admin username, using a strong password, limiting login attempts, and hiding the login URL.

5. Integrate an Activity Log Solution:

Activity or audit logs are one of the most useful security tools you can have in your WordPress arsenal. They record every action that happens on your site, such as login attempts, file changes, plugin updates, and more. You can use them to monitor your site’s activity and detect any suspicious behaviour.

6. Manage User Permissions:

Enforcing correct user roles is critical if you’re using complex software such as WordPress. WordPress has six predefined user roles: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber, and Super Admin. Each role has different capabilities and access levels to your site’s features. You should only assign the minimum necessary permissions to each user and revoke them when they are no longer needed.

7. Remove Unused WordPress Themes and Plugins:

Having too many themes and plugins on your site can slow it down and create security risks. Unused themes and plugins can become outdated and vulnerable to attacks. You should delete any themes and plugins that you are not using, or replace them with more lightweight alternatives.

8. Enable Two-Factor Authentication:

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your login process by requiring a second verification method besides your password. This can be a code sent to your phone or email, a fingerprint scan, or a physical device like a USB key. 2FA makes it harder for hackers to access your account, even if they have your password.

9. Create Backups Regularly:

Backups are essential for any website owner. They allow you to restore your site in case something goes wrong, such as a hack, a server crash, or a human error. You should create backups regularly and store them in a safe location, such as an external drive or a cloud service.

Hopefully, this post will give you some guidelines on how to secure your WordPress site. You can also ask us to run a free security check on your site by using the contact form, just click the button below.

Links:

(1) wpbuffs.com – Secure a WordPress Site in 7 Simple Steps
(2) WordPress Security: 22 Ways to Keep Your Website Safe – Hostinger Tutorials
(3) 15 ways to secure your WordPress site – searchengineland.com. 
(4) How To Secure Your WordPress Website—Step-By-Step Guide – Astra. 
(5) The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide – Step by Step (2023) – WPBeginner

If you are not sure why you should use WordPress for your site, then check out our other post ‘Why your site needs WordPress‘.

Optimise your site for maximum results

Optimise your site for maximum results

Maximise Your Website’s Potential with Effective Optimisation.

Optimise your site for maximum results in today’s digital landscape. Establishing an online presence is paramount for any business owner aiming to connect with potential customers. Your website serves as the cornerstone of your online identity, so it’s crucial to optimise it for both search engines and users alike.

Here are some fundamental practices for optimising your business website:

1. Conduct thorough keyword research:

To optimise your site for maximum results and enhance your website’s visibility, it’s essential to incorporate relevant keywords into the content of every page. Conduct comprehensive keyword research to identify the terms that should be included in titles, headings, meta descriptions, and image tags.

2. Enhance image optimisation:

Remember, optimising your site for maximum results also involves optimizing your images. Images not only contribute to the visual appeal of your website, but also play a role in SEO. Ensure they are properly optimised by including descriptive alt-tags that accurately depict the image content. This not only assists users with disabilities, but also improves the experience for those with slow internet connections. Additionally, compress any large image files before uploading to avoid slow loading times caused by high-resolution pictures or videos.

3. Create compelling and valuable content:

The foundation of successful website optimisation lies in producing high-quality content. This encompasses engaging blog posts, informative articles, and credible product reviews. Ensure your content covers topics that are not only relevant to your products or services, but also align with what prospective customers are likely to search for. This strategic approach will increase organic traffic derived from search engine queries.

4. Leverage the power of internal linking:

Internal linking provides users with seamless navigation between different sections of your website, allowing for easy access to additional contextual information. By implementing internal links strategically, you enhance the user experience (UX) and positively impact your SEO rankings. Consider using a plugin like Internal Link Juicer to create internal links between your pages and posts. 

5. Prioritise mobile usability:

With mobile devices accounting for the majority of global internet usage, prioritizing mobile usability is imperative. Optimise your website with a responsive design layout, ensuring it is user-friendly and easily accessible on mobile devices. By adopting a mobile-first approach to design, you cater to the needs of an increasingly mobile audience.

By implementing these optimisation techniques, you can maximise the potential of your website, attracting more visitors, improving user experience, and boosting your online visibility.

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