If you’re wondering, “Do I need a WordPress security plugin?” The answer is yes. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. That popularity also makes it a popular choice for hackers.

Now, WordPress has regular updates to patch any new and existing security holes. But, security as a whole is a reactive process. Patches are only issued once a security vulnerability is known.

At its core, WordPress is incredibly secure. But the massive ecosystem of plugins and WordPress themes makes it more vulnerable to security holes.

To protect your WordPress website against these security risks, it’s always a good idea to use a WordPress security plugin. Below we look at five of the best WordPress security plugins and highlight both free and paid options.

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Why You Need a WordPress Security Plugin

WordPress has some pretty solid security measures in place, but if you’re looking to take that security even further you’ll want to utilize a security plugin.

By using a WordPress security plugin, you’ll get access to additional features that WordPress doesn’t have right out of the box, including:

  • Site, file, and malware scanning
  • Protection from brute force attacks
  • Regular security scans, monitoring, notifications
  • Site firewalls
  • Overall security hardening

Sure, you can get by without having these in place, but why would you risk it? Sadly, a lot of site owners don’t think about security for their WordPress website until it’s too late.

Once your WordPres site has been compromised, there’s not a lot you can do besides notify your visitors and try to clean up the mess. If only there was something you could’ve done to prevent this.

Good news: there is. It’s using a WordPress security plugin.


The Best WordPress Security Plugins

For anything related to WordPress you’ll find dozens of popular plugins to install. Going through every plugin yourself can be tedious, which is why we created this list.

Below you’ll find five of the top WordPress security plugins that are both free and paid that help to protect your site against security vulnerabilities.


1. All In One WP Security & Firewall

all in one security

All In One WP Security & Firewall is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins. It’s very easy to use and you can configure this plugin pretty easily, even if you don’t have any tech skills.

It’s equipped with a unique grading system, so you can see which areas of your WordPress site are protected, and what you need to improve upon. Since it’s visually based it’s easy to see and correct any areas of your site that might be weak.

The main ways this plugin will improve your security are by protecting against blue force login attempts, securing your user accounts, creating a website firewall, protecting your WordPress databases, and even allowing you to blacklist certain sites or IP addresses.

Plus, it has a built-in security scanner so you’ll know that your site is always protected against hackers.

All In One WP Security & Firewall is a completely free plugin that you can download here. You also won’t run into any annoying upsells, or having to upgrade to unlock more features.


2. iThemes Security

ithemes security plugin

iThemes security is a feature-packed WordPress security plugin. It’s available as both a free and paid plugin for WordPress sites. The paid version will unlock more detailed security measures.

The free version has some decent features, but if you really want to protect your site, you’ll want to consider the pro version. It will not only unlock some stellar security features but it’s also affordable, at only $80 per year.

The Pro version does a lot to enhance security, like providing strong password protection, backing up and securing your databases, protecting against brute force attacks, moving your login page, adding two-factor authentication, and a lot more.

Plus, you’ll get regular website monitoring and dedicated professional support.

You can download and give the free version of the plugin a test drive, or upgrade to the pro version here.


3. Wordfence Security

wordfence security plugin

WordFence Security is one of the top free WordPress security plugins on the market. It excels in protecting your site from brute force attacks, real-time security monitoring, login page protection, and IP blacklisting. Plus, it adds a firewall to your site.

WordFence also has an extensive database of offending websites and IP addresses, which are atomically blocked from accessing your site.

The premium version of the plugin is equipped with additional features to take your security to new heights. That includes real-time threat protection, an improved firewall, two-factor authentication, geographic protection, dedicated support, improved spam protection, and more.

You can download the free version of Wordfence here, or you can opt to purchase the premium version.  


4. Sucuri Security

sucuri wordpress plugin

The Sucuri Security plugin is created by a team of WordPress security experts. This plugin is entirely free and will help both will regular site monitoring, and strengthen your existing levels of security.

Once you install the plugin it will automatically scan your site to look for any infected files or known sources of security weakness. You can then restore or repair your site to ensure it’s in good working condition.

Beyond this initial scan and clean up this plugin will provide you with regular website monitoring and malware scanning. Plus, it will strengthen your existing security protocols to ensure that your site is protected against the biggest threats and vulnerabilities lurking online.

You can install this plugin for free here. There’s also an option to opt for a premium version of this plugin, which will add a website firewall and more security features to your site.


5. SecuPress


SecuPress is a relatively new addition to the WordPress security space. However, it’s seen very rapid growth. There are both free and premium versions of this plugin available.

One of the strongest features of SecuPress is its intuitive UI, which makes it incredibly easy to setup and use. Not only that it’s equipped with a built-in security scanner, which will scan your site for six main points of vulnerability.

If any points of weakness are revealed during this scan, then the plugin will actually fix them at the click of a button. Overall, this is a very solid and easy to use security plugin.

The premium version of the plugin will give you additional features like anti-spam protection, automated website backups in case a restore is needed, and automated website scans.

You can download the free version of the plugin here, or pick up the Pro version for $59.


Closing Thoughts

Website security is complex. It’s continually evolving, and what kept your site secure a year ago probably won’t do the trick today.

Instead of trying to understand all the security threats out there, the better course of action is taking the necessary steps to protect your site, and letting the experts handle and understand the risks they’re protecting you from.

All of the plugins above are great choices when it comes to protecting your website. If you have a smaller site and don’t get a ton of traffic, then you can probably get away with a free WordPress security plugin. But, as your site grows it’s probably a good idea to upgrade to one of the paid options above and look into implementing a website security checker.

Improve the security of your site without having to lift a finger. Upgrade to managed WordPress hosting now, and our WordPress experts monitor your site for threats and take care of security for you, so you never have to worry. 

Improve the security of your site without having to lift a finger. Upgrade to managed WordPress hosting now, and our WordPress experts monitor your site for threats and take care of security for you, so you never have to worry.

With your site’s security taken care of you can focus on the important things, running your online business, and growing your traffic.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.