The Best Security Plugins for WordPress in 2021

WordPress is massive and it is a massive target for hackers.

We researched and ranked the best security plugin for WordPress to keep your site safe.

Our evaluation methodology:

  1. We signed up for the leading plugins.
  2. We tested the features and ease of use for ourselves.
  3. We evaluated the long-term value of the solutions.

Anxious to protect your online home? Check out the best security plugins for WordPress in the head-to-head comparison below.

The 7 Best Security Plugins for WordPress in 2021

1. Sucuri Security

Sucuri is the most powerful WordPress security plugin! Its web application firewall and proprietary CDN block DDoS attacks and malicious traffic while speeding up your website. Add all the WordPress hardening features and malware removal by a real expert. FULL REVIEW

  • Malware scanning
  • Web application firewall
  • Blacklist prevention
Try Now

Show More

Sucuri is the most powerful WordPress security plugin! Its web application firewall and proprietary CDN block DDoS attacks and malicious traffic while speeding up your website. Add all the WordPress hardening features and malware removal by a real expert. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

No

Security features

Comprehensive

Reputation

Excellent

Utility tools

Yes

2. Bulletproof Security Pro

Bulletproof Security Pro focuses on proactive security that includes dozens of different hardening features, authentication based on your home IP address, and powerful antimalware and anti-DDoS tools. The best part is that you can get it all on unlimited sites for a one-time payment of $69.95. FULL REVIEW

  • Excellent WP hardening
  • Backups available
  • Firewall
Try Now

Show More

Bulletproof Security Pro focuses on proactive security that includes dozens of different hardening features, authentication based on your home IP address, and powerful antimalware and anti-DDoS tools. The best part is that you can get it all on unlimited sites for a one-time payment of $69.95. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

Yes

Security features

Extensive preventive features, a firewall, database hardening, etc.

Reputation

Solid

Utility tools

Yes

3. Security Ninja

Fantastic features and beginner-friendly UI complete with a robust firewall, geoblocking tools, and extensive logging capabilities make Security Ninja an awesome choice. If you need a fast and easy solution, Security Ninja offers excellent value for money. FULL REVIEW

  • Easy to set up
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Firewall
Try Now

Show More

Fantastic features and beginner-friendly UI complete with a robust firewall, geoblocking tools, and extensive logging capabilities make Security Ninja an awesome choice. If you need a fast and easy solution, Security Ninja offers excellent value for money. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

14 days

Security features

Scanning, hardening, firewall, blacklisting

Reputation

Popular

Utility tools

Yes

4. iThemes Security Pro

Running a blog or a network of simple websites? Secure them all in just a few clicks with iThemes Security Pro. Its straightforward setup, array of security features, and passwordless logins make it a true WordPress security expert. FULL REVIEW

  • Comprehensive protection features
  • Passwordless logins
  • Easy setup
Try Now

Show More

Running a blog or a network of simple websites? Secure them all in just a few clicks with iThemes Security Pro. Its straightforward setup, array of security features, and passwordless logins make it a true WordPress security expert. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

No

Security features

WP hardening, 2FA, passwordless logins, away mode, firewall

Reputation

Popular

Utility tools

Yes

5. MalCare

With the most advanced WP security scanner tools and a guarantee of no false alarms, MalCare is one of the most powerful malware cleanup plugins. A developer or an agency, can easily add collaborators or white-label the tool. FULL REVIEW

  • Comprehensive protection tools
  • AI malware detection
  • Great cleanup options
Try Now

Show More

With the most advanced WP security scanner tools and a guarantee of no false alarms, MalCare is one of the most powerful malware cleanup plugins. A developer or an agency, can easily add collaborators or white-label the tool. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

Free tier

Security features

Scanning, cleanup, backups, firewall

Reputation

Excellent

Utility tools

Yes

6. Jetpack

Jetpack combines essential security features with easy backups, speed optimization tools, and social media integrations. If you want to take care of the most critical aspects of your website simultaneously, it’s a great multi-purpose service. FULL REVIEW

  • Security hardening
  • Easy to set up
  • Versatile toolset
Try Now

Show More

Jetpack combines essential security features with easy backups, speed optimization tools, and social media integrations. If you want to take care of the most critical aspects of your website simultaneously, it’s a great multi-purpose service. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

Free tier

Security features

Security hardening, auto updates, 2FA, spam protection

Reputation

Most popular plugin

Utility tools

Many

7. Hide My WP Ghost

Hide My WP Ghost is a truly innovative security solution. On top of all the standard protection features, it masks your website code, so it doesn’t look like WordPress at all. It also hides all points of attack behind customized URLs. FULL REVIEW

  • Robust protection
  • Hides your WordPress installation
  • Customized URLs
Try Now

Show More

Hide My WP Ghost is a truly innovative security solution. On top of all the standard protection features, it masks your website code, so it doesn’t look like WordPress at all. It also hides all points of attack behind customized URLs. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

Free tier

Security features

Hiding all WP identifiers, captcha protection, extensive protection tools

Reputation

Great

Utility tools

Yes

You can never have a website that’s secure enough, especially if you run a popular platform like WordPress. The internet abounds with malefactors looking to exploit any fault and your site will be a target eventually.

Sure, you can get something of a boost through managed hosting, but that might not be enough. It’s best to play it safe and find the best security plugin for WordPress. If there’s one website aspect you really don’t want to take chances on, it’s online protection.

Unfortunately, picking a plugin is not as simple as it might sound. Searching for “security” in WordPress.org’s directory brings up nearly 1,000 results. And there are even more premium-only options.

Sounds daunting? Worry not—HostingTribunal is here to help.

We slogged through WordPress’s ecosystem and put together a definitive list of the top seven security solutions (and a few honorable mentions).

Check out everything we discovered in the comprehensive reviews below.

How We Ranked the Best WordPress Security Plugins—Our Review Process

Want to know more about how we choose the top tools to include in our reviews? Here is what we did to determine the best WordPress security plugins.

  • Monitor the market—First off, we continuously keep an eye on all the available solutions, especially the industry giants. This gives us a great starting point when looking to review and rank the best of the best.
  • Shortlist the providers—There are plenty of options to choose from, so we eliminated the ones with a poor reputation or dated features. After all, a security plugin will do you little good if it can’t even provide the standard measures.
  • Evaluate the features—We proceeded to try a demo version of the WordPress protection plugins. This showed us how they work and what they can do in a real scenario. Website security features played the biggest part in the evaluation, obviously, but any utility tools were a bonus. And we took into account if the tool has serious gaps or bogs down website performance.
  • Check ease of use and compatibility—WordPress plugins are generally easy enough to set up and manage. Still, it’s worth confirming that they don’t use odd naming conventions or clash with other popular options.
  • Compare pricing—Free offers might be acceptable sometimes, but premium packages are where all the best features are hidden. We evaluated both the free plans and the paid ones and extrapolated which services get you the best value for money.

We ranked the top seven solutions and put all the relevant info in the reviews below. Keep reading to find the best security plugin for WordPress.

Sucuri Security
Sucuri Security

BEST WORDPRESS SECURITY OVERALL

Starting at
$ 199.99 /yr
  • Free trial No
  • Security features Comprehensive
  • Reputation Excellent
  • Utility tools Yes
  • Malware scanning
  • WAF
  • Blacklist prevention
  • Custom plan
  • CDN service
  • Professional malware removal
  • Pricey

Sucuri is one of the most well-known security companies, providing services to thousands of individuals. It protects big names in WordPress, like Yoast SEO, and is partnered with numerous WP hosting providers, including SiteGround.

But is it the best WP security plugin? Let’s find out.

Features

You can download Sucuri Security for free from the WP repository. The free version lets you apply various measures to harden the WordPress protection measures. This includes disabling PHP execution, changing the database prefix, resetting keys and passwords, using a more secure WordPress login page, and much more.

The tool can also search for various vulnerabilities and hacking attempts and alert you if it finds anything. It’s a solid way to cover your bases. Many users praise this as the best free WordPress security plugin of 2021.

For more robust features, you would need to connect to a premium Sucuri account.

For starters, this would get you extensive scanning options. Sucuri monitors everything, from basic security and malware signs down to malicious scripts hiding in your backend code. The provider even checks for DNS and SSL changes, making it a decent replacement for a website monitoring tool.

The provider also tracks your websites in various blacklisting databases. This ensures you won’t suffer SEO penalties due to malware injections.

If something does happen to get through, Sucuri extends a full malware and blacklist cleanup service. If the automated tools can’t remove the problem, Sucuri will have an actual expert fix your website manually. You’re unlikely to ever need this with such security tools, though.

Possibly the most significant reason to pay for the WordPress security plugin is the web application firewall. Sucuri routes all your traffic through its WAF server and scrubs everything to ensure no malicious bots or suspicious traffic get through.

The tool is even designed to stop layer 3, 4, and 7 DDoS attacks (as opposed to Cloudflare, which prevents only layer 7 DDoS). Sucuri adds prevention measures on zero-day, so you won’t have to worry about newly found vulnerabilities.

If you’re having trouble with specific attackers, you can block out traffic from certain IPs or entire geographical regions. Best of all, the service might even speed up your site due to Sucuri’s proprietary CDN. You can encrypt the traffic with your own premium SSL certificate.

All in all, Sucuri has an impressive set of tools, including possibly the best WordPress firewall system.

User Reviews

The WordPress repository reveals quite a few satisfied Sucuri users. They like that the plugin is effective and easy to set up. Out of 342 reviews, 267 have five stars, which is decent.

Some negative reviews on TrustPilot indicate Sucuri failed to help at least a few users. This just goes to show no solution is a silver bullet. You can rely on Sucuri to protect you from many known attacks, but you should still follow the best security practices to minimize the risk of a successful hack.

Pricing

Sucuri can be used as a free WordPress security plugin. However, this version lacks the WAF and a few other premium services. To get all the power of Sucuri, go for one of the paid plans:

  • Basic—Malware, hack, and vulnerability scans every 12h, $199.99/year
  • Pro—Malware, hack, and vulnerability scans every 6h, $299.99/year
  • Business—Malware, hack, and vulnerability scans every 30 min, 499.99/year
  • Enterprise—Custom everything with a ton of unique features

There is something for everyone—from simple websites to mission-critical apps.

The only catch is that all plans but the enterprise one work on a one-website-per-license basis. If you have multiple sites, you would need extra licenses, which can get pricey. If you have multiple sites, check out MalCare—the best anti-hack software for securing multiple WordPress websites.

On the upside, Sucuri extends a 30-day money-back guarantee across the board. It’s a solid window to connect Sucuri and check if it fulfills your requirements.

Verdict

Sucuri is an all-in-one service that covers pretty much all aspects of WordPress security. It includes everything from basic malware scans to complex traffic analysis and zero-day fixes. At $199.99 per year, it’s reasonably priced for arguably the best security plugin for WordPress.

Bulletproof Security Pro
Bulletproof Security Pro

BEST MALWARE & ATTACK PREVENTION

Starting at
$ 69.96 /mo
  • Free trial Yes
  • Security features Extensive preventive features, a firewall, database hardening, etc.
  • Reputation Solid
  • Utility tools Yes
  • Excellent WP hardening
  • Backups available
  • Firewall
  • Free plan
  • Very affordable
  • Great add-ons
  • Limited recovery options

Being over nine years old is no small thing on the internet and it makes Bulletproof Security one of the older WP security plugins still available. It is the flagship product of AITpro—a cybersecurity company.

Now, in all honesty, the AITpro website doesn’t look too promising. However, Bulletproof security is a viable product that handles many aspects of online protection that other systems don’t.

Here’s what it includes.

Features

Bulletproof Security is straightforward to set up—just pick the default settings and it will configure everything automatically. If you like to tinker with the settings, though, you can change them to your preference.

Bulletproof Security focuses on protection more than other WordPress security plugins.

For starters, it hardens the .htaccess file and root folder of your server. The settings are designed to stop cross-site scripting and SQL injection attacks, among other things.

Database security is quite heavy too. The plugin puts it behind a firewall, monitors it continuously, and even provides database backups.

And those are just the most important hardening measures. The list would be too extensive to put here, so you can read more details on the AITpro website.

Bulletproof Security doubles as a WordPress firewall plugin that authenticates you based on your personal IP address. This is a superb protection feature, which would be very hard to get around. 

Keep in mind, though, it’s different from filtering traffic through a web application firewall. You still might want to consider getting a proper layer 7 DDoS mitigation tool like Cloudflare.

The plugin adds other features, such as more secure login pages, extensive logging, and continuous monitoring of website health. Some anti-spam, anti-brute-force, and anti-DDoS tools are included as well.

The WordPress protection system includes 16 mini add-ons. They include tools for safe decoding of malicious code, cronjob monitoring, database cleanup, cURL scans, XML-RPC vulnerability checks, and more. They are fantastic options for more advanced users that want to ensure airtight protection.

Bulletproof Security pro does have some reactive tools like a malware scan. It runs scheduled inspections that detect anything from infected images to suspicious database entries.

For the most part, though, Bulletproof Security focuses on preventing attacks rather than helping you recover from one.

User Reviews

Bulletproof Security Pro is very popular among its clients. Out of 557 reviews in the plugin repository, 506 feature five stars, and most others are 4-star comments. It’s an incredibly rare result for a WP security plugin.

How does Bulletproof Security do it?

Surprisingly enough, most customers praise the support team. The Bulletproof Security engineers go above and beyond to help users. One client even mentioned the team adapted the plugin to fit their custom website.

Pricing

Bulletproof Security has a reasonably comprehensive free tier. It features basic tools like malware scans and cleanup, .htaccess hardening, database backups, and a few other options. It’s easily the best free WordPress security plugin.

For the full set of features, though, you would need the paid plan. There is only one and it would cost you a one-time fee of $69.95. You can install it on an unlimited number of websites with forever updates and support.

The price makes Bulletproof Security Pro the most affordable tool of its kind across the board.

Verdict

Bulletproof Security Pro has probably the strongest hardening and analysis tools out of all WordPress security plugins in 2021. On top of that, it’s the most affordable paid option available. If you need truly bulletproof protection for your WordPress site, you now know where to get it.

Security Ninja
Security Ninja

EASY & AFFORDABLE SECURITY TOOLS

Starting at
$ 49.99 /yr
  • Free trial 14 days
  • Security features Scanning, hardening, firewall, blacklisting
  • Reputation Popular
  • Utility tools Yes
  • Easy to set up
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Firewall
  • Logging tools
  • Reasonable price
  • Lifetime licenses
  • Not the most powerful tool

Security Ninja is a plugin by WebFactory—a company specialized exclusively in WordPress. It is behind more than a hundred tools, and is among the better WordPress security projects.

The goal of the solution is to provide an easy way for non-technical users to manage WordPress protection.

Let’s see if it fulfills it.

Features

Security Ninja starts with your typical WP security scanner. It checks your website and hardens some 30 most common weak spots by uninstalling unused plugins, changing security keys, enforcing strong passwords, removing or changing various files, etc.

In-depth scanning can reveal vulnerable plugins, harmful code, or even malware. Security Ninja runs extensive checks and compares your website to the original code. If someone does tamper with your website, you’ll get an immediate email alert.

Lastly, Security Ninja routes traffic through its advanced firewall.

It gets continuously updated with a database of 600k+ bad IP addresses and numerous spam checks. It also automatically blocks users who make multiple unsuccessful login attempts.

It’s the best WordPress firewall when it comes to stopping forceful attacks.

The firewall filters out various requests that look like SQL injection or DDoS attacks. If you want, you can blacklist IP addresses or even prevent users from specific countries from visiting. If you want to be particularly mean, there’s an option to redirect blocked users to a custom URL—do with that info what you will.

Security Ninja can log various WordPress events. You can always know who did what on your website, which is great if you work with colleagues and are worried about security for WordPress sites.

All in all, this is a comprehensive feature set for a very user-friendly plugin.

User Reviews

Security Ninja might not have as many users as, let’s say, Jetpack, but it is certainly popular among existing clients. Practically all reviews praise it for being effective and a breeze to set up.

The last negative comment we found was from two years ago. Security systems usually deal with numerous frustrated customers. The fact that Security Ninja has next to none disgruntled users is almost unreal.

Pricing

The WP security plugin free plan only includes basic protection and vulnerability scanning. It’s okay if you only need simple vulnerability reports. Still, you would need a paid plan to really see what Security Ninja is all about.

The pricing only depends on the number of websites.

  • One site—$49.99/year
  • Three sites—$129.99/year
  • Five sites—$199.99/year
  • 20 sites—$299.99/year
  • 100 sites—$999.99/year

You can pay monthly, but this would be more than twice as expensive.

A real treat, however, are the lifetime plans. For about three times the price of an annual deal, you can get a Security Ninja license for life. The plans start at $119 for a single site and go up to $1,999 for a maximum of 100 sites.

If you are sure you want to stick with this provider, it’s the best WP security plugin in terms of long-term value.

If you’re kind of on the fence about Security Ninja, keep in mind it has a 14-day free trial. You can test it out before purchasing a license.

Verdict

Security Ninja is a fantastic compromise between power and ease of use. It gets you in-depth scans, a robust firewall, and extensive WordPress hardening.

Unlike some other solutions, it’s simple enough for a beginner to implement on their first site.

Not to mention it’s extremely affordable, especially with a lifetime license. It’s one of the best WordPress security plugins all-round.

IThemes Security Pro
IThemes Security Pro

BEST FOR BLOGGERS

Starting at
$ 80 /yr
  • Free trial No
  • Security features WP hardening, 2FA, passwordless logins, away mode, firewall
  • Reputation Popular
  • Utility tools Yes
  • Comprehensive protection features
  • Passwordless logins
  • Easy setup
  • Supports unlimited sites
  • Very popular
  • Possible to get locked out

iThemes used to create themes, though it also offers WordPress hosting, training courses, and ten different plugins, including a WP security plugin—iThemes Security Pro.

Features

The best thing iThemes Security Pro has going for it is its ease of use. Not only is it easy to set up, but you can also apply all the recommended protection measures in one click. Just use the “security check” option and iThemes will handle everything from there.

The all-in-one security plugin runs regular WordPress hardening, including modifying critical files, file change detection, blacklisting IP addresses, requiring strong passwords, configuring SSL encryption, adding brute-force protection, and more.

The premium features include malware scanning, captcha protection, 2FA, logging user actions, advanced email notifications, and more.

With the passwordless login, you only need to enter your username and email address to sign in. Instead of asking for a password, iThemes Security Pro emails you a “magic link” you’ll use to authenticate. That way, even if an attacker finds your login page and has the credentials, they’ll need to get into your email inbox. Just make sure to use 2FA on your email as another barrier.

Another awesome thing that boosts security for WordPress sites is the “away mode.” You can lock access to the dashboard when you know you won’t be accessing it for a while. The obvious downside is having to wait if there’s a change you want to make.

One missing feature is a web application firewall. The software can stop most attacks but might be less effective against layer 7 DDoS. If you need a service with a robust WAF, check out Sucuri above.

If you’re not worried about running WordPress without a WAF, iThemes is possibly the best security plugin for WordPress.

User Reviews

iThemes is possibly the most loved security plugin. It has 3,300+ 5-star reviews in the repository and numerous positive comments on sites like Reddit.

Some users did complain about getting locked out. It’s important to note that if you turn on magic links or run a security check, you won’t be able to use regular login credentials. You need to send yourself a link to enter the website, or you’ll be locked out.

Other than that, there are no major complaints.

Pricing

iThemes Security Pro includes all WordPress protection features across the board. The only difference is how many websites the plan supports. There are three plans in total:

  • Blogger—One site, $80/year
  • Small Business—Ten sites, $127/year
  • Gold—Unlimited sites, $199/year

The plans are quite affordable. It’s a particularly nice touch that the Gold plan works for users with many sites.

Verdict

iThemes Security Pro is a breeze to use, making it the best security plugin for WordPress for hobbyist bloggers or those short on time. You can employ all the necessary security measures while paying pennies. Plus, the value for securing multiple websites is incredible.

MalCare
MalCare

MOST RELIABLE & POWERFUL MALWARE CLEANUP

Starting at
$ 99 /yr
  • Free trial Free tier
  • Security features Scanning, cleanup, backups, firewall
  • Reputation Excellent
  • Utility tools Yes
  • Comprehensive protection tools
  • AI malware detection
  • Great cleanup options
  • No false alarms
  • Blogvault backups available
  • Great collaboration tools
  • White labeling support
  • Pricey for personal users

MalCare was created by BlogVault—the creators of one of the top backup plugins. If you’re unfamiliar with it, BlogVault is the backup solution used by big WordPress hosting names like WP Engine and Cloudways, as well as the cloud platform Pantheon. Impressive, right?

MalCare is another popular WordPress security plugin. Let’s see if it’s as good as the other solutions.

Features

MalCare comes with a full suite of security technologies.

It starts with general security hardening. This includes typical things like stopping PHP execution in some folders, adding captcha to logins, modifying security keys, etc.

You can also disable plugin installation, which restricts anyone who does gain access to your WP admin. You can, of course, re-enable installation when you need to change something.

The WordPress security scan plugin can detect and remove malware. One benefit is that, instead of standard signature matching, MalCare analyzes 100+ different signals to detect suspicious code changes.

In other words, it can catch previously unknown malware, unlike systems reliant purely on a malware database.

The host is so sure in the system, it guarantees zero false alarms. Speaking of that, you can easily configure MalCare to alert you via email whenever needed.

If the automatic cleanup fails, the MalCare team fixes issues manually. Not only that, but they fix the original vulnerability so the problem does not reoccur.

MalCare has a web application firewall, but it’s a bit better at blocking individual attacks than providing full-on DDoS mitigation.

User Reviews

Practically every WordPress security plugins review mentioning MalCare is positive. Users like the ease of use and how powerful the solution is.

There are very few negative comments. All seem to be one-off issues and not the company’s fault.

Overall, MalCare’s reputation is extremely positive.

Pricing

MalCare has a free tier, but it only covers malware scanning and brute-force protection. It’s acceptable as a WP security scanner but very limited compared to some free software out there.

Other than that, there are three paid plans.

  • Personal—One site, $99/year
  • Small Business—Five sites, $259/year
  • Developers—20 websites, $599/year

All plans come with full protection features. The Developers plan lets you add one team member to work with you, which is helpful. If you want to include more collaborators or white-label the plans, contact the provider about a custom plan.

Overall, MalCare scores a lot of points for having multi-website packages. This makes it a much cheaper alternative to other top WordPress security plugins like Sucuri.

Alternatively, you can buy BlogVault backups bundled with MalCare and other services like website staging or migrations. It’s fantastic to get multiple options all in one place. Plus, it comes at an affordable monthly price.

Verdict

The BlogVault team certainly has a knack for developing awesome apps, so it comes as no surprise MalCare is another home run. The free version is a bit limited, but the paid plans have all the features needed to nip malicious attacks in the bud. Plus, it’s the best plugin for WordPress if you want to secure multiple websites for an affordable price.

Jetpack
Jetpack

BEST ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION

Starting at
$ 7.95 /mo
  • Free trial Free tier
  • Security features Security hardening, auto updates, 2FA, spam protection
  • Reputation Most popular plugin
  • Utility tools Yes
  • Security hardening
  • Easy to set up
  • Versatile toolset
  • Very beginner-friendly
  • Affordable deals
  • Limited security features

Jetpack is a multipurpose plugin built by Automattic—the same people that are behind WordPress itself. It started as a one-stop-shop solution for users who want to easily optimize WordPress.com sites. It has been available for the hosted WordPress version for a long time now and it is one of the most popular tools.

Here’s what the premium Jetpack versions can do.

Features

Jetpack is like a Swiss army knife. Aside from just security tools, it’s a system for backups, speed optimization, social media posting, and much more.

What interests us, though, are the features ensuring better WordPress security.

Jetpack starts off with automated updates. You can enable these for individual plugins to get more control.

If you opt out of them on specific plugins, Jetpack can still email you whenever a new update is available. This feature can be a time-saver and add reliability to your site, though your web host might already offer a similar tool.

Jetpack also runs uptime checks on your site every five minutes (or in real-time on the larger plan). It will notify you via email if your site does go down, so you can fix the issue or restore a backup.

This can save you unnecessary downtime.

Jetpack can add various WordPress protection measures to your login page. This includes enforcing two-factor authentication and blacklisting brute-force attempts. There are a few other features for letting users log in with their WordPress.com accounts, but these are a bit less useful.

The plugin also covers an anti-spam system and a security scanner. If it finds a security threat, it will notify you and offer to fix it. Don’t worry—most issues can be sorted out automatically.

Jetpack generates security reports on everything you do. It saves the logs for 30 days (or one year with the larger plans).

All in all, Jetpack covers the most basic features. It’s among the better WordPress home security plugins, though there are more advanced solutions for top-of-the-line protection.

Jetpack is powerful, but it has many tools, making it a bit bloaty. You should be careful to only activate the Jetpack modules you use, as only those get downloaded. If you switch on everything at once, you’ll likely experience a lot of issues.

User Reviews

Jetpack is probably one of the most popular WordPress security plugins. The reason for this is that it comes preinstalled on many hosting platforms and is heavily promoted for WordPress.com sites. Still, the great majority of customers love Jetpack, so it’s doing something right.

On the other hand, many users say there’s no real reason to use Jetpack when you can run multiple specialized plugins.

This is a fair point. You could likely find a bunch of leaner tools to do everything you need.

Jetpack is really geared towards beginners without much experience dealing with the WordPress backend. It offers the convenience of managing the most critical aspects of your website from one place.

Pricing

Jetpack has a free plan which includes the most relevant features, but you can’t use it as a WordPress security scan plugin.

The other two plans are:

  • Jetpack Security Daily—Daily security scans and uptime checks every five minutes, $7.95/month
  • Jetpack Security Real-time—Real-time security scans and uptime monitoring, $19.95/month

The prices above are paid in annual increments. You can also pay month-to-month, but the yearly deals come with a 20% discount.

Overall, the pricing is affordable, considering Jetpack takes care not only of security but also of speed optimization and a ton of other factors.

Verdict

Jetpack is a fantastic plugin for beginners who want to take care of most website aspects with one tool, security included. It only takes a few clicks to set up everything and it won’t make you break the bank.

If you want a straightforward solution, it’s the best WordPress security plugin in 2021.

Hide My WP Ghost
Hide My WP Ghost

Starting at
$ 23.99 /yr
  • Free trial Free tier
  • Security features Hiding all WP identifiers, captcha protection, extensive protection tools
  • Reputation Great
  • Utility tools Yes
  • Robust protection
  • Hides your WordPress installation
  • Customized URLs
  • Very affordable pricing
  • Unlimited website plan
  • Few cleanup tools

Hide My WP Ghost is a security plugin, but it takes a somewhat different approach to most solutions. Here’s what sets it apart.

Features

Hide My WP Ghost does just what the name says—it hides your WordPress installation. More precisely, it makes your website look like you’re not using WordPress.

It does this by obfuscating certain types of information, changing various code comments, and swapping out id tags. So if someone decides to inspect the source of your pages, the code won’t reveal to them it’s actually WordPress.

And even if an attacker does figure it out, they’ll have little luck finding a point to attack. The WordPress security plugin changes the URLs of commonly exploited pages, like the wp-login and the paths to important files and folders.

But wait, there’s more.

Hide My WP Ghost can add captcha to your WordPress login page, limit login attempts, or lock admin and file access to just your IP address. Even if someone can find the custom URLs and guess the correct password, they still won’t be able to do anything.

And those were just the obfuscation features. Hide My WP Ghost still runs a full protection suite that stops things like XSS, SQL injections, XML-RPC exploits, and more.

It features the obligatory WP security scanner that finds vulnerabilities in your site, database, or even themes and plugins. Hide My WP Ghost can patch issues for you, but it will also show you how to fix them yourself—you can expect to learn a lot about WP security as you’re working.

Impressive, huh?

Hide My WP Ghost is one of the most innovative companies on the market.

User Reviews

With an average user rating of 4.5/5, Hide My WP Ghost is doing quite well. Users praise it for being a solution with solid features.

It’s worth pointing out there are multiple other services called Hide My WP that you might run into. Hide My WP Ghost is the only version with a free WordPress security plugin in WordPress’s official repository, so it’s easily recognizable. We can’t speak to other tools’ actual performance, although they have a similar feature list.

Pricing

Hide My WP Ghost includes the majority of its tools in the free tier. Some features like protecting the API, brute-force protection, and hiding common files, are reserved for premium users. You can still get good use of the free plan, but the paid ones are well worth it if you can afford them.

The only difference between the paid plans is the number of websites they support:

  • Ghost 1—One website, $23.99/year
  • Ghost 5—Five websites, $52.50/year
  • Ghost 10—Ten websites, $69/year
  • Ghost All—Unlimited websites, $149.99/year

Overall, it’s a great free WordPress security plugin, and paid plans are reasonably priced.

The provider throws in a 30-day money-back guarantee. That gives you a solid window to see how Hide My WP Ghost works for your website.

Verdict

Hide My WP Ghost is a great WordPress security plugin not only for protecting weak spots but also for hiding all the crucial info and locations from potential attackers.

After all, it’s tough to inject scripts into a website if you can’t even find the files.

If you’re interested, the service is available for a very reasonable price with a money-back guarantee—feel free to give it a try.

Great WordPress Security Plugins That Didn’t Make the Cut

Those were the top security solutions. Now, let’s cover a few solid options that are still competitive but lacked a bit to make it to the top seven.

Wordfence Security—Wordfence includes one of the most robust firewall systems and a very powerful malware scanner. That said, it lacks some of the traditional protection features, so it’s best to use it with a second plugin. This way, it can add extra protection to an already strong security system. If you want to get everything in one place, Sucuri is similar but a bit broader Wordfence alternative.

Defender—Defender has a few strong protection features, but it’s more of a general-use plugin like Jetpack than a security one. You can also use it for things like migrations, update automation, SEO, among other things. But Jetpack performs a bit better, so Defender didn’t make the cut.

SecuPress—SecuPress has a decent offer and it can stop most attacks in their tracks. That said, it’s kind of pricey and it charges even more for services like professional configuration or malware removal. If you need expert help, you can just get Sucuri, which has better features.

Do I Need a WordPress Security Plugin?

This is a tricky question.

To answer it, you have to know what WordPress security plugins actually do.

The first thing is adding various measures to thwart common attacks. This can include:

  • A firewall that filters malicious traffic
  • Virus scanning and malware cleanups
  • More secure login system
  • Hardening WordPress weak points
  • And much more

All of this is simply meant to make your website more difficult to exploit.

The second part is that a WP security plugin can fix new vulnerabilities before they get patched up.

The WordPress core is rather secure, but once a new vulnerability is found, it can take a few hours to a few days before a bug fix removes it. This gives attackers a solid window to exploit thousands of sites that can’t do much about it.

This is where good WordPress plugins for security come in. The creators can quickly implement a firewall rule or some other measure that stops traffic targeting a known exploit. Hackers will likely move on to easier targets and you’ll be safe until WordPress implements the vulnerability fix.

So, to sum up, a security plugin generally hardens your website and provides fixes to known vulnerabilities.

Is a Security Plugin Really Necessary?

Now that you know what a security plugin does, the question is, do you need one?

Technically, you could implement most of these measures by yourself. WordPress even has tutorials on closing common security holes. You could also connect a third-party antivirus and implement a free WordPress firewall substitute like Cloudflare.

However, it’s kind of tough to juggle all of this without being up-to-date on WordPress protection and dedicating yourself full-time. It’s only really worth it for organizations that can have a team specifically for managing WP security.

If you’re running a whole WordPress site on your own, it’s usually a lot easier (and safer) to use a security plugin. You wouldn’t have to worry about missing a critical vulnerability and it would free up time for more important tasks.

If you think you might have an easier time with one, let’s cover how to pick the best security plugin for WordPress.

How to Choose the Best WordPress Security Plugin

There are plenty of solutions and some are better than others. Here’s what you can do to pick the right plugin.

Features

Website security features fall into one of two camps—those for protection and those for post-hack cleanup.

Protection tools are your bread and butter. If no one can touch your website, you won’t have to worry about things like cleaning up malware in the first place.

The most basic features include fixing common weak points in WordPress—changing the database prefix, implementing stronger authentication, blocking PHP execution, etc.

This is mostly about implementing better WordPress security for the core system and making the job of prospective hackers harder.

Tools like a firewall can be a great help too. Your standard WAF scrubs traffic for suspicious activity like DDoS attacks or SQL injections and prevents malicious packets from even reaching your server.

As for cleanup tools, look for anti-malware systems and scanners that detect suspicious code. They are a tremendous help if something does get past your defensive measures.

It’s also good to keep regular backups and use them if something does severely compromise your site. You can rely on your hosting provider for it or use a separate backup plugin.

Compatibility

This is a minor point, but still worth checking.

WP security plugins can sometimes be incompatible with other tools. This can break your website or outright not work. Some platforms, like WP Engine, might also have a list of banned items that clash with proprietary tech.

This is really not much of an issue nowadays, as most plugins work with everything. Still, it only takes a minute to check, so don’t skip it.

One scenario where you are likely to experience issues is if you run custom-coded features. Plugins are really designed to run with the default WordPress backend, so you might need a developer to adapt it before it runs safely.

Frequent Updates

The best anti-hack software must maintain frequent updates. No platform is 100% secure and hackers prod at WordPress day and night. A manufacturer needs to be equally proactive to patch up issues as soon as they are discovered.

Otherwise, what’s to stop an attacker from repeatedly exploiting recent issues?

A security plugin will usually display patch notes for recent updates on its website or in the official repository. You can see how quickly you can expect issues to be addressed.

Reputation

There’s really no better judge of a quality solution than the webmasters using it. If it is not that effective, everybody will be only too happy to warn you about it online.

Note that most WordPress security plugins have at least a few disgruntled users. This is not necessarily an indication of something wrong, as websites always get hacked for unrelated reasons, usually human error.

Try to see the overall impression rather than relying on a couple of individual comments.

Price

You really shouldn’t skimp on security. A cheaper option might cost you a lot more if it fails to protect your site.

That said, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding affordable security for WordPress sites. Most plugins cost between $40 and $100 per year, which is not that bad.

Now, if you want top-of-the-shelf protection or a license that covers multiple sites, you might need to dish out a bit more. Still, you only have to worry about this if you run numerous sites or have a business website that justifies more expensive security.

Otherwise, you can get an affordable plugin that covers all the critical security aspects.

Wrap Up

That concludes the reviews of the top WordPress security plugins. Now you know which the best solutions are and how to find a high-quality one. Feel free to take any of the top picks for a spin and see what it can do on your website.

FAQ

What is a security plugin?

A security plugin adds extra protective measures to a website or fixes known vulnerabilities. It’s generally a smart idea to run it if you don’t have experience optimizing the site’s safety yourself. You can find more info on WordPress security plugins above.

Can WordPress be hacked?

It sure does happen. WordPress gets targeted by attacks more than any other platform and is usually overrepresented when it comes to successful hacks. Some ways to reduce the chance of your website getting exploited are updating everything regularly, enforcing strong passwords, and running a security plugin. You can find more info on the latter above.

Can WordPress plugins contain viruses?

WordPress plugins can contain viruses or, more likely, they might have vulnerabilities that can compromise your server. That’s why you should only install them from the official WordPress repository or highly trusted sources, as this code gets audited before publishing. And make sure to remove any tools you’re not using for good measure.

What is the best security plugin for WordPress?

There are plenty of great choices. Sucuri Security and iThemes Security Pro are both incredibly robust and come with a ton of features. If you’d like more info on the best security plugin for WordPress, you can take a look at the reviews above.